How would you define country style decorating?
No, it isn't a trick question!
Fact is, it's a very broad definition of how you can decorate your home. There are many categories which are included in this style, such as English, French, Tuscany, or cottage style decorating.
Rustic home decorating or rustic interior design are other terms which are often used when describing this type of decorating.
They all suggest a form which 'pertains to the country', and is by definition a different style from that used in towns or cities.
We can take this difference aspect further. It isn't formal, like some traditional styles which make use of grand furnishings, drapes with acres of fabric in them, and elaborate sofas. With those styles, everything is in its place, and woe betide you if you upset anything!
It is light years removed from contemporary or modern designs, with their unique colors and patterns, and often minimalist ideas.
On the contrary, country style is about bits and pieces, odd items of furniture, and somewhere you won't get shouted at if you come in with muddy boots on (not that you'd do that anyway!).
Which features define country style decorating?
Just to show that it is a real style, here are some of the important guiding principles.
This immediately helps you to make decisions. Will this piece of furniture fit into it? If the furniture in question is a large sofa, with deep plush upholstery and elaborate trimmings, then the answer is no. Or heavy drapes with swags? You might find that sort of feature in a large country house, but country style is more about small or average sized homes which are ... well, see the next panel.
There's nothing sophisticated or complex about it.
If you begin to find yourself getting all knotted up about whether this bit of furniture exactly matches that rug, and if it all 'blends into the overall concept' ... then you've left simplicity behind. 'Homespun' is a good word for it - "Simple and homely; unpretentious".
You can use any colors and textures, as long as you find then in the world of simple country living. Are the colors those of nature, the colors you see when you walk down your favorite country road? Are the textures those of natural stone, old roof tiles, or aged tree bark?
Take what you see outside and use it for inspiration inside.
You're not just interested in looks. You have to prepare meals in the kitchen, relax on a sofa in the living room, sleep in the bedroom.
The art of a well designed home using country style decorating is combining the country look with a comfortable life.
Yes. It's about the friendliness of neighbors, the hospitality shown to strangers, the idea of peace and tranquility . (It's probably idealistic, as in times past country folk had as many problems you and I, but there's no harm in having ideals.)
In short, it's about an idealistic view of life in the country, but concentrating on all the positive aspects.
A practical approach
Get your color scheme sorted. See the previous section, or go to the color schemes pages of this website. Paint or wallpaper the walls, and get all the messy stuff done with the ceiling and floor (if it needs doing!).
Decide on essential furniture. If it's a living room, think of how many chairs, sofas, side tables and so on do you want. For a bedroom, get the correct size of bed, dressing table, wardrobe, etc.
Then make sure the style of the furniture you have is suitable for country style decorating. Basically, does it have a slightly rustic look as opposed to a 'city' or 'town' look. If it's too sophisticated, then be careful.
Put the furniture in the room. Rearrange it. Try it out. Make sure everything works from a practical point of view.
Now put in all your accessories - pictures, rugs, ornaments. Stamp your character on the room.
Remember, you're aiming for an effect of simplicity and restfulness. If anything shouts out at you, or offends your eye, or just doesn't look right, change it.
Now's the time to trust your instincts.
Even with country style colors, some are better than other. Find out more about Paint Color Cheat Sheets.
The Shortcut to Perfect Paint Colors - Paint Color Cheat Sheets
(Only for residents of the USA and Canada.)