No matter where you may live, you may feel the need to escape the hard lines and rigid minimalism of urban décor and city life. With summer here, it’s time to embrace the softness, character, grandeur and liveability of the English countryside.
One of the most appealing aspects of the English Country look is its timelessness. This can seem difficult to replicate thanks to its heavy reliance on antiques and regal architectural backdrops but there are ways to bring a century of elegance firmly into the 21st century as well as into your home. Thankfully, the look is flexible and adaptable and embraces individualism as well as a bit of softly worn glamour, making it incredibly easy to live with.
Here’s how to get the English Country look and thankfully, you’ll find it doesn’t require a stately home to achieve it.
Traditional Colour Schemes
Muted neutrals in soft creams, greige, taupe and grey make the perfect backdrop to layer those floral fabrics and rich velvets but for additional softness in summer, consider pastels like rose pink, soft yellow, sage green and duck egg blue.
If you are looking to create a richer palette, consider traditional colourways in deep brick red, hunter green or even a striking turquoise as either accents or for your walls. Little Green Paint Company and Farrow and Ball both have a great selection of traditional colour palettes.
Rich Pattern and Luxe Fabrics
Generously layered patterns only adds to the English country look and happily, mixing and matching needn’t be a rigorously scientific affair. A few contrasting florals or tartan fabrics – even in different colourways – can add to the eccentric vibe of the English country house but be sure to include some plain fabrics too.
Luscious velvets work well or other high-quality natural fabrics like oriental-inspired silk and rumpled linen which provide additional texture and interest whilst giving somewhere for your eyes to rest.
Antiques and Traditional Furniture
The timelessness of the English Country style comes to fore with the use of antique furniture, but you can still create the look with new pieces as long as they have more traditional details.
Look out for furniture that’s well built out of solid materials and includes traditionally crafted details like dovetail joints. Professionally painted furniture (like our Country Cottage range) also combines well with any pieces you may have that have been passed down through the generations in your family.
The British are well known for their dry wit and self-deprecating humour and the traditional English Country look is no different. A bit of whimsy is not just tolerated but actively encouraged in this look which, if too rigorously adhered to – may read as stuffy or overly reserved.
Make sure you include a few pieces that bring a smile to your face – from a large porcelain dog at your fireplace to whimsical details like a candy-coated chandelier or sunglasses perched on the nose of a marble bust. These not only allow for free-flowing conversation starters but gives a room a sense of informality and relaxation.
Consider vintage pieces that only add to the timeless look – portraits and watercolours for the walls, oversized or layered antique rugs for the floor.
And finally, embrace a touch of lived-in loveliness by way of a few worn surfaces which only adds to this look’s relaxed elegance. A few scratches in a table or a well-worn vintage rug is not only acceptable but adds to the lived-in luxe of this style.