Country Decorating Ideas

Colorful Sentiments

©Ballard Designs Made in the United Kingdom but based on a 1920s French clock, this appealing replica recalls the flower markets of Paris.

Sentimental but never stuffy, rooms furnished with fresh country style and vintage accents evoke our most reassuring, tender memories. Like a beloved patchwork quilt handed down for generations, a decorating scheme based on vintage charm is a pastiche of many appealing elements.

Establish a lighthearted, nostalgic palette with mint green, cheery jonquil yellow, old-fashioned lilac, and other tender garden tints that were popular from the 1920s through the 1950s.

©Swedish Blonde Grandma would have loved this pretty little dresser. All decked out in fresh, soft white with charming, old-fashioned details, it features plenty of storage drawers for practicality.

Pick up on old favorites such as white-painted iron bedsteads and open cabinets. Cupboards, armoires, and other cabinets with bead-board interiors boost the cottage feeling; you can also apply bead board to walls below the chair-rail level.

©Ballard Designs This armoire features large louvered doors, recalling the shutters on grand old homes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Embellish the setting with soft chenille, charming appliqués, hand-pieced quilts, and braided rugs.

©Ballard Designs This antique reproduction tin gains a bright new use as the base of a table lamp. A red gingham shade adds a cheery top note.

Indulge in nostalgically styled lamps and plump pillows with farm-fresh motifs for a lighthearted look. Group a few treasured old family photos, and enjoy the memories.

©Maine Cottage A sweetly scalloped apron gives this charming "Nellie" desk vintage appeal.

To give country styling a free-spirited, contemporary twist, try the practical decorating advice in the next section of this article.

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