Another Time, Another Place: The Old-World Charm of Country Interior Design


The Country design originated from the lifestyle and culture of the Old-world Europe.

The most prominent variations of the Country Style include the English, French and Italian Country styles. The furnishing and thematic palettes vary between different regions.

The original Country Style house is the English cottage. Dark wood colours and the rich furnishing style give the English cottage an old-fashioned air.

The French country house in La Provence instead uses a white colour as the base. The Country design of this region is the most romantic of all.

In the colonial times, when the English emigrated to America, they brought their culture and interior designs along with them.

These designs landed on the New World and developed into an American Country style.


American Colonial Style

American Country Style comes in many variations, since America is a multicultural nation.

The coarse, wild aesthetics originated in the earlier colonial period is called Early American Style.

In the same period, a Christian sect, the Shakers, adapted the Early American Style and created an American Shakers Style.

The contemporary Urban Style we see nowadays is in fact an evolved American Country Style.


Small distance, great difference

The variations within the Country design differ according to the origins and historical periods from which they belong.

Country design is one of the styles which has a long history and keeps renewing itself.

But as a distinct design, there are indeed some essential stylistic traits in Country design.


Rural atmosphere

In Country design, a rural atmosphere is carefully designed to give the home dweller an illusion of slowness, in order to counterbalance the urban tempo.

Upon entering the house, there is a strong sense of being absorbed into another world, another time.


What materials?

Traditional tartan tablecloth, carpets, curtain and monochromatic checkered floor can create an ancient atmosphere in the interior.

If you want to amplify that aged quality, opt for rougher, more grainy fabrics.


Warm furnishing

Choose furniture made with rich-toned wood like mahogany, rosewood and cherry. The reddish colour gives the interior an ancient, otherworldly air.

The furniture’s durability is more important than its aesthetic value.

The texture of natural wood gives your home much warmth. It is reminiscent of an older time when farmers returned to their homes to rest after a day of hard work.


French Country style

The French Country style originated from a historical cultural site in France called La Provence. The region is close to the Mediterranean Sea and Italy, and is famous for its beautiful coastal landscape.


Clean white base

With a clean white base, colours like turquoise, mint green, warm greys, beige and light pinks are highlighted without creating disharmony.


Dining tables with character

Natural wood dining tables warm up the dining space. The traditional Country style table with carved legs is called turned leg table.

This kind of table looks like a sculptor’s art, and has a pronounced hand-made quality. The spindle leg table is the characteristic element of the Country style.

Purchase a small coffee table for tea time; the big, ornate table is only for dining purposes.


Storage units

For cabinets and cupboards, choose simplicity and practicality over extravagance.

Squarish and rectangular cabinets are very practical in terms of effective storage. Stylistically, their unaffected quality captures the essence of the Country style.


Old-fashioned decoration

Country style decoration and Rustic decoration run along the same vein. Practicality is more important than ornateness.

White walls can strengthen the furnishing’s presence.

The walls in a Country design are usually made of wooden planks. When realizing the Country style, you can opt for wallpaper with a wooden print.

Ornaments with an ancient atmosphere have a time-suspending effect in the interior.

After a hectic day of work, relaxing in an environment where time holds still can be a good way to recharge.


American Country style

American wooden cabins built in the early times are the blueprint of the traditional American Country design.

You may have seen these cabins in films of the Western or horror genres.

American wooden cabins are practical and serviceable. The furniture is usually large; almost everything inside is made of wood.



In contemporary times, except in European regions, you can hardly find any houses decorated in the Country style.

In most cases, designers incorporate Country elements in a Modern design.

After all, we can hardly find a wooden cabin in the city. Instead of recreating the Country style, it is easier to incorporate distinctive features of the style in your home, like wooden furnishing and a warm palette.

Dejay Wong

Author: Dejay Wong

Interior design enthusiast and avid reader of world cultures. Keeps an eye on new emerging styles and interior aesthetics. Minimalism and Brooklyn design are among his favourite interior styles.