Country Style Interior Designs
The feel is one of timelessness, of rooms that have seen generations come and go. The themes are rural — animals, flowers, the countryside and country pursuits — and materials are natural rather than man-made.
Covering the simple, country cottage look and the rather grander, classical country house style, the emphasis here is on the comfortable and the lived-in — the country house style is often called ‘shabby chic’. An open fireplace or wood-burning stove would be a marvellous starting point for a country style.
Cottage-style furniture is rustic — benches, settles, rush-seated dining chairs and robust chests-of-drawers — made from light oak, pine or a fruit wood. Painted pieces can be distressed or decorated with stencils. Seating is comfortable — small sofas, an assortment of occasional chairs (some could be painted cane) — and may include a rocking chair. In the bedroom, the bed is likely to be wooden or metal-framed, with patchwork quilts and woollen throws. In the kitchen the cooking range has become synonymous with this style.
Country house furniture may have more style, but it is not fancy. Large rooms will take outsize wardrobes, large, solid dining tables and four-poster beds (house clearances and country auctions are a good source for this style).
Stripped wooden boards suit the look well, strewn with rugs (plaited rag, hand-hooked or hand tufted for the cottage look; faded oriental for the country house). Natural floorings, especially rush and seagrass matting, are also appropriate. Quarry tiles, slate or flagstones are good choices for kitchens, bathrooms and hallways.
Keep the cottage look simple, with sill-length gathered curtains in printed cottons or woven checks, perhaps with a layer of cream lace or net beneath. Favourite fabrics include gingham, printed cottons (especially sprigged floral prints or mini-prints), tweeds, checks and perhaps some patchwork. Distressed wooden shutters would also be very appropriate. Curtains for a country-house style can be more elaborate, but pelmets and swags should not look too tailored. Soft velvets and large floral prints work well.
Rough plaster, colour-washed or painted with matt distemper or emulsion paint, is an excellent backdrop for a cottage style. Pattern could come from borders or stencils and if using wallpaper choose a small-scale, unostentatious pattern. The walls of a country house would be less rustic, perhaps with some plaster moulding. Wood panelling is very typical.
Nothing too bright or primary: reds will be claret or rose rather than scarlet and yellows tend to old gold and primrose rather than egg. Neutrals will enhance the natural materials used and a few strong accents help emphasize important features.
Try decorated earthenware on dressers; wicker baskets; pewter and brass; patchwork and needlepoint cushions; lace or antique textiles; watercolours and prints and fresh-picked flowers.