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For many people, moving out of the city and settling down in your very own country house is the stuff of daydreams. Country houses have an incredible rustic charm and so much character that there are so many options when it comes to interior design and decoration. Whether you are looking at a total renovation or just by bringing a touch of contemporary style to an old country house, there are some classic design tips that guarantee that rustic feel that every home in the country needs. In this article, we will give our tips on interior design, fixtures, and fittings that will help you to create the perfect country house.
Log Burning Fireplace
There is nothing like a genuine log hearth or stove to create that cozy, rustic feeling which is one of the best things about living in a country house. A real log burning fireplace is usually impractical in city homes so the first thing you must do when creating the perfect country house is to take advantage of the opportunity of installing one. The best fireplace will depend on the overall interior design of your home, but rustic, exposed bricks with a cast iron grill is a classic look for a country fireplace.
If you have a lot of land with your trees, then you may already have a plentiful supply of hard woods for firewood, but if not, then you will be able to buy it from a local store or online. There are many online firewood suppliers and the folks at https://www.buyfirewooddirect.co.uk/product/kiln-dried-ash-hardwood-logs/ explained that most suppliers will deliver it to your home on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Especially in the wintertime, it is so lovely to curl up on your couch with a fire blazing in the hearth and the wind blowing outside the window and is a very cost-effective way to heat the room that you are in without having to heat the whole house. If you are going for a more traditional home, source an antique cast iron poker, bucket, and shovel for that authentic country look.
Distressed Wood Furniture
Distressed wood furniture may seem like an obvious tip in a country house, but it is so important that we just couldn’t leave it off the list. In rooms with lighter colors on the floors and walls, you should look for furniture in darker woods, but if you have a darker color scheme in a room then lighter distressed wood is better. New, Clean woods or smooth woods like mahogany do not fit a country house, especially if it is an old farmhouse or cottage. These older styles of a home need weathered, aged pieces that aren’t too refined or overworked.
For a distressed farmhouse style, look for pieces like chunky benches that you can use in your entryway, and unvarnished oak coffee tables and chairs. If you are lucky enough to have exposed beams in your house, you can try and match the color of the beams and the furniture. The great thing about country houses, however, is that they have so much character, that you don’t need everything to match as you do in a contemporary home.
In older country houses especially, this can often appear too clinically and will take away from the natural charm of the house. The best place to shop for furniture is in old antique shops or even flea markets. If you have any knowledge of restoration, or even if you don’t and you fancy learning a new skill, you can pick up old wooden furniture for really cheap which you can then transform with a little love and time into a wonderful piece.
Black Or Metal Features
As mentioned above, an antique cast iron poker, bucket, and shovel set looks great next to a traditional log fireplace, and utilizing black or metal accent pieces throughout your home is a great way to add that touch of traditional design that country homes need. If your home has a large, open plan kitchen and dining room, then this is a great opportunity to add some metals. Cast iron candlesticks on the dining table or copper pans hanging on the kitchen wall are ideal in old farmhouses and cottages because they make the house look like it would have when it was first built.
Keep a lookout for furniture that incorporates distressed wood with metals as these pieces can bring just a touch of contemporary design to a traditional country house. Bar stools that have some metal elements in them are great and sometimes you can even find ones that look like the metal is even a little bit distressed or worn. Old farm machinery can make really interesting conversation pieces. Many old cottages and farmhouses with high ceilings look great with bits of old machinery sat on top of exposed rafters. Just make sure you have a long-handled brush to keep it all clean and dust-free.
Jute rugs are great in country houses, especially houses with large open-place spaces, because they help section off different rooms even though no walls are dividing the space. They look fantastic in country houses because they almost have the appearance of hay on the floor, but without all the mess. As with the black metal features, this creates a throwback in an old country house to how it would have looked originally. Another great thing about jute rugs from a design point of view is that because they are neutral colors if you do want to create a more contemporary look like a modern farmhouse, jute rugs go with practically every interior style.
