If there’s an interior design style that will never be overturned, come what may, it’s country style. Like any other style, it cannot suit everyone: some may prefer a futuristic vibe, while some others are all for a refined neoclassical atmosphere, and who are we to judge? Still, even though it might very well be because we spent a great deal of our childhood watching Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, we find that almost nothing creates a reassuring, welcoming atmosphere as much as a country-style home. After all, we attach so much importance to design items and brands, that sometimes we forget what’s truly important: our home must feel like home. Always keep this in mind: if you decide to spend thousands of dollars on great furniture, you must get in return a feeling of protection and shelter from the coldness of the outside world; if you’re not getting this feeling, you’ve been wasting your money. Well now, we promise we’re done with important life lessons: ready to learn how to style your country home?
Make the kitchen the heart of the house
It almost goes without saying that the kitchen is the most important room of a country house. It all goes back to past traditions: thanks to a stove or a fireplace, the kitchen used to be the only warm part of the typical country house, so everyone who wasn’t outside working with the animals or in the fields would gather around the hearth. You’re probably familiar with how much we love open plan kitchens, right? Well, forget about those: the country kitchen deserves its own private place. Stoves, burners and food-preparing stations need their own dedicated room, which needs to be spacious: you want to be able to put a large, welcoming table where your family or friends can sit, drinking a coffee or a herbal tea, while you make yummy pasta from scratch. As for the colors, stick to warm, brownish hues and avoid all cold tones, except for mint green, which actually looks exceptionally great in a country context.
As for the floor, you can imagine what we’re going to say: wooden planks. To be fair, wood is not the only option: terracotta is another great idea. However, wooden planks on the floor will always look more artisanal and informal. Because of this, don’t even dream of polishing them with hardwood floor wax! Leave them opaque as they naturally are.
For some additional warmth, why not look for a carpet or a rug? Your go-to material needs to be good old wool, and you should avoid industrially made rugs: hand-woven rugs are guaranteed to be unique and high-quality. Remember, styling a laid-back home is not an excuse to go shabby! We’ll make an exception, though: you should place a beautiful handmade rug in the center of your kitchen, but we actually do suggest using medium-quality rugs around your kitchen counters. There’s a very simple reason for that: they will get dirty, with oil, tomato sauce, chocolate and who knows what else, so there’s no point in getting a unique rug that you’ll probably have to throw out in six months’ time.
In a country home, everything needs to give out the feeling of having been handcrafted, and the kitchen is the perfect place to create this impression, as the selection of handcrafted kitchen utensils and accessories is basically endless. Our tip is to avoid steel as much as you can: of course, you’re going to need steel cutlery, but as far as utensils like trays, cutting boards and spoons go, you should once again stick to wood as your first-choice material. By the way: wood may be common and humble, but your accessories don’t need to! A simple wooden spoon can still look striking as long as it’s large enough to show every natural detail of the wood it’s made of!
Play with different natural textures
Wood is not your only choice when it comes to natural materials: we’ve already suggested considering wool for your rugs, but what about some vegetal material, like bamboo, or even leaves? These fruit bowls and trays are a great example of how creative designers can be with really humble and common materials, such as palm tree leaves. What we love about these bowls and trays is not just their understated yet precious aesthetics, but most of all, the fact that we can still get striking design items that act as a bridge between the present and the ancient tradition of weaving tree leaves to make baskets.
Make room for a small crowd
One of the key concepts you should keep in mind when styling your country home is that country people and villagers are hospitable by nature. Especially in the past, it could happen that , on a cold winter night, a tired traveller would knock on a farm’s door, and the farmers would put them up for the night, providing them with comfort food and a warm bed. And let’s be clear: doesn’t this happen nowadays too? Think about all the times you have put your house on Airbnb or your couch on Couchsurfing: from time to time, you might actually need a long table and some decent seating space. In order to stress the value of sharing and condivision, we suggest getting long benches instead of chairs: remember that food brings people together!
Warm, comfy fabrics are key when decorating your country home: again, a hand-woven blanket or upholstery will create that pleasantly rustic feeling of home décor items made with love. Why don’t you upholster a few pillows with brightly colored fabrics and scatter them around the house?
Alternatively, if you don’t particularly feel like going through the process of choosing both the pattern of the fabric and the design of the pillow, you can still find tons of super comfy handmade pillows and cushions that will save you the trouble!
One last tip: braided fabrics will go one step further in making your home look country and with a slight hygge vibe that will clarify to anyone that, even though you love your imaginary farm life, you’re also pretty much aware you’re living in 2018.
Use various different lights
Lights in a country home should be warm and diffused, with the exception of the ones above the kitchen counters, the dining table and reading nooks, where you need more intense lighting. We suggest you use classic-looking lights, like lanterns; if you decide to opt for contemporary lamps instead, try to look for that artisanal vibe, that is, a lamp that does not look industrial at all.