How to get a relaxed country look at your place gallery

An eclectic mix of vintage chairs around the table in this country style kitchen creates a "perfectly imperfect" look.
JANE USSHER/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

An eclectic mix of vintage chairs around the table in this country style kitchen creates a "perfectly imperfect" look.

What makes a country vibe so appealing is its nostalgic appeal - it reminds us of the old days and our rural roots, when life was simpler and more practical. Slip covers, painted furniture and time-worn treasures are the quintessential elements of classic country style.

Here are some tips on creating this enduring and easy-to-live with look at home.

Cottage style embraces soft colours, sweet and feminine florals, vintage character and an eclectic mix of home accessories. Happily combining old with new, rare with inexpensive and simple with ornate, this is a casual, comfortable style that's easy to love.

An aged and weathered look is typical of country, bringing with it a sense of timelessness and a lived-in feel.
JANE USSHER/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

An aged and weathered look is typical of country, bringing with it a sense of timelessness and a lived-in feel.

Architecturally, cottage style is no-frills. Wooden planking and joinery are favoured and white and green are colours of choice.

From the outside in

A welcoming entrance is important, beginning with the garden – usually fragrant and including pots – and continuing to the seating and pretty details, such as hanging lanterns, tiny topiary or a vase of flowers perched on a sill. 

Outdoor living areas that provide a place to enjoy the scents and sounds of the garden are an important extension of cottage-style homes.

Whether it's a screened-in porch or sheltered corner, the design of these spaces is likely to include white wooden furniture, simple chairs with cushions for comfort, fabrics in petite stripes and pastels, wire and wicker ware, terracotta and topiary.

READ MORE
* My favourite space: A country kitchen in Cambridge
They nailed country living ... but only on their second attempt
House of the week: Country simplicity in Canterbury

Hats hang on original hall hooks in this country villa.
JANE USSHER

Hats hang on original hall hooks in this country villa.

The heart of the home

Ad Feedback

A cottage kitchen has a look that is friendly rather than flawless. Time-worn furniture and fittings with chipped paint mix easily with new pieces, unified by colour.

The distressed look  can easily be achieved with some careful use of sandpaper or Vaseline smeared carefully on selected surfaces. When you paint over the Vaseline the areas over the Vaseline will come off, leaving an aged distressed finish. Alternatively, for a cracked aged look, you can use a paint like Resene Crackle over a dark basecoat, then apply your favourite colour on top. This will give a weathered and worn look.

Wooden planking and joinery and florals are perfect partners  if you're after a country cottage feel.
JANE USSHER/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

Wooden planking and joinery and florals are perfect partners if you're after a country cottage feel.

Dressers, open shelving and plate racks are hallmark features. An inexpensive way to get this look is to remove some doors from an existing cabinet. Changing drawer hardware, for instance to cup-style pulls, is another way to achieve the right feel.

Furnishings and fittings

Wooden planking, fresh floral motifs, floaty fabrics, natural linens, gingham, vintage treasures, handmade blankets and cosy quilts will all give cottage bedrooms an authentic feel.

A collection of antique prints featuring scenery and wildlife add interest to this living room and give it a quirky touch.
PAUL MCCREDIE/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

A collection of antique prints featuring scenery and wildlife add interest to this living room and give it a quirky touch.

One of the best things about this style is that it's thrifty, so it's perfect for those who enjoy creative DIY projects. Flea markets, garage sales and antiques stores are good places to hunt for things that will bring interest and a little quirkiness to rooms like these.

 

White and blue lupins bloom alongside neat hedges. making a picture perfect country cottage entrance.
PAUL MC CREDIE/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

White and blue lupins bloom alongside neat hedges. making a picture perfect country cottage entrance.

Country style embraces secondhand finds such as this Baltic pine sleigh bed that the owners bought off Trade Me.
JANE USSHER/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

Country style embraces secondhand finds such as this Baltic pine sleigh bed that the owners bought off Trade Me.

This hunting wallpaper has a vintage country vibe and perfectly pairs with the antique children's school desk.
JANE USSHER/NZHOUSE&GARDEN

This hunting wallpaper has a vintage country vibe and perfectly pairs with the antique children's school desk.

A cottage kitchen is warm and welcoming. Here old scales, which weigh plums for homemade jam, are displayed with a ...
JANE USSHER

A cottage kitchen is warm and welcoming. Here old scales, which weigh plums for homemade jam, are displayed with a vintage silver tea set.

The porch is a quintessential part of the country cottage: here, on-theme decor includes an old watering can, oilcloth ...
JANE USSHER

The porch is a quintessential part of the country cottage: here, on-theme decor includes an old watering can, oilcloth tablecloth and a vintage day seat that's perfect for basking in the afternoon sun.

Country style means having a welcoming entrance with plenty of plants and pots. Fragrant climbing roses run up these ...
JANE USSHER

Country style means having a welcoming entrance with plenty of plants and pots. Fragrant climbing roses run up these veranda posts in this Central Otago cottage.

 - NZ House & Garden

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback