There’s nothing quite as charming as a country home. While mountain houses have their rustic appeal and beach houses have their breezy allure, country houses manage to feel both warm and cozy at once.
“Here in Texas, we love all things family-oriented, comfortable, and cozy—but also beautiful and considered,” Mimi Meacham, founder and principal designer at Marian Louise Designs, says. “Country style brings all those elements together. It is a way to make your house feel like home while bringing warmth and character to a space.”
Country style is a way to make your house feel like home while bringing warmth and character to the space.
And while the country homes in our heads may be surrounded by miles of plains or acres of farmland, you certainly don’t have to move to capture some charming country style. Hallmarks—like soft colors, traditional prints, and family heirlooms—are easy to come by, no matter where you live. And anyone can sprinkle in those cozy finishing touches that make country homes feel so warm and welcoming.
“Country-style décor is all about softness and coziness,” Laura Mooney, interior designer and Head of Creative at The Mohicans, says. “Without sounding too cliché, when you walk into a country home you should feel the urge to kick off your shoes, lay on the couch, and grab a cup of hot cocoa.”
Meet the Expert
- Mimi Meacham is the founder and principal designer at Marian Louise Designs, a Houston-based interior design firm.
- Laura Mooney is an interior designer. She is also the owner of and Head of Creative at The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue, a resort and event space based in Ohio's Mohican Valley.
- Dr. Alessandra Wood, Ph.D., is a design historian and author. She is also the Vice President of Style at Modsy.
With a little imagination, you can make your space feel like the country homes you’ve dreamt of escaping to. And to help you get started, we rounded up a bunch of charming country decorating ideas—which came straight from interior designers who love the style.
Draw Inspiration From Your Family
One of the hardest parts of designing a space is figuring out where to start. But since country-style homes are packed with personality, you can start by drawing inspiration from your family: What do you and your loved ones want from your space?
“Country style can be interpreted in so many different ways—there is no one set formula,” Meacham says. “Consider what elements, colors, textures, and designs you feel are the best representation of you and your family's spirit.”
Fill Your Palette With Pastels
“Two of the strongest identifying ingredients of the country home aesthetic are color and pattern,” Mooney says—noting that when she says color and pattern, she means pastel colors and floral patterns. Softer shades are a favorite in country homes, and while pastel colors are a popular option, you can get a similarly subtle look by sticking with soft neutrals, instead.
Pick Pieces That Can Handle Wear and Tear
Country style is known for its warm atmosphere and lived-in feel, and durable furniture makes that casual attitude a lot easier to achieve.
“Sometimes, I’ve focused on choosing well-made furniture that will stand the test of time and also allow for lots of wear and tear,” Meacham says. You want people to feel comfortable putting their feet up at the end of a long day, and they’re much more likely to do that if the furniture around them is sturdy, rather than fragile.
Sneak in Some Ruffles
Ruffles may not make sense in many décor schemes, but they’re a popular addition to country-style interiors.
“Some hallmarks of country décor include antique wood pieces, ruffled upholstery, and floral prints,” Wood notes. So, hang a frilly curtain over your kitchen window, or snag some pillows with ruffled edges.
Line Your Walls With Vintage Wallpaper
Wallpaper can be a great way to set the tone in your space, and since country style tends to be pretty traditional, you’ll probably want to stick with something vintage—or vintage-looking.
“Vintage-style wallpaper is a great way to make an impact,” Mooney says. “Make sure that it captures the country home aesthetic without being overwhelming.” She recommends softening the wallpaper’s impact by picking a subtle palette and a delicate pattern.
Mix and Match Patterns You Love
Can’t settle on just one print? Mix and match a few favorites. According to Meacham, “pattern play” is welcome in country-style décor. Pair your prettiest floral prints with a few rustic plaids, and throw in anything else you feel drawn to.
“We find that clients gravitate toward certain colors, patterns, and textures when they want to make a space feel homey,” she says.
Add Pops of Vibrant Color
Soft colors—like pastels and neutrals—may form the basis of your country-style palette, but the occasional pop of color can keep your space feeling warm and interesting.
“Floral patterns and soft pastels are a great way to capture the country home ambiance,” Mooney says. “But, be careful not to make the space too muted. You can easily do this by adding touches of bright hues throughout the space.”
Turn Your Garden Into Décor
Rustic natural accents, like freshly picked flowers and vases full of branches, can go a long way in making a space feel homier. So if you’ve been blessed with a thriving garden—or even a lush yard—make the most of it.
“Bring the garden into the house,” Mooney says. “Using dried flowers, greenery, and branches as accent pieces is an ideal and authentic means of finishing off a room.”
Layer Different Textures
When keeping your colors subtle and your patterns traditional, texture can be a lot of fun to play with. So stock up on rustic wood panels, shiny metal accents, and even some chipped-painted pieces. Then, keep things cozy by layering in plush rugs and natural-fiber furniture (what Meacham would call “tactile” finds).
Line Your Walls With Bookshelves
Looking for a way to make your living room extra-cozy? Line your walls with bookshelves. Though bookshelves aren’t unique to country-style décor, they can make a room feel smaller, snugger, and more intimate—and they’ll give you plenty of room to display your favorite heirlooms.
