Decorating with a country style is all about bringing comfort, the familiar, and things that bring you joy into your everyday living. It is about craftsmanship and quality. Unfortunately, many homes decorated in the country style have been holding onto the same furnishings and accessories for decades. If this is true for you, than it is time for a down home makeover.

Start with a Clean Palette

In order to achieve your new look, first you must take down the old one. Clear off shelves of knick knacks, take down the shelves themselves, remove wallpaper and curtains, and empty the room you are transforming. (If you need to redo a whole house, tackle it one room at a time.)

Once you've taken everything down, give an honest assessment. Chances are that the wooden hanging plaques you got at the art fair, dried flower arrangements, and floral curtains have seen better days. If they are dusty, faded, or worse, toss them. They were not meant to grace your home forever, and it's time to let them go. Donate to charity any items that are still in good condition.

Decide What Country Means to You

Country to some people is a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while to others it is a state of mind. It can be a sense of comfort, a love of antiques, or the idea of simple living. Decide what it means to you and then make choices that reflect that decision.

To make your home comfortable for family and friends, it should have a restful feeling. An accumulation of "stuff", or accessories upon accessories, is distracting to the eye. Country should be clean, simple, and easy. Less is more. Chose one painting for the wall instead of a collection. Pick a solid wall color instead of busy wallpaper.

Country Colors

When choosing decor, don't fall prey to the kitschy. Your table cloth does not have to be red and white checked like a picnic blanket. You do not need a cookie jar shaped like a pig. You don't need an actual picture of a cow to convey country: try a big leather chair with rough skin.

Blue hues are popular in country themes, and a cool blue and tan look is very hot in the decorating world right now. An earthly tan or chocolate brown is a great base for country decorating, to compliment the wood accents on furniture and accessories that fit so well in a country theme.

Sage green is another good color for country homes, as the green is soft yet brings in the outdoors. Golden yellow is another good choice, representing the color of a hayfield or sunflower.

Accessories and Furniture with a Country Feel

Country is about nature, working off the land, and professional craftsmanship. Handmade side tables carved from a solid piece of wood, leather couches, and a stone fireplace add warmth and natural appeal. Antiques and old-fashioned pieces can be great accents, but don't fall into the trap of believing the entire house has to feel as if it's ripped from the past. Let a great antique be the focal point and not lost in a jumble of other antiques that are fighting for attention.

Don't be afraid to put your personality into your home, but keep it simple and relaxed, as country living should be.

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