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Global Influences – Part 7 – Quintessentially English

Throughout this mini series we have looked at the different global influences from around. the world. The common denominator with them all is the use of earthy colours and colours inspired by natural flora and fauna from particular countries and creating a quintessentially English interiors remains true to these factors.

English country cottages are themed around floral chintz fabrics which have an abundance of flowers which include roses. As with many other countries the countryside houses also have exposed timber beans and in England these are made from oak. To create an authentic look they need to be stripped free of paint and dark vanishes and returned to their natural warm colour.

White or cream walls remain firm favourites in English country homes and whilst they may appear to have more furniture than other countries may use it may just be that typical country cottages in the UK have small rooms and therefore appear to be filled to the brim!

As a point of interest, in the UK a cottage should not be called such unless the stairs are situated within the front room. They are not exposed but hidden behind a door which leads directly onto the stairs. This in itself restricts where furniture can be placed as most cottages have at least two if not three doors in the front room.

One of the biggest differences we see in this design style is the use of window dressings. No English window goes undressed, we don’t have shutters in the same way as they do elsewhere, therefore the English rely solely on their window dressings to keep the warmth of the room in and prying eyes out!

Net curtains became a staple for may homes and the term ‘curtain twitching’ refers to noisy neighbours who stand behind their net curtains where they cannot be seen to watch others! Today net curtains are still used in many homes however the younger generations are replacing nets with cheap Venetian blinds which give them the same privacy but in a more fashionable way.

In country cottages Roman blinds are often used or a combination of cheap roller blinds and curtains. The fabrics used are typically middle or heavyweights to help reduce drafts from sash style windows, the curtains are usually full length and hung from wooden curtain poles in oak colours to match the timber beams and are more often than not swept open from the centre and held in place with coordinating tie backs.

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