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Ep. 15: Does living a simplified life mean I have to live on a farm? Introducing Cottagecore!

*A note from the author: This podcast episode (as well as all future episodes) will be transcribed automatically. The author is currently aware of, and getting hives at the thought of, all of the grammatical errors she's finding as she proof reads her transcript. She recognizes that her former English teachers are likely rolling over in their graves, if that is where they currently reside, but also knows that some things just have to give. Please feel free to listen instead and be sure to read non-podcast posts so you can rest assured that she does, in fact, know how to compose written words into proper story telling.*

Links mentioned within the show:

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Instagram and Facebook: @figandfarm

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Oftentimes, when we think about the new year, we think about fireworks and staying up until midnight parades champagne and January 1st. But when I think about the new year, I think about the days are getting longer. There's crisp mornings and warm afternoons, which means that you need to really layer up when you get dressed. I think about the sand of crunching leaves, the smell of crayons and erasers, I think about full backpacks. And I think about my favorite colors that really only appear this time of year. Do you have favorite colors that aren't in the crayon box? The Crayola box here are mine late afternoon sun on a brick building. Okay. I need to come up with a name with that. I don't know what that would be called, but I love it. And late afternoon, sun shimmering on, on water, on dark water. So if we can come up with two names for those, I would be thrilled, but that signifies the beginning of the new year to me, maybe because I spent so many years as a teacher, probably that, but it's my favorite time of year to fall as my favorite time of year.

Speaker 1: (01:15)

But as we get ready to go back to school this year and any year leading up to this year, it's a time for reflection for me. It's a time for goal setting. It's a time for making sure home systems are really in check before we get well on our way in incorporating school. As part of our new routine, not just soccer practice in the evening, not just hanging out at the lake, playing in the water during the daytime. We now need to start thinking about routines again, bedtimes, how we're packing lunches, the system for meal planning, that's really efficient the system for keeping our backpacks tidy and our homework going and even making sure that there's not as much screen time happening. Lots of tightening the belt, if you will. We're actually, we're not spending our day talking about systems or back to school or even colors.

Speaker 1: (02:10)

Favorite, favorite colors that are not in the Crayola box, but we're talking about simplicity. And a couple years ago, two years ago, actually, as I was amping up and getting ready to send kids back to school. And of course this, this point it is pre COVID. So we are going back to what we think is normal school and thinking about all of the things that encompass the busy-ness of that time. And I was chatting with a girlfriend and we were talking about this idea. We were, we were making this, um, plan for ourselves. Wouldn't it be great if we could go live on a farm and live, you know, we could live close to each other, but we would can our own vegetables and fruit. And we would let the kids run and play on the farm. And life would be simple. Could gather our own honey from the bee hives and make our own jam and do all the things.

Speaker 1: (03:11)

Okay. I know what living on a farm is like, I have not lived on a farm, but my in-laws live on a farm. I know it's hard work. My mother grew up on a farm. I know it is extremely hard work, so I'm, I am romanticizing it a lot, but there is something to be said about living that way, living a little bit more simplified life. And so today's episode, isn't about me moving to a farm. It's not about me setting up systems to make sure my school year is successful. It's about a lifestyle that is common to the home decorating scene. That is an interesting one. And it, it came in shortly after that conversation I had with my friend when COVID hit, when we were forced to stay at home, when we are all forced to have a sabbatical, whether we were ready for it or not, whether we wanted it or not, life got harder for some, it got easier for others in this time and this decor style emerged and we're still seeing it.

Speaker 1: (04:14)

So what you're going to hear today in today's podcast is actually a teaching I did in my Facebook community, in my Facebook group where I introduced this lifestyle. So you'll hear me talking and you're going to hear me kind of referencing pictures. So a lot of times in my Facebook group, I do trainings. I do trainings once a week on something. Um, this one happened to be this new decor style and I do them visually. So you can see alongside with me talking. So this is me introducing the cottage core decor style, but you don't just see it in decor. It's really a lifestyle, not just a decor style. So take a listen, see what you think. And I get the giggles because I have a realization, uh, shortly after I start about this lifestyle and, um, how it has significance to me personally. Okay, enjoy today's show.

