British Countryside Design: A Study in the Perfectly Imperfect

British Countryside Design: A Study in the Perfectly Imperfect

I recently spent two weeks over the holiday break traveling with my husband and two-year-old daughter, staying in homes in the UK countryside. An old estate in Devon in the thick of Totnes hedge roads. A remote cottage in the quiet  of Builth Wells, neighbors only to roaming sheep and curious pheasants. A renovated farmhouse in the Kilpeck hills and valleys.

And while each home was distinctly different, they were all tied together by a storied feeling. Environments that feel gradual and collected. Forget matching sets and perfectly symmetrical layouts. British countryside design is a study in the perfection of imperfection.

Castles with their austere furniture and cavernous spaces are the exception. The look-but-don’t-touch stops firmly at the corners of country home doorsteps. Most places have a wealth of history without a hint of pretension. They’re established with deep roots, and time has layered on details and nuances that make the furnishings feel as storied as the buildings themselves.

Mastering this design is about mastering the mis-match. Understanding how to pair and collect pieces, materials, and hues in a manner that is unexpected, yet delightful. How to be mature without being too serious.

True hallmarks: Wooden stools and seating. Portrait, landscape, and still life art. Rugs and textiles that don’t shy from a little color. 

If you too yearn for a little more warmth and a feeling of presence, we’ve curated a British Countryside Collection that has all the charm of a cottage at Hay-on-Wye. I particularly love the Gillespie Chair, Wey Stool, and Sliding Glass Cabinet.

As you go, have fun with it. Lean into what feels homey to you. And take a note from the style itself: you don’t have to be perfect, just present.

THE BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE COLLECTION

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