Own a rural home or dream of escaping to the country? Well, you may or may not know that the living room is the heart of a country home so it’s really important to get some winning country living room ideas to keep it so.
It’s easy to tailor country decor to your style. You could fill your space with heirlooms, add plenty of rustic finishes in your living room, or keep things pared back with lots of natural fabrics.
Suzy McMahon, Buying Director of Sofology says, ‘Country inspired decors are epitomised by their welcoming atmosphere and lived-in charm; however there’s no need to compromise quality or style to achieve this.’
‘A versatile look, true country style can be created just as well with floral fabrics as with soft buttery leathers. Look for relaxed shapes that invite you to sink into them at the end of the day. Although seat height should always be based on personal preference, lower backs with wooden feet are naturally in keeping with a rustic scheme.’
Our round up of country living rooms show how versatile this rustic style can be – working equally well in both cosy cottages and rambling farmhouses and in small rooms and large spaces.
While fashions come and go, these foundation styles simply evolve from year to year. Invest in them and your home will never look out of date And you don’t really need to live in the country at all to recreate the look.
Country living room ideas
1. Revamp cottage features
If you’re lucky enough to own a little cottage in the countryside, why not restore its original features while adding a modern touch?
This small living room idea has kept the original fireplace beam and kept the small nook to the side to showcase a contemporary vase. They’ve modernised it with decorative terracotta floor tiles and a pair of matching acid green sofas.
2. Inject colour with wallpaper
If you’re looking to update your rustic living room idea with a nod to Cottagecore, why not opt for a striking, colourful wallpaper?
Paula Taylor, Graham & Brown’s Trend Specialist and Head Stylist says, ‘A turbulent environment of political and social unrest has led to a yearning for designs which reflect values of authenticity and relatability.’
‘For a joyful 70s inflection, add retro accents of burnt orange and ochre to a delicate countryside-inspired palette. Use a wood effect wallpaper in a kitchen space to emulate a cosy country cottage.’
3. Expose original features
Make a real statement by stripping back the plaster in your living room to reveal original joists, bricks and beams. Clean and restore brickwork with a brick cleaner like this Hydra brick satin remover from Amazon, £29.95, or get it professionally cleaned.
4. Create a rustic feel with paint
If the thought of stripping the plaster bag gives you the fear, you could create a textured feel by distressing your existing plaster with a chalk wash paint, like Rust-Oleum’s warm taupe chalkwash paint from B&Q, £36. Team with a plush cord sofa, a cosy wood burner and feature mirror.
5. Modernise traditional wall panels
Want to inject a little colour into your country living room? Update wall panelling under a picture rail, by adding a bright splash of sunny yellow to bring the look bang up to date. Nod to the colour in home accessories and artwork to tie the look together.
Suzy McMahon, Buying Director of Sofology explains, ‘Typically considered to have a neutral palette with natural colours and materials, such as tan, oaks and sage, a country scheme can easily be warmed with the addition of rich shades, such as tonal berry, or sunny yellows. These sophisticated shades are particularly suited to a rustic home, complementing exposed beams and wooden flooring.’
6. Choose a comfy sofa for lounging
One neutral living room idea is to add a big, comfy sofa in a complementary hue to your scheme. This gorgeous Slowcoach corner sofa from Loaf in vintage pink velvet, £4125, makes the perfect place to lounge, reading the Sunday papers or having a well-deserved afternoon snooze.
Patricia Gibbons, from sofa.com’s design team says, ‘Country living rooms are defined largely by the style of the sofas within it. Sofas being the key piece of furniture in the living room, the choice of shape, its colour and its detailing can often dictate the feel of the space.’
‘With larger spaces available in country homes, corner sofas work especially well to section big, open spaces and can also be helpful to work around quirkier architectural features to provide structure in a crooked room.’
7. Include antique furniture
A comfy, worn-in leather armchair by a cosy fire is what springs to mind when we think of country living rooms. Mix old and new together effectively by marrying contemporary printed rugs or artwork with antique furniture.
Suzy McMahon, Sofology, Buying Director adds, ‘A versatile look, true country style can be created just as well with floral fabrics as with soft buttery leathers. Look for relaxed shapes that invite you to sink into them at the end of the day. Although seat height should always be based on personal preference, lower backs with wooden feet are naturally in keeping with a rustic scheme.’
8. Add opulent touches
Create a grand country retreat look in your country living room idea by adding sumptuous velvets, plenty of polished wood and antique lighting.
Patricia Gibbons, from sofa.com‘s design team says, ‘Choosing traditional shaped sofas, perhaps a Chesterfield style or a heavily tufted design with curved arms, in rich fabrics can emulate the style of a grand country home. These tend to work particularly well in rooms with antique pieces, elaborate lighting and opulent carpets.’
