artSparx.com - English Country Style. Interior design knowledge for the creative lifestyle.

In the English countryside, pretty villages dot rolling hills and cobblestones line narrow medieval streets. Come in through the garden gate, and you'll find a steep thatched roof overhanging ancient leaded glass windows. Old garden roses creep around the carved oak door. The grounds, whether a picturesque cottage garden or the rolling parkland of the local manor house, are lovingly cared for. Everything is fresh, tidy, and welcoming.

On country walks one passes by charming brick walled and slate roofed homes surrounded by welcoming gardens.

Rural England is best seen on foot or bicycle, the better to appreciate ancient towns, medieval chapels, hills full of wildflowers, and enjoyable local traditions. The pace of life is slow, the rural environment unspoiled. Some tiny hamlets seem almost to have escaped modernity altogether, and the summertime fete, the cricket field, and the local rugby team provide the traditional focus for community life.

In the summertime, the all-important cottage garden serves as an "outdoor room" where tea and lunch can be served. The lawn or stone courtyard is surrounded by clipped hedges, climbing roses, forget me nots, bluebells. An old well cover, a low stone wall, or perhaps an arch clothed by clematis add architectural interest. Ever-practical, the English cottager includes some vegetables in the landscape: a cucumber frame, a fruit cage for red currants and gooseberries.


Regional stones are used to construct the walls of many country cottages. While thatched roofs create cozy character.

In ancient towns in the Cotswolds or the Lake District, public space is built on a welcoming, human scale. Honey-colored stone shop fronts form a pleasing corridor along busy sidewalks. Charming architectural detail, whether medieval or Victorian, is still carefully maintained. Slate roofs, thatched cottages, wood beam ceilings, and flagstone floors evoke scenes from Dickens or Hardy.

Local pub - great for a pint - go for the Bangers and Mash, or Fish and chips!

The local pub is homey, with low ceilings, cozy rugs, and dark wood bathed in warm yellow lamplight. Stories, gossip, and local politics are traded here over pints of local ale. For the weary traveler, a bed and breakfast offers rustic charm, time-darkened wood wainscoting, low-hanging leaded windows.

english country style
english country style
english country style

Special Feature
Inlayed floor tutorial

Painted Inlay Floor Border

This process imitates the appearance of individual pieces of wood inlayed as a border to a wooden floor. A variety of patterns can be created, often imitating an assortment of wood types such as mahogany, oak, pine, ebony and maple.  I’ve found this treatment to be a successful method of creating a period feel within a range of styles. And since there are very few design limitations you can create wonderfully unique floors to fit your style.

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Craftsmanship is important in English country style: carved wood and stone, wrought iron, the simple yet imposing lines of a classic stone manor house.

English country colors are natural and subtle: dark wood, gray or beige stone, warm ivory walls, perhaps a dark red or green accent wall. Furniture and wainscoting are carved wood, with Victorian lines. Lamps are key, with wall sconces or perhaps a rustic iron chandelier creating intimate pools of light and making hand-rubbed wood carvings gleam. A rug in a nineteenth-century floral pattern can add color, or perhaps a basket of dried wildflowers.


Most rural towns / villages have there own summer 'fete'. Bringing together the local community to celebrate with old fashioned fun, car boot sales, games and vintage tractor rides.

No visit to the English country side would be complete without a visit to the cricket field, or a stomp in the mud watching a rugby team.


Elements of English Country Style

Rustic earth tones

Vibrant, colorful patterns underlie this design style.

Feature tutorial.

The Parchment colorwash. Creating the impression of aged walls, the Parchment finish evokes a feeling of history and old world charm. The color density varies over the finished surface and creates appearances of lightly mottled parchment. A soft and airy finish, the Parchment glaze is an ideal way to create mood and character in any room. I’ve found it to be an ideal solution for finishing irregular or textured wall surfaces.

parchment color wash paint finish

English Country Style Inspirations

english country styleUncluttered stone walkways and arches.
english country styleThis ancient slate roof offers protection from the English elements.
english country styleSmall leaded window panes are opened allowing fresh air to enter.
english country styleSide entrance to a chapel rectory "Feed my lambs" carved over the entrance.
english country styleAn old iron knocker and door handle announce neighbors coming for tea.

Pre-mixed Glazes

Ready, set, GO!

Getting going with these premixed glazes. Select one of our pre-mixed glaze colors or create your own. We custom mix any color from all major paint manufacturers. Just pick your own color from any swatch book and let us know the paint name and number and we'll send you the right glaze - interior or exterior - custom matched to your liking.

Create classic effects such as colorwashing, dragging, striee, antiquing effects, furniture effects and much more!

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