Whether you reside in a busy city or the suburbs of one, there’s something undeniably appealing about country living. After all, some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are just hard to beat. Both warm and inviting, the relaxed interiors that are often found in rural locales combine ease and comfort—achieved, in part, with an effortlessly curated mix of informal fabrics and traditional furniture styles, with a healthy dose of nostalgia pieces and finishes thrown in for a good measure.
Turn your traditional “bahay kubo” into a modernized country cottage with a finer sense of style and sturdier materials found in the market, yet keeping the design and feel honest to its classic country roots.
When people hear the term
country style, they often dismiss it as dated, picturing
lacy curtains, chunky oak furniture,
and overly sweet motifs. The trick is to preserve the elements that
made that style popular in the 1980s and early '90s—a sense of
welcome, a relaxed air, and a collected approach, while combining
them with today's cleaner, less overwrought aesthetic.
A classic country house looks best with a muted palette. Subdued blues, yellows, and greens inspired by nature make a soft statement that encourages relaxation in country homes. In addition, light hardwood brings a soft, natural ambience to your home while dark hardwood screams a bold, earthy vibe that pulls your country home all together.
Shocking brights and drab neutrals feel out of place in country-style rooms. Instead, choose gentler hues that feel cozy and upbeat: barn red, straw yellow, sage green, dusky periwinkle. Avoid outdated combinations such as mauve and blue, and lighten up the look with plenty of white, cream, and ivory—always classic and crisp.
A dash of florals wouldn’t hurt either. Most country homes seem to burst into bloom—in the coverings on the walls, in the china on the dinner table, in the upholstery on the furnishings. Romantic patterns and motifs work best with the traditionally muted palette.
Quilts, rag rugs, and other handcrafted textiles have always been integral to country style. Modernize the look by sticking to fresh color schemes and graphic patterns..
Comfortable fabrics and materials create a warm, inviting atmosphere that’s sure to make you and guests feel right at home. Upholstered cushions and furniture pieces in a breezy cotton gingham or ticking stripe instantly convey no-fuss country chic. You can even add a traditional patchwork quilt that can make a striking addition to a very clean, simple country space; just be sure it doesn't feel overly busy
Country style whispers of years of wear and use. Blend lightly blemished woods, painted surfaces, and metals to lend an air of history and antiquity.
Patina is also a great, classic country house piece. Worn finishes on everything from metal fittings and painted wood furniture to enamel and pewter tableware impart a sense of age and lend a more approachable vibe.
If you have the budget, make a kitchen island using bricks or stones. This gives your entire kitchen a beautiful rustic look and the project is actually a lot easier than you may think.
Wood pieces put together make a beautiful backsplash that definitely makes a statement in any room. If you have a wall available, you can create a lovely setting by simply adhering wood pieces to the wall. You can also build a small wall to create a division wherever you need it.
Go with classic furnishings, forget mid-century modern and opt instead for traditional styles with rounded edges and plush upholstery. Furnishings in country style have familiar profiles and comfy silhouettes: ladder back chairs, slipcovered loveseats and settees, iron and spooled-wood bedsteads. The pieces you choose should feel warm and welcoming, as though guests can sink in and put up their feet.
A mudroom is also one good country design idea. Keep outside dirt at bay while increasing functionality with a multipurpose space that uses hooks and cubbies to store shoes and other accessories at arm’s reach. If you have wood pallets just lying around the yard, put them to use by turning them into a great mud room bench. This bench would look fabulous on the deck or just inside the door, wherever you want to put it.
Keep accessories uncomplicated and unfussy to achieve the classic country home look. Pottery, creamware, ironstone and other dishwarefeel on point, as do graphic baskets and seagrass or sisal rugs will do well as accessories to your home. Other good bets include wildflowers massed in a pitcher, a work of folk art hanging on the wall, and an antiqued mirror or two.
If you really want to spruce up the kitchen or dining room, turn an old wooden pallet into a fabulous wine rack. This is another really easy project that looks beautiful when finished. You’ll need to make the shelf to hold your wine bottles and then use a drill to create a hanging section for wine glasses at the bottom.
Filipinos love to decorate with antiques. Whether it’s farmhouse-appropriate pieces like metal-plate signages and vintage furnishings, or handmade antique artwork and old wooden photos frames, these pieces can be turned into beautiful rustic décor.