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20 Classic Decor Elements Every English Country Home Should Have

20 Classic Decor Elements Every English Country Home Should Have 20 Classic Decor Elements Every English Country Home Should Have

Florals everywhere Whether in the upholstery or on the walls, trailing blooms lend a note of softness throughout English country homes. In the master bedroom, Brooks maintained the 1980s Laura Ashley wallpaper, which adds feminine contrast to crisp striped linens.

Potted plants Cut flowers naturally appear on mantels and windowsills, but true English country homes spotlight their greenery in terra-cotta planters and an eclectic mix of chinoiserie vases and ceramic vessels.

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AntiquesThough Corrigan’s home is filled with antique furnishings, it’s really his collection of vintage accessories that transforms the space. Neoclassical-style columns, marble busts, porcelain urns—such smaller-scale objets lend an outsize sense of age and give patina to any interior.

Crystal chandeliersA grand statement-making light fixture sets the tone for traditional formality in an entry or living room. Many vintage-inspired models now come in smaller proportions, for those who have less space to work with.

Gilded mirrorsFor those living in rental apartments, gilded mirrors leaned against or hung on a wall offer a variation on intricate wall molding but without the construction work. They also add richness and seemingly expand the proportions of a room.

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Decorator Timothy Corrigan’s Paris pied-à-terre is a study in traditional design—albeit with a Francophile twist. Napoléon III crystal chandeliers hang from plaster ceilings and gilded mirrors sit above marble mantels, while richly embellished curtains frame sun-drenched windows and vintage rugs cover chevron-planked hardwood floors. Given his background as an antiques addict—he once lived behind the City of Light’s most venerable auction house before starting his interiors business back home—the Los Angeles–bred designer unites his maximalist rooms with a timeless collection of heirlooms, from mirrored obelisks to vintage Jansen stools. The combination is bound to make any student of traditional design take notice. So, using Corrigan’s home as a primer, we’ve rounded up seven classic decor elements that every traditional home should have, from lighting and seating to accessories. Even if you’re not blessed with a setting as charming as Corrigan’s, these essential pieces will help you get his space’s look in no time.

Linear textiles From grain-sack pillows to ticking-stripe upholstery—as seen in Brooks’s print-filled living room—the look is classic country.

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Cozy seating Forget the streamlined sectionals. Tufted chesterfields and overstuffed armchairs—especially when covered in plush pillows in intricate patterns—impart a sense of warmth.

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A mudroom Especially one filled with riding boots. Brooks’s Boot Room features vintage military prints from a Paris flea market and limestone flooring from a quarry on the farm. Designated cubby holes and shelving complete the look.

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Exposed wood Rustic beams on the ceilings, walls, and doorways add a historical element, referencing the age and patina of a home, as well as a note of inviting rusticity that’s in keeping with the rural setting.

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An unassuming kitchen Brooks’s cookspace features such country-chic staples as reclaimed-mahogany countertops, a brass gooseneck sink faucet, and weathered metal pendant lighting. Exposed utensils and a quaint spice rack reinforce the laid-back atmosphere.

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CurtainsDisplayed in a vibrant chinoiserie, floral, or other classic print, full-length curtains add a brilliant splash of color, texture, and dimension. Hang them in a room with tall ceilings to instantly draw the eye upward for an elongating effect.

The master bedroom, crowned by a vintage Gilbert Poillerat chandelier, is curtained in a Corrigan print for Schumacher.

Muted colors A neutral color palette punctuated by subdued greens, sunny yellows, faded pinks, and watery blues and grays draws inspiration from nature and underlines the bucolic atmosphere.

English Country Interior Design Classic Decor Elements Every Country Home Should Have English Cottage Interior Design Ideas

Ivy-covered exteriors Fairgreen Farm is the picture of English country bliss thanks to greenery-lined structures surrounded by imperfect flower beds.

Farmhouse tables Brooks updated the classic in her kitchen with a contemporary painting by her husband.

MoldingNothing imparts a sense of timelessness and character quite like these classic ornamentations. Opt for delicate picture-frame molding on your walls or intricate crown molding or medallions on your ceiling for a portal back to a more elegant time.

Reading material No English country home is complete without shelves and shelves of books and cozy reading nooks—ideal for making the most of rainy days.

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Marble mantelsThe focal point of any room, a mantel commands attention and presents a spotlight for inspired styling. Corrigan’s become backdrops for diminutive sculptures, vases, and objets—each rendered all the more exalted for its pride of place.

When writer and fashion insider Amanda Brooks first visited Fairgreen Farm, her now husband’s family home in the English countryside, she found the interiors to be “perfectly tasteful but slightly dated.” Fifteen years later, faced with busy careers and grueling schedules, she and husband Christopher decided to relocated their family from New York City to the home for a yearlong sabbatical—and Brooks grew to appreciate the quaint charm of her new home. “Many of the most charming and authentic aspects of the house—those I thought were so English-country cliché way back then—still exist, untouched,” she says. It’s been four years now, and her family is still living there, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds them, both in the country environs and the warm and inviting interiors that Brooks has maintained and updated to suit her tastes. Here, 11 classic decor elements that make an English country house a home.

Cane-backed chairsSlightly more unexpected than its upholstered siblings, cane-backed seating adds texture and a sense of irreverence, balancing some of the style’s more formal elements.

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