Cottagecore, Japandi and Friluftsliv – the three interior trends that should be on your radar

The newest trends on the block that mean we’re returning to nature, in style

Interior trends 2021
We can’t decide which we want to try out first. Image credit / Pinterest

The pandemic changed life as we know it altogether. With WFH, virtual meetings, and at-home workouts, there was a severe lack of exposure to the outside world. Over the past year, this constant want to get outdoors popularised three interiors trends- cottagecore, Japandi and friluftsliv on social media. Interestingly, they all had one thing in common, and it was getting back to nature. Read on to know more.


Quite possibly the hottest trend of 2020, cottagecore is a look that’s about going “back to the basics”. Also known as farmcore and countrycore, it is a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. In terms of interiors, it is essentially about creating a cosy haven with a contemporary touch by combining classically styled and rural inspired homeware.

Cottagecore invites trend followers to embrace a sustainable and straightforward existence that is harmonious with nature. Apart from being synonymous with romance and nostalgia, the aesthetic can be brought into homes by using plenty of fresh flowers, houseplants, and elegant, neutral and warm-toned colours. Add some vintage decorative pieces as finishing touches, and you’ve got this TikTok popularised trend nailed.


The term ‘Japandi’ is a combination of the two styles Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian design. The Japandi look is achieved by embracing the philosophy of Wabi-sabi- which is about finding the beauty in the imperfect.

This style marries the design values that are common to Japan and Scandinavia. These are functionality, simplicity, a preference for natural materials and a reverence for craftsmanship. Simple clean lines, de-cluttered spaces and the use of organic textiles are the basic principles of Japandi. It’s the use of eco-friendly and local materials, along with a modest lifestyle philosophy that makes style both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. With a heavy dose of neutral tones, natural texture and a minimalist approach to design, any living space can foster a Japandi style for a warm and cosy feel.


This ancient Norwegian philosophy means committing time to regularly explore and appreciate nature to lead a happy and healthy life. Pronounced free-loofts-liv, friluftsliv literally translates as “open-air living” and was popularised in the 1850s by the Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen. The term is used to describe the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing.

After having spent most of 2020 indoors, many of us are experiencing a natural desire to spend more time outside in nature. The friluftsliv way of living can be incorporated into homes in few simple steps, like the addition of plants for some greenery, furnishing made out of natural wood and using the warmth of candles. Along with this, it’s achieved by sticking to a rustic and natural colour palette – think green, brown, beige, rust, and greys. The trick is to bring the natural world in, whilst keeping an overall elegant feel.

By Mabel Roy

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