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Cottagecore, cluttercore, and now comfortcore. These “core” trends have been popular in Gen Z and Millenial homes in recent years. So, will comfortcore be the biggest interior design trend in 2023? A recent survey of 2301 consumers from Wayfair UK and YouGov says “yes.” But do interior designers think this aesthetic will be equally popular on this side of the pond or just another fleeting design fad that will go away in 2023?
What Wayfair’s Survey Says About Comfortcore
The survey revealed that consumers wanted home to be a place to feel safe (69 percent) and to relax (67 percent). 53 percent of participants said they wanted home to be a place “to connect with family and friends,” which isn’t exactly surprising considering the events of the past two years.
Similar to cottagecore, comfortcore has a lifestyle component. But unlike cottagecore, it isn’t necessarily a super specific design style with traditional flower prints, for example. However, in terms of style, the data revealed something quite surprising. 56 percent of respondents stated that “good interior design means something comfortable.” Seating such as sofas and chairs came out as the number one home items worth investing in, according to 51 percent of the respondents. As for how they choose these items, both quality and affordability were the top factors
The survey also showed some other interesting findings. Gen Z participants declared the bedroom to be their sanctuaries. Living rooms came in second. While many of us have adapted to a more pre-pandemic lifestyle in recent months, the fact that people want to be comfortable at home isn’t remarkable. And while the designed inclined might want to sacrifice a little bit of comfort for something more aesthetically pleasing, there are many ways to stylishly incorporate comfortcore into any room of the home.
What Interior Designers Say
While consumers and interior designers often have different views when comes it comes to design (ask any designer their opinion on the modern farmhouse craze), when it comes to comfortcore, even interior designers count themselves in. “I think comfortcore is the interior design version of our casual joggers in fashion, both a bit of a response to ‘work from home’ trends sparked from recent Covid shutdowns, and also a strong desire to slow things down a touch and be more at ease in our homes,” says Jessica Risko Smith of Jessica Risko Smith Interior Design. “I like the idea of comfortcore, but not so much as a trend. We always need to feel comfortable in our homes but that can look and feel different to different people. This particular trend embraces a certain definition of comfort—tactile coziness. Our homes are always the one place we can recharge, hunker down and connect to what is most meaningful to us.”
Tamarra Younis of Union of Art Interiors shares a similar sentiment. “We truly embrace the idea of comfortcore at Union of Art, we believe that a house only becomes a home when it is a reflection of you. Style and comfort go hand and hand to create inviting spaces for you, your friends, and your family to really live and relax in. We love to find ways to incorporate our clients’ treasures and mementos from their lives with quality furnishings and designs that will make their lives easier and more beautiful. It’s not about having a lot of things or spending a lot of money. It’s about selecting the pieces that work the best in your home and that make you feel amazing to look at and to really use.”
Tips For A Comfortcore Style Home
The good thing about comfortcore is that unlike many design trends including coastal grandmother and cottagecore—is that it doesn’t necessarily require a keen eye to do right. It also isn’t necessarily about perfection. However, that does not mean opting for pieces based solely on how comfortable they feel. Reclining leather sofas, wall-to-wall carpeting, and patterned fleece blankets will become never high design.
Younis suggests starting a comfortcore look by using curvy pieces. “Avoid hard edges—soft furnishings and upholstered items are key to comfortcore! Have a nook you’re not sure what to do with? Put a big fabulous comfy chair in it with a snuggly throw blanket and a decorative pillow you want to hug. Opt for the oversized pouf ottoman to pop your feet up on instead of the traditional coffee table.”
However, comfortcore is also about opting for pieces that evoke feelings of happiness. “Surround yourself with mementos that bring a smile to your face, mix and layer colors and textures that make you feel good. Look for dining chairs that are well cushioned, the type of chair your guest won’t want to get up from after a long and leisurely dinner party as they sip on another glass of wine,” explains Younis.
Smith tells me accessories are essential for creating the comfortcore look. “Consider adding a boucle pillow to your sofa, or adding soft chunky knit throws to your lounge chairs. In a more eclectic interior, layering patterns add a feeling of coziness. Incorporating mixed metals and textured pottery into day-to-day items is a great way to layer in a feeling of warmth.”
Minimalist interiors can sometimes have a cold vibe and benefit greatly from elements of comfortcore. “With a minimal interior, your bedding can have a billowy, gauzy feeling and you can incorporate warmer color temperatures in your lighting,” says Smith.
Make It Personal
One key element of comfortcore is nostalgia and adding personal touches. Unlike many design trends, the point isn’t for a space to feel like a showroom. “Whether it’s old black and white family photos, maps of places that are dear to your heart, or treasures that you’ve collected on your travels around the world—fill your home with the things you love and are a reflection of you as a person,” says Younis, “These unique pieces are the things that will bring your home to life.”
Most importantly, she tells me, is that true comfortcore a reflection of the person living in the home, “Anyone with the means to, can purchase a nice upholstered chair. The thing that is interesting and different about comfortcore as a concept, is that it’s not just about having great furniture and following the trends- it’s about creating a space that is wholly yours and that brings joy and a sense of ease to you as you live and grow within it.”