American Country House Interiors: Ideas for Learning the Look

Stop the presses. Country yet not European country style today? I guess we’re feelin’ saucy. Oh that decorating were as simple as buying just the right tile, rug, or chandelier to get the sense of charm or mix or balance we see in photos of beautiful American country spaces. After all, not all of us live in the country, so is it even possible or advisable to lean in a country direction? And when you’re after an unfussy, non-contrived, more natural and laid back look, should it be such a fussy, complicated prospect? Let’s explore such territory even as we admire a range of beautiful American Country house interiors that may speak to you.

Primitive farm bench in a bath at Nancy Fishelson's renovated historic home in Killingworth - Country Living magazine/Helen Norman/Janna Lufkin.
Nancy Fishelson’s 1795 home in Country Living (Helen Norman/Janna Lufkin) – American country house interiors to inspire as well as ideas for getting the look

Learn from the Look: American Country House Interiors

1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Wall Texture

Changing a wall’s texture can be transformative. Whether it is done simply with tacked up panels of simple beaded board or painstakingly with hand troweled plaster

I have always admired the wall finish the Giannettis chose for their house in the country…Patina Farm. Instead of traditional Old World style plaster walls, the walls were coated with a thin layer of Cal-Kote. While they appear to be painted white, they don’t require paint.

Tongue and groove paneling is always a smart way to add age, charm, and texture when you’re after a rustic American country look. Isn’t this bedroom fresh and natural?

For sage green paint color ideas, SEE THIS.

Gorgeous country kitchen with shelves of ironstone against beadboard - this is the Connecticut farmhouse of OKL president Debbie Propst - photo by Country Living.
Country Living

2. Start With a Neutral Backdrop

Sometimes it just gives us extra confidence to choose paint colors experienced designers trust. Nancy Fishelson recommends Benjamin Moore WHITE DOVE for a trusty white paint, and I agree.

Breakfast room in Nancy Fishelson's renovated historic home in Killingworth - Country Living magazine/Helen Norman/Janna Lufkin.
See more of this Connecticut home in THIS

When I am looking to add age or a sense of history, I always think of White Dove.

Benjamin Moore White Dove OC10 paint color swatch. #bestwhitepaintcolors #whitedovepaint

Need more ideas for choosing the right white? See THESE.

The designer and renovator also has a color she recommends for floors: Benjamin Moore THUNDER.

Benjamin Moore THUNDER paint color swatch. #thunder #graypaintcolors

Similar to Thunder, Nancy’s favorite gray paint color was Tucker Pale Gray.

Tucker Pale Gray CW805 Paint Color Swatch

But it is discontinued! However, Benjamin Moore WISH is essentially the same color as Tucker Pale Gray and a gorgeous hue if you’re seeking an idea for kitchen cabinets. (You’ll also discover lovely putty paint color ideas in THIS STORY.)

Benjamin Moore WISH paint color swatch. #benjaminmoorewish #graypaintcolors

I’m crazy about how Nancy interprets country style without clutter or fuss!

Soaking tub in Nancy Fishelson's renovated historic home in Killingworth - Country Living magazine/Helen Norman/Janna Lufkin.
Design: Nancy Fishelson in Country Living – see more of this Connecticut home in THIS

While I’m not including it as an official tip, CHECKERED FLOORS and check prints and gingham everything is totally en vogue at the moment.

3. Check Patterns are Your Friend, Friend!

Checkered floors in a gorgeous black and white bathroom by Brooklyn Decker in AD. #checkeredfloors
Brooklyn Decker’s bath in AD

They are everywhere you turn in American country homes and beyond, aren’t they? I even devoted an entire post to them HERE after seeing Nate and Jeremiah’s floor:

Entry with checkered floor and black railing in Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent Manhattan townhouse with 1920s architecture, neutral palette, plaster paint, and marble. AD (photo: Kelly Marshall). #nateberkus #nytownhouse
AD (October 2022); Architect: Danielle Albert; Construction: Killoween Construction, Brooklyn; Photography: Kelly Marshall for AD

It is amazing how a checkered floor can be humble and folksy…

Nora Murphy's charming country kitchen in her Connecticut farmhouse with checkered floors and primitives. #noramurphy #countrykitchen #checkeredfloor

and also so classic.

Nora Murphy's 1767 Connecticut farmhouse with beautifully designed relaxed and classic interior design. #noramurphy #farmhousestyle #interiordesign #historicfarmhouse #entry
Photo: Nora Murphy Country House…certainly lovely indeed. Smart Tips for How To Get a Classic Country House Look as well as photos of inspiring interiors.

