Throughout history, a life in the country has been viewed with pleasure, nostalgia and ambition. Today the pull is as strong as ever with popular books, magazines and TV programs devoted to the subject. But what is it about a life in the country that so attracts people and often determines the style in which they decorate their homes?
For some country living is about re-discovering a long lost connection to nature. Rejecting the stressful, harried life of the modern urban jungle for tranquil natural landscapes and fresh air that calm and soothe the soul. This lends itself to simple minimal interiors that focus on the view from a window and do their best to entwine outdoors with indoors. These rooms are usually furnished with exclusively natural materials; wood, stone, woollen textiles in a palette that celebrates the natural world. Accessories must have impeccable eco credentials.
For others, country living is about nostalgia for former times when life was simpler and perhaps more wholesome than it is perceived to be now. A celebration of good honest toil and craftsmanship and a strong link to all that was good in the past. This lends itself to eclectic interiors that mix inherited treasures with modern finds in happy harmony. The palette here is usually full of warm ochre, rich brown and terracotta shades but sunny blues and rich reds can also work. Furnishings are hand crafted and antique with blue and white pottery or faded florals and artisan art.
For me, country living is all about comfort and relaxation tied inextricably to the rhythm of the seasons. I’m equally as happy relaxing by a warm hearth in the winter so sipping a cool drink in dappled shade in sunny summer garden. Rooms need to be orientated towards a lovely pastoral view and the palette must be uplifting but everything in them must be above all comfortable to the eye and the body. Soft relaxing chairs and sofas; cushions to sink into (that’s a given for me) lots of lovely natural textiles.
I’ve only ever lived in a city for short periods in my life and always rush back to the country as soon as I can. It’s tranquillity that I crave and homes that celebrate all the pleasures of the countryside from January to December.