Add the homespun charm of rural living without leaving the city.
No matter whether your home is an inner city apartment or a rambling house in the suburbs adding some country charm is easy and affordable.
There's no single characteristic that defines country style – rather it's a blend of features. Let's take a look at what to aim for.
Colors that evoke the great outdoors
Soft, muted tones of cream and oatmeal, soft blues and yellow, even pale green in shades of moss or avocado all create a lovely country vibe. Milk-based paints are especially good at creating a rustic feel. Add contrast through deep reds or even earthy browns.
Embrace natural materials by thinking organic. Try lime washing floorboards instead of opting for a professional polish. Look past laminate for kitchen benchtops and try some distressed timber, and aim for furniture with interesting features – curved carvings on table legs, scroll back chairs or intricate timber frames for artworks.
Furniture – look for hidden treasures
This is where you can really have fun. Country homes have an eclectic blend of furniture and you can find some great, and often inexpensive pieces that highlight the patina of time. Check out the local op shop, rummage through garage sales or antique markets – you're sure to find affordable pieces. Then make it your own. Find a vintage dining table, give it a light sand and surround it with mix and match chairs – use cushions or seat covers to bring everything together.
Add highlights to plain coloured furniture through checked, floral or striped cushions, hand-crocheted throws or design your own fabrics with prints overlaid on plain calico.
Nothing says ‘country' like farm animals but you don't to have the real thing to achieve country style. Bring nature into your home with platters, jugs and mugs glazed with farm animals – roosters, geese and sheep. Grab a wooden ladder from a second-hand building supplies yard, hang it horizontally from the kitchen ceiling and use it to hang copper and cast iron cooking pots. Or grab a couple of old lamps from a garage sale for use as outdoor lighting. Give a collection of old glass bottles a new lease of life as decorations on the kitchen dresser.
Cast your net wide
When it comes to picking up true country pieces, rummage through the websites of regional real estate agents. Many advertise ‘farm sales' where household items from crockery through to old farm machinery are auctioned off, often at bargain prices. It's a great excuse to spend a day in the country and soak the atmosphere you'd like to recreate in your home.