With the likes of Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley classic country twee has made somewhat of a comeback. Whether it be a rocking chair, gingham, florals or wood; magazines, retailers and designers have gone back to their roots and loving all things pretty. However playful this look is, without consideration, it can be somewhat out of place in a contemporary urban apartment or large Georgian house. Consequently this article takes you through how to introduce some country character in to your interior design.
One of the key elements of a classic country look is the use of pattern. Think small florals, stripes, spots, checks, embroidery and patchwork in pastel and candy tones. The layering and mixing up of these patterns is what adds that rustic charm to the finished look. The key to making the country look work within any home is the use and distribution of these patterns. For example, in a small terrace or cottage property the design and finish is rather straightforward as these patterns can be dotted in a traditional manner and used for curtains, upholstery, cushions, bunting, table cloths etc.
In a more contemporary home a more sophisticated approach is required. Choose a simple deck chair stripe fabric for your curtains in a strong raspberry, blue, mustard or turquoise. Keep the heading contemporary and consider using eyelet curtains or adding a contrasting band in a plain fabric. For upholstery use an equally strong and bold pattern perhaps large polka dots or a smaller stripe. Keep the lines clean and avoid over fussy trimmings and tie backs. Add to this plain yet textured scatter cushions and perhaps add overly sized buttons or bows. To bring the scheme together introduce contemporary pieces such as a Barcelona chair in white or cream and add a simple rectangular gingham cushion bordered in a plain white fabric on top. If this collaboration of contemporary design with twee pattern is repeated regularly it will create a quirky and interesting design. To continue a more contemporary finish it is advised to keep your colour scheme to just one or two accent colours and white or cream. This will reduce the twee feeling and maintain a crisp and concise look.
If on the other hand you live in a traditional yet very grand property the balance has to be achieved slightly differently. Create a flat pelmet using a checked or gingham material and pipe with a plain coordinating cord. Keep the curtains complementary yet plain to enhance the feeling of height and elegance. For tiebacks choice a traditional style that brings together the colours within your gingham pelmet. For upholstery choose a small floral fabric in coordinating colours to the curtains or keep plain and pipe with a small stripe or check. If appropriate why not create a feature wall out of a small ticking type stripe in a more muted tone. To accessorise find traditional plates, vases and picture frames in antique white or wood. Generally try to avoid metals and metallic colours as these will tend to clash with the country look and create an inconsistency within the scheme.
Whatever style your home and to whatever extent you want to create a country feel with clever tweaking of colour and pattern it is possible to make this look work in the most contemporary or traditional of homes.