Whether you still call it “shabby chic” or have moved on to “country chic,” there’s a relaxed decor style that’s heavily trending. Combining standard pieces with those that have a vintage look – whether they’re truly used or just replicas — is an easy way to assemble a casual, comfortable and stylish home. And, if you’re on a tight budget, this can be your ticket to a refreshed space with current style without having to buy all new items.
Distressed finishes are common on furnishings of this style. Whether shades of white or pastel colors, the roughed up, banged up paint finish helps set the tone for a vintage country room. This sideboard with shutter styles doors from Bramble is customizable in finish and color.
This similar sideboard is also distressed, but the dominance of the natural wood, rather than the paint, gives a slightly more refined feel. It’s a little more versatile in that it could be used to add a casual element without the characteristic heavy, repurposed feel.
Choosing glass-fronted doors on a distressed sideboard in a pale wood gives it a vintage, old-world look without feeling stuffy. Adding a modern accent such as the natural, dried display here brings it into a more contemporary mode. If you substitute display items that are also vintage, it will give the cabinet a completely different look.
A distressed finish with more ornate woodworking details brings a fancier feel to this blue console table from Classic Home. Without the blue paint color, the piece could have a more global than country feel.
Reminiscent of an old farm drum, this coffee table made of repurposed materials would be great for adding an unexpected contemporary element to a country chic room. The piece from Classic Home is easy care and worry-free.
Furnishings that include repurposed elements fit right into the country chic style. This side table has a rustic wood top that sits on a base made from old cart wheels. The piece, also from Classic Home, is an instantly chic, rustic addition — and a conversation piece!
Vintage Furniture and Decor
An open baker’s rack with wood shelves is a natural for a country chic kitchen. It can be used for both display and utility storage, particularly when teamed with the appropriate style storage bins and accessories. From Creative Coop, it’s especially useful thanks to the heavy duty casters.
For a more farm market style storage solution, this 72″ high wood ladder from Creative Coop has five decorative trays made from arurog, a type of rattan cane. The open storage is highly decorative and very accessible — perfect for showing off staple kitchen tools or displaying your often-used foodstuffs like potatoes, onions and decorative squash.
Most bar or tea carts may be too refined for a country chic decorating style, but this galvanized metal option would fit quite nicely. Paired with your vintage mismatched tea cups and dainty plates and napkins, it’s the perfect piece to use when hosting a casual get together. Or, roll it out next time you’re having a barbecue and serve your beer and cocktails.
Speaking of galvanized metal, it’s another material that is often found in country chic decorating. It’s popular because it introduces a metallic finish without the typical high shine and glitz of most metals. And, the matte finish is low maintenance and ages well. This stack of rustic metal storage bins from the Park Hill Collection would be useful not just in the kitchen, but also in a laundry area, pantry, mudroom or kids room.
Even just a touch of galvanized metal adds the right flair to a piece of country style furniture. This pie safe from VIP Home and Garden combines a top and two drawers of galvanized metal with wire-fronted cabinet doors. It’s farmhouse chic without being over the top and is perfect for displaying and storing all kinds of accessories.
This unique hanging rack can display rustic pieces like these baskets, or could feature a few of your copper or enameled kitchenware items. Either way, it adds an artful element that’s a little quirky and a lot of fun. It is also from the Park Hill Collection.
A Distinctive Kitchen Island
A country chic kitchen still needs an island, but a modern granite-topped counter is not going to work. Instead, a free standing island that has a repurposed, old-fashioned feel with vintage style drawers and pulls is the right choice to feature in your kitchen. Whether you mix it with distressed wood pieces, or other natural-finish items, the point is to not be too matchy-matchy. This style is made for mixing up the different elements.
Still casual, yet a little more refined is this free-standing island from Park Hill, which could also be used as a very substantial sideboard in a spacious kitchen. The solid wood and fully closed storage — with the exception of the bottom shelf — is a little more stately.
Rustic Textile Choices
Because you can mix and match at will, your dining set doesn’t have to include all matching chairs. Country chic is a great style for showcasing an unusual or special pieces, like this pew-style bench. Teamed with upholstered chairs, or even other benches, it’s a wonderful way to express your love of eclectic pieces.
Upholstered seating is also a common element for country chic, and most often it has textiles that are neutral in color and casual in texture. Pieces like this tall-backed love seat from Park Hill could easily be mixed with more colorful furnishings, such as those upholstered in a ticking stripe or an old-fashioned floral, if that’s your style.
