Use distressed furniture and mismatched textiles to create a perfectly imperfect look
Of all the trends that come and go, one of the most enduring is the country-style home, because yes, we want our houses to have flair and personality, but ultimately we want comfort, and nothing says that more than a squishy sofa and a cosy cashmere blanket, some warm wood furniture, and one-too-many cushions.
Part of the success of this style is its ability to flex and not take itself too seriously. Well-worn, cosy armchairs and sofas, distressed wooden cabinets, and rough-hewn accessories or the odd family antique heirloom — nothing that demands perfection is welcomed.
It’s a home that says a lot about its inhabitants, their hobbies and loves, and perhaps the generations that came before them. It’s a nod to timeless country living with decorative tropes that are instantly recognisable: an old dresser with well-thumbed cookery books, or the reliable weave of the well-worn hemp hallway rug, strewn with a couple of dogs for good measure.
Depending on the style of country house you’re after, the classic country-house look relies on vintage or shabby-chic furniture. A farmhouse dresser or antique wardrobe, a vintage pine table or stool — rustic or antique, or a mix of both, the great thing about this style is its tolerance.
Shabby can be chic, so wear and tear is authentic and invites the idea that informality is comfortable. We’ve all been somewhere that feels as though your presence is a blot on the immaculate surroundings as you perch uncomfortably on the edge of a perfect, unruffled couch.
Its low-maintenance look is easily achievable by layering up mismatched textiles and vintage finds. Wholesome and heartening has always been at the core of Neptune’s philosophy. Its knack for creating beautiful, aspirational interiors with an easy-going warmth is hard to beat, and its autumn collection delivers once again with versatile furniture and accessories and a new paint range in collaboration with London-based maker Lucy Mayes, who has used the pastoral paintings of 19th-century artist John Constable as inspiration for the new inky ‘Constable Green’.
‘The wholesome home’ is quite literally the heart of The White Company’s ethos, which is bedded in simple, timeless and fresh interiors. Its collection includes tweed tub chairs, sisal rugs, farmhouse cabinets, and lamps that combine simple cotton shades with soft ceramic bases that instantly say ‘country chic’.
New Irish brand Studio B Homeware launched last year with a collection that is both stylish and rustic, with plenty of soft, neutral tones and organic textures to create that cosy country home. Next’s new AW22 furniture collection is a nod to farmhouse country, with dining tables, wardrobes and side tables in a vintage wood finish.
For simple, rustic accessories to fit out the corners of your home, it’s worth a browse at The Snug Room and Lily Pad Home. Don’t forget a cosy throw and a generous serving of cushions — the pool is deep — from Irish textile favourites Foxford, Mourne, Cushendale and Stable of Ireland to check patterns at Helen Turkington and The Wilds.