Traditional English Country House Interiors
The English country house style has been an iconic interior trope through the ages. Many of its features are instantly recognisable, such as cosy armchairs, floral motifs and antique furnishings. The eclectic style is often achieved by generations of inhabitants. Quirky collectables that have been gathered over the years give this style an enticing curiosity. In an English country house, it seems as though every item would have a story to tell.
You don’t have to have a grand ancestral home to recreate this enduring style however. There are many ways you could give your modern house a nostalgic twist and create a setting worthy of a classic English novel.
A historical style
As you can imagine, the English country house style isn’t new. It actually originated during the Tudor period, a time of relative peace and security in Britain. As it was no longer necessary to focus your home-making efforts towards defence of property, aristocrats could instead prioritise design. Their houses became sources of pride; a way of showing off their money and impressing their peers. And thus, the country house aesthetic was born.
The interior style as we know it today, however, can be attributed to the 1920s. As ironic as it sounds, it was an American woman, Nancy Lancaster, that coined the style. Her interior philosophy revolved around comfort and elegance. Expertly, she found ways to combine the traditional country house style with the practicalities of the twentieth century. Since then, the aesthetic has persisted. Even through the popularity of minimalist design, the English country house style remained a favourite.
One reason why this trend has withstood the test of time is its relentless adaptability. The ‘shabby chic’ aesthetic can only get better with time. Plus, the ‘more is more’ mentality linked to this style means that your home will look better and better over years of collecting new art, ornaments and furniture.
How you can get the look
There are many additions you can make to your décor to give it a classic country touch. Whether you’re looking to start from scratch in a new home, or you want to make your living room feel a bit more cosy, we have some top country house tips for you…
Floral motifs are an essential part of the English country house scheme. A big theme of the aesthetic is the idea of bringing the outside in. Whether you fill your house with vases of flowers, or opt for floral prints on curtains and tablecloths, there is always a way to freshen up your home with florals. If you want a more subtle floral effect, invest in some antique silver. Lots of silver items feature floral motifs and they will also add a nostalgic sense of antiquity to your home.
You can get playful with furniture schemes within this interior style. A classic trope of the English country house look is its eccentric busyness. So, go wild! Pick a range of furniture in different styles, from different time periods. It may seem random, but when they all sit together with the rest of your theme they will look right at home.
Patterned fabrics are another must when it comes to furniture designs. If you’re feeling crafty, you could even upholster a modern armchair with vintage material — no one will ever know the difference!
Books, books, and more books!
What’s a classic scheme without some classic reads? Bookshelves fit perfectly into country house interiors, and it’s another case of the more the merrier. As well as a copious amount of bookshelves, your country house wouldn’t be complete without some cosy ready nooks and comfy sofas. With the temperamental British weather, you will end up spending a lot of time in these cosy corners, so invest time in perfecting them.
The beauty is in the details
Small home accents are a great way of giving a nod towards this style. The beauty of an English country house is that you constantly discover personal touches within the eclectic theme. Baskets, boxes and other ornamental antiques are perfect for adding extra touches to your home. What’s more, these tiny antiquates will give the impression of being collected over the years, giving an ancestral feel to your home.
A final feature that will give your home the ultimate country house feel is a period accent or two. If you are lucky enough to have a house with original beamed ceilings, a cosy fireplace, or wooden floors, then you’re already on-top of this element. These features are familiar and domestic. Paired with framed family photos they will give your house a homely feel.
Cosy and classic, the English country house aesthetic is certainly a great choice for your interior design scheme. If you prefer maximalist styles and historical features to stripped-back minimalism, then this is the style for you!