You don't have to replace everything in your home with rustic pieces for that country cottage vibe. We show you how to do it with 10 key pieces
Spring shines down favourably on country style.
Maybe it’s the mayflower and the cherry blossom; maybe it’s the tiny sunny faces of the Tete-a-Tete narcissi or the bright and bobbing blooms of their full-height cousins. Whatever it might be, it seems that the thatched-roof, picket-fence, roses-round-the-cottage-door vibe is the must-have look of the moment, no matter that you live in a 1980s purpose-built flat knee-deep in the metropolis.
But before you stick everything on Gumtree and dust off the debit card, take a good, long look around you. Country style doesn’t have to mean replacing every stick of furniture under your roof with a cottagey equivalent.
A single key piece of furniture in your chosen room might be all you need to achieve the look. Country style certainly has its stars – those must-have ingredients that flip the vibe of a room single-handedly as soon as you carry them in and rip off the cellophane.
We’ve picked 10 buys guaranteed to bring a little bit of country into your home, wherever you’ve chosen to lay your hat.
1. Country dining table
Nothing says country quite like a farmhouse table. Imagine eating breakfast here! Look for painted tables with something of a lived-in air about them – not to mention pretty scalloped details. Whether you go for matching or mismatching chairs, co-ordinate with seat cushions. These tie-on designs have removable covers so it’s easy to keep them looking smart. For a similar table, try Scumble Goosie.
2. Utility room ceiling-mounted airer
A country utility room isn’t a country utility room without one of these pulley airers that all our grandmas used to have. Mount it on the ceiling and raise and lower it using the pulley. It’s a tried and tested design that uses the warm, rising air of a laundry or utility room to dry all your country frocks and floral tea towels while taking up zero floor space. For a similar airer, try Garden Trading.
3. Home office-cum-craft room desk
Going for a modern desk and accessorising around it in country style makes for a very modern take on the look. What’s more, you don’t need a whole room to create your craft room or home office. Steal an alcove or corner from your living room or bedroom, fit some shelves and plonk your desk in front. Stock up on all your country crafting materials, or look for cottagey-inspired box files and artwork if you’re going to use it as an office space. Who wouldn’t want to work here? For a similar desk, try Anthropologie.
4. Cottage-style paving and planters
Even if you have the tiniest of outdoor spaces, try and fit in a little hard landscaping and the odd planter for instant country credentials. Go for brick paving even if it’s just on a step or narrow path and plant up country favourites like box shrubs and flowering annuals. Position your pots together as close to the property as possible so they’re easy to get to for maintenance and watering. For similar planters, try Whichford Pottery.
5. Country conservatory furniture
Go for traditional furniture – it’s the perfect choice to make your country conservatory feel like a special place in your home. Pick seat and scatter cushions in co-ordinating fabrics that make the most of the high light levels. Wicker-style furniture is perfect for bridging that indoors/outdoors mid zone as it reflects the natural elements of the garden beyond. For similar conservatory furniture, try John Lewis.
6. Wooden hallway settle
Bring a welcome to your hallway
with a wooden bench. They’re beloved of manor house flagstone entrance
halls the land over. Go high-backed and timeworn for a church settle
feel and then up the comfort factor with a fun mix of warm and woolly
cushions and throws. If space is tight, pick a design that includes
storage so you can drop in all those shoes and boots too. For a similar
design, try The Cotswold Company.
7. Country-style sofa piled high with cushions
sofa that likes to lift its skirts and show off its ankles – this
compact cottage design has beautifully turned feet and brass castors to
boot, creating a neat and tidy package for any living space. Go for a
plain fabric in a pastel shade so you can hold back the brightness,
pattern and vibrancy for cushions in a mismatch of sizes, tufted and
fringed throws, curtains, accessories and vases of fresh flowers – lots
of them. For a similar sofa, try Multiyork.
8. Farmhouse-style open kitchen storage
Be honest, why
have wall units with doors on them when you can do this? Why have
gorgeous china and kitchenware if it’s all hidden away at the back of a
dark cupboard? My, this open storage packs a country punch. Go for a peg
shelf and pack it with country china and a lining of ditsy floral
wallpaper. Add a worktop plate rack and flank it with bracketed
whitewashed shelves. And, of course, don’t forget the must-have
1950s-style modesty curtain for screening the bin. For similar storage
units, try Dibor.
9. Gorgeously scrolling metal bedstead
The right bed can
bring country style to your bedroom gratis. This beauteous curlicued
take on the traditional Victorian design goes full pelt at head and
footboard. Even teamed with a modern chest of drawers it oozes country
style – though a pretty faux rose garland entwined around the headboard
helps. Think Princess and the Pea with layers of shirt striped bedding,
quilts, eiderdowns, a scattering of cushions and full-length curtains
that pool at the floor – all, naturally, in country florals. For a
similar bed, try Laura Ashley.
10. Modern take on the traditional roll-top bath
comes to ablutions, the standalone bath is a cornerstone of country
style. The more obvious choice is the classic roll-top, but why not ring
the changes with a signature design that has a distinctly modern edge.
Keep the curved profile, but go stone over cast-iron or steel; stick to a
standalone tap, but choose chrome over brass, referencing the older
style while simultaneously updating it. Cobalt blue accessories and
pretty tealights never go amiss. For a similar bath, try Castello.