For some of you, you may
be surprised by the
last point. Surely a country home is a country home? Well, no it isn't
and there are several decorating styles that you will need to choose
from which ultimately, will reflect your personality.
Are you looking for soft colors and florals with small prints, or
perhaps you are wanting a Mediterranean country home with bold colors
of yellows, oranges and terracottas? Or are you looking for a more
country look that is perhaps more simple, based on the Shaker
furniture, straight lines and uncluttered?
We hope to cover all of those home decorating styles, and more in
time to come, but first let's look at what makes up the style of a very
generic country home and how you too can adopt this look for your own
Ideas for your Homes
An Idyllic Country Home
You don't have to live in a rambling farmhouse like the one above to
have the country home
decor you are after. In fact, whether you live in a high-rise apartment
or in a bungalow in the suburbs, you can always bring a little
countryside into your homes by just choosing appropriate materials and
So what country decorating ideas can be give you to achieve that
Patchwork quilts on wrought iron beds, braided rugs on wooden floors,
painted furniture in pastel colors and soft drapes are just some of the
simple ways in which you can achieve this look.
Country decorating is all about comfort. It is about creating a warm,
inviting space for people to come into and feel immediately at ease. It
is not a show house. It is not a house where people will fear where
they put their feet or what they touch.
A country home is where you can smell the bread in the woodstoves, see the
rewards of a bountiful summer harvest sitting in jars on
shelves and dressers in the country kitchens,
the scrubbed pine table and the dried herbs hanging from the
beams. The copper gleams, wooden spoons and whisks sit upright in a
stone jar, and suddenly we are transported back to the kitchens of our
grandmothers of long ago.
Country Decorating Styles
As mentioned earlier, how you decorate your home will depend on your
you like and the style within this type of genre you want to create.
There are so many different types of country
decorating styles. Here are
just a few:
Italian country decorating
with terracotta floors, stone walls and soft yellows
French country decorating
stone walls and lilac blue shutters
Scandinavian country decorating
with pale wood, and soft colors
Colonial country decorating
with spoke-backed wooden chairs, patchwork quilts and simple lines
Victorian country decorating
with heavily brocaded curtains, embossed wall papers and objet d'art
from foreign travels and expeditions
Rustic country home decorating
embraces the great outdoors and is a celebration of honest wood
A traditional Tuscan country kitchen
The Italian country style is more than just decorating, it is a way of
living. It is a timeless look based on fairly neutral, earthy
background colors of red terracottas and sunny ochers. The Italian
style centers around the strong use of natural materials, especially
wood, stone and black wrought iron.
Home life tumbles out of the country home into the sunshine, onto
terraces, balconies, under the shade of grapevines or olive trees.
Eating al fresco takes place over 3 hours of languid eating and
enjoying each other's company.
The strong sun is shut out with wooden shutters in summer, and keeps
the cold, biting winds out in winter. Window boxes and terracotta pots
filled with bright red geraniums or pretty pelargoniums are a splash of
color against the stone walls.
Inside the chestnut wooden windows usually remain undecorated. Honest
furniture sits comfortably on terracotta floors and the thick stone
walls keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer. If the walls
are plastered, they are either whitewashed or painted in earthy colors
that match the surrounding sunburnt hills.
Finally, under the terracotta roof tiles lies either a beamed ceiling
made of thick chestnut tree trunks, roughly hewn and spanning large
lengths, or a beautiful vaulted ceiling of dusky pink and red homemade
French Country Home
A French Country Home
France is a huge country, and each region could call their own way of
decorating their homes as that which embodies the French country style.
However, for most of us, we are more familiar with the south of France
and the Provencale style that has, for many, become what is generally
known as a French country style.
It is a style dominated by pales ochers, lilac blues and creams and a
sophisticated country style decor that exudes an understated elegance.
This country style decor would look appropriate in a humble farmhouse
or a handsome chateaux.
The French style stands for:
The charm is in the way the French are
able to mix various textures and fabrics so that they look both
invitingly warm and sophisticated at the same time.
The elegance and grace come from the
level of detail on how the soft furnishings, upholstery and curtains
are treated with piping, tassels, tie-backs and fringes.
Walls are often painted, papered, upholstered or even decorated with trompe
l'oeil to create interesting and quirky optical
Fabrics billow everywhere, hanging from windows and pooling onto
polished floors, valances on beds and pelmets, covers for wooden
tables, cushions and seats on furniture.
