I don’t know why, but autumn always makes me want to start nesting. My thoughts turn to cosy farmhouses and blazing fireplaces in country homes. It’s in complete contrast to my usual love of bright airy spaces and colourful mid-century modern accessories, but I love it nonetheless and start pinning tartan blankets with abandon at this time of year. It’s almost as if I NEED two homes; a fresh white summer house and dark, rustic winter home. With an emphasis on folk art, craftsmanship, and simple yet strong architecture, country farmhouses are just the place to snuggle up in the autumn and winter. So if you are looking to add a bit of rustic charm to your home this autumn, take a look over this list of the best ways to make your house more “country”.
I think the reason that country homes like this look so welcoming is because of all the layers of soft furnishings. Blankets, cushions, rugs, throws and pouffes almost shout “put your feet up and snuggle down”. It’s a really relaxed look, so feel free to drape as many blankets over your sofa as you like! Just imagine how warm you’re going to be this winter if you’ve got a lovely snuggly throw to curl up under. Experiment with textures too – baskets, knits and hessian all add to the typical ‘country’ look.
Decorate with vintage and handcrafted pieces
The first, and possibly easiest, step to achieve a country farmhouse look is to shop around for secondhand and crafted items for your house around the country theme. You can find a treasure trove of authentic country decorations at secondhand shops and in charity shops, though this method usually requires some digging to find the right items. Another possible idea is to take a trip to a local arts and crafts show, and pick up some real handcrafted accessories made by local craftspeople. This not only fills your house with personal and unique decorations, it also keeps money in the community!
Use distressed wood
The very wood from which it is built can provide an incredible amount of atmosphere in the home if it is done right. One of the best ways to use wood to provide the country look is to distress it, giving a newer home the appearance of weathering and the weight of time. Of course, distressing the wood in your house is something that should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing, so as to not cause damage to beams and walls that are important to the structure of your building so check out DIY advice online to find out how to do it properly – no saws needed!
Image via Flickr by eflon
Create an indoor-outdoor breezeway
Country houses, with their basis in farmhouse and estate architecture, frequently incorporate breezeways into the design. A breezeway is a space that takes you from the main building to outhouses without being exposed to the elements. That said, breezeways can be either open air (with just a roof covering the route) or completely enclosed. Open air designs have the advantage of being lower cost to execute, but are not known for their comfort during the long months of cold weather in the autumn and winter. An enclosed breezeway lets you and your guests stroll between the main house and any additions or garages without needing to bundle up or break a sweat, but can sometimes become TOO hot in the summer. Using fans and appliances like ductless air conditioning can help to regulate the temperature in both winter and summer to create a usable and practical indoor-outdoor space.
Bring in the greenery
The biggest thing that makes a home feel like a country farmhouse is actually the surrounding countryside. But you don’t need to move home to get this outdoorsy feeling; you can bring your own bit of the countryside into your home by buying house plants and using them to bring the outdoors in. BUT buying a plant is a responsibility – I’ve killed off many a pot-plant through neglect! So you need to be sure that you want to take time to take care of it, water it and give it a little pruning when needed. In order to keep a plant alive it’s a good idea to do some research to find the right plants for your environment and what type of soil, feed and care they require.
I hope this blog post has helped you to see that with just a few touches, your home can bring in the country atmosphere in droves. Let me know what kind of finishes and accessories you’ve used to turn your house into a home – I’d love to hear your ideas so please leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy.