20 Decor Elements to Make Your Home English Country Style

English Country style is relaxed and comfortable, which is exactly why people want to recreate it in their own homes. Sometimes this can be a challenge because the best examples are often homes that have developed the decor with pieces accumulated over decades and generations. English country style focuses on function instead of interiors fantastically styled in the latest trends. It’s probably because of the long-revered British reserve, which values restraint and moderated emotion. Even if you don’t have a home full of generations of decor, there are a number of elements characteristic of English country style. Here are 20 ways that you can infuse the English country style look in your home:

Stick to a Muted Color Palette

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While English country upholstery may be rife with floral prints and sunny colors, the overall palette of the room — as in the walls, flooring and other elements of the room — are decidedly muted. Earthy shades of green, soft blue and light butter yellows are ideal accent colors when the walls are white or shades of cream. This works particularly well because this style is definitely not minimalist, and the neutral backdrop is key.{image by Megan VanValer Photography}.

Add a Touch of Victorian

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There’s nothing more fitting for an English country interior than a touch of Victorian decor. Named for the reign of Queen Victoria, it spans the latter two-thirds of the 1800s and has distinctive features that are heavy and ornate. If the weight and formality of these features don’t fit your style, don’t worry. You don’t need to include much. Just an accent piece or two, such as this lamp from Nick Alain, can be enough.

Put Ancestry on Show With Antique Portraits

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Halls lined with paintings and photographic portraits of generations gone by are very common in English country home decor. Of course, no one says that the antique portraits on your wall have to be relatives. Scouring second-hand stores and flea markets are great ways to collect old-fashioned portraits that have the necessary feel. You can also mix in some photos of actual family members that are printed in black and white or sepia tones to personalize the display.{found on formandfunctionraleigh}.

Use Wallpaper

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Wallpaper became very common during the Victorian era for covering plaster walls, and the most famous wallpaper artists of the time was William Morris. His wallpaper and textile designs were drawn from the fauna and flora found in Gothic and Medieval tapestries. This likely explains why these motifs became so popular in English country interiors.

Florals, Paisleys and Patterns, Oh My!

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As nature lovers, the English often include textile and wallcovering patterns that focus on animals, fruit and flowers. We’ve already noted this s rooted in the Victorian era, but today’s textile designers have created a wide range of English country-inspired choices that have a current feel. These new patterns draw on the old favorites and make them ideal, like these from Witch and Watchman.

Cozy Sofas and Chairs

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As we already said, English country style is about comfort in a very traditional sense, so skip the sectionals and streamlined mid-century modern sofas for something a little more stuffed and cushier. Silhouettes that are associated with traditional interior design like rolled arm, chesterfield and camelback are some examples of what works best for injecting some English style into your living room.

Incorporate Dogs and Horses

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Traditionally, the British have been an equestrian and hunting oriented society so it’s no wonder that they love their horses and dogs. This includes including them in the decor, from horse portraits to paintings of dogs or figurines. This is one of the aspects where you can go full-on traditional or opt for a bit more whimsy as with this dog lamp from Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery.

Install Wainscoting

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You might not know that wainscoting is a quintessential English home element, but it certainly is and can be traced back to the 16th Century. It was initially used to help keep the damp out of the house but now is solely used for decorative purposes. While it’s most commonly installed on the bottom half of the wall in today’s homes, it can be used to cover the entire wall as it is here. It’s purely a matter of style and preference.

Lots of Books!

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You might be hard-pressed to find an English country home that doesn’t feature bookshelves loaded with plenty of volumes in its decor. Not only do shelves full of books lend coziness and interest, but a big collection gives you and guests plenty of options for reading on long winter evenings, snuggled into the cushy sofas and chairs that populate the living rooms in this style of decor.

Add Period Details

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Antiques of practically all kinds can be woven into an English country interior. Upholstered pieces that have lots of texture, wooden occasional tables and eclectic decor pieces can all have a role. How many pieces and how weighty they are is up to you and the general feeling of the room.

Add Something “Ugly”

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The late Nancy Lancaster was a famous arbiter of English manor house style in America and one of her sayings is still frequently quoted: “Put an ugly thing in a room to enhance the beauty of the good things.” As we all know, the definition of ugly is very subjective, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work this c0ncept to enhance your room. Whether it’s Great Aunt Mabel’s gaudy tea set or a less-than-flattering portrait of your grandfather that you love for its quirkiness, add it to your decor for extra personality.

Use Plenty of Upholstery and Textiles

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English country house style is built on layers of decor and this includes upholstery and textiles. There are no naked sofas in this style of interiors. Armchairs and sofas are topped with numerous throw pillows and there’s at least one blanket or throw for warming chilly toes in the evening. Make sure that rooms have varied textures and patterns to keep the look authentic.

Choose Wood Furniture

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Whichever room you’re decorating in English country style, make sure that you choose wood furniture. There is no place for chrome, glass or other sleek modern materials in these interiors. Wood is the material of choice for the warmth and natural feeling it conveys in any space. The specific style of the wood furnishings should be driven by the overall level of formality in the room.

Incorporate Rustic Beams

Elizabeth Cooper’s Sag Harbor Home – Lonny Magazine

When it comes to achieving the English country style, you can’t go wrong with including rustic beams in any room. Large beams in a living room, bedroom or kitchen, or even some smaller ones in a bathroom can help convey the right vibe. Even if your space is not lined with original beams, you can still get the look. And, while genuine aged wood beams are highly sought after and expensive, there are many quality faux beam products that give the look without the high cost.

Style a Perfect Guest Room

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The typical English country style home always has a guest room that is styled and waiting for family or friends to arrive. Make sure that you carry the vibe through to this room and create a space that’s comfortable and charming. This is a great place to incorporate decor elements that you might not have in your own bedroom, such as the printed canopy or voluminous gingham drapes.

Upgrade the Mudroom

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Known for their love of nature and gardening, these outdoor activities can get a little messy, especially in the damp and rainy weather. This makes a super functional mudroom a necessity more than a nicety. Having a place to shed muddy shoes or wipe off the dog after an outing helps corral the dirt and keep the rest of the house clean. A mudroom also keeps outdoor clothing and footwear at the ready.{found on hillfarmfurniture}.

Opt for a Country-Chic Kitchen

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Historically, the English countryside was full of farms and small rural communities, so it’s no wonder that kitchens are inspired by their farming history. Rather than gleaming bastions of appliances and minimalism, English country style kitchens are casual, comfortable and inviting — just the place to sit down with a neighbor over a cup of tea or coffee.

Focus on a Farmhouse Table

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Nowhere is the concept of function over form apparent more than the farmhouse table. Sturdy, rustic and available for any project, the farmhouse table feels like to has a history of its own. It conveys a warm and inviting feeling, somehow encouraging people to linger there. The unique look of a vintage farmhouse table is also ideal for mixing with various types of chairs.

Stick to White Kitchen Cabinets

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A true English country kitchen will most likely have white cabinets. The clean palette is ideal for a bright sunny space where the family spends its time cooking and eating. These days, some color has crept into the kitchen cabinetry, however, the hues are generally very soft tints of the muted colors found elsewhere in the home.{found on middleton-bespoke}.

Potted Plants

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We’ve already noted that England has many avid gardeners and so it’s no wonder that their love of the outdoors has them bringing some nature indoors. Whether it’s a windowsill herb garden, some potted posies on the table, or even cut flowers in the living room, you’ll often find plants playing an integral role in English country style decor.

Find some ideas here that you think will work in your own home? Give some a try and see how they can help transform your space into an English country oasis of comfort and style!