Country decorating is one of the most enduring styles, but it’s an approach that offers amazing variety
Beyond the styles of other lands and long-lost times, there are many other design alternatives which can provide inspiration for home dècor and offer a valuable reference point to help determine what style of interior you might want in your home. Should you decide you want to achieve a mood that is cosy and warm, a home that feels wonderfully welcoming and safe, perhaps the best place to start is with traditional Australian country style.
Granted that much of what we term ‘Australian country’ grew out of English rural traditions integrated with many of the trappings of early bush life (meat safes and wood-fired stoves, furnishings made from recycled packing cases and countless household wares), the country look is one which is forever wholesome, casual and straightforward.
As country style in Australia has continued to increase in popularity, it has taken many new directions, adopting country trappings from other cultures (the quilts and folk art of America’s northwest, the armoires and fabrics of provincial France, the bleached timbers and sleigh beds of Scandinavian country). Some home decorators prefer to embrace the country look with passion and go all out to fill their home with the warm glow of timbers and the comfort of plush handmade (or crafted to look handmade) textiles, while for others, a little bit of country can go a long way as they take some of the essential elements of the style — a four-poster bed, a Chesterfield lounge, a dresser and a timber refectory table — and integrate them into a home that is otherwise fairly neutral, or even modern and comparatively minimalist.
There is no denying that Australian country decorating is a great way to imbue your home with warmth, charm and character, but there are many different styles of country decorating you can follow: primitive, folk, Americana, rustic, lodge, cabin, French provincial, English cottage, even shabby chic. Each style has its own characteristics, but can easily be used in conjunction with the other, from one room to another. For example, you might opt for the primitive (rougher, somewhat unfinished) look in the study, employ a more folksy approach in the lounge (with lots of handicrafts like rag dolls and Amish quilts) and try the softer, more romantic
French provincial or English cottage look in the bedroom.
The other wonderful aspect to country decorating is that it can be quite inexpensive. You can display your own craft work, family heirlooms, or items collected at markets, adding a touch that is highly personal.