Country style interiors have been a favorite for decades. The style is associated with rustic, traditional furnishings, vintage fabrics and muted hues. It’s approachable, easily achievable and is visible in shabby chic, refurbished and rustic interiors.
Historically, known to date back to the 1820s, the style peaked during the 1980s after World War II. It carries influences from across the globe. In the book Old House Interiors, Jane Nylander, former president of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, explains how the style came to have an impact in England with the introduction of three key elements
William Morris | One of the most influential designers of the 19th century, known for his company Morris & Co., which produced fine textiles and wallpaper, he is also known for reproducing country furniture.
A Colonial Revival | Interestingly, it’s from the colonial period that the color palette for the country style derives itself. This color palette was a result of surfaces exposed to soot and sunlight, changing and making them subdued.
The American Arts & Crafts Movement | The use of natural finishes, wood, textiles and bringing the outdoors in are some of the key elements of the Arts & Crafts movement, which goes hand in hand with Country Style.
The French approach of Country Style has influences of the French Provincial Style which began with the emergence of middle-class merchants, craftsmen and other professionals in the 17th and 18th century, sought after to create for themselves a modest scale of comfort and luxury. The Provincial style implies to the rural country style, which later began to be adapted in towns as well.
When it comes to the American Country Style we know today, it originates possibly from what is known as the Early American Style, which had been established with a number of influences, some of it during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, which had colonial influences. Other than the most common English, French and American Country Style approach, there are also Tuscan interiors, which originated in Italy as well as Scandinavian Country interiors, which have a sharper and cleaner take on the style and is what we are more inclined towards.
Besides, geographically, Country Style can also be broken down as
Cottage Style | Think vacation homes. The style comes together through mismatched decor and furniture which is hand-me-downs of the original home.
Rustic Style | The rustic style connects with the natural world. Logs, wide plank flooring, indigenous materials, and beams are some ways to character its style.
Eclectic Style | Contrasting antiques and collectibles of different cultures are one way of describing how this style is achieved. It speaks more of personality and is free of rules.
Primitive Style | Wood dominates in this style. It reflects the utilitarian needs as well as untrained craftspersons’ aesthetic sensibility.