If you need a good primer to get you psyched about American country house interiors, you’ll definitely want to buy Nora Murphy’s book!

Beautiful country kitchen with farm sink in Nora Murphy's Country House book.
Even a sweet checkered pattern on a fabric skirt can make a big splash!

Find it RIGHT HERE.

Nora Murphy book cover. Country House Style: Making Your Home a Country House.
Nora Murphy’s Country House Style: Making Your Home a Country House with Deborah Golden – Photography: DuAnne Simon (Vendome, 2018). 

4. Gather Your Favorite Objects

About the charming entry in Nora Murphy’s former home, the author writes,

Nora Murphy country house entry with checkerboard pattern flooring, dropleaf table, and huge basket of hydrangea and collection of watering cans. Nora Murphy Country Style to Inspire! #noramuphy #countrystyle #entry #countryhouse #americanfarmhouse #farmhousestyle #rusticdecor
A charming country style entry blooming with personality, rusticity, and also whimsically down home warmth. Nora Murphy’s Country House Style: Making Your Home a Country House by Nora Murphy with Deborah Golden as well as photography from DuAnne Simon. Vendome, 2018.

“Everything in this entry represents something dear to us–my love of gardening, Rick’s love of fishing, Conor’s love of hiking in the woods–it can change with the seasons or the occasion.”

Nora Murphy's charming Connecticut farmhouse black door with faded American flag bunting and old lanterns flanking it. #noramurphy #farmhousedoor #4thofjuly #countryhouse #americana #countrystyle

Gathering the collected art and treasured objects saved by a family may be the most important part of completing your American country room.

Purple transferware pitcher and china in French country home of Amy Chalmers of Maison Decor. #purple #transferware #china #antiques
Nora Murphy’s Country House Style: Making Your Home a Country House by Nora Murphy with Deborah Golden. Photography: DuAnne Simon. Vendome, 2018.

Bonus points when time works its magic on those gathered objects since age, weather, and patina increase their beauty over time!

5. Aim for Authenticity

One of the benefits of studying images on this site and within design books is how helpful it is for studying an authentic look.

French country fireplace and slipcovered chairs in Ruth Gay's (Chateau Domingue) exquisite Houston home. #pamelapierce #frenchcountryhome
Chateau Domingue’s Ruth Gay’s exquisite Houston home – see more HERE

While the home above is located in Texas, the materials used to create it are old reclaimed treasures from Europe. No faux finishes here!

Rustic elegant French farmhouse kitchen by Pamela Pierce with copper pots and antiques - @reagan_andre_architecture. #frenchfarmhouse #frenchkitchen #pamelapierce
Interior Design: Pamela Pierce. Photo/Architect: Reagan Andre.

While the look is French inspired rather than classic American style, there are plenty of common denominators. Collected vintage pieces and antiques, distressed finishes, linen, and a relaxed feel.

Beautiful light grey commode with handpainted detail and brass hardware - Brittany Jones design (BeccaLeaPhoto). #frenchcountrycabinet
Design: Brittany Jones

6. Embracing Imperfection’s Beauty

When imperfect finishes, objects, and moods are welcomed, a layer of humility and character emerge.

A charmingly serene white French country bath with white painted floors, clawfoot tub, magnificent naturallight and vintage textiles. Wendy Lewis design (Textile Trunk) featured in Nora Murphy's Country House book (Vendome Press).
Design: Wendy Lewis (Textile Trunk)

Quirky, one-off, asymmetrical, weathered, and laid back design elements become friendly companions on the journey.

Beautiful serene shabby chic dining room with cane back chairs by Hello Lovely Studio. #diningroom #hellolovelystudio #shabbychic #frenchcountry
Hello Lovely Studio

7. Cheerful Blue and White

They just go together like best friends in a country house, and for me, it’s so quintessentially American.

Gorgeously classic and traditional yet modern country breakfast nook with round dining table and light blue accents - in the home of OKL president Debbie Propst. #countrykitchens #moderncountrykitchen
OKL’s Debbie Propst’s Connecticut farmhouse

Even painting the ceiling blue can bring unexpected cheer!

Beautiful custom bunk beds, bead board walls, and a deep blue ceiling - design by Marie Flanigan. Photo by Julie Soefer.
Design: Marie Flanigan Interiors; Photo: Julie Soefer

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Resources for Country House Ideas

Morven Solid Wood Storage Shelves Bench
Wