Allyson Rees of trend forecasting company WGSN defines Rural Escapism,

…[it] explores how during this time of quarantine, city dwellers, urban consumers, but also suburbanites, are practicing self-care by playing out their fantasies of rural living, both in real life and on social media.

[,,,]

We’re seeing consumers use inspiration from homesteading and slow living as a way of coping with mandated stay-at-home measures. Rural escapism is very much a continuation of the hygge trend of the last few years, with its focus on mindfulness and comforting interiors and the simple joys of daily life. But now it’s taking on a much more utilitarian, self-sufficient angle, so consumers are embracing slow hobbies that are mindful and comforting, but also quite necessary for living, so things like baking bread, growing vegetables, canning food, and even milling their own grain…

Cottagecore

Cottagecore (Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic that romanticizes rural life. This type of Rural Escapism is “a throwback to 19th Century pastoral imagery” like

  • flowing (white) dresses
  • cute farm animals
  • flower pressings
  • rustic bread baking
  • gardens (veggies, flowers, herbs)
  • farmhouses and cottages
  • sunlight through forests or plants
  • laundry drying on a line under the sun

Don’t forget the mushroom accessories (what’s with that?). Countrycore started out on Tumblr and Instagram, and has been reinforced by the cinematic appeal of Tiktok.

A MyBoysen blog article entitled The Influence of Covid-19 on Trends in Living Spaces  has some comments on the Boysen FB page showing this Rural Escapism trend.

I now want to live in a small farm lot where I can plant my own fruits and vegetables!

me too I prefer to live in small farm lot simple living I shld say.

Yes gusto ko na bumalik sa farm. Live in a kubo na napalibutan Ng mga sari saring gulay. Bahay kubo kahit munti Ang halaman Doon ay sari sari…..

Same here I want to live small town and doing planting vegetables and fruits small farm

Masarap tlgang mamuhay sa probinsiya, number one, less polluted saka use pa dto ang bigayan at damayan

It does not matter that most dreamers probably live in high-rises smack in the middle of a heavily-populated and heavily-polluted city. Maybe it is because of that, and because of the quarantine, that people are now longing for a time and place where there is more space, where nature is more present, where life flows with a circadian rhythm and is not dictated by man-made schedules.

Homesteading

Have you seen Little House on the Prairie? It’s an American television series that ran in the 70s-80s based on an autobiography about the Ingalls family who set up a homestead in Kansas.

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Wikipedia

Chinese online star Li Ziqi shows us a different kind of life, where almost everything is made from scratch. She cooks simple or elaborate dishes using ingredients she farmed. She makes furniture, lamps, spins wool to make into a dress. She even makes her own makeup!

Li Ziqi has 50 million followers in China and 8 million more abroad.

People are drawn to her because she shows them another kind of lifestyle that is so different from urban life. She said, “In today’s society, many people feel stressed. They face a lot of pressure in life and at work. I want them to relax and experience something nice to take away some of their anxiety and stress.”

It is so easy to romanticize this lifestyle. I know of two young girls who grew up in the city, and who dreamt about becoming farmers abroad. Don’t ask me why abroad. And for two people who don’t even know how to clean their room or even to cook, and who prefer a sedentary lifestyle, this seemed really like just an escape from the daily grind, and better left as a fantasy.

Farming

A friend who is a farmer said, “Commercial farming is a commitment and a gamble. If you want to have a huge farm with several hectares, you must have a water source in your property. Another important thing to remember is that you are at the mercy of the elements all the time. Farming is physically taxing, and you have to be out there enduring the hot sun or the cold rain. Being an absentee landowner does not work.

“However, if it is just backyard farming for your own family’s consumption, the risks are significantly lower. It could also be fun and rewarding.”

Home Gardens

During this quarantine, I have seen a lot of my FB friends planting seeds and placing the plants in the garden, balcony, terrace, even the laundry area.

Homebound: Rural Escapism as a Way to Deal With the Quarantine
My Chinese Kangkong and Kale from Local & Taiwanese seeds. Praying that they will grow tall and healthy. I re-use UHT juice packaging as seed trays and take-out plastic spoons and popsicle sticks as plant IDs. | Credit: Eleanor San Jose Modesto
Homebound: Rural Escapism as a Way to Deal With the Quarantine
Tomato in a pot at the second floor ledge
Homebound: Rural Escapism as a Way to Deal With the Quarantine
I left my small pots in my mom’s place so I repotted my plants using newspaper and an egg tray since I couldn’t buy new ones because of the ECQ. These are now growing quietly in the laundry area.

If you want to start a small garden in your home during the quarantine, these people here show us that it is possible. By the way, do you know that you can get free seeds from the Bureau of Plant Industry? Just click on the image below.

Homebound: Rural Escapism as a Way to Deal With the Quarantine

Boysen Color Trend Palettes

Two color palettes come to mind when I think about Rural Escapism.

BE HERE Palette

The first is the BE HERE palette from Boysen Color Trend 2018.

Homebound: Rural Escapism as a Way to Deal With the Quarantine

BE HERE is a palette of organic, subdued colors of mauves, green and neutrals. But then surprisingly, there is that punchy yellow that’s as bright and intense as the sun, the giver of life. These are colors that remind us to cherish nature. I love the names of the colors too because they appeal so much to the imagination! Root Crop. Forest Ranger. Gypsy Train. Yellowstone Park. Marble Chalk. Night Watch.

ORIGINS Palette

ORIGINS is one of the color palettes for Boysen Color Trend 2020.

Here is a video of ORIGINS, which shows the natural feel of the palette.

ORIGINS takes its hues from the dark neutrals of the islands, the lush foliage of the forests, the tender pink tendrils tracing the dawn sky to the effervescent citrine of the morning sun. Painting our dwellings with these familiar hues, and using traditional materials and shapes, are a way to honor our roots. The meaning of home becomes visceral.

Social distancing has forced us to stop and take stock of what matters most to us. Now that we have been cocooned in our homes for nearly two months, we may be finding out for ourselves what home means to us.

Rural Escapism came about because there is a growing desire in people for a slower and more meaningful life. Time to enjoy moments of authenticity with ourselves, our families, and dear friends. To reconnect with nature and live a pastoral life which we see as simple and serene.

For more Homebound articles, click here.

Annie H Adlawan
Author

Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions (https://talkinglions.com). She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.