What exactly is country? It's an organic style that's developed over generations by the way people live. It exudes a timelessness and offers a level of comfortable living that other interior styles can't quite match.
Most importantly, country is a state of mind, and you can create your own particular style of personal refuge no matter where you live, whether in a house in the country, in a newly built home in the suburbs, or in an apartment in the city.
Shades of Country is filled with more than 200 beautiful photos, and takes you through the six shades of country: the farmhouse, grand country, cozy cottage, rustic, clean and simple, and urban Arcadian. It offers you ideas and details to help you create a style that works for you and your home.
From the Introduction
To put down roots in America, my Scottish husband, Keith, and I (born in England) bought a farmhouse in upstate New York in 1964. The earliest part of it, no more than a simple cottage, had been built in the 1830s, recognizable because of its low ceilings and small, nonstandard-size windows with tiny, bubbly glass panes. A long wing, with more formal rooms sporting crown moldings and plaster ceiling medallions to hold oil lamps, was added in the 1870s when the men had returned from the Civil War and the farm family it was home to was flourishing. Until World War II it was a working farm that had belonged to only one family.
When we found it, it had been more or less uninhabited for 25 years. But for a roughly made cupboard, a broken table, an inexpensive chest of drawers, and a milk churn bearing the family's initials in brass letters, all the furniture had been sold off. The well had long since run dry. A no-longer functioning Franklin stove had been the only form of heat. Grass was growing through the kitchen floor, and there were holes in the plaster walls you could see through. Squirrels had made nests in the attic and birds flew in and out of the many broken windows. On the property were also two collapsing barns and a laborers' cottage. There had never been electricity in any of the buildings.
Naive to the utmost degree, we didn't take in these flaws until we took possession of the house on July 4th. On that first spring day we saw it, it was love at first sight. We gasped at the view. We saw daffodils under the maples glinting in the setting sun and, without even offering a lower price, said, "We'll take it" and handed over a check. So began our continuing attachment and respect for the American countryside, its deep-rooted traditions, and the varied styles of its houses. The history of our house, its past and its present, became a paradigm for the various country styles that are featured in this book, for it is part farmhouse, part grand country, part cozy cottage, part rustic, part clean and simple, and part urban Arcadian - the six shades of country.
For my family, our country home is truly a rural getaway, but the truth is, country is a state of mind and you can create your own particular style of personal refuge no matter where you live, whether in a house in the country, in a newly built home in the suburbs, or in an apartment in the city.
About the Author
studied art and fashion design at Leicester College of Art and the Fashion School of the Royal College of Art in London. She lives in upstate New York and Manhattan.