Alessandra Wood, a design historian, recommends making your space feel even homier by pairing your bookshelves with other cozy features, like upholstered furniture and weathered antiques.
Snag a Few Vintage Accents
Vintage pieces may not be the first thing you think of when you imagine a country-style home. But since country style is so family-focused, vintage pieces—like antique furniture and other handed-down treasures—should fit right in.
“When I think of quaint, country spaces, I think of old English country homes that are filled with antique and vintage pieces that make you want to curl up and read a book,” Wood says.
Put a Basket in Every Room
One of Mooney’s favorite ways to bring some country style into a room? Adding a basket. “One of the signature items that I try to apply to every room is a basket,” Mooney says. “Baskets are super functional and are a great way to store books, magazines, blankets, or even toys if you have little ones.”
Try to find a basket that plays well with the rest of your décor. Woven baskets should make an easy addition to most country-style interiors, but a rustic wire basket could work, as well.
Stock Up on Florals
As Mooney noted earlier, floral prints are everywhere in country-style homes, so consider layering a few into your décor scheme. Stay away from bolder, more vibrant florals, and opt for softer, more delicate options instead. If you can describe a print as “traditional,” it probably passes the country-style test.
Favor Handcrafted Pieces
Compared to mass-manufactured furniture and décor, handcrafted pieces have a pretty rustic feel. So they make a natural addition to country-style interiors. Woven rugs, weathered ceramics, and other “handcrafts” (as Mooney would call them) can add texture to your space while making your home feel even more special.
Add Personal Touches Wherever You Can
No country-style home is complete without a bunch of personal touches. Top your shelves with family-friendly DIY projects, and line your walls with mementos.
“Country decor is about making a space feel intimate, inviting, and uniquely yours,” Meacham says. “This can be done a variety of ways, but typically involves a lot of personal touches—like artwork, décor, and collectibles that are meaningful to the homeowner or renter.”
Play With Classic Plaids and Ginghams
When it comes to patterns, floral prints aren’t your only option. Meacham notes that other traditional favorites—like plaids and ginghams—can look just as lovely in a country space. (She even calls gingham one of the hallmarks of country style!)
“I love to throw in pattern where I can—especially a gingham, a stripe, or a plaid—as this is an easy way to evoke a sense of country charm,” she says.
Leave Your Wood Distressed
Though it may be tempting to swap out weathered pieces with newer furniture and decor, try to resist the urge. Country homes are supposed to feel lived in, so learn to love the texture that chipped paint, distressed wood, and worn-in antiques can bring.
Stock Up on Soft Accents
Country décor is all about warmth and coziness, according to Mooney. and to capture some of that cozy comfort, you’ll want to stock up on soft finds.
“Country home décor staples include textiles and woven pieces,” she says. “These items should have a homespun feel with a level of softness and comfort.” So, load up on plush blankets, pile on the fluffy pillows, and consider snagging a few rustic rugs.
Don’t Take Country Too Literally
When crafting a country-style interior, it can be tempting to go all out with the theme. But try to avoid on-the-nose accents, like country-themed signs.
“Signage is the country home enthusiast's biggest pitfall,” Mooney says. “These have somehow become default items for people trying to create a country space, but personally, I find them too predictable.”
So step away from the signs emblazoned with mantras like “Welcome to the Country” or “Home Is Where the Heart Is.” And focus on nodding to the aesthetic in less literal ways.
“Don't try to convince someone with words on a wooden canvas,” Mooney says. “Make them feel it organically when they enter the room.”
Don't try to convince someone with words on a wooden canvas. Make them feel it organically when they enter the room.
Sprinkle Seating Throughout Your Home
Trying to capture that warm atmosphere that country homes are known for? Give your guests plenty of space to sit. “Incorporate multiple seating areas throughout your home,” Wood says. “You can create a more intimate atmosphere with a layout that encourages people to have long, deep conversations.”
She recommends sliding an armchair and an ottoman next to a window, or tucking a pair of seats by a fireplace. “These little layout tricks will make the space look and feel welcoming for those who live there and those who are just visiting,” she adds.
Rotate Printed Pieces In and Out
Keep your space feeling fresh by periodically swapping out flexible pieces, like pillows and blankets. Meacham says she loves stocking up on patterned items that can “easily be updated down the line.”
These eye-catching accents can be a great way to make a statement, and if you ever grow tired of them, you can easily move them to another room or replace them entirely.
Bring Your Space Together With Homey Finishing Touches
Once you’ve stocked up on sturdy furniture, rustic accents, and other country-style staples, finish things off with a few cozy details.
“Country-style décor is more of a feeling than anything else,” Meacham says. So load up on soft blankets, homey art, fresh flowers, and other details that will make your space feel warmer and more welcoming.
Make Your Home Feel Like Yours
One mistake Meacham sees people make with country-style décor? “Trying to follow country style ‘rules,’” she says. Your home is yours—not anyone else’s. So instead of recreating the country-style homes you’ve seen before, focus on crafting a space that you want to live in.
“Country style is about making your house feel like a home, so embrace the various elements that are unique to you,” Meacham says. If that means hanging a glitzy chandelier in your dining room, do it. “Country style is a vibe, not a rulebook. So have fun with it!” Meacham says. “And whatever you do, make it your own.”