As well as looking great, jute rugs are durable which is great for the countryside as they hide stains from muddy boots and soggy dogs well. If you have decorated your home with really rustic furniture, a jute rug is a great way to add a little fun into the room. There are just rugs that come in some cool patterns and design that can lift a more traditional looking interior and are a perfect opportunity to stamp your personality on your country home.
Sadly, too many traditional country homes have had their original windows replaced by the previous owners who were looking to make the house warmer or more energy-efficient, but from a purely aesthetic point of view, old windows are one of the most desirable features. If you are lucky enough to still have the original windows in your country house, then take the correct steps to maintain them because not only do they look fantastic, but they add serious value to your home.
If the original windows have been switched out, you can pick up old frames from garage sales or antique markets, or can even hire a local tradesman to make new ones using recycled wood. Skilled carpenters are able to treat and age wooden window frames so that they match the other wood in your home. Stained glass is a fantastic feature in many old country houses and even just a small amount of it brings a splash of color and grandiosity to even the most humble old cottage. You can pick up old stained glass from salvage yards and antique fairs and there are some real bargains to be had if you shop around.
Signage And Chalkboards
Distressed wood signage looks great and is a clever way to add a little quirkiness to your home. There are so many farmhouses with little signs that have quotes or phrases that have to do with family, food, or farm life. Signs that say something like “Home Sweet Home” or “Farmer’s Market” or any other cute little expression that creates a feeling of warmth and togetherness work well in a farmhouse kitchen or in the front entryway. These fun signs encourage the family-friendly environment which so many people who move out to the countryside want to create.
As well as signs, distressed wooden chalkboards or notice boards are another excellent way of writing a fun message up on the wall of your home. You can use them for reminders about taking off muddy boots before coming into the kitchen or to write out a schedule of daily chores like collecting eggs or sweeping the floor. A lot of farmhouse styles have a cool gallery wall with a mixture of those wood printed signs, chalkboards, and printed frames but just remember not to let it get too busy. Choose around five things that make you smile and they can add a charming, personal touch to your home.
Mason Jars and Vases
Mason jars are really cool and super cheap and they just ooze farmhouse style. They are so versatile and you can put them up on the wall in your kitchen or on the rafters with your old farm machine parts or anywhere else. Plus, these jars can work with any style of interior decoration because you can spray-paint them different colors to match both a traditional and a modern country home. You can use mason jars functionally as vases, to organize utensils on your countertop, or even to serve drinks. There are some ingenious examples where people have used old mason jars to organize q-tips and different accessories in their bathrooms, and as desk tidies in the bedroom or office. This creates a coherent, traditional look that flows through every room in the house.
Ceramic and glass vases are a really hot trend right now and you can find them in every shape and size and they look great in a country house. Just like mason jars, ceramic and glass vases are versatile and can be used for a range of things, but one of the best is to hold wildflowers which will bring a little bit of the fields and meadows outside the windows right into your home. The vases come in a range of styles from the most intricate designs in plain matte white and you can even find them with distressed metal at the base or around the neck which will tie in nicely with the other metal features in your country home.
Wire baskets are a great addition to every country house and you can find them in rustic, distressed metals and also in old wicker. And, wire baskets have a lot of different uses and you can put them all around your house for a cool traditional look. These baskets are great to put wool blankets in to wrap up in whilst sitting in front of the fire. You can use them for books, organize toys, or even use a small one as the centerpiece of your dining table. There are some really elegant baskets that incorporate brass or copper details which look great in the middle of the table with different vases and candles in.
Flowers And Faux Branches
One of the best things about living in a country house is that it allows you to add a green touch to your home whenever you like. You can find great faux branches that have greenery on them and use that as your base around your home. Then, on special occasions or when you have guests over, you can go and pick up some fresh flowers and put those buds in little vases or add them to the fake greenery that you already have. It's a great way to freshen up your space and complete a rustic yet refined look.
Country living has so many benefits for your health and happiness and having your own country house is an amazing opportunity to design a really special home. Country houses are incredibly versatile and you can go for a traditional look or modernize your home like a contemporary farmhouse. There are so many great features that can enhance your country house and help you to design the perfect space for your family. If you have just moved into a country house or are looking to redecorate, try out some of the ideas in this guide.