Want to update the country look you fell in love with last time you decorated? Or perhaps you want to soften your super smart (but unhomely) contemporary rooms? Here’s how.
Do I need to splash out on brand new furniture?
Nope, not necessarily – the beauty of the modern country look is that you can swap in new accessories and change colour schemes to update a once fashionable shabby chic room or to soften the angular lines of a more contemporary space.
Take this room (above) as an example: the sofa and coffee table have a distinctly 1950s’ appeal, but the addition of a textured rug, rustic stool and ladder, chunky throw and cushions goes a long way to make the room feel warm and welcoming. Instead of a smart grid of black and white photos, rustic-style paintings stacked above the fireplace give the room a laid-back appeal, while the exposed brick behind the log fire creates an unfinished feel that’s key to the look.
My living room’s more shabby than chic. How to update it?
Strip out the fussy patterned curtains and cushions, throws and rugs, and replace with plains, checks, stripes and chunky textures (think knits, faux fur, sisal and basketwork), like in this room (above). Choosing lighting? Pick a pendant that’s over-sized to hang low over your coffee table or swap small frilly lamps for bigger, bolder lighting – even a floor-standing Anglepoise – to add a contemporary edge.
Three-piece suite? Swap out the armchair with another chair – maybe wicker, something vintage and worn or even a piece with an industrial appeal.
I’m redecorating – how to treat the walls?
Easy peasy. If you’re just re-painting, choose from a range of soft, neutral shades. Whites and creams are perfect for north- or east-facing rooms that suffer from a lack of natural sunlight. Pale and mid greys are ideal for brighter spaces. If you want to introduce the (oh so trendy) mid grey to your scheme but don’t want the room to feel dark, keep the walls light and paint your woodwork grey instead.
Want to add interest to an otherwise plain space? Think panelling. The cheapest and easiest type is pine tongue-and-groove, which you can paint. Or, for a more contemporary feel, try a chequerboard effect like this, achieved with lengths of MDF glued and pinned to the wall, then painted all in one colour. We love it.
Pic: House of Fraser
How should I dress my windows?
In the interest of balance, we have to admit that a nice plain curtain in a heavy linen or cotton will look great with this scheme. However, you just can’t beat shutters for a smart, crisp finish that adds bags of texture to the space, too.
They’re easy to keep clean (ideal for a kitchen) and are perfect for providing privacy in overlooked rooms (think bedrooms and living spaces). Plus, if you want to add colour to your scheme, you can specify your shade exactly with our Colour Match Service. Can’t go wrong.
Pic: California Shutters
How to update my floors?
Chances are you might have wooden floors anyway. If yours are in a good quality wood – whether light or dark – we’d leave them as they are. If you’re ripping up old carpet to reveal original floorboards beneath, ditch the orange varnish for a limewash (so easy to co-ordinate and redecorate around) or paint the floors in a colour you love to add tons of character. Cheap, easy to do and, if you use floor paint, pretty tough, too.
Pic: Farrow & Ball
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