right up my lane {country style}…

elle decoration country & modern & country

country style was never really one i’d overly-associated with my own personal decorating approach…

thoughts of chintz & over-stuffed armchairs always came to mind, as did agas {must concede though, i do love agas} & frilly flounces of gingham…

but several years ago i happened upon a book by dinah hall called ‘country & modern‘ & it really started to shift my perspective…

i discovered there was an underlying philosophy to country style that i’d never even considered & when i explored the notion more i found myself increasingly drawn to this aesthetic…

elle decoration country

what i learnt was that the essence of country style actually lies less with the physical attributes of individual pieces {though certainly time-worn, raw & patinated pieces are common traits} & more with the feeling that they collectively evoke: belonging, comfort & nostalgia…

“home is about the familiar, about gravity, about falling back into the self after being dispersed and overextended in the world,” says stewart brand…

& i must concede i’m hard-pressed to find words that better sum up the essence of country style {or indeed the essence of what any style home should really be about for that matter}

elle decoration country

tack on the word “modern” & the realms of country decor extend immeasurably…

that one little word allows us to completely dust off the last cobwebs of long-held misconceptions, embrace the best of up-to-date technology & streamlined silhouettes {if indeed, that’s the ‘look’ you like} whilst still maintaining one foot firmly rooted in the very essence of the style…

the extent of this scope is beautifully showcased in a journal i recently picked up called ‘elle decoration country, the most beautiful country homes in the world‘…

elle decoration country

inside the featured homes are as varied as they are many: some are more ramshackle, some gracefully-aged manor homes & others more streamlined, contemporary dwellings with walls of glass & expanses of concrete…

but look beyond the physical attributes & the essence of them all is the same…

elle decoration country

they all feel loved & lived in, they all speak of their inhabitants whilst embracing their surrounds & they all provoke thought & invite relaxation…

but most importantly of all, they each make you reevealuate the limitations with which, like me, you may once have pigeon-holed country style…

 

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6 thoughts on “right up my lane {country style}…

  1. Beautiful post, Sue. I’m with you…I don’t fall firmly in lines with what one tends to think of as country…those frilly chintzes and dark rooms (but I’m with you on the aga too!). Still, when you start to think of it as an accumulation of your “place” it starts to make sense and when you place your own modern sensibility on it…well it makes even more sense to me then too.

    • thank you lauren! poor country style always seems to get such a bad name doesn’t it? but i think my taste is distinctly one foot in the country door… not sure where the other foot is exactly, but amen to comfort & welcoming spaces that speak of home!

  2. Good post! I actually flicked through ‘elle decoration country, the most beautiful country homes in the world‘…for the first time a few days ago while in Selfridges and liked what I saw.

    It’s interesting what you say about Country style.. for me it has moved on quite a bit in the past few years and it really depends from what angle it is being shown. Of course Elle Deco did it justice!

    Dinah Hall’s book looks interesting. Thank you for the introduction!

    • thanks tina… yes i agree, there’s definitely been a rebirth of the notion of the perfect country idyll… it’s stepped up its game & i’m there right alongside of it!

  3. Could I pick FRENCH country style? Because that seems to be my current aesthetic. That, mixed with a dash of stark-white Scandinavian interiors. Not that those are two diametrically opposed styles or anything…. 🙂

    I do love the idea of country homes around the world, because country means such drastically different things in South Africa and England and the US. J is flying through Heathrow on his way to India this weekend, and like last time I’m making him pick me up some goodies while he’s there. I’ll definitely be adding a new copy of Elle Decoration to that list, specifically this issue if he can find it! I saved the one from last year 🙂

    • you can have whatever style you like love! i’m more of a modern rustic girl myself… but really the term country incorporates so many looks & feels doesn’t it!?! & you’re right, australian country vs french country vs american country all have their own nuances! i got my copy of the mag in wh smith (there’s one at the airport)! let me know if the bf doesn’t manage to pick one up for you!

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