Paula Sutton at Hill House Vintage shows us how to create the perfect country look

Take some styling tips from Paula Sutton at Hill House Vintage

Whether you live in a county pile or not, you can still enjoy country style. It's not even necessary to live in the countryside, as the craze for 'cottagecore' on instagram shows.

There's something about the nostalgic country look that's strangely comforting in unsettling times. These styling ideas from the lovely and talented Paula Sutton at Hill House Vintage, could work just as well in a suburban or city setting.

1. Go classic with blue china

A table laid with vintage blue china will look elegant, whether you're dining indoors or out. Classic pieces, from Chinese Willow pattern to Dutch Delft Blue, have gone in an out of fashion for decades and right now, blue china is having its moment back in the style spotlight.

Not just that, it will bring a boost of colour and heritage charm to a table setting, as demonstrated by Paula at her home in Norfolk.

2. Clash colours

There's a tendency to think that country style interiors have to be 'matchy-matchy'. Paula has thrown out the rule book with these two occasional button-back chairs and combined wildly different colours, patterns and textures with aplomb.

The result brings a fresh feel to a traditional style that puts it firmly in the 21st century.

Related: Be wowed by a charming farmhouse with an eye-catching extension in the East Sussex countryside

3. Mix country styles

No-one wants to live in a museum, so mix different eras and vintages. A bit of French farmhouse here, a hint of Swedish Gustavian there... Paula is the queen of layering styles.

It's all topped off with Edwardian candy stripes, creating a relaxed look that oozes character and charm.

We love a project that can transform a home in a weekend – and a gallery wall is one such task. Even if you don't have a huge collection of family heirlooms or artworks, a trip to a car boot sale, an antique gallery, or even a charity shop should turn up some treasures.

Related: Be wowed by this charming country farmhouse in Sussex

Mix vintage framed paintings with gilt mirrors, family photos and even some of your own artworks (if you've had time to get creative during lockdown).

Make sure there is a loose theme running through, such as florals, portraiture or still life to pull it all together - and lay everything out on the floor first, so you can see how it looks before you start banging holes in the walls.

You can follow Paula (and her gorgeous chocolate labrador) @hillhousevintage


Jacky Parker is a freelance interiors & lifestyle journalist, specialising in modern interiors, design and eco living. She has written for Future’s interior magazines and websites including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home for over fifteen years, both as a freelance contributor and inhouse, with stints as Acting Digital Editor, Livingetc and Acting Style Content Editor, Country Homes & Interiors. Her work also features in national and international publications including Sunday Times Style, Telegraph Stella, The Guardian, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and more. With years of experience in the industry Jacky is privy to the insider view and the go-to places for interior inspiration and design-savvy décor.