‘For rugs and cushions, pick tones that pair well with your larger pieces but aren’t too matchy-matchy. Keep it organic with a mix of pattern and texture to ensure the space looks lived-in and homely, a key feature of country style.’
9. Make a statement with a wood burner
Need a winning wood burner idea? Make a wood burning stove a focal point in your living room, styling your living space around it. This country home accentuates its square footage with a living space that’s bright and spacious in the day and cosy and inviting come evening when they light up the fire.
10. Play with pattern
Country decor is synonymous with natural colours and materials. But you can add a more contemporary feel by incorporating a mix of patterns and textures to create a more eclectic look.
‘To create a truly, authentic countryside feel in your home, stick to a warm palette of earthy, neutral tones. Start by throwing a warm colour on the walls and add floral patterns via cushions and lampshades.’
‘Opt for soft, traditional-shaped sofas like our Tiger Lilly sofa and add gorgeous, cosy throws over the arm. Country homes often have wall lights as well as side lamps and chandeliers helping to keep things cosy and snug,’ says Jacquie Dunton, Founder of Sweetpea & Willow.
11. Look to nature for inspiration
When in doubt, look to nature for inspiration when it comes to decorating your rural abode. A mix of floral motifs and prints will instantly transport you to a meadow, even if you’re living in the hustle and bustle of a city.
Paula Taylor, Graham & Brown‘s Trend Specialist and Head Stylist explains, ‘Craftsmanship and heritage prints are celebrated in the Cottagecore trend and familiar natural motifs are favoured as we spend more time appreciating landscapes closer to home.’
‘The aesthetic draws inspiration from natural materials and handmade elements to evoke a sense of calming simplicity, offering an escape from hectic modern life.’ To achieve this in the home, opt for muted neutral shades and faded pastel hues such as mint and terracotta for a soft nostalgic feel.’
12. Incorporate a Mora clock
Collecting unique antique pieces to add to your living room will instantly add country vibes to your interiors. This snug has a Swedish Mora clock, a French style chaise and a vintage suitcase as a coffee table, giving the room a story to tell.
Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Fitzrovia-based interior design studio Albion Nord says, ‘Every home and design should have some sort of story attached to it. If the design doesn’t tell a story about the homeowner, the house or the surrounding area, it can then lack depth and connection.’
13. Throw in some shabby chic elements
Don’t be afraid to inject a little bit of individualism into your country scheme. This living room idea features an exposed brick feature wall idea and plenty of shabby chic elements, such as whitewashed furniture and distressed wood. Just add tealights.
14. Warm up with deep blue
Contrary to popular belief, blue can warm up a scheme, rather than cool it down – it just depends on the tone you choose. This deep, sumptuous blue creates an inviting, soothing atmosphere in this open plan living room idea. Decorate with plenty of wood, including the logs for the fire.
‘If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, invest in a good log holder and pile on your logs – a sure sign you’re in a country home,’ says Jacquie Dunton, Founder of Sweetpea & Willow.
15. Decorate with a distressed features
Create a grown up version of shabby chic decor, by mixing a variety of vintage style textures and finishes.
This cosy fireplace idea features an original marble fireplace with sooty marks as evidence of plenty of times spent sipping cocoa next to its roaring fire. Paired with an original cottage door as artwork, vintage inspired wallpaper and lots of oldy-worldy accessories makes this space feel welcoming.
16. Incorporate modern pieces
Country style needn’t be all about the traditional. Inject some modernity into your country abode by adding a mix of patterns and including a gallery wall idea to give it some life. Complete the maximalist look with mid century furniture and lighting.
17. Choose accessories that reflect a natural aesthetic
Look to natural textures like rattan and reclaimed wood to add country chic to your living room. This coffee table gives this old door a new lease of life and is a great conversation starter.
“As we are being faced everyday with the collapse of our ecological climate, there seems to be increasing interest in all things natural. This has translated into interiors trends such as pared-back wood,” says Martin Waller, Founder of global design brand Andrew Martin.
18. Build in a library
Make your country living room idea a place to really unwind and chill out by adding a wall of bookcases to create a mini library.
Use sections of the bookcases to showcase treasured items for a more eclectic look. Complete the relaxed reading nook by including a soft leather chair to sink into and read until your heart’s content.
19. Mix old and new
Don’t be afraid to buy new furniture for a cottage style living space. This plush mid century modern style velvet chair and teal blue sofa look right at home beside the rustic restored beam mantel and old whitewashed beams.
20. Build storage in a small living room
How about this for a savvy living room storage idea for your country space? This comfy sofa style seating area has built in storage around it with shelving above for even more clever usage of the space. The sage green and blush pink living room colour scheme will make even the smallest of spaces look calm and bright.
21. Opt for vintage style lighting
Don’t forget about your lighting when decorating a country style living space. Vintage inspired pendants as a living room lighting idea will look right at home with distressed wood, natural tones and one-of-a-kind finds. These jam jar style lights add a crafty style statement to this room’s set-up.
