Simple, homespun interiors have been in fashion for decades; under different guises. The Cottagecore aesthetic appears — once again — in this year’s top 10 interior trends. And it shows no signs of slowing down or decreasing in popularity. In this post, I’ll show you how to paint a chest of drawers in Cottagecore style.
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What is The Cottagecore Aesthetic?
Cottagecore, fundamentally, is Shabby Chic remastered! Think simple, rural style. Well loved, painted furniture, vintage-inspired patterns and upcycled items — reminiscent of a simple, bygone era.
Cottagecore embodies homely and unfussy cottage living; embracing nature and a more sustainable, mindful lifestyle.
How to Achieve Cottagecore Decor at Home
Cottagecore decor can be easily achieved — even for those that don’t live in a cottage.
Start by introducing pale, painted tones, natural textures — and ditsy print — or patterned — fabrics. I used large gingham patterned chair cushions in our old dining room.
You can also give old furniture a new lease of life by painting with emulsion or chalk paint.
Or even give modern — mass produced — furniture a Cottagecore makeover.
I took one of our IKEA Hemnes chest of drawers and gave it the Cottagecore treatment. It was really simple to do and turned a globally mass produced piece of furniture into a unique heirloom piece, in just a couple of hours.
How To Paint a Chest of Drawers With Chalkpaint
- Chalk Paint — I used Paris Grey and Old White from Annie Sloane
- New Drawer Knobs
- Paint Brush
- Protective Sheets
- Take the handles off and the drawers out. Give the piece a first coat of paint. Fairly roughly — you don't need to be too careful for the first coat.
- Paint the carcass chest of drawers for the second time. I used Annie Sloan's 'Paris Grey'.
- Next, I painted the drawers in Annie Sloane 'Old White' chalk paint.
- I replaced the handles with new ones; using the existing holes.
- And that's it! Chest of drawers makeover complete! A new look for my old IKEA Hemnes chest of drawers.
I’m so pleased with how this upcycled chest of drawers turned out. Chalk paint is a brilliant option for Cottage Core and Shabby Chic style furniture. It has a lovely matt finish and doesn’t require any preparation either.
How To Paint a Pine Chest of Drawers Shabby Chic
As I mentioned before, there seem to be very few differences between Cottagecore and Shabby Chic. One thing to note is the term ‘Shabby Chic’ definitely gave a valid excuse for badly painted furniture back in the day! Cottagecore is definitely not shabby — and maybe a little more chic than its predecessor. But the fundamentals are the same.
Shabby Chic furniture and furnishings are generally chosen for their vintage or distressed appearance.
Signs of age and wear and tear are celebrated — and new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of a vintage item or an antique.
You can use the same method outlined here to paint a pine chest of drawers in the Shabby Chic style, but you can add a worn, well-used finish, by sanding back the paint on the edges. Or using dark furniture wax to give the piece a distressed look.
Ultimately, don’t be scared of giving it a go. Ultimately, paint can be stripped off or painted over.
If you like the Cottagecore style, painting a piece of furniture is a great way of injecting the look into your own home.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.