It’s hard to define what a country cottage or farmhouse style actually is, but when you live in that type of house, you just know what works. It’s not minimalist; it’s not clean lines; it’s not well-ordered or sleek. It is cosy; it is eclectic; it is imperfect and rough round the edges. A look evolves over time – but there are a few key country house factors that I don’t think a cottage or farmhouse can be without. I reckon we have a few in this list, and several more things to consider too.
We moved into our farmhouse about 6 months ago, after 18 months’ renovation which was mainly building work. So now we’re actually in, we’ve been quite, ahem, relaxed about doing much graft recently! I like to think of it as the settling in period, rather than us just being a bit lazy…
Still, today as I waltzed around with my camera, trying to capture things in my house that made it a cottage or farmhouse style, I started to realise that we’d done a lot, and that I really, really loved this house. See, after such a long period of hard work you start to become blind to what you have done, and just focus on what is still to be finished. Writing this post has helped me to fall back in love with my home.
Thanks to Quercus Living who asked me to write about my farmhouse style. Do check out their 7 steps to creating a country cottage style living room. There are some stunning shots in there – and some great tips too. Their furniture would work really well in a farmhouse or country style. Particularly the painted furniture if you go for a shabby chic kind of look – or check out the more chunky sideboards if a plain, more masculine style is your thing.
Here are 16 things that I would recommend doing, and that we have done to help create a cottage / farmhouse style…
1. Get an open fire or a log burner
In my opinion you just cannot have a country cottage or farmhouse without one. Period. It’s the heart of our home. We chose a Clearview stove, which was worth the money as it’s so easy to control. The fireplace itself had been buried behind a wall for years – and we knocked through to discover it. It was scrubbed to reveal it’s natural stone hue. It’s a real focal point in our room, and I love stacking up logs either side to make those a feature too.
2. Choose industrial lights in creamy earth tones
3. Throws, throws and more throws!
4. Mix up your vintage pictures
5. Expose beams and make features of them
6. Make the most of nooks and crannies
7. Source some vintage pieces
8. Search for something different
9. Mix old style with new features
10. Consider unfinished curtain poles
11. Install a shaker peg rail
12. A plate rack with mismatched plates
13. Get reclaimed flagstone floors
14. Rough lime plaster and curved edges
15. Keep your sash windows!
I know it’s tempting to choose double glazed UPVC but, having just been through a cold winter, I can confidently say that these have been fine. White plastic just doesn’t have the same effect, even if it is more practical, as wood. Our windows, though unfinished (we still need to paint them) were renovated back to their original state.
16. Keep any original doors
We’re so glad that we kept the original doors internally and externally. Unfortunately we will have to replace the front door – and we haven’t done that yet. But the others were fine, if a bit worn. That just adds to the feel though. We just painted ours.
I hope you enjoyed having a nosey around my home! I really want to do more home posts, and with a big extension in the pipeline there will be loads of stuff to share with you.
Do you live in the country – or the city? What do you think gives a cottage or farmhouse style?
Disclaimer: I was paid by Quercus Living to write this post. It contains links to Quercus Living and other retailers – all are unfollow as per Google Guidelines.