Country style is a throwback to simpler times and features the best of both worlds, like modern conveniences along with homespun charm. Think about incorporating country style to give your home an enduring look that is anything but old-fashioned.
While country is a broad style that varies based on geographic location, it always includes aged furniture pieces, vintage fabrics and homey accessories. Casual and cozy best describe this decorating style whether youu2019re referring to a historic villa in Italy, a farmhouse in the south of France or a ranch in Texas. Even if your house is brand new, country design can transform it into a warm and comforting sanctuary away from the stresses of daily life. No matter which version of country style you choose, simplicity is the key.
Country style is often mistaken for a nostalgic memory of lacey curtains, oak furniture, blue and white gingham and an abundance of apples and geese. Luckily, contemporary country banishes those mental images with its clean lines and neutral color scheme. Mix lightly worn woods, painted surfaces and metals to create space that embraces current trends while acknowledging the past.
Shaker style furniture and simple upholstered pieces play to the contemporary vibe while retaining a handcrafted feel. Keep accessories to a minimum. Authentic creamware and white ironstone pieces play nicely with contemporary dinnerware. Add a few storage baskets and a natural sisal area rug to complete the look.
Early American Country
This country style harkens back to the beginnings of the republic. It draws from the agrarian way of life, natural resources and handmade furniture and textiles of the time. Early colonists brought furnishings from England, which also influenced the design aesthetic of early American country style.
Brighten a room by replicating a historic colonial color palette consisting of saturated hues such as barn red, deep green, Wedgwood blue, gray, rust and straw yellow set against neutral walls. Anchor a seating area or dining room with a painted canvas floorcloth or braided cloth rug.
Fill your home with period furniture such as Queen Anne, Chippendale, Windsor or Hepplewhite. If you canu2019t afford real antiques, there are plenty of affordable reproductions available. Embellish soft goods with period cross-stitch and crewelwork designs. Colonial quilts make colorful wall hangings and are the perfect foils for this country decorating style.
Picture a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds and you have conjured up the essence of English country style. The look and attitude are a deliberate combination of antique furniture pieces, handpicked accessories and botanical colors. Current trends need not apply hereu2014patina, worn Persian rugs and faded florals are the basis for this country style.
To create a proper British mood, paint the walls in a creamy magnolia white. Wainscoting is a touch that also lends credibility to the illusion. If neutral paint is not your cup of tea, consider a subtle cabbage rose floral or delicately striped wallpaper in deep mauve, green, yellow and periwinkle blueu2014hues reminiscent of an English country garden.
Overstuffed upholstered furniture looks lovely in formal chintz or more relaxed in rumpled linen slipcovers. Other appropriate fabrics include tweed, cashmere, chenille and cotton in florals, paisleys, damasks and ginghams. Window treatments might consist of decorative lace or lined curtain panels to keep the chill out.
Vintage estate sale finds work brilliantly with family heirlooms. Show off those cherished collectibles in edited collections on trays, tables, hutches and bookcases throughout the house. Oil paintings of still lifes and scenes of the English countryside are the obvious choice to adorn the walls.
The origin of farmhouse country springs from pre-turn of the 20th century rural life replete with beadboard paneling, clapboard siding, wrap-around porches and white picket fences. The floorplan of original farmhouses consisted of communal rooms in the front with the kitchen and bedrooms housed in the back or upstairs.
Todayu2019s farmhouse design aesthetic is as much a way of life as it is a decorating style. It thrives on simplicity and DIY spirit. Flea markets, tag sales and thrift store finds play right into the upcycling and renovation component of this humble design approach.
Farmhouse country is versatile, making it easy to incorporate bits from other styles. Worn finishes and quilts add a rustic twist. Throw in a crystal chandelier for a dose of whimsy. Metal and wood furniture pieces can take things in a decidedly industrial direction.
Intersperse white painted furniture with aged wood finishes and calming neutrals into the overall design. Use light blues, greens and buttery yellows for subtle contrast. Open shelving, butcherblock countertops and an apron sink create the heart of the classic farmhouse home. Donu2019t forget an oversized table and ladderback chairs to host harvest dinners.
Romance is the key ingredient in French country style. Bright white or color-washed walls in subtle hues such as swiss cream, pale blue or buttery yellow against a rough pine floor create the ideal backdrop for wispy unbleached muslin curtain panels and crumpled soft gray velvet upholstery. Curvaceous bergu00e8re chairs and carved armoires in white wash or natural pine further underscore the French country look.
Another way to inject the spirit of French country into your home is to make use of festive Provenu00e7al textiles. Although the fabrics known as u201cles indiennesu201d originated in India, these vibrant cotton table linens adorned with olive branches, sunflowers and lemons have become synonymous with countryside home in the south of France.
Just as typical of French country are other local textiles fashioned into bed linens, decorative pillows and throws. Quilted coverlets in saturated red, yellow or blue floral toile de jouy, buffalo check bedskirts and rooster throw pillows reinforce the theme of French pastoral life. Whether you choose subtle French country or its sunny Mediterranean adaptation, youu2019ll revel in pure joie de vivre.
Scandinavian country style borrows from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. Recognized for understated design, use of subtle color and painted decorative detail, Scandinavian country is a celebration of the unspoiled and hospitable land of its origin.
Winters in Scandinavian countries are long and dreary, which is why Scandinavian country design capitalizes on light color and finishes. In fact, most of the wood furniture is left in its natural state or painted white. In a nutshell, Scandinavian country style consists of muted pastel colors, tons of white and cream, painted furniture, clean design and simple lighting.
The style might be considered rather austere when compared with other country styles. It is not highly ornamented and features slender, leggy furniture and large mirrors to reflect light. Bleached floorboards, wall stenciling and hand painted decoration are used extensively. Short of the occasional delicate floral print, gingham is the most popular pattern seen in textiles and upholstery. Natural fabrics such as raw silk, linen and cotton are favored upholstery materials.
Tuscan country style is passionate mixture of texture and color. Tuscan character is rustic and imbued with tactile surfaces and natural elements. Rough plastered walls washed in sun-drenched hues and rugged flooring of stone, terra cotta or wood plank take their cues from the warm and sunny Mediterranean climate.
If you are trying to recreate this look in your home, youu2019ll be pleased to find a wide selection of paint colors and techniques that mimic the weathered walls of a rustic villa. Keep furnishings and accessories to a minimum. Tuscan country is a very prudent style. Rooms are fairly sparse and limited to essential furniture pieces.
Furnish a Tuscan country dining room with an antique trestle table, a mix of wood and rush chairs along with a weathered storage hutch. Simple accessories like pastoral artwork, Italian pottery, olive baskets and candles add authentic flavor to Tuscan country rooms.