The term “country” in home design differs only a little from place to place.
Today the term farmhouse style is used to describe country design. To me “country” is the way to describe a simple yet comfortable style. It can still be elegant without being rustic.
Years ago, (I’m dating myself) country style meant using the colors mauve and baby blue. When I redesigned my first house in California those were the colors I used.
It was a small house, 3 bedrooms and one bath. In the bathroom was a beige tub and white tile with blue grout. That was for tub wall and floor. The kitchen had a white tile counter with blue grout and white floor tile.
Beige and gray, sometimes called greige, play a prominent role in farmhouse style. If you stick to neutral sofas and chairs, as above, it’s easy to change out the pillows and area rugs for the seasons. (from p. 29, home of Jenny Miller, Charleston, SC)*
White walls can also be a neutral canvas for you, but I feel it’s tricky to use all white walls. You’d need lots of wood and many textures to make it work. Above they have a terra cotta floor and fireplace, tall wood cathedral ceiling, and area rug to warm the seating space. (from p. 27, home of Jenny Miller, Charleston SC)*
French and English country style are very similar. I love both. French uses toile fabric and wallpaper, which I love. This comfy chair and ottoman near the window make the perfect spot for reading. (from p. 14, NC home of Corine Longanback)*
In the kitchen warm woods are used on the island and counter stools. I’m loving the thick cushions used on top of the rush seats. The red and white gingham on the cupboard doors echoes the backsplash tiles. (from p. 13, NC home of Corine Longanback)*
Last I want to show you this beautiful room with a Louis XV desk and inset wall bookcase. Linen drapes are used to separate the room from the entry doors. Even the arched doors are lovely. Dream room! (from p. 54, home of Nathalie Beatty, Balt. MD)*
More about country style to come.
* Photos from Country French special edition, 2012. Meredith Corp., Des Moines, IA.