Of course, every style has room for a little bit of whimsy. Here, Park Hill’s standard whicker chair has a neutral cushion and a fun pillow that sports a portrait of a cow. While it’s quirky, take note that the colors are still neutral, which helps it fit into the country chic style.
Accessories — whether they are quirky, vintage or rustic — play a big role in country chic style. In fact, adding enough of these extras to a room that has only one or two pieces of furniture in the style can transform the whole look. While there is room for color in this type of decorating, you’ll notice that neutral finishes, rustic materials and a preponderance of wood dominate the decor. Judicious use of modern elements, like the neon numbers on the giant clock below, can make your room more distinctive. The collection below, from VIP Hole and Garden, includes a nice array of accessories.
And, as with any style of decor, adding the element of greenery is particularly appropriate for country chic, especially when it’s paired with galvanized metal.
When it comes to prints and patterns, floral designs are ubiquitous in country décor, especially small-scale prints. Whether you use a little or a lot, incorporating floral prints in any room can amp up the country feeling. In fact, this kitchen tends to feel a little contemporary or transitional, but the pleated fabric drape adds a touch of cozy country chic/
Decoupage artist John Derian is known for his accessories and décor featuring prints of all kinds, but his floral items are especially great, even more so for country décor. With an amazing array of prints available, the company’s wares are the perfect floral accents to add or emphasize the feeling of country chic in a home.
Another style of print found in country décor is a striped pattern. The color and width of the stripes can vary, but the thin, casual textile covering this chair from Hudson Home is a typical example. Neutral backgrounds and natural fabrics make these striped pieces very versatile and blendable with other furnishings and décor accents.
Similarly, this sofa from Park Hill is upholstered in a natural fabric that has the feel of ticking but sports a single stripe at the center of each cushion. The pattern, as well as the neutral, textural material fits the slouchy feel of this sofa. A look like this one is ideal to mix with a number of the other elements that are essential for a well-coordinated country chic décor scheme.
It’s not surprising that natural wood is an important element in country décor. It adds warmth and a touch of the natural world, which is part and parcel of country style. It can take the form of a distressed piece of furniture or a more refined, artisanal construction like the small cabinet from Fern, in Hudson, New York. Even newly created pieces like this one should highlight the natural grain of the wood used.
In the kitchen or the dining room, making natural wood a focal point is a great idea. Choosing a beautiful wood dining table is the best way to do this, especially when it’s a handcrafted design like this one from New York Heartwoods. The long trestle table is impeccably constructed and finished, putting warmth and beautiful wood grain on show. This is the kind of table that will enjoy generations of use.
A large part of the charm in country chic décor comes from the combination of mismatched elements. In fact, too much matching décor diminishes the overall feeling of country chic, which is built on a vibe of pieces that are collected, passed down and repurposed. Bella Rustica’s nesting side tables are a great example because while the design is the same for each, the finish varies. Of course, this aspect of country chic should be used judiciously because too many mismatched pieces will make it feel like a jumble instead of a chic space.
VIP Garden and Home’s tall cabinet is a great way to introduce the mismatched theme all in one piece. It’s a tall, very functional storage cabinet but the façade of various drawers is a mix-up of styles and colors. This would be a great piece to add to a country-style room that is feeling a little too coordinated or contrived.
One of the greatest things about country chic décor is that it celebrates imperfection, which means that anyone can make it work. It’s also a prime opportunity to add hand-crafted pieces that feature live-edge timbers because they are naturally imperfect – and beautiful. Sticks created this great cabinet that highlights the irregular edges of the natural wood slice. The rough-hewn finish, natural knotholes, and doors that don’t have an even edge or meet at any point are very striking.
Accessories can also highlight the beauty of imperfections as does this wood bowl by Wyatt Speight Rhue. Carved from a solid piece of wood and finished with a smooth but irregular edge, the hefty bowl is a natural piece that highlights the beautiful but blemished grain of the wood on the inside as well as the outside.
However you approach decorating your country chic space, it’s important to remember that you’re striving for a cozy feeling in every space. This is why mixing and matching is so important, because too coordinated a room feels more like a magazine setting than a casual, country oasis. Everything about this dining space is relaxed and imperfect, from the natural wood elements to the unstarched cloth covering the table.
While the previous example was chock full of accessories and décor accents, this room takes a minimalist approach to cozy county chic. The all-neutral palette is highlighted with distressed wood, slipcovered sofas and an overall cozy, chic feeling. The relaxed atmosphere is emphasized by the lack of visible modern technology or small décor items.
If anything, the country chic look is versatile and easy to recreate. Just remember to choose the right materials, keep the basic color palette neutral, and mix and match to your heart’s content.