Nancy Meyers is such an icon that her name isn’t just a proper noun—it’s a verb. And as soon as the temperatures drop, I suddenly have the urge to Nancy Meyers my whole house. Her 2006 rom-com classic The Holiday basically fueled my entire cottagecore obsession, and come December, I’m channeling Cameron Diaz bundled up in bed with a glass of red in hand, living worry-free in the English countryside.
There’s arguably nothing cozier than the cottagecore aesthetic. A blend of unique antiques and nature-inspired elements, this decorating style is all about embracing a slower, more intentional pace of life—no matter where you are. See: Rosehill Cottage in The Holiday. Its shabby chic decor, wood-burning fireplace, and tiny bathtub are enough for me to want to quit my job and move to the outskirts of London. Luckily, this is the sort of movie magic we can re-create at home (minus Jude Law appearing on our doorstep). Take on this design trend with a few of these home decor ideas based on The Holiday—no house swap necessary.
1. Mismatch to the max
Move over, modern minimalism. To achieve that idyllic cottage vibe, take a cue from the set of The Holiday and embrace mismatched maximalism. Plates, pillows, lampshades—you name it. Collect all the vintage (or vintage-inspired) pieces you can in an abundance of prints and patterns. Then mix and match your finds to create a layered look that’s full of personality. Bonus points if you display some vintage dishware on open shelves. And seriously, pile on the pillows.
2. Choose muted, earthy tones
While we love a bold pop of color from time to time, bright, splashy hues don’t necessarily fall under the “cottagecore” category. To mimic Rosehill Cottage’s vibe, go for muted neutrals and soft pastels instead. But don’t worry, this color palette doesn’t have to be boring (looking at you, greige showroom homes). Using a variety of patterns and textures will help breathe life into your space.
3. Set the mood with lighting
Harsh overhead lighting is so over. The alternative? Lamps on every imaginable surface. They’ll give off soft, ambient lighting that will instantly infuse warmth into your “cottage.” To cozy things up, add an eclectic lamp on top of your kitchen counter, desk, side table, nightstand, bar cart… shall I go on?
4. Opt for natural materials
You may not have a Surrey, England, postal code, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least pretend you’re the main character of a Nancy Meyers movie. To give your space that tucked-into-the-countryside feel, all you’ll need are a few rustic furniture and home decor pieces made from natural materials. Anything from wooden accent chairs to a wicker basket for your blankets will add to the cottagecore charm—and a little patina is always a plus.
5. Focus on florals
Time to tap into your inner grandmillenial. Floral prints are one thing these two decorating styles have in common, and Rosehill Cottage is brimming with them. Regardless of the season, furnish your home with floral-patterned fabrics, botanical prints, and even bouquets of dried or fresh flowers to add a romantic, whimsical touch.
6. Bring on the books
No English cottage is complete without a cozy reading nook. And our girl Iris (AKA Kate Winslet’s character) was basically living in a book-lover’s paradise. Her built-ins crammed with reading material and stacks of books all throughout the house are enough to make us want to cancel all future plans and hibernate indoors until spring. So take this as permission to purchase every “Want to Read” book on your Goodreads list—whatever you’re not currently reading will double as home decor.