Country Decorating Ideas

Personal Comforts

A collection of pretty blue-and-white porcelain could be languishing in some cupboard, but this canny owner gave it star treatment over the bed instead. A graceful antique chair and a collection of pillows embellished with primroses, tea roses, and other English flowers make this room even more inviting.

When putting together a bedroom for yourself, your child, or a guest, fresh country style can make it as inviting as these French- and English-inspired rooms are. While attractive color schemes and fascinating accessories are what catch your eye, you will be happiest with the results if you put comfort first, as these owners did.

Start with a good-quality mattress that's less than a decade old, pillows as soft or firm as the user likes (keep a stash of both on hand for guests), adequate reading lamps positioned so they can be turned off from the bed, night-lights near doors, and window treatments to control light and privacy. A bedside chest or low bookcase can do double-duty as a nightstand.

Sunflower-gold and royal blue fabrics in the traditional patterns of Provence brighten this comfortable French-inspired bedroom. An ordinary chest of drawers gets a second life with a distressed white finish and new white ceramic knobs. A chair with its own lamp at just the right height creates a perfect spot to curl up with a book.

Now for the fun part: A color scheme made up of the occupant's two or three favorite hues and fabrics in patterns that suggest the country inspirations you like best.

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