Sunday, May 26, 2013

Interior finishes when designing a country home

Series: Tips on designing a country home.

In this multi-part series I will help give you tips on how to go about having a custom home built in the country, where it should sit, what it should look like, how it should function and what type of home performs the best and fits in with the surrounding country side.

Interior finishes

If you truly want your home to blend in with the country homes in your area then there are certain things that you should be putting into your home to make it a “country home”. The actual fit and finish is up to you and the colours are all your decision but there are certain things that every country home must have to be called a country home.

Fireplace. Every country home must have at least one fireplace. It can be propane, natural gas (if you actually can get it) or wood. What most people don’t realize is that alot of the things that are in a country home have evolved from practicality. Fireplaces are still installed in country homes so that if the power fails you still have a way to heat your home. There are other wonderful things about fireplaces like they create extra heat in one area of the house without heating the whole house up, they are a show piece in the room and they can help create a mood. Your fireplace in your main living room should have stone around it, it should have a hearth and a large mantle. Fireplaces in country homes are not the place to try and do a modern theme or look.

Large eat in kitchens. There is a reason that there called “country kitchens”, the country the kitchen is a gathering place for people at any part of the day. You can still have formal dining rooms, but true country homes have a place  to eat in the kitchen so that you can interact with the cook. Your kitchen should be of a large size.

Mudroom. Country living is a dirty living, especially on your footwear, that’s why every country home needs a mudroom. A lot of people put the laundry machines in the same location, this makes the washing of the dirty clothes from outside much easier. Mudrooms should have hooks not closets so that it is easier to hang up wet dirty jackets to dry.

Hardwood floors. Country homes have as many local natural things in them as possible. Hardwood floors that are the same species as the trees in your area are a most. One popular thing to do is to have reclaimed floors like Elm or Maple. These reclaimed wood is taken out of local barns that are 100’s of years old and the barn has reached the end of its life. Then they are milled down and turned into flooring. The look is simply wonderful, it’s a warm and inviting floor.

Colours. Remember when picking colours for your home that you want your home to be warm and inviting on the inside. Country people like visitors and except their neighbours to pop in every once in a while. So you want your home to be a place that they feel welcome and they want to hang around and chat.

Trim. Your trim doesn’t have to be stained, it can be painted. But it should be of a fair size. The larger the wood trim the better, natural products like wood trim are always a highlight of country homes.

Tile. When picking tile for your bathrooms or your laundry room, try to keep the natural theme going, you don’t have to spend the money on natural stone tile, but you should be choosing something that gives the feel or has the look of natural stone tile.

Remember the dirty theme of living in the country. Any type of flooring that you put down should be durable. Because it will be beat up by people, kids and animals coming in from the outside.

Your side entrance to your home should be as nice as your front entrance just more functional. Country people do not use their front doors, that’s only for special company, country people all enter from the side or back entrance of your home. Make sure your mudroom looks nice and is designed in a way that will withstand a lot of abuse.

What I have listed is not the only thing that you can put in a country home, it should though be a guideline that you can follow when choosing what your country home will end up looking like. Obviously your own style takes precedent over anything that I have talked about, guidelines are so that your home looks like a country home at the end and not a city place.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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