To celebrate our theme of the month, horses, we’ll be having a series on country homes from around the world. You can sign up here to be alerted when a new post is published.
When one thinks of country houses, it’s easy to picture a lot of tweed and Chesterfield arm-chairs (and if tweed is what you are looking for, then head straight to the Northumbrian Tweed Company’s website), but the look of a traditional country home isn’t confined to that. From the use of natural sandstone in the Chilterns, or red bricks in Yorkshire, every corner of the country has its own special touch. However, there are a few small ways to make any house feel more like a country home, whether it’s a cottage in a small village in Cumbria or a 10 minutes-walk away from East Croydon Station.
Naked bricks or stone
Whether the exterior of the home or just a single wall in the kitchen, nothing gives the rustic feel more than naked bricks. Grey tones like Chatsworth are discreet, while red more vivacious, and you can get bricks in both smooth and antique texture, and the best thing about bricks if you are building anew is they can be recycled. A similar environmental impact comes from stones, which are a natural product. If building a new wall isn’t something you can do, there are wallpapers with reclaimed stone on the market.
Warm, natural tones
Adding a touch of tweed to the home doesn’t have to be just through warm and cosy textiles. The colours that make up this traditional fabric can be incorporated in the home through the furniture, whether it’s the paint or the upholstery in a different fabric, or the colours in the necessary paintings of country scenes on the walls. Olive is a very nice colour in which to paint the kitchen, for example, for a more creative and country-feeling take on the rustic and shabby chic trend than the standard white.
A fireplace as a focal point
Fireplaces aren’t your first thought on a warm summer morning, but they provide you with something that feels like the countryside nonetheless, especially if used as a decorative surface holding your collection of antique statuettes or decorative plates.
Not sure about antiques? Read this.
You won’t be using wood in your fireplace during the summer, although with true British weather you never know, but furniture and architectural accents in natural wood, enhanced by some good polish, is such a given of a country home we might take it a bit for granted!
Nothing says countryside more than flowers everywhere, whether you tend to a beautiful garden already (or have the place to start one) or a few window boxes; you buy from the flower market, or have converted to artificial ones like those from our friends at Bloom (affiliate link). We also have a series on flowers and plants to help you.
There are many little things that you can do to tweak your design to appear more masculine or more feminine, depending on which one is your desired effect, but a country home is mostly defined by the atmosphere and comfort, which has to appeal to all generations of the family, including the most beloved pets. For more inspirations, check out our Pinterest board.