Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, August 23, 2013

Renovating an urban country home

If you love the laid back look of a country home but live in an urban area, you can have both!  It's called country chic but here are some rules to renovate by.....

1.  Build smaller.  You don't need to live in a squishy Hobbit hole but try scaling down from what you think you need.  Edit your possessions to what you love the most and will actually use.  that way you will have less to clean, furnish and maintain giving you more time to kick back, relax and enjoy your surroundings.  focus on the quality of space not the quantity.

2.  Stay true to the neighbourhood.  If you are in a Historic area you will be limited by architectural controls but even if you are not in a Historic district, try staying true to the design conventions in the area like roof heights and  materials and work with them and not against them to get a home that is cohesive with the neighbourhood and not sticking out like a sore thumb.

3.  Limited palette. Have restraint when it comes to your palette.Mix wood and masonry OR glass and steel OR shingle and siding - keep an unfussy, understated look with quality materials to achieve timeless appeal.  Same goes for the interior, limit the number of paint colours and choose a paint that flows throughout the home.  Limit your flooring types too. A limited palette is not only timeless but it makes the space feel larger too.

4.  Work with the outdoors.  The best Country homes make the most of their surroundings by embracing them - keep window dressings pulled back to let the light in.  Make your porch an extension of the living room.  Add greenery in the kitchen with an herb garden.  Act like there are no walls between the inside and the outside and have a beautiful flow throughout the entire property.

5.  Country style includes shutters.  Just like drapes dress up in the windows inside, shutters do the same on the outside.  Shutters should be able to shut (or look like the can) and actually cover the window, so proportion and size are important.Each panel should measure half of the width of your window opening.


6.  Embrace real materials.  It's OK to mix expensive with inexpensive, that's the reality for most of us. But invest in the surface you touch everyday like counter tops and cabinets.  Research how you can get the look for less, there are tons of great ideas on the Internet.  A limestone exterior facade may not be in your budget but maybe you can do a limestone accent wall in the house instead and find a great siding option for the exterior that gives you that chic farmhouse look, for less.

7.  Re-use, re-cycle and re-purpose . Country style is laid back and easy so keep the decor simple.  things can be mismatched, old and maybe a bit shabby.  Shop at flea markets and other vintage shops for some great finds for the home.  The urban farmhouse should not look too streamlined or new.

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