Moving isn’t always about upsizing or downsizing, sometimes it’s making a sideways move to improve location, quality of space and lifestyle. With the pandemic refocusing our attention on nature and the outdoors, it’s not surprising that some of the most searched for properties are in coastal locations, rural villages and exclusive suburbs. But when you move from a contemporary, urban home to the countryside, how do you adapt your styling? Andy Richardson, Managing Director at Edward Thomas Interiors offers some advice.
“Whether you’ve made your move to a rural idyll or are still considering it, one of the most popular trends in interior design is country chic. Think brands like Joules, Barbour and Hunter, destinations like the Cotswolds, Norfolk coast or Rutland, and a rich and vibrant colour palette and you’re on the right lines.
“Moving to take advantage of a more rural or semi-rural lifestyle is usually motivated by wanting more space and to connect with nature. We use these same principles when styling new homes. It’s all about creating a sanctuary, somewhere cosy and welcoming to retreat and relax. Living rooms with log burners and cosy sofas, farmhouse style kitchens with big dining tables to ensure plenty of space for visiting family and friends, studies with traditional wooden desks and statement wallpaper – we’ve seen everything from world maps and imitation panelling through to geometric shapes and bespoke shelving/cabinetry.
“Colour is also key. Autumnal colours such as emerald green, burnt orange, deep red, navy and ochre all help create a rustic style and we’re starting to use these in new ways. For instance, this year, green cabinetry has become an increasingly popular kitchen choice. In larger rooms where you have space to add complementary furniture, lighting and accessories, this is especially eye-catching.
“Country styling can be very eclectic so don’t worry about mixing the modern with traditional or adding your own twist. Picture or dado rails for instance can become a feature by wallpapering or painting on one half. Similarly adding wood panelling to a wall makes a striking statement. Natural materials like distressed wood and rattan can be contrasted with gold and copper metals to add a touch of glamour. Of course you can always upcycle old furniture or add vintage pieces to complete the look too.
“Finally, don’t be afraid to embrace hobbies or interests. Anything botanical is on trend right now; we’re seeing a lot of wallpaper and accessories designed with floral or leafy patterns. It’s the same with nature and animals – birds, insects, dogs, ducks all feature heavily and can make a really playful and fun theme for a room e.g. hallway, utility or downstairs cloakroom. Likewise in children’s or guest bedrooms a hint of nature or sport can be a great way to embrace the country lifestyle; this can be subtly with canvas or photographic prints or bolder with digitally printed motifs or wall-mounted bicycles!”
Images: A selection of country chic interiors designed and styled by Edward Thomas Interiors.