English Country Style Decor

When I Say "English Country", What Comes to Mind?

Does the phrase "English country" evoke a sense of wooded lanes and quiet green meadows? Perhaps a rustic interior and the easily distinguishable scent of leather and wood come to mind. Pots of flowers at the door, and a yard brimming with English ivy and lavender complete the mental picture. English country is all of this - and much, much more. English Country Style embraces the English cottage as well as the stately manor house. While each style is quite distinct, they both have certain elements which are the same and which mark them as English country.

Feels Like a Well-Worn Pair of Gloves

This style leans heavily on floral and a well-worn country look, using a color palette that is rich and dark. Deep red, brown and forest green draw the natural colors of a fall day in the woods into the room. You will seldom find bare walls in English country decor. Rather than painting, wallpaper is used - particularly floral patterns - which are repeated in some variation on the drapes, cushions and table coverings.

Furnishings and Coverings

Furniture in your English country room will include large wooden bookcases with glass doors, and tables and cabinets in deep cherry or mahogany. Overstuffed, lived-in chairs and sofas are covered in tweed, leather, velvet or even needlepoint. Whatever the choice of covering, it must be hard wearing and well lived-in, in order to give the sense of a true English country dwelling. The accents and hardware for the doors and cabinets are of brass. It's very suitable and almost a prerequisite to have a fireplace - if for no other reason than to show off your aged brass fireplace utensils.

A Great Opportunity to Display Your Treasures

Accessories and ornamentation come in the form of leather-bound books for the shelves and fine porcelain figures for the table-tops. Landscape paintings, pictures of hounds on the hunt and English horsemanship are commonly found in this type of decor. It is definitely anything but minimalist. Antiques, petit point, leaded glass and china abound, although do be careful not to distract from the comfort of the room by over-doing it with ornamentation. Full is good, but crammed full is too much.

A Delightful Mix of Eccentricities

Your English country room is comfortable and a little bit eccentric, warm and welcoming and filled with well-loved and carefully chosen items. Mix fabrics can also be used to add interest and texture - perhaps include throw pillows in hand-embroidered fabrics. This space calls for drapes, rather than blinds, made of heavy floral print fabric or even velvet. Horse brass and leather bridles add character without being out of place. This is one place where you can cover the coffee table with fabric that reaches to the floor, and top the table with ornamentation or a lovely floral arrangement. Keep a lookout for brass antiques that will fit easily into your space.

And, when all is said and done, sink into one of your overstuffed chairs, close your eyes, and breath in the wonderful fragrance of leather and wood. Welcome to the English countryside.

If English country decor is not your thing then check out our article on French country decorating.