What's your interior design style? Country cottage chic

The basics: With its roots in the British countryside this interior design style includes age-worn furnishings and furniture with natural (or deliberately stressed) chips and scuffs and faded fabrics. The aim of this style is to crate an elegant room which is causal and welcoming. One of the main features is that of recycling old furniture, soft furnishings and accessories.

If you prefer not to have used or second-hand items in your home then you'll need to learn the art of distressing to give new items an aged and used appearance. Country cottage design also includes other styles such as Shaker and French Château which have become entwined within this style. Shabby chic is one of the latest interior design ideas and styles which came onto the scene in the 1980's. The introduction of this meant that people no longer had to have the 'real-deal' as reclaiming and recycling from junk shops became all the rage!

Colour: Fabrics and materials are typically soft pastels and creams which appear as if they have faded in the sunlight contrasted with darker colours from the same colour palette. Tea-staining or light bleaching can be used on new fabrics to create this age-worn look. Floral patterns, particularly roses and cottage garden flowers are used to create a romantic touch. Textures: Cotton, linen and wood are the principle textures used to create a country cottage look. Wooden furniture can be given a distressed look by painting ivory or pale blue and then gently sanded to reveal specks of the wood underneath.

Gingham checks are ideal for the kitchen blinds or curtains with a mixture of dining chair covers and slips made from reclaimed or discount curtain fabrics online. Surfaces: In contrast to contemporary, country cottage is ideal for those who love collections (and don't mind copious amounts of dusting and cleaning!). Collections include family photographs displayed on occasional tables in the lounge, while teapots and dainty fine bone china with hand-painted flowers are ideal for dining rooms and kitchens.

Get the look: Use comfy oversized armchairs and sofas with floral patterns and delicate lace or fine linen arm and head rests, roses either fresh in vases or dried displays in the lounge, along with loads of plump cushions to nestle into. In the dining room a mix and match of china and glasses. Vintage wall decorations such as old oil paintings (or reproduction prints) and wall scones will all look stylish.

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