Country Style Home Decor
On A Shoestring:
Almost-Free  Country Home Decorating Ideas

Country style home decor needn't cost a fortune (or anything at all)  -  and you'll be hard pressed to spend your entire pocket money on any of the following old-fashioned European rustic decorating ideas, tips & items.

rustic country style wildflower bouquet

Country Style Home Decor
Idea 1: Wildflowers & Foliage

The star of free rustic country style decor must be a bouquet of wildflowers - and they really are free. They look lovely combined with grasses and foliage (increase the amount of foliage if flowers are in short supply).

You'll find some lovely examples on the Swiss country decorating page!

Go for a variety of leaf shapes and hues of green - the secret is not to get too precious. Small flowers in a mad mix of colors work much better than big, showy blossoms (so, no roses ;-)

A more contemporary way of using wildflowers as rustic country style decor is the following:

Take a number of small glasses (or other small vessels that will hold water), and fill them with single heads of one kind of flower.

Bunch the 'vases' together or arrange them in a row. That way, you'll make the most of what you've got!

Country Style Home Decor Idea 2:

vintage European earthenware crockery

Consider investing a few coins (or notes, if you must) at a second-hand shop or yard sale, and look for jugs and plates of heavy-quality earthenware or porcelain. If it's a bit chipped that will probably add to its charm.

Buy crockery you can use: store kitchen utensils in an antique jar, or fill a bowl with fruit, or a mug with flowers.

Collect only pieces you really like!

In country decorating, there's no real need for matching sets of crockery. The fact that you love these items is what holds them all together and makes them a collection. Over time, they will 'attract' similar pieces. (I'm currently collecting inexpensive vintage transferware. None of the plates look alike, but together they make a gorgeous team :-)

Country Style Home Decor Idea 3:

Unless your back yard is an orchard, you'll probably need to buy the fruit, so maybe this doesn't count as "cheap" rustic country style decor - but seeing as you eat a lot of fruit anyway ... ahem! You do eat fruit, right? ... well, I thought I'd mention the idea here.

bowl of strawberries

Most fruit makes for colorful, natural displays. You don't even need a 'country style' bowl - just take any old bowl or plate, and fill it with fruit.

On second thought, you don't even always need a large container for this kind of primitive rustic country decor.

  • Line up some lovely red-cheeked apples on the windowsill or on a mantelpiece. This looks particularly great in the winter - replace with pine cones if you can't get great looking apples. (Check out this Christmas mantel idea, as well as Louise's lovely rustic Christmas table setting).
  • Fill a small plate with bright-red rosehips at the end of summer.
  • Keep a handful of assorted nuts, almonds, and a nutcracker in a large glass. It will be just like the olden days, before plastic bags ;-)

Country Style Home Decor Idea 4:

Not antique embroidered treasures from expensive shops (forget shoestrings - they'll want your silver for that!)

But you could recycle old garments into rustic country style decor - pieces of used white, cream or tan cotton and linen (florals, checks or stripes work as well).

The rougher the weave, the better. Tea-stain the fabric, bleach it, or do both.  Stitch pieces together to make a patchwork cushion cover or two. Or create a fun doily to put under your vase filled with wildflowers. If you have the time, you could embroider it a little (the doily, I mean. It doesn't take long at all.)

Country Style Home Decor Idea 5:
Hide The High Tech

primitive rustic metal water jug & handmade broom

Create some free country rustic decor by hiding things away. Modern electrical appliances, super straight lines and shiny, metallic surfaces aren't always at ease in rustic interior design. Keep them out of sight as much as you can.

Country Style Home Decor
Idea 6: Wood Is Good

Wood is a mainstay of rustic country style decor. Consider using inexpensive wooden (kitchen) tools, or stripping and waxing/ painting old wooden furniture.

Recycle found wooden objects into country home decorating ideas:   Make a coat rack by attaching fun pegs to a smooth piece of driftwood, or mount a wall lamp on a reclaimed wooden plank, for example.

Country Style Home Decor Idea 7:
Photographs & Other Wall Art

antique photographs in a Swiss mountain cabin

Wall art is a relatively recent element of home decorating. In historic country dwellings, pictures showed either religious scenes or deceased family members. Not many people could afford oil paintings; most had photographs, prints, or (rarely) drawings or etchings.

If saints or ancestors on rustic walls aren't your style, you could always use black-and-white or sepia-colored photographs instead of full-color ones. They look much more 'authentic' amongst rustic country style decor.

Obviously, photos don't really qualify as cheap country style home decor, but they aren't hideously expensive either. And they look great in wooden rustic photo frames.

For more inexpensive rustic wall art ideas, check out the article about French wall art and the Alpine papercuts!

General Rule:
A Pared-Down Look

Some people confuse country decor with country clutter, filling their houses with decorative objects and 'rustic ornaments' to evoke a country lifestyle.
This is very understandable ... after all, there are so many lovely things out there. But historically, a country home was mostly about functionality.

You're much closer to the mark with rustic country style decor that is both beautiful and useful - not just beautiful, or just antique and rustic. Primitive rustic country decor and country home decorating ideas are even better when they literally 'work' - when you can put your decorating items to good use.

  • You'll find many more country home decorating ideas in the article about Rustic Country Style Decor. (With pictures of Alpine rustic interior design.)
  • The page on Country Style Decorating shows you how to get the look, particularly if you're living in the middle of the city and there's not one exposed beam in sight ;-)
  • What is it that actually makes a style "Country"? (Contains a good list of rustic decorating ideas.)
  • Find country home decorating ideas for a Living Room, choose the perfect country style Sofa or get creative with your country Bedroom - even make your own, cheap rustic furniture.
  • Check out rustic decorating ideas and country style home decor from Switzerland,   Sweden,   France/Provence,  and  Italy/Tuscany.
  • Rustic Country Window Treatments are easy to create! (Have a look at Tuscan and French Country curtains for additional inspiration!)
  • Interior Rustic Pictures: The pictures on this page tell a story of lives more than a century ago, in a world that still exists.  (Plus:  Alpine mountain cabin decorating ideas.)
  • Neutral Color Schemes - The Book:
    Learn about using neutral color palettes in your country style home decor.   Understand what makes neutral color schemes look their best, and what happens when you inject 'real' color into neutral color palettes.   It's FREE!!

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