How to give your home a modern country makeover

Cassie Pryce

 Create a relaxed and rustic space, brimming with natural textures and Scandi-inspired styling 

Add some texture

House Doctor club table lamp, £163; A by Amara woven stripe fringe throw, £55; wicker top side table, £90 for two; tartan cushion with leather strap details, £40; tartan/blue cushions with leather strap, £30; metallic cable knit cushion grey, £35; hammered glass tumblers, £38 for six; textured knitted throw grey, £75; Chilewich basketweave rug in oyster, £415, all Amara 

Adding interest to your walls through texture is an easy way to instantly give any room an injection of character, particularly if you want to create a rustic or country-style look. Wooden wall panelling or exposed stone or brickwork is a perfect choice for this style, whether original or installed as part of a decorating project. If you prefer a pared-back look, paint the panelling or exposed materials in the same colour as the walls so it blends into the room but still provides a textured backdrop without necessarily being the focal point.  

The same principles of texture apply to your choice of flooring—wood or stone works particularly well when it comes to country styling, thanks to the natural, raw finish. Avoid flooring surfaces that are overly glossy or smooth, as this can jar with the other textures in the room and look out of place. Bear in mind that solid wood or stone flooring can often come with a hefty price tag, so expand your search to consider engineered wood and stone-effect tiles for more affordable alternatives. 

 

Get rustic

Sandham dining table, £499; Sandham bench, £199; bistro dining chairs, £178 for two; herringbone wall clock, £50; Stamford three-light linear bar, £99; vase, £18, all Next 

When it comes to choosing furniture to suit a country-style interior, natural wood should be your first point of call. Trestle tables, benches and bistro chairs make for a classic and relaxed dining room set up, and this can be extended into other rooms around the house, too; for example, weathered wooden wardrobes in the bedroom, or a low oak coffee table in the living room. Don’t be afraid of mixing and matching wooden furniture with painted pieces – in fact, it will actually help to break up the repetition of lots of wood. 

Combining wooden and metal furniture will give your country-inspired scheme a modern, industrial edge if you’re after a more contemporary take on the trend. Metal touches introduced through lighting, accessories and fittings can add a cool contrast to warm woods, but stick to black or antique brass finishes, rather than polished chrome, to complement the rustic feel of the scheme. 

 

Be laidback

Tumbled cotton bed linen, from £30 for a pair of pillowcases, Loaf 

The key to achieving an effortless country scheme is to avoid using pieces that are overly grand or formal, and instead try to create a casual and comfortable space that is inviting and subtly styled. Slouchy sofas, for example, sit better within this trend than stiff high-backed armchairs, and linen fabrics hit the mark more than glamorous crushed velvets. Rather than focusing solely on high-street buys, it’s worth treasure-hunting in your local charity shops or antiques markets to collect a few pieces that are well-worn and unique, to add the character this trend requires. 

 

Get clever with colour

William fabric natural three-seater sofa, £500; Barmouth stripe cuddle chair, £550; Bournemouth tray table, £70; global diamond cushion, £14; textured weave cushion, £10; spot chenille cushion, £10; Moorlands spun metal large shade, £15, all Argos Home 

Traditionally, country-style interiors featured pared-back and tranquil colour palettes, to allow the outside landscape to take centre stage. This has filtered through to more modern takes on the look, where it’s still typical to keep the backdrop neutral and introduce hints of colour through accessories and soft furnishings. Depending on your preferences, you may want to add blue accents for a coastal twist, or pops of green for a fresh, springtime vibe. Pastel colours work well for keeping the scheme feeling light and airy, in particular shades such as sage green and blush pink. 

 

Bring the outside in

Dipped speckled vase, £75, Cox & Cox 

Style your country-inspired interior with natural accessories to give your room a fresh and lived-in look. Finishing touches such as plants, flowers and individual stems will give your scheme effortless charm, whether they’re foraged fresh from the garden or are realistic faux alternatives. Pop a few stems in a vase to lift a dull corner of the room, or create a simple display for the dining table to add a pretty focal point. If you struggle to keep house plants alive, opt for low-maintenance species like succulents, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria) or aloe vera, or splash out on artificial greenery for a long-term alternative. 

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