What does English country style interior design mean to you? Rustic interiors? Flowers around the door? A relaxed, informal interior filled with comfortable sofas and floral prints? Well, English county style is all of these things and a whole lot more.
The Elements of English Country Style Interior Design
When you're deciding on decorating in the English country style, begin by deciding which type of English country home you're looking for. An English manor house, for example, will have a different look from a country cottage, although both will have certain style elements in common, including:
English country style requires a darker color palette than you'd find in most contemporary homes. Floors tend to be dark, using browns or red, while walls will make use of patterns - particularly floral patterns, which are used on drapes, cushions and table coverings. Use an Autumnal color palette for the perfect English country look.
Wood is the material found most often in English country furniture, in tables, chairs, bookshelves and cabinets. Use accents of brass rather than chrome, and make sure sofas and chairs are overstuffed and comfortable, with coverings of velvet or leather. Whatever your furniture is made of, make sure it's hard wearing: the best English county rooms have a "lived in" look which only comes from years of use. Chesterfield sofas are the ultimate in English elegance: just add a roaring log fire and an oak bookcase bursting with books for the perfect look.
Shop for English country style furniture at any of these retailers:
One thing the English country style home could never be described as is "minimalist". Ornaments and pictures are on full display in this style of home, so scour your local antiques market for tables, cabinets and dressers which will showcase your collectables to the best advantage. The look here can be slightly cluttered, but remember that comfort is key: if a room so filled with china ornaments that you're afraid to walk through it, you've taken things too far.
The English Country Look
The overall look is comfortable and a little eccentric. Each item in your room should be carefully chosen and well-loved, and the room should be warm and welcoming without being too messy or casual.
Here are some more tips to give your home that English county style look:
- Use a mixture of fabrics to add texture to your room. Throws and cushion covers in floral or hand-embroidered fabrics are ideal.
- Use drapes rather than blinds, and again, choose floral patterns or rich fabrics such as velvet.
- Traditional fireplaces are a key element of English style. Even if you don't have a coal fire, a carved wood fireplace accessorized with candles and horse brasses will provide the right look.
- Cover coffee tables with cloth with reaches the floor, and arrange ornaments or flowers on top.
- Look out for antique furniture to add authenticity to your room
Feel Right at Home
The end result of an English country design should be a home that looks well loved and well lived in. As you make each decision, remember to step back from this one element and consider the design as a whole. When done correctly, the English country home is one that you should feel right at home in.