Country Interior Design Ideas
If you want a home that overflows with coziness, comfort and the good ol’ “warm fuzzies,” try these country interior design ideas to achieve just that. Country interior design is all about tradition and family, but it also evokes tranquil repose, practicality and rough-hewn beauty.
One of the hallmarks of country interior design is its emphasis on unstudied casualness. Although the phrase itself might inspire people to think of old-fashioned farmhouses in rural America, this style can be found elsewhere in the world, principally in France, England and Scandinavia. Regardless, its beauty lies primarily in the ease by which its devotees can incorporate elements of each cultural influence to create an eclectic but still cohesive look to a home.
FRENCH COUNTRY INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS
French country design is generally equated with the styles found in homes throughout Provence. That means warm, summery colors such as aubergine (“eggplant”), mustard yellow, lavender, and indigo blue; heavy wood paneling and furniture; toile fabrics and linens; luxurious drapes in either a solid color or even bright, cheerful patterns; and rustic, preferably antique furniture.
If you want to include some French country interior design elements into your home, try visiting local antique shops, especially those that specialize in French furnishings and accessories. Seek out armoires; mahogany dining tables with thick tabletops and sturdy, ornate legs; straight-backed chairs with either fabric upholstery or perhaps reed seats; and gorgeous antique quilts and hand-sewn blankets of linen and heavy cotton.
ENGLISH COUNTRY INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS
The English prefer their country interiors to inspire thoughts of hiking through moors on foggy winter nights and copious cups of piping hot tea. Like many country homes, the idea is to achieve a cluttered-but-cozy look, so think of shelves and cabinets filled with mismatched china handed down over generations; plaids in rich fabrics; plush, dark rugs scattered under tables and sofas; and lots of dark, heavy wood.
Don’t be shy about covering the walls with old paintings and prints, especially antique sketches of favorite ancestors (yours or someone else’s!). Make small piles of books with fabric or leather covers and scatter them around the base of bookcases and under end tables. Throw a beloved quilt over an overstuffed armchair and make sure there are plenty of comfortable, thick pillows for everyone. Windows should be framed with drapes of substantial fabric, with tie-backs to let in natural light when the sun finally peeks through the clouds.
SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRY INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS
Unlike English country interiors, Scandinavian country homes are about letting in as much natural light as possible. If this is more your style, look for smooth, unfinished natural wood furniture of pine, beech and birch; big mirrors that help reflect light and expand your field of vision in a room; bleached wood floors with wide planks; plain white curtains or sheers or even no window treatments at all; and hand-made linens with little or no adornment, although simple small stencils are also popular.
AMERICAN COUNTRY INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS
When we think of American country-style interiors, we generally imagine the informal, welcoming kitchens and living rooms of rural farmhouses and cottages. Allow your home’s singular style to evolve over a long period, and choose your furnishings and accessories based on what you love, not on whether or not they match with everything else you own. That’s the beauty of country interior design: it actually looks better when everything seems to have been carefully collected over a period of years, perhaps even generations, and allowed to come together organically.
Still, certain elements remain common among most country interiors in America: wide, comfortable rocking chairs; big, deep armchairs of comfortable fabrics; rustic, well-worn furnishings of high-quality material and fabric; reed baskets of all shapes and sizes that help corral the inevitable clutter of every home and which themselves look fabulous collected on a shelf or along a wall; cupboards and cabinets with clean lines and which are filled with grandmother’s china and silverware, perhaps even a much-loved family heirloom or two; and cheerful floral prints and elegant lace trim on linens and curtains.
The most important thing to remember when incorporating country interior design ideas into your home’s overall style is to take your time selecting the individual pieces that will make up an organic whole. Think of inviting fabrics and furnishings, the kind that will make your guests and family members feel immediately at home the moment they walk through the door.