Speaker 2: (05:12)

We grew up with the phrase. Home is where the heart is, but our culture has shifted and now the messages home should be contrast. Perfect. I'm calling BS on that message poem. It's not about the stuff it's about the story and whether you know it or not, your home is a reflection of you and is already saying something. So what is it that you want it to say, Hey, I'm Danny. A former first grade teacher turned home decorator going from a dual income to a single income. So I could stay home with my babies, meant budget, life, ramen, eating, Goodwill, shopping budget. And I learned a few things along the way, like how to bring big styles to your home without breaking the bank. And I'm sharing it all with you. Tips, tricks, decor, and design advice. So you can learn to tell your story, did your style where you can serve living free from the Pinterest perfect trap and start living a life of intention. Welcome to fig and farm at home where redesign, happy living and where it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Speaker 3: (06:13)

All right, happy Thursday. Okay. You guys, um, there is something new happening and it has been kind of festering and brewing for the course of the year that I wanted to bring to your attention. Um, there's a new design style out, um, called cottage core. And I want to talk to you about that. Um, as I was preparing this, I got the giggles because all of these things were how I grew up. Um, it's how my in-laws live. Um, so it's just, it's near and dear to my heart. It just makes me, it makes me smile. So, um, cottage core, have you heard about it? Raise your hand if you have, um, if you haven't, you will. So we're starting to see, um, things, you know, be come present in the retail space. We're starting to see a little bit more presence online, um, Pinterest and things like that.

Speaker 3: (07:13)

Um, people are starting to talk about it a little bit more, so you will hear it if you don't. Um, if you haven't already, so here we go. Cottage core, it's a new design style. What is it? All right? It is actually more than a design style. So like we're farmhouses really a style cottage core is not, it is more of a lifestyle. Um, so if you can imagine a lifestyle that kind of romanticizes rural living, you are picturing yourself at the end of a country road, country lane. It's warm, it's sunny. You have some animals nearby, um, maybe a neighbor, a mile away. Um, you know, when you walk in home, you're going to have some fresh baked goods. Um, the style of living is cozy and warm. This is cottage core. This is how I grew up. Um, it's just kind of a, it's beckoning you towards a more simplistic time in life.

Speaker 3: (08:14)

Um, so some of the things lifestyle wise that you would find would be home, home, cooking, um, cooking from scratch, home baking, maybe part of that is that you don't go to the store very often. It's not a once a day thing, like a European kind of style. It is a, um, we've got the pantry full. We've got lots of stuff on hand. Um, same thing with, if you want to do the crafting, or if you wanna do the sewing of the projects, you have the stuff on hand, um, gardening, raising your own vegetables and fruits and things like that. Um, probably as well as flower gardening, um, raising your animals, doing chickens or having goats or, um, things like that. And then practicing like those traditional crafts of, um, years ago that are still around, but they're just not as mainstream. Um, canning your goods, crocheting.

Speaker 3: (09:04)

Um, even sewing. Sewing is kind of one of those art forms I think is a little bit dying, which is sad to me. Okay. So what does cottage core design? Um, it is opposite of minimalism. It is the more is more, it is, um, cozy in layers and textures. It is, um, like all of these design elements coming together in this perfect storm to create warmth and coziness, where when you walk in, you feel it, it is a heavy feeling of warmth and cozy. So visually speaking here are some ideas to elicit that, um, here you see pattern wallpaper, and this is, these are all specific elements that, um, that defined cottage course. So, um, patterned wallpaper, um, color. So you can see the color of the couch here. One thing I didn't put on here, but is, um, mini floral, so big florals too, of course, but also the very mini ones I can remember back, um, in the nineties, um, having a couple dresses that had those teeny tiny little florals that are so petite, that is cottage courts coming back.

Speaker 3: (10:16)

So when you go to target and you see that shirt, that's what that is. Um, mushrooms, toadstools. Those are, um, images that are cottage core, um, and they can be an art. They can be in sculptures, they can be in seeding. They can be, um, on plates like this. Um, the fresh baked goods again is another example of cottage core. I can see some other elements here too. I see this vintage glassware and I see this quilt, the quilt doesn't look handmade, but it's still a quilt that has cottage core. Um, take a peak at this table. We're going to talk about that in just a second.

Speaker 3: (10:55)

Here are some other design elements in this ice. This just screams it to me. This is, um, lots of that whimsy cottage core feel. So you've got the printed floral dinner where you've got the vintage, um, dinner, where you've got these scallops plates serving where, um, that are just so sweet and precious. You have what looks like fresh, picked strawberries, freshly gathered eggs, maybe fresh baked bread. Um, and then you've got these vintage pieces of glassware, um, the sweet little bouquets that don't look like they've been picked from the store. Um, they look like they've been picked that morning. Um, and then again, look at this table, this is a backdrop. I'm going to add my own 2 cents here.

