English Country Decor
English country decor, as with other European themes, has evolved throughout the last several centuries. We share with generations before us a passion for visions of legendary scenery depicting charming cottages, mesmerizing fountains flowing by cozy villas, and the bucolic English countryside.
English country home decorating, with origins tying back to rural cottages and farming communities from hundreds of years ago, is a style characterized by its attention to comfort and serene hominess. Furniture and accessories display a variety of simple and brightly colored patterns depicting stripes and chintzes.
This style gives the homeowner free reign to display a wide-ranging blend of antiques, photographs, artwork, and other pieces collected over time. As with Victorian, English country decor encourages a somewhat cluttered but tidy appearance, generously displaying pieces and memorabilia collected over the years.
Nowadays, English country decor can be either casual and rustic, or conversely, lean more towards the elegantly informal. Depending on which end of scale your tastes lay, the look is always inviting and easygoing.
Refreshing floral colors are reminiscent of a lovely English garden in this theme. Heaping flower vines and stems, grass, trees, and stone, all thickly meshed together make up the color spectrum used in English country home design.
Colors found in these natural settings include bright pinks (in moderation), shades of gold, yellow, orange, white, red, and green, all of which are possibilities to consider when selecting your room, fabric, accessory and furniture colors.
Feeling cozy, informal and outdoorsy is the look to strive for with these somewhat muted or pastel colors. Greens and blues are better suited for warmer climate regions, whereas the warmer colors of red yellow and orange should be used where the weather is predominantly cooler. Choose 3 to 4 colors that suit your taste and environment, and then coordinate the room in this fashion.
English country furniture developed independently from other more prominent design styles of the time, focusing instead on durable and practical benefits for lower social rankings (which was the vast majority of the population) rather than the lavish and luxurious of the elite.
Simple wood construction using oak, elm, walnut and pine were (and are) used, and the wood can be light with a distressed look, or stained to a darker color, with brass hardware for drawers and doors.
Having the appearance of being well worn and sturdy, fixtures in this style can include such things as antique armoires, dining room sets with ladder-back chairs and a solid wood table, bedroom furniture, bookshelves, hall trees for hanging coats and storing blankets or towels, china cabinets, display racks, soft cushioned easy chairs, love seats and sofas, end tables, and coffee tables. Note that tables are often draped with white fabrics reaching to the floor.
As is the case with Victorian, family heirlooms and photographs are proudly displayed on these shelves and table tops for all to see, and colorful cushions and pillows are used for accents and added comfort.
Worn looking fabrics such as chintz and damasks displaying floral patterns or paisley are popular choices in country homes, and in particular English country decor. Although they add a certain elegance to the room, too much can be suffocating, so resist overdoing it.
With bright feminine patterns and stripes, these fabrics are used in drapes, furniture upholstery, and bedding. Likewise, quilts are a very good choice for bedspreads.
English design influences over the centuries provides for a wide array of historical and age old beauty to choose from when decorating your home.
Below are some more suggestions to help get you started in this theme.
- Copper cookware proudly hung from a hanging pot rack
- Antique grandfather clock
- Iron or copper urns and planters
- Bronze or iron fireplace screen
- English garden decor, terracotta flower pots, weather vanes, water fountains, birdhouses and wind chimes
- Persian or Oriental rugs
- Antique china dishware
- White and blue blazed porcelain pottery and ceramics
- Oil paintings of landscape settings, animals such as horses and dogs, and hunting depictions grouped together on walls in gilt or weathered wood frames
- Vases filled with freshly cut or dried flowers placed throughout the room (common flowers include lilac, roses, sweet pea, and wisteria)
- Large family portraits and many smaller photographs of family and memorable occasions, displayed on walls, shelves, and tabletops
- Pewter drinking mugs and candlesticks
- Stone or marble fireplaces with gilt framed mirrors and wall sconces above the mantle
- Exposed beam ceilings and wood flooring
Candles, chandeliers, and decorative table lamps made of bronze, iron or brass are common in the English country decor. Wall sconces, candle lamps, and lanterns are preferred choices for creating low and soft light settings. These choices are favorable over recessed and ceiling fixtures in order to strike the right tone.
See Also ...
French Country Decorating
Go to Themed Home Decor "Home" page from English Country Decor
Return to European Decorating from here
English Country Decor for the Tall Kitchen. Popular Decorating Tips and Techniques, including Lighting, Furniture, Window Treatments and Floor Covering.