Crafting Country Style
The best thing about country decorating is the freedom one has to combine a variety of styles, just as Judy Neumann has done in her Grass Valley, California, home. From classic antiques to homespun primitives, Judy shares her favorite tips for creating a rustic style with a personal touch:
Enjoy the best of both worlds.
Combine formal and informal living spaces to add variety and interest to your home. Perhaps you’d like a formal dining room but a more casual kitchen. Or maybe you have traditional living room furnishings but favor a straightforward, relaxed family room. There are few strict rules when it comes to cultivating a countrified home.
Spin new into old.
Don’t be afraid to strip, sand, prime or paint a newer piece to give it the homespun flair you enjoy. Quality furnishings are available at a reasonable price at many big-box stores and they can be refaced quickly and easily, for a fraction of the cost of a genuine antique.
Go big with smalls.
Incorporating small, portable decorative items and accessories, such as baskets, tins, throw pillows, vintage signs, and the like, makes it easier to change or blend styles quickly. Start with neutral colors and furnishings; then, punch up the space with accessories that can be swapped when you’re ready for something new.
Stow, don’t throw.
If you tire of a piece, try reinventing the item before giving it away. Or, simply store it. “We have collected and sold a lot of pieces that we now regret [selling],” Judy admits. “Be sure that an object is something you don’t want before getting rid of it. Don’t follow trends only to discover that your first loves were the best.”
A coaster wagon makes a conversation-piece coffee table in the creamy-hued living room. Layers of pillows in an array of patterns punch up a neutral sofa. Wooden signage, shutters, a reclaimed window frame, and antique artwork lend texture and visual interest.