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Timeless Country Style

If it is a timeless and effortless cosy style you want for your home, the country cottage is tough to beat. Full of rustic charm and an endearing roughness around the edges, country cottage style transcends the fickleness of home trends and speaks to us on a more basic, honest level. Completely lacking in any pretentiousness, this eternal style has been born out of the day to day running of country life and developed organically over many years. It can sometimes appear unfinished or naïve but this all adds to its character and warmth. With typical characteristics being the use of natural woods, stone, aged surfaces, rough finishes, simple lines, handcrafted objects and a general sense of connection with nature, all of which combine to create a soothing ambience.

To start, give your walls a coating of country colour. Neutral shades such as white, bone, butterscotch work well, as do earthy red tones and greens. If you really want to capture the look with accuracy, you could even have your walls plastered to a rougher, less perfect finish before you paint them.

Floors in country decor and cottage style homes are generally made from stone or wood (to match the wooden curtain poles). A beautiful slate or oak will really start proceedings well. To add some soft comfort, dress your floors with cheap rugs. Don’t worry about which style you use as a real country cottage will be very eclectic in style as items would be added as and when they were needed, without much emphasis placed upon function.

Furniture should ideally be made of a hardwood construction, though softwood like pine that has been varnished in a darker shade can also be used as a cheaper alternative. Items such as ladder-back chairs, rocking chairs, benches, wicker furniture and Windsor chairs will really start to shape the look but most important is the inclusion of a large rustic table- the older the better. If you can’t find one in an old junk shop or pub that is closing down, create your own using old barn doors. To give your furniture an even more rustic look, coat each piece in a thin layer of paint and sand of to create an uneven, well-used look. Other details to look out for are brass candle holders, oil or kerosene lamps, sconces, hurricane lamps, tin lanterns, recessed ceiling fixtures or a vintage wrought-iron or metal chandelier.

The kitchen should be the main focus of the house, be sure to pay attention to the details, Fill the kitchen with open shelves, hutches, buffets, plate racks, chunky wooden cupboards, stoneware pots, plain glazed earthenware and glass jars and cast iron or copper pots. Use open shelving in the rustic country kitchen to display plates, dishes and dinnerware collections and treat windows with gingham or checked curtains.

Elsewhere in the home, make liberal use of items such quilts, antique furniture or reproductions, flea-market pieces, trunks, chests, armoires, floral wallpaper and bistro chairs. The trick is to make rooms appear to have been thrown together over time rather than carefully arranged. Eclectic style can be difficult to master so take a look at lots of examples in books, online, in magazines and on T.V. to familiarise yourself with the tricks of the trade.

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