Speaker 3: (11:40)

Okay. Now in the other ones, the other pictures I was showing you, the back drop was kind of dark. And I don't want to say moody. Moody's not the right word, but it was just cozy in the darkness. Cottage core can be light and airy as well. It doesn't have to be moody and brooding. Um, in this one, it is light and airy, but you can see some of the elements, um, laying in here with the tablecloth right back here. It's really hard to see in this picture, but this is like a, um, a sheer window curtain, uh, window dressing. Um, and that is lace also is indicative of cottage core. And then you've got the layers down here, the layers of the rug with a shaggy rug kind of making that warm, cozy environment feeling. But you can also see that there is a very modern chair, so it doesn't have to be all vintage.

Speaker 3: (12:33)

It can be that mixture. Um, if you are cozy and layered, and then here's when this is where I'm putting my 2 cents in, because as I am seeing all of these elements, I'm also noticing one other thing. And that is vintage and antique furniture. Again, I don't think it has to be one and only, I think it's a lot of, um, chippy paint as well. So those to me kind of scream that cottage core feel. Um, I'm going to throw in one more and it's a hint of what, of what is to come in April, but that is, um, thrifting thrifted goods. If you notice that a lot of the things that were on the tables, um, in the rooms, it looked, it looked pieced together in a way that was, um, I don't want to say eclectic. I don't want to say disconjointed. I want to say, um, curated, like, like they were found over time and I know that a quick way to do that, to get that look is to thrift.

Speaker 3: (13:36)

And so, um, I'm going to throw that in here too. I think that might be part of this, um, going back to simpler times where you're really, um, thinking about the way that you're living, the, the choices that you're making and really lessening your carbon footprint. Um, if we're being honest here, so, um, you guys, this is how I grew up. Um, what do you think, what do you think about the cottage core design? Have you seen it? Um, what do you think about it? Are there elements that you like elements that you don't like? Um, and then I want to tell you a quick story. So, um, right before the pandemic, it was actually the fall. It would be can hear my boys getting ready for bed. Does it sound like that? Um, hold on one second. Yeah. Hey guys, I'm doing a video.

Speaker 3: (14:34)

Yeah. Quiet please. 19 antiques, um, right before the pandemic. So this was fall of 2019. I was chatting with a girlfriend and we were talking about this. She's a decorator also. I don't know if she knows the term cottage core, I should her, um, but we were talking about how busy schedules were and getting back to school and kind of wishing for, and wanting for that simpler time in life. Kind of even dreaming of wouldn't it be great if we could live on a farm and we could can our own fruit and you could live right next door and we would share the goat milk or whatever. I mean, we were just kind of dreaming, um, okay. Careful what you wish for, because then we had 2020 and where we were kind of forced to be home and slow down and be settled just a little bit differently.

Speaker 3: (15:22)

Um, but I just think it's really ironic and funny that this is now coming from that, um, when we were already craving it. And, um, anyway, just, just an interesting anecdote. Um, all right. Tell me what you think. Tell me your thoughts moving forward. Um, in April we're doing a series, um, that coincidentally was not chosen because of cottage court. It was chosen because it is kind of foundational to who fig and farm at home is. And that is, I got started with the decorating piece because basically I didn't have any money. I was, I was broke and I needed to, uh, I want to change, but I needed to thrift it all. So we're going to go through a series of four part series of thrifting. We're going to start that next week. And the first one is, um, talking about why thrift and maybe some pitfalls to avoid.

Speaker 3: (16:15)

Um, I know that I've lost some of you already just by the word thrift. So I hope you'll stay with me. Um, and then after that, we're going to move into, um, some tips to do it efficiently and, um, and to be fruitful with it. And then we're going to talk about making kind of a generalized list, the list that I follow every time I go, um, and how that helps me to be successful in it. Um, and then we're going to talk about what do you do when you get it all home? Um, how do you fix things and what are some tips and tricks to, um, to just, you know, love something old and bring it new. So we're going to be talking about that all three from, so if you have questions, make sure I know about them ahead of time so I can address them too. All right. You guys until next time be well, and please, pardon that sound? I hope you didn't hear it. All right.

Speaker 1: (17:09)

When I went back and listened to that, I was startled by a couple of things. One, I say, um, a lot, uh, plug your ears and to what I thought was muting. The boys, telling them to be quiet at night was not muted. So you're welcome for that, that little piece of humanity that tells you I am human and my children are loud. I recorded that back in March and after March, we did a, like I mentioned, a four week series on how to thrift. And that was really fun. But each week I dive in to the Facebook community, I teach them something. It could be pertinent to a current event like Pantone color of the year. Is that a current event? Yes. Yes it is. We've done a thrifting series, eight garden series, a why it works series. Like when I take a look at different pictures and I dissect why that design works, we're currently starting a new one.

