Country Decorating Ideas

Set in Stone

Near-invisible mortar gives this beguiling fireplace wall the look of loosely piled stones. The wood dining chairs are simply scalloped in a charming, mountaineer style that resonates from Mexico to Switzerland.

Fieldstones, naturally rounded and smoothed by the forces of nature over thousands of years, have always been appealing. Found in New England and other parts of the country, fieldstones (unlike quarried stones) have been used in even the most modest cottages, as well as grand country houses, for fresh country style.

The rooms shown here demonstrate the lure of this fireproof, literally timeless material. In the novel bathroom, fieldstones are embedded almost to mortar level for a nearly flat platform surface around the tub. The fireplace in the dining room has nearly invisible mortar, so the dimensions of the stones really stand out.

Fieldstones make a dramatic yet smooth platform surround for a built-in tub. The mirror is framed with loosely woven branches for a romantically rustic look.

In both of these rooms, the subtly varying tones of gray, tan, and violet look wonderful against honey-brown natural wood. For a stronger contrast, use fieldstone against painted plaster walls. Either way, stone delivers natural drama.

For more decorating ideas, see: