What is the Country look?
The Country style is also referred to as “old-time” or “rustic”… whatever the term used, its essential characteristics remain the same: an aged or antique, warm style of décor. The overall look is one of nostalgia with a few lively touches, which evokes the era of our ancestors while also paying tribute to nature.
Types of Country décor
A number of variations on the Country look have been developed, including the French and English styles. Here are the differences between the two:
FRENCH COUNTRY: The predominant colours are white and cream, with more vibrant accent colours such as light blue, yellow and green (the latter are associated with the Provincial style). Fabrics can feature a variety of patterns: botanical, toile de Jouy*, stripes or checks. Don’t hold back! You can put all of these patterns together as long as you keep your colour theme consistent.
ENGLISH COUNTRY: This version uses more intense shades: yellow ochre, deep red, forest green and brown. Creating the desired ambiance calls for natural materials such as wood, stone and leather.
*Toile de Jouy: A fabric on which landscapes and scenes of workers in fields are depicted against a solid-coloured (often cream) background. Coordinating the background hue are finely drawn lines of contrasting colours.
Accessories and materials
Country décor lends itself to the use of a wide variety of accessories and patterns. For example, a botanical element – as a pattern on embroidery, wallpaper, a fabric or a painting, or as a bouquet – would be a great choice and an easy starting point!
The print is then coordinated with colours and textures through a variety of accessories. Checks, stripes, paisley, toile de Jouy, solid colours… all of these patterns can be blended into a single Country décor, as long as they are chosen from the same palette of colours.
Here’s a handy tip to avoid creating a décor that’s too “busy”: Choose one slightly more elaborate pattern, while keeping the others simple. The harmony of colours in the simpler patterns will serve as supports for the primary pattern.
When choosing accessories for your décor, don’t be shy about trying to incorporate family souvenirs, a great flea market find or even an antique into your look. Essentials will include chandeliers, figurines, cushions, embroidery, large-patterned rugs, floral arrangements (using either fresh or dried flowers) and vases (made from terra cotta, porcelain or ceramic).
If you like the Country look but would rather not take it to the extreme, however, this style can also be combined with more modern accessories or furniture so the usual stereotypes associated with this style are avoided. All you need to do is choose a colour palette trending toward the monochromatic and focus on creating somewhat cleaner lines with fewer patterns and accessories.
When selecting materials, consider wrought iron, antique brass, natural wood (such as pine and maple), wood paneling (white or natural) and natural fibres (linen or wool). A décor modeled on the Country look can work just as well in a house in the heart of town as in a rural home.
Country and modern décors are increasingly seen in major urban centres. It’s simply a question of harmonizing the architecture of your house with the decorating style. Just keep one thing in mind: Coordinate your colours, combine different textures… and get in touch with nature!