laid back & lovely…

as part of my new home inspiration series, i’ve done a lot of analysis lately as to what makes some spaces appeal to me more than others…

why do some rooms make my heart skip a beat whilst others, as beautiful as they may be, barely raise the pulse…

& what i’ve discovered is this: as much as i’m drawn to certain colours, textures, moods, etc, one of the most important elements for me is infusing a sense of informality…

rooms that are too streamlined read as altogether uptight in my book, but throw in some freestanding, mis-matched furnishings & unexpected ornamentation & voila: instant laid-back vibe…

i find this particularly true in spaces that are, in order to maximise their utility, often planned to within an inch of their life: think kitchens, laundries, hallways & bathrooms…

but i’m learning it really doesn’t take much to tip the balance…

minted

mis-matched pieces, open storage & artwork take the emphasis in this kitchen from function to form without losing any of the desired serviceability…

homely hallway

a hallway becomes a destination in its own right thanks to some unexpected touches: a plump armchair & storage unit sit alongside the more anticipated hallway console & rugs…

bathing room

& this bathroom is elevated from utilitarian to luxuriating through the use of freestanding furnishings & decorative pieces normally associated with living rooms: a chair & coffee table, some artwork & books are all it takes to completely transform this space…

images via: emma persson lagerbergremodelistaroom 269

falling down the rabbit hole {claydon house}…

a nomadic abode

our recent sojourn in the english countryside tied in nicely with some of our 3*6*5 for 2013 plans {particularly the best of british bit} & having availed ourselves of a hire car we took the opportunity to stretch our wings that little bit further…

on a crisp spring afternoon we checked out of our hotel in hurley & headed north to visit claydon house

despite its austere facade, claydon house, as promised, affords “splendid 18th-century english interiors in an idyllic country setting”…

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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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