CREATING THE PERFECT MODERN ENGLISH COUNTRY HOME

We spend a lot of time in our homes, which is why having a comfortable home that we enjoy is essential for our wellbeing. Whether you have an English Country home in the countryside or you’ve adopted the style in an urban location, you’ll agree it is a popular choice for comfortable living. The essence of English Country living is the layered, casual way in which many elements come together to create a charming and authentic interior. It is a tasteful style, but not in a hip and modern way; in fact, a couple of dated elements are the key to creating a comfortable country-style home. It is this laid-back feel that makes the style so popular. Here are a few ideas to help you create the perfect English Country home.

Use toile wallpaper

A definitive element of old, English Country living, these happy-go-lucky designs show off a liberated lifestyle through their playful geometric and traditional patterns. Feel free to subtly mix wallpaper in with solid painted walls to avoid an overly staid look to your rooms. Wallpaper is a versatile design element, so think about using it to cover only limited areas of a wall. For example, you could try using it behind the kitchen sink or even as the background for shelves.

Potted plants are essential

Cut flowers and dried flowers are core parts of any interior design effort, including in an English Country home, but it is potted plants that distinguish an English Country home. It all comes down to the natural, earthy feel that a living and growing plant gives to a room; it’s a bit like bringing your garden indoors. A mix of colourful ceramic vessels and terra cotta planters is ideal, adding to the gently cluttered look you are trying to achieve.

Install window shutters in your home

Nothing says country style quite like wooden window shutters. They’re not all the same, and each style of shutter says something slightly different about a room. Café style window shutters create open and inviting look. They combine privacy with plentiful natural light, making them ideal in kitchen. If you have a street-facing bedroom, try solid panel shutters, which can ensure complete privacy and block out intrusive street lighting. Whichever style you choose, the natural look and feel and innate practicality of wooden shutters perfectly fit the country style.

Shelves with classic books or magazines

No country home would be complete without a smattering of shelves and reading material. Whether you like reading magazines on country living or indulge in classic literature, put enough storage space in your home to carefully file away reading material for later reference. Dipping in and out of old favourites while seated in a comfortable chair is a gratifying benefit of living in the countryside, which is why the classic combination of shelves and a comfortable chair is so commonly seen in this design style.

Restore an old fireplace – or install an electric version

Innate to the country style of living is comfort, and there’s nothing worse than a cold home in the winter. Even though you have plenty of options when it comes to heating, nothing says country living as much as a fireplace. If you have a disused fireplace, find out if you can restore it back to regular use. If a wood or gas fireplace is not an option, look into the many electrical fireplaces that are now available, some of which are hard to distinguish from warm and cosy wood-burning varieties.

Opt for classic-looking kitchen and bathroom designs

Free-standing bath tubs in classic styles and Aga cookers are typical features of English Country homes. Both stylish and very practical, these time-tested items illustrate why skipping on the most modern of conveniences can bring a more authentic and rustic feel to your home. Try exposed, basic shelving in your kitchen, along with wooden cupboards. Skip the bathroom tiles; an exposed wooden floor is much more inviting.

Ivy-covered exteriors

​There is a good chance your country-style home already has a well-kept and pretty garden, but few things say English Country bliss as clearly as structures that are covered by a layer of pretty green leaves. Ivy can keep areas of your home cooler than they would be otherwise while also serving as a natural extension of your garden areas. This is especially useful if you have limited gardening space.

Casual, effortless country living

English Country living is not about luxury and ostentatious styles. Instead, it is about a sense of being at ease with your surroundings. Your English Country home should have a relaxed feel that is not overly organised nor overly cluttered with accoutrements. Go for a natural and uncomplicated feel, and you will be on track to enjoy country living.

About the author
Victoria is the editor and founder of award-winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. When she's not scouring Pinterest for the latest in home decor inspiration, she's out shopping trying to recreate the looks herself.

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