5 Tips For Bringing English Country Style Into Your Home

English country style was created in the U.K. in 1920 and is a form of maximalism that was later popularized in the U.S. about 20 years later, according to Mad about the House. If you love floral patterns, vibrant colors, and antique furniture and decor, English country style may end up being your cup of tea. Unlike minimalism, nothing has to be perfect with this decor tactic. In fact, the more hectic it looks, the better. Our friends who are minimalists may be getting dizzy at the thought of disorganized decor, but those who thrive on the maximalist appeal most likely will love every aspect of this aesthetic. 

It's been over 100 years since English country style became popular, and it's never too late to transform your home into the design of your dreams. After following a few tips, we hope you love the outcome of your functionally beautiful mess. The best part of this style is it'll give you an excuse to drop by the antique store.

1. Victorian and rustic

English country furniture is more on the traditional side and is pulled from both the Victorian and Queen Anne era, according to Sunshine Drapery and Interior Design. Typically what you'll notice is a room with both chairs and a sofa with deep seats, both adorned with beautiful patterns. If you cannot purchase antique furniture, going to a thrift store and finding something you can paint and sand is acceptable to achieve a distressed look.

Most of your furniture should be made of wood, such as a roll-top desk, coffee table, bookshelf, and dresser. Most of the time, these pieces of furniture are made of rich mahogany, oak, or even pine — many shade variations are acceptable. Brass is the typical accent piece for furniture, whether it's the knobs on a dresser or the nailheads of a chair. English country style calls for all furniture to be functional, so don't settle for a piece that doesn't have a useful purpose.

2. Cozy patterns and colors

As noted earlier, floral patterns are a big part of English country style, and they can be incorporated with soft shades of green, pink, and blue or darker shades of red, brown, black, and gray, according to Floor Coverings International. Many like to display beautiful floral and toile patterns through the use of wallpaper, which can make a bolder impact and make it feel as though your home has traveled back in time. 

Maximalism can really shine with this design style, as it allows homeowners to combine different patterns and colors. You can have both blue and white porcelain decor, as well as striped fabrics, and it will all work out in the end. Another way to introduce patterns is in your wooden floor by creating a border around the room, according to Art Sparx. This is done by inlaying several pieces of wood to create a pattern that best suits the style you're going for.

3. A rustic kitchen is a must

Although most of your home will be designed in a more elegant, sophisticated manner, your kitchen is where the rustic elements of English country style will shine, according to Elephant Stock. The kitchen will have less detailing and more of a cottage vibe. Instead of having upper cabinets, it's more acceptable to let your kitchen items hang out in the open, either with open shelves or from a hanging pot rack. If you'd like to bring in some floral elements, it's advised to hang dried flowers and neutral artwork. Dried roses or hydrangeas are both great options, per Curious Country Creations.

Your countertop should also be simple, and installing something like a butcher's block will do the trick. Continue the rustic design into your dining room by designing it with a farmhouse table. On this table, you can incorporate English country decor, such as flowers and candles.

4. Impactful lighting

When designing a home, lighting should always be at the forefront. This is especially true with English country style, as every little detail counts. If your living room doesn't have that old English look you're going for, adding a few antique lamps or sconces can make quite a difference, according to the Home Design Institute. Chandeliers are also your best friend, as they can be utilized to achieve a timeless look that can make your design last for years. 

As you transform your home into English country style, you'll notice that it's the little things that matter. Although you may believe that you have enough lighting, adding reading lamps or accent lighting in areas, such as a hallway, will add more interest to the area. This is especially true since most fixtures will have an antique appearance, which offers more detailing and depth to be observed, like a museum.

5. Imperfectly perfect

The great thing about English country style is that it doesn't have to be perfect, according to Mad about the House. None of your decor and furniture should look brand new, and it should all appear as though you've bought it second-hand or like it's an antique that's been carried down for generations. Nancy Lancaster was the woman who made English country style popular in the U.S., and she herself declared that every room in your home should have something seemingly unattractive. The rooms should be casual to ensure that you are comfortable in each space.

The only ugly thing Lancaster believed each room should have is faux flowers and ceramic bowls of fruit to counteract the real flowers. It would also be a nice touch to have a few piles of books and magazines scattered around each room, as well as decor of extreme interest, such as a wig on a statue.