By Kathryn Weber
As the season changes from summer to fall, country style becomes more appealing. Jewel and fall tones, as well as plaid and paisley patterns, set the design tempo of this country casual room.
Are you looking for an interior style that's warm, inviting and relaxed, and not trendy or flashy? A look that exudes soothing comfort, to alleviate the stress and cares of the current economy? If so, it may be time to rediscover the charm of country casual, a style that looks and feels most at home this time of year.
The earthy appeal of country style is natural as the summer heat fades and cooler temperatures beckon. Although American country style can range widely in design and color, it's the fall when country is most at home.
Natural and rough
Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the country style is how it feels: It's cozy. Rooms beckon to you to curl up with a book by a warm fire. The style leans heavily toward the outdoors, taking its decorative cues from the changing landscape, with accents that focus on natural elements and hues, especially wood and colors inspired by the forest. Fall tones reflect the season's changing palette of earthy browns, vibrant golds and oranges, brick reds and comforting greens.
Accessories are more natural, too. Whether it's a basket of firewood or bent willow chairs, there's a touch of rough, woody textures in both furnishings and accents. Dried flowers or stems of natural branches echo the landscape and provide a natural feel and dimension in the room. Artwork and accessories lean toward botanical prints or woodland creatures. The country style is also heavily tactile. Whether the texture is a rich, soft leather chair or a nubby wool throw, there is depth and dimension to country decorating.
A pattern of comfort
The country style relies on informality, and what can be more informal than plaid? It's a pattern we associate with the warmth and comfort of winter mufflers, and it takes a room down a few notches on the formality meter. Floral motifs are also a country style signature. They look especially inviting when they're in jewel tones or muted fall colors. Paisley, often considered a masculine pattern, looks lush and at home in autumn tones. Coordinated together, plaid, paisley and floral patterns make a smashing combination that's both stylish and relaxed.
Filling out your country style means layering in simple and rustic elements. Stoneware bowls of apples are right at home in the country style and are a nod to fall. Iron accents (such as fireplace accessories or a fire screen), lighting that casts a warm glow, and an ottoman to put your feet up are all country must haves. Furniture should be overstuffed and textural, using fabrics such as thick chenille, and window coverings should be simple and repeat the casual patterns.
It's the uncomplicated finishing touches that will bring your country style room to life -- whether it's a family room, study or bedroom. A basket of ivy with some fall leaves tucked in, warm flickering scented candles, thickly textured throw pillows and a few books for browsing by the fire will round out the look. No matter which room you decorate in country style, this is sure to be your family's go-to room for snug, relaxing comfort.
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Copyright © Kathryn Weber, Living Space. All rights reserved.