English country style is a timeless and classic style of decor that is easy to achieve for any homeowner. This style invites your guests into any room and makes them feel completely at home.
The English country style of decor is much different from the style that is merely country. This style of decorating includes traditional furniture pieces, colors, patterns and fabrics with the right touch of period detailing. It emphasizes coziness and a great relationship with nature. Indoor elements are drawn from homes in the English countryside with elegant thatched roofs, beautiful gardens and manicured grounds. You can opt for the casual or the formal style for an English country style decor in your home.
Traditional furniture styles are in the English country decor, such as Victorian or Queen Anne. These are characterized by chairs and sofas with deep seats and upholstered with patterned fabrics. Display racks for trinkets plus built in bookshelves and china cabinets are placed throughout the entire home to display treasured items and family heirlooms. Roll top desks are a great example of the traditional style furniture and they often feature antique tea sets and straw baskets. The furniture in the English country style is all functional and the pieces may be well worn but they remain sturdy. Second hand furniture is acceptable when it is painted and then lightly sanded to give it a distressed and antique appearance.
Since the furniture is antique and still functional, the main furniture material is wood. This aligns with the idea that English country focuses on nature and natural items. The wood can be any type of color from light to dark or painted, stenciled and distressed. Anything goes in this type of wooden furniture. Traditional English style furniture includes the tables, bookshelves and dressers being typically made of rich mahogany, oak or even pine. The furniture accents are usually made of brass including the nail heads on chair upholstery and the handles and knobs on drawers.
English Country Style Fabrics
The fabrics in this style of decorating include throw pillows and upholstered pads to place in the wooden chairs and window seats to soften both the look and the feel of the wood. There are many mixed patterns in the fabrics that include upholstered furniture to table skirts and lovely drapes that cover the large windows. Some of the common pattern choices in the English country style include chintz, many floral patterns in bright and beautiful colors and damasks for heavy and royal window treatments. The best part is that all patterns can be mixed and all placed together in one room without appearing too busy. This brings a very warm and inviting touch to every room in your home and allows you to engage your guests with many different fabric patterns.
English Country Style Colors
English country decorating includes the use of many colors. The color palette is developed from nature and includes pinks and yellows from perhaps an English rose garden. It also includes several shades of green taken from the rolling hills in the countryside. All colors may be very vibrant and exciting or you may choose for them to be muted and subdued. The floral patterns are used in most any English home and it usually includes three or four colors to make a room cozy and appear lived in and casual. English country kitchens usually feature white cabinets, although paint is added to the accessories and countertops to add color to the room in a cheerful manner. Many times, the kitchen will include a shade of yellow as the primary color with floral curtains for a cheery room to enjoy a cup of coffee in.
English Country Style Patterns
Patterns in the wallpaper are extremely popular in this decorating style. The area rugs most often feature patterns too. English country style may be a bit busy, but it should not be overwhelming to the eye. You can mix large prints with smaller prints in gingham for interest in a room that still ties in with each other. Using similar color palettes for mixing patterns will keep this mix and match decor from becoming overwhelming. One of the easiest ways to bring some English country style to your home is to have custom made slipcovers for your sofas and chairs in the living room and for your dining room chairs as well. This is a money saver, as you will not need to purchase new furniture to achieve the style.
Period Details of English Country
There are many period details of this time. They include many different accessories and your home may already include some of these details, as they never go out of style. Wooden floors and wainscoting on the walls are popular in English homes. Traditional chandeliers, table lamps and floor lamps as well as candles are used for lighting instead of newer and modern recessed lighting in a room. Most English homes have a fireplace with a large family photo hung over the mantle or displayed on a living room wall as a statement wall. You can actually enlarge some of your old family photos and frame them to add them over your fireplace or on a wall to use as a period detail. Even if you have much older photos that may be faded or wrinkled, you can have them restored before enlarging and framing them. Any accessories that emphasize family such as handmade, crocheted throws, quilts or blankets along with any photographs that celebrate your family are great period details in this style.
Add Small Accents for Details
You can easily add some small accents to any room in your home to make it feel warm and inviting. Vases filled with fresh flowers from your garden or a merry bouquet in many bright flowers make a great accent for any room. Instead, you can place some woven baskets with dried flowers in them on any type of table or bookshelf. It’s best to keep your flower arrangements or any other accessories quite simple. You can find English country accents at garage sales and in flea markets. Look for floral patterns and lace as well as simple items that reflect the comforts of home, such as a pine chest with brass details or a wooden hat rack.
These tips can help you to decorate in the English country style. Just mainly remember that this style is not something that looks planned, but rather the result of generations of family living in a home.