Transitioning Away From Apartment Style

Basics For Decorating With Country Style

by June Holland

What feels more homey than a country-style house? The country style is characterized by rustic elegance. The palette is typically soft or muted with a foundation of white. Cottage, French pastoral and shabby chic blend the basics of country style with their own particularities. Make over your home with this eclectic style.


White is often the base color for country decorating, showing in wall paint or the foundation for fabrics. Pastels are common for both cottage and shabby chic looks. Sunny yellow is beautiful for the kitchen. If you want more of a French country look, add a muted blue. For instance, a French country kitchen might feature white walls, French blue cabinets and creamy yellow for the floor and countertops.


Speaking of the floor and countertops, many material options are possible. Granite is actually just as typical for a country kitchen and bathroom as it is for more contemporary styles. Simply choose more muted colors, such as beige or shades of brown. However, a soapstone countertop can be stunning in your country kitchen, while butcher block promotes more of that homey feel. For the floor, hardwood is ideal for any room, though tile works well in the kitchen and bathroom.

Wood is also the standard material for furniture. Typically, the finish is rustic or painted. Indeed, milk paint and distressed finishes are charming for country-style rooms. You can also mix and match, say with a milk-painted table next to a natural wood rocking chair. The goal is to create a feeling of timeworn charm.


Your choice in fabrics helps denote which of the country styles you're going for. Pastoral scenes, especially in blue and white, give a French ambiance. Shabby chic and cottage often showcase pastel flowers on a white or cream background. Checked and striped fabrics are traditional country style patterns. Likewise, any item, such as a bedspread or throw pillow, that looks antique promotes the country style. So if you have a handmade quilt, consider displaying it prominently.


Along those lines, your light fixtures should look like flea market finds. For example, Home and Garden TV describes a country kitchen with an iron light fixture that resembles a gas lamp. Wrought iron and distressed-finish metals are traditional for the material. As with furniture, mixing and matching helps give the feeling of found items. So consider starting with a centerpiece such as the gas lamp and adding pendant lights with milk glass.

Give your rooms down-home charm with cozy country décor and talk with an interior designer to come up with more ideas.