22. Lay slate floor tiles
Don’t overlook your flooring when designing a rustic living space. Stone flooring ideas are the perfect choice when paired with plenty of country style furniture, wood panelling and most crucially a cosy fireplace.
Emma Hughes, Original Style‘s Studio Manager says, ‘Natural stone floor tiles are a great investment for kitchens and living areas, especially for those looking to create a country, farmhouse feel.’
‘Whether its classic limestone or a rich, dark, slate, natural stone tiles create a timeless canvas that will age beautifully, rewarding you for years to come. Incorporate sumptuous soft furnishings, rustic wood pieces and layers of neutral tones to achieve your perfect, country inspired space.’
23. Tart up your scheme with tartan
Keep it classic with a nod to the Scottish Highlands with tartan in calming neutral shades. This Graham and Brown wallpaper idea is the perfect choice, when paired alongside a comfy Chesterfield sofa, lots of natural textures and stag head home accessories.
Paula Taylor, Graham & Brown‘s Trend Specialist and Head Stylist says, ‘This aesthetic draws inspiration from natural materials and handmade elements to evoke a sense of calming simplicity, offering an escape from hectic modern life. To achieve this in the home, opt for muted neutral shades and faded pastel hues such as mint and terracotta for a soft nostalgic feel.’
24. Keep things neutral
Country style is all about neutral, natural features. It’s hard not to be won over by the easy-to-live-with vibe of this relaxed neutral living room idea. Give it a Scandi spin by adding lots of throws and textures, make it industrial by adding metal details or go vintage with crochet cushions and unique ornaments.
Lisa Conway, Residential Marketing Manager at Brintons says, ‘A neutral colour palette is best suited to rooms you spend a lot of time in, such as a living room, where relaxing tones are key to creating a happy space. Neutrals are versatile with the ability to provide a platform and set the scene.’
25. Contrast bare brick with wallpaper
In this space, a rough and rustic bare brick wall contrasts a smart modern toile wallpaper in a rich, earthy brown. For coherence, bring out the tones of the wallpaper in your furniture and accessories – as seen here in the armchair and throw.
How can I make my living room look country?
There are lots of ways to make a living room look country. Easy ways include decorating with plenty of wood in the form of restored beams, stripped back tables and distressed shabby chic furniture and accessories.
You could restore original features like beams, cottage mantels, exposed brick and wall panelling. Mixing old and new furniture will instantly give you the relaxed, lived-in country style, while incorporating a wood burning stove or an open fire will add a warm, cosy feel to the space.
Kerry Laird, Interior Designer at Fishpools says, ‘Whilst the Cottagecore trend has been and gone, we are still longing for that countryside feeling within our homes. Maybe it’s the longing need for a holiday by the coast or nostalgia for simpler times, but cottage chic is an endearing and easy way to make your home feel like reminiscent of a country escape.’
‘Try incorporating colours such as soft greys, pinks, and lilacs to pair with pretty decorative accessories such as floral scatter cushions or quirky wallpaper. This trend is perfect for allowing your character to come through and creating a space where you feel comfortable and content.’
‘Look to contrast cute ornaments with the traditional features of your home, whilst nature inspired prints paired with gold accessories will create the perfect balance to transform your home into a countryside retreat.’
What is modern country decor?
Modern country decor is a stylish alternative to traditional country style decor. As a hugely popular interior trend right now, incorporating a mix of industrial, cottagecore, vintage, rustic and its relaxed and natural look is easy to identify.
Noemie Deed, founder of Cosy Coco says, ‘Achieving a modern farmhouse aesthetic centres around the beautiful juxtaposition of the rustic and raw paired with sleek and contemporary design which creates a real sweet spot for cosy and relaxed yet refined interiors.’
‘For example, integrating charming, rustic textures like shaggy rugs, exposed brick, unrefined woods will instantly give a modern space a beautiful organic foundation which will help pave the way for creating the farmhouse style. These finishes really transform modern spaces, giving them a somewhat elevated homestead feel with all the cosy country vibes, and we are all about creating cosiness.’
What colours make a house feel warm?
Creating a warm, cosy and comfortable living room starts by the colour scheme you choose for your walls. There are plenty of shades that instantly add a snug feeling.
Rich reds will look striking in high ceilinged country abodes. Make a statement by painting your walls with a rich, deep red or if you’re not ready to go all out red on the walls, try painting an accent wall.
Sunny, mustard yellows will add a peaceful glow to your space, while earthy tones like a moody green will create a soothing style to a room’s design.
Soft shades of blue bring an airy vibe to any room. On first inspection blue can appear cool but in a deeper shade, it can provide a subtle, calming atmosphere. While neutral shades like tan, terracotta, taupe and creamy white can all create a classic rustic style.
These sophisticated shades will work really well in rustic settings particularly when paired with wood flooring, exposed beams and a mix of natural materials.