Country interior design is a relaxed style, often featuring lots of wood, chippy paint, and comfortable furniture. It pays homage to a simple country life.
Country design is a good fit for anyone who prefers classic and inviting spaces. Here’s a look at the history and characteristics of country interior design.
The History of Country Interior Design
Country interior design originates from rural areas in the United States. It’s a casual style with similar characteristics as farmhouse, rustic, and cabin designs. Even though the style has always existed, Sister Parish was one of the dominant interior designers credited for American Country interior design.
Sister Parish began experimenting with interior design when she and her husband bought a farmhouse in New Jersey. She painted their floors a bright color, painted her furniture white, and used cotton fabrics with patterns. As a result, her homes were much brighter and more casual than other high society members’ houses.
Parish opened her own interior design business in 1933, taking on her friends as her first clients. Her popularity spread. In 1960, Jackie Kennedy invited her to help decorate rooms in the White House.
The design elements Parished used in her American Country style are still popular today. Parish passed away in 1994, but her family kept her business going, and they still sell fabric and wall coverings in her iconic American country style.
Country Interior Design Characteristics
Here are tips for getting a country aesthetic in your home.
Use a Warm Neutral Color Palette
Country designs are warm, so skip the stark white walls and consider beige, sand, or cream. If you want to stick with white, make it warm or off-white.
Other popular hues include those found in nature. Consider accent colors of deep brown, warm green, light blue, and yellow. For flooring, stick with a neutral – carpet, hardwoods, and tile all work.
Decorate with Gingham, Stripes, and Florals
Country interior design incorporates fabrics like cotton, linen, and leather and patterns such as gingham, stripes, and florals. If you want to add interest to a wall, consider wallpaper in one of these patterns. Also, add patterns to your furniture, blankets, curtains, and pillows.
Choose Comfortable Furniture
American country furniture is comfortable and often oversized. Popular materials include linen and leather. If your room allows, you can opt for a large sectional. If not, consider a sofa and a loveseat or recliners.
Mix Painted and Natural Wood Pieces
Wood is a significant accent in country interior design – with both painted and natural wood prominent. Consider a large farmhouse-style dining table, wood coffee tables, and dressers. You can also paint and distress your wood pieces, so they appear aged.
Decorate with Country-Inspired Pieces
Country-style houses often feature decor that relates to farm life or American heritage. Consider American flags, chicken wire pieces, rural life paintings, and deer antlers. Center your decor around the country-themed items that you most enjoy.
Add Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers are welcome in all country-style rooms. Add a vase of fresh-cut flowers to your dining table and kitchen counters, or place some in the living room.
Examples of Country Interior Design
Here’s a look at how these designers and homeowners created their country-inspired rooms.
Country Living Room Design
The mix of natural and chippy-painted wood set the stage for a country look in this living room. The other traditional elements like the sofa, desk and chair add to the look, while the light fixture gives off an antique feel.
Country Kitchen Example
The designers used a mix of materials in this country kitchen. The valance, curtains, and artwork over the dining table give this room an inviting, farm-like feel. The butcher block island provides contrast against the white cabinetry.
Country-style bedrooms take on a very traditional form. While the room would look simple without all the patterns, they give this space its identifying country style.
Country Style Dining Room
The painted and natural wood mix set the tone for this country-style dining room. The gingham window treatments add a pop of color, while the shades of blue create a calming atmosphere.