While here at Applegate Properties, we’re renowned for our rich property portfolio - showcasing some of the area’s most sought-after residencies - we’re also particularly proud of our interior expertise. We know that curb appeal, size, and layout, are some of the crucial factors that help inform buying decisions, but nothing says ‘home’ quite like carefully considered decor and design post-purchase.
True to our rural roots, we’re particularly fond of country living – combining the traditional with the modern through rustic finishes, mixed metals, handcrafted pieces, earthy tones, and unusual textures. And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to come with a heavy price tag.
To help you create your ideal casual and cosy space, we’ve compiled some budget-friendly tips on everything from furniture must-haves and perfect paints, to DIY decor and personal touches.
So, if you want that fresh country look that’s easy on your wallet but doesn’t skimp on style, you’re in the right place.
- Embrace the basics
Taking advantage of a property’s natural beauty is one of many ways to incorporate country living into your home. Architectural features such as exposed beams, bricks, and stone not only add a sense of chic stability to a room, they also draw the eye to a building’s history and heritage.
Another popular option is to utilise original flooring - particularly on staircases. Stripping away carpet and underlay can often reveal a solid, well-kept timber that can be brought to life with a lick of paint or transparent, protective oil coating.
- Explore textures
Beyond exposed architecture and foundational materials, there are a variety of ways to explore texture in your home. Raised wallpapers, velvet cushions, and knit rugs are excellent additions which can make spaces more dynamic and unique.
Something we’re particularly fond of here at Applegate Properties is the combination of smooth, original staircase timber with a contrasting carpet runner - rolling rustic basics and texture into one. To add a finishing touch - and another material into the mix - you could even use ornamental decorative hardware such as stair rods on each run, if your budget allows.
- Play with pattern
Big blowsy florals, traditional gingham, and contemporary geometrics are largely synonymous with country design. What’s more, pattern clashing is making a real comeback - so don’t be afraid to get creative.
You don’t need to commit to the expense of decorating an entire room, either. The most effective uses of pattern will usually involve selecting a feature wall or chimney breast, with complimentary accessories like cushions or cabinets to complete the design.
- Start with a neutral colour palette
Remember, neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. Opting for earthy tones will add a warming comfort and sense of serenity to your space, whilst providing an excellent foundation for remaining decor. For example, rich mauve and mulberry furniture would be an excellent complement to cream walls, while deep navy would look great with brass and bronze accessories.
Selecting a solid, versatile base colour is crucial when it comes to cost, as it provides a consistent foundation for changing styles and tastes - allowing you to switch up a sofa or sideboard while keeping the colour of the walls the same. And, like with pattern, you could even choose to save some spend by selecting a focal point rather than painting every partition.
- Uplift existing furniture pieces
You don’t always have to start new when decorating your home. By repainting existing pieces and switching out fundamental details, you can significantly augment the style of your space.
To create a rustic, half-painted look that will make an old buy seem new, add a wash of your chosen colour and sealant, then take a rough-edge piece of sandpaper when dry and remove random patches of paint to expose the underlying wood.
From kitchen cupboards and bedroom dressers, to dining tables and cabinet legs, you could also swap out hardware to uplift existing pieces. Farmhouse-style cup handles and pull ropes, as well as reclaimed pine legs and material mismatching, make for excellent choices to accentuate your space.
- Modernise with panelling
To bring a contemporary elegance to your home, panelling is an excellent choice - not least because it can be extremely cheap to execute in today’s climate. Not only is MDF wood light on the purse strings, it’s also sturdy, long lasting, and you can paint it time and again to suit your requirements.
Whether used to add a historic element of grandeur to your walls, or lend a modern chic to your furniture pieces, it’s a firm favourite amongst many homeowners to take the country-style interior from pipedream to reality.
- Inject colour with focal pieces
If you want to add a strike of colour to your interior, focal pieces are a great start. A burnt orange sofa is one example, although more subtle additions such as bright cushions, rugs, or even vases will help you cut costs.
While the general style of country living is traditional and natural, eclectic touches will help to add a modern contrast and ignite a sense of individuality. Don’t be afraid to make it your own!
- Create comfortable gathering spots
One of the key components of style is comfort, so it’s important to create spaces where you can relax and unwind. Open plan living areas where family and friends gather should be a primary focus, since country life is all about steadying the pace and enjoying life’s pleasures.
Oversized, sunken beanbags, chunky blankets, and aromatic candles are just a handful of budget-friendly ways to add a touch of comfort and atmosphere to these spaces.
- Look to nature
Plants are increasingly becoming an integral part of indoor spaces, and that’s down to the phenomenon of biophilia - an innate tendency to seek connections with nature.
Not only do spots of greenery add a nice aesthetic value to your space, they’re also proven to boost health and wellbeing - from purifying the air in your home and improving focus, to reducing fatigue and lessening the severity of depression. Most importantly, they’re a great way to decorate if you’re on a budget, and come in so many different varieties to suit your own space and taste.
- Keep it personal
One of the hallmarks of country living is that you can tailor ideas to suit your own style, so it’s important to maintain a sense of personality in every room.
Photographs, artwork, collectables, and homemade pieces will help draw everything together, adding a warm and inviting touch to your home and bringing exciting conversations with guests into fruition.
And there you have it! Ten ways to create an idyllic country-inspired space without burning a hole in your pocket.