Speaker 1: (18:14)

Why it doesn't work? I have featured homes on Airbnb where we dissect that anyway, it's a fun community and there's lots of engagement. And if that's something that you're interested in, I want you to come join us. It's a free resource. Something to help you continue to learn about home decorating, um, doing it on a budget and things that can help you be successful in that you can find us at bit dot L Y forward slash design one-on-one group. Come join us. There's always more room at the table. And real quick, before you go, if you are still thinking about joining me in the small group of women for a 10 week journey, taking one room in your home from beginning to end in the design process, I want you to make sure that you don't miss that deadline and to claim your spot. I want you to email

Speaker 1: (19:04)

In a nutshell, here's what we're going to be working on. We're taking one room. We're going to identify which room that is, what the purpose of that room is. And if it is serving you or not, and how we can rectify that in order to move forward so that you can have a room that serves your family the way it's meant to, you're going to learn how to create a cohesive look within that room that will carry over into other areas of your home. You're going to learn to define and identify your aesthetic and how that aesthetic is different and more powerful than choosing a style like farmhouse style, like boho, flea market. You're going to learn how to create a mood board so that you can see it all together. Before you even begin to make purchases. You're going to, you're going to learn how to make a project map so that you can understand what purchase, what change can be made first to make the biggest impact first in your home and your room.

Speaker 1: (19:58)

And then what change can be made next to make the next biggest impact next and next. And so on. All of those skills are going to be utilized for one room in your home. But when you learn at once, you're going to be able to use all of that knowledge, to carry over to other rooms in your home. We're going to be spending some time talking about bookshelf styling, wallpaper, what to spend more money on what to spend less money on and so much more. It's going to be catered to that small group of women who are going to be joining me. And I want you to be a part of it. The deadline for registering is tomorrow. So don't wait if you're interested. Okay. I did get a couple of questions. So I do want to address those because maybe you have the same question.

Speaker 1: (20:41)

The first question was, how do you do the teaching? Okay. So I do the teaching over zoom. It'll be one teaching a week. The teachings will be about an hour each time because it's interactive. And because there's a small group of women, it could go over one hour, but each one will be recorded and available to you. So you, it would be wonderful if he could be present, but I understand that your timeline might not work and you will still have access to that information. There was another question about homework. Will there be homework? Yes, there is going to be homework. This is a 10 week course. And after each zoom meeting, you are going to have actionable steps and homework that we're going to be able to talk about the following week. So if you are not able to do the homework, that's okay.

Speaker 1: (21:27)

You're still going to be able to take all of the information and apply it at a later date. But doing the homework in real time is going to help you move the needle forward. But it's also going to give you access to me, and I will be able to see the progress that's happening and be able to point you in different directions, ask questions, steer you on a path that will help your needle move forward in the way that you want after the courses over after those 10 weeks, I'm no longer available for that. So it'll benefit you most, if you are able to be present and do the homework. The other nice thing about this is that there is a group of women who are going through the same process together, and that accountability can be so wonderful. Not only do you get my eyes and my hands and fingerprints on your process, kind of guiding you along the way, but you get the support and encouragement from others.

Speaker 1: (22:18)

And that's always a good thing, always a good thing. And if you're looking for encouragement to know if this is right for you, here's what Heather had to say. Danny helped me find my style and coached me through redecorating the main floor of my house, her patience, kindness and great advice helped me gain the confidence to take on new projects on my own. It was a wonderful experience working with her and girls. That's the goal. The goal is to give you the tools and the confidence so that you can go and do it on your own. Will I do it for you? Absolutely. I'm happy to do it. You can find all that information on fig and But if you want to learn how to decorate your home on your own, making confidential cases, saving money, doing it yourself, I've got you. I'm going to teach you how to do it. All right, girls. Thanks so much for joining me on today's podcast. I'll talk to you soon. Bye for now. Hey,

Speaker 2: (23:10)

Real quick. Before you go, if you learned something new or found value in today's podcast, would you head over to iTunes, to fig and farm at home and leave a review and subscribe to the show? That would be awesome. And if you'd like to connect with my community of mamas who are learning to be intentional storytellers within their own homes, join us at bit dot L Y forwar

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