5 Most popular Country Style Interiors (Part 2)

In this post I want to continue talking about country styles. In the previous post, I explained the main principles of the country style and went through the English and American Ranch styles in detail. You can find all that here.

3. Russian Country (Izba)

Russian country houses, as you have already guessed are made of wood. The whole construction of the house is made of huge wooden beams (tree trunks). In the interior these tree trunks are left without any not paint, however, in modern houses, special treatment for protection is applied. Windows are kept small to keep the warmth in the house. Furniture, naturally, is made out of wood, it is heavy and bulky. It is made to serve a purpose rather than decorate the space. Very often, tables and beds are decorated with flower patterned cotton material. In Russian Izba you can always find woollen blankets and fur, colourful cotton towels and pans made of cast iron.

Right: Modern Izba. http://goo.gl/npHc2d Right: Russian large oven

It is almost a rule to have a huge stove in the house, and not only in the kitchen! In old times, they kept the home temperature warm as well as served as beds for the whole family (which is super cool considering the climate in Russia). The stove is usually painted white or covered with special ceramic tiles. This interior style is very warm and cosy, wood gives the air a pleasant scent. It gives a feeling of stability, confidence and reliability.

Bright cotton area rugs and blankets are very typical for Izba Style

4. Swiss Country style (Chalet)

Is a type of building or house, native to the Alpine region in Europe. It is made of wood, with a heavy, gently sloping roof and wide, well-supported eaves set at right angles to the front of the house. Historically, these houses were used by farmers, but with the emergence of the Alpine travel business, chalets were transformed into holiday homes used by ski and hiking enthusiasts. Over the years, the term ‘chalet’ changed to be applied generally to holiday homes, whether built in a strictly Alpine style or not.

Specific characteristics of the style: natural materials, brevity and simplicity of design, light roughness in finishing. All these characteristics make the chalet-style interior very cosy, practical and unique. To conclude, the choice of materials and forms are very similar to the Russian Izba. However, they do not look alike. The biggest differences are the size of the windows (Chalets are prone to have large windows from which you can see the mountain), decoration (chalets are less decorative), Fire place (chalets are equipped with fireplaces instead of large bulky ovens). Furniture in Chalet is more elegant and minimalistic, area rugs are often substituted with animal fur. An important characteristic of any chalet is the wooden interior. The floor, the walls and the ceiling are all covered in wood and this setup is guaranteed to get you relaxed. When you select the wood colour for your house, try to stick to it! The furniture should be done in the same wood colour as walls and ceilings.

5. French Country Style (Provence)

Most houses in Provence are made of the local stone. Sometimes the interior walls are left plastered to show off the beautiful greyish-golden rock. If they’re plastered, they’ll usually be whitewashed once a year, or painted with lime-based distempers in pale yellow ochres (the most common choice), pale blue or pale greens. The effect of this paint is almost like watercolour with a chalky, matte finish.

Here you see the exterior walls / washed light blue interior walls

Traditional Provence Furniture is made out of walnut. It is either left untreated or painted into light colours (creme, beige, white). Despite the fact that lavender colour is a traditional colour of Provence, it is very rarely that you see it used in the interior. Rooms are usually spacious, not overwhelmed with decorations. The most common piece of furniture in home decoration is probably a chair with the straw seat. Beds with painted iron backs are very common for this style. The fabrics with images of honeybees are wildly used for cushions and curtain decoration. The honeybee has been something of a mascot of the Provence region of France since the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, who adopted it as a symbol of his reign.

The floors in Provençal homes are usually covered with terracotta tiles in warm reds, browns and oranges. For the past 200 years, though, hexagonal tomettes (pictured right) have been the most widely used. If someone talks about ‘typical’ floor tiles for Provence interiors, they usually have tomettes in mind.

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