Finally, the tradition of French country
style comes together with the artifacts and furniture that is usually a
collection of family heirlooms or preloved furniture picked up at
antique markets and stores, either painted white or left highly
A bedroom in a Scandinavian country home
When we refer to the Scandinavian country style
we include the 4 countries Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark that
make up Scandinavia. All of these countries have very long nights and
short days during winter, and so it is not surprising that the
Scandinavian style is made up of colors that are light, and this
includes the wood of the furniture which is either painted or
Bare floor boards, uncluttered spaces, hand stenciled walls and even
decorated painted furniture helps make up the Scandinavian style. And
the same colors and decorative treatments can be found in the homes of
rich and poor alike. Patterned fabric, gingham and checks of all sizes
is used extensively in the Scandinavian country style.
There is the same love of wood and painted decoration, the same respect
for handcrafted features and items and the same sense of peace and
harmony that is created with this style.
in the Classical Colonial Style
The origins of the early
Colonial style has its roots in the Elizabethan times of England, as it
was during this time that the Pilgrims came to America and brought
their furniture and possessions with them.
And many would be surprised to learn that the orginal colors used by
the early Colonials were bright. However, by the time we got to see
them in their original state most of the surfaces had been toned down
through age and sunlight.
The Colonial style is just like the other country decor we have been
writing about here; it makes use of:
reliance on natural finishes
an appreciation for folk art and country crafts
bringing the outside, inside
Many of the soft
furnishings are decorated with fancy needlework;
crewel embroidery, candlewicking, applique and cross-stitch were used
Quilts were a way of using up odd scraps and reusing garments that for
one reason or another could no longer be used. These were beautifully
crafted and often handed down from mother to daughter.
Early colonial style of interior decorating developed from humble
beginnings; low ceilings, plaster walls, exposed timber beams, wide
plank wooden floors and sparse furniture. This is was the Rustic
Later down the track, a Classical Colonial style developed after homes
became bigger and more refined with painted gunstock corner posts,
boxed beamed ceilings, raised panelling and wide, pine plank floors.
room in a Victorian country home
The dark and often quirky style of Victorian interiors suits many types
of homes from tall, Georgian homes to low-ceilinged modern apartments.
The Victorian style of decor is typically dark, with highly patterned
surfaces. Papered walls are covered with a collection of many paintings
or photographs in one area, with large mirrors adorning the
Furniture is large, and heavy, dark and often decorated with inlay, and
to go with the highly patterned floors are highly patterned curtains.
As it was during this time that people started to embark on foreign
travel to exotic places, many items were brought back from their
travels and displayed, including a craze of animals, birds, insects and
reptiles killed and then sent to a taxidermist to be stuffed and placed
in glass display cabinets.
Rustic Country Home
The interior of a modern rustic country home
there is rustic country home decor, which certainly doesn't mean
rustic furniture crudely nailed together sitting at some rickety table
looks as if it is about to collapse at any moment, as you can see from
the picture above. This is an example of a modern rustic country home
that mixes rustic with sophistication. Whatever you choose within this
style, a rustic home is a
celebration of the abundance of nature.
Rustic country home
decor is more about bringing the outside, inside. It is about using a
lot of sustainable wood for doors, windows and walls. Mountain log
cabins are a good example of this style of architecture and decor.
choice of fabrics for sofas and seats lends itself to natural
materials, particularly rough weave cloth, leather or woven grass
Bear skins on floors, deer heads on walls and antlers used as
door handles or used in light fittings are not out of place here.
Native American style carpets in natural rough weave compliment the
stone, slate or wooden floors.
Stone fireplaces are the norm
that mixes well with the wooden interiors and exteriors. And the roofs
are usually treated with wooden shingles or slate.
Important Elements for Country Home Decorating
Each of these country styles is different, and yet they are all country
homes within their own right. There is no right or wrong way of putting
together the country style.
However, whatever style of country home decorating you decided to use,
are some simple rules to follow:
Only use natural materials - wood, stone, wrought iron,
leather, woven materials, brass, copper etc.
Decorate in a style that is sympathetic to the character
and age of your house
Choose furniture that looks comfortable and inviting making
it a practical, livable space
Choose colors that reflect nature; natural tones of white,
cream, stone, earthy reds and ocher
Choose accessories that will build on the foundations of
your country style that are handcrafted and made from natural materials
Your Country Home Garden
It is not just the inside of your home that needs attention. Take good
care of the outside areas too.
Create cottage gardens that have
spaces that flow from the inside to the outside, and filled with pretty
annuals and perennials
Grow some annuals in a disused wheelbarrow, or old
Whatever country home decorating you choose, you will have created a
that inspires feelings of warmth and comfort. Your country home is a
celebration of country living and getting
back to the basics of what is important in our busy lives.
Country homes evoke feelings of a slower pace of life and a
bygone era where the home was a safehaven, where all were welcome,
whether you were passing through, or stopping for a while. It's all
about creating memories that will last for generations to come.