Goblincore: The Decor Trend You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of
Ready for a design refresh? This melange of folklore, metallics, mushrooms, and woodland elements will help you embrace your wild side.
Last year, the cottagecore aesthetic—a trend that encouraged embracing a simpler, more bucolic look—took the fashion and design worlds by storm. Now there’s a new trend taking over: goblincore. At press time, a search for #goblincore resulted in nearly half a million posts on Instagram. On TikTok, the trend is taking off even faster, with the hashtag garnering more than 814 million views. Etsy has seen a 652 percent increase in searches for vintage and handmade goblincore products, further proof of how enthusiastic people are to incorporate the aesthetic into their lives.
But what is goblincore, and why would you want it in your home? Here’s everything you need to know about this fantasy-inspired design trend.
What is goblincore?
Goblincore takes inspiration from European folklore’s depiction of goblins as magical creatures who commune with nature, giving this trend a history that’s many centuries long. The trend is inspired by living things found in nature, such as furry woodland creatures, moss-covered stones, and fresh-picked mushrooms. Goblincore also romanticizes some of the less-appreciated things found in nature, like earthworms, toads, and animal bones. In fiction, goblins are known for collecting “shinies”—precious metallic objects—which explains why this trend also incorporates metals like gold and silver. As a nod to cottagecore’s popularity, perhaps, goblincore is also referred to as dark cottagecore, cottagegoth, and feralcore.
Why has goblincore suddenly surged in popularity? As the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, it makes sense that people are seeking out an aesthetic that brings them back to nature.
What does goblincore look like?
The goblincore aesthetic evokes a mythical and fantastical world, but is rooted in nature and reality: Think fairy tales, but a little more feral. In fact, goblincore can be seen as a slightly darker take on cottagecore. Where cottagecore is dreamy and idealistic, conjuring up images of flowing skirts and picking wildflowers, goblincore is more earthy and pure. The overall effect is cozy and natural, bringing a folksy warmth to any space. The hobbits of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth embody the trend quite well.
When it comes to interior design, goblincore tends to involve earthy hues like brown and forest green. You’ll also see the use of pops of red and orange in subdued natural shades. Patterns can involve dark botanicals and greenery and may be found in curtains, rugs, and upholstery. Bringing in natural elements helps to make the aesthetic feel more authentic, whether it’s through live plants, dried flowers, or other sustainable finds. Animal motifs—particularly those involving unconventional creatures like toads, bats, and snails—complete the look.
How to Incorporate Goblincore Into Your Space
A cornerstone of the goblincore aesthetic is that it highlights found objects and encourages DIY projects, which makes it easy for design-conscious homeowners to be on trend while on a budget: Try searching your local flea market or secondhand shop for vintage botanical prints to adorn your walls, or wandering through the woods to look for pretty pinecones and pebbles to incorporate into your decor.
For goblincore fanatics who are are not inclined to go on forest walks or to flea market swaps, there are plenty of products on the market that can be had without putting your hiking boots on. Here are some of our picks to help you bring the cottagegoth aesthetic to your home:
- These vintage-inspired mushroom prints come in a set of six and would look great in thrifted metallic frames.
- A printed pillowcase, like this toad-festooned version, allows decorators to incorporate the trend into their home without a major commitment.
- Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a no-commitment option for renters. This dark botanical print wallpaper is rife with ferns and other greenery.
- Bring the outside in by creating your own miniature ecosystem with a terrarium like this one from ELEGANTLIFE.
- This golden snail highlights two goblincore motifs: snails and metallic hues.