Country Decorating Ideas

Specialty of the House

A commercial-quality cooktop fits nicely between two graceful windows (uncurtained for safety code's sake). Wicker pull-out baskets and farmyard accents evoke a casual country spirit that's somehow in tune with the elegant cabinetry.

Inspired by the country villas of France and Italy, this kitchen combines the warmth of fresh country style with gracious sophistication. While kitchens on country estates weren't nearly this attractive or functional in the days of servants, today's most popular kitchen styles are inspired by Mediterranean estates. The look is muted, aged, and antique.

It starts with soft whites that look mellowed by the years into pale bisque, linen, or oyster. If the budget allows, a taupe or chocolate glaze is hand-rubbed into the wood and the pieces are hand-distressed for an undeniable look of antiquity.

An extra-long two-tiered island holds the sink and work area and lets four diners snack and visit with the cook in comfort. Airy metal counter stools don't block the view of the island's pretty bead-board surface. Columns on the island are repeated throughout the room for a freestanding furniture look.

Limestone floors, granite counters, and lustrous porcelain tiles all recall the heritage of Italian stoneworkers that have beguiled viewers since ancient times. If real stone is not in the budget, today's matte-finished porcelain tiles look wonderfully like granite, marble, limestone, and slate. Use them on floors and countertops, too.

A beautiful fruitwood-finished china buffet contrasts subtly with bisque-colored cabinets in this elegant old house. The combination of open and closed cabinets gives the buffet country-style appeal.

For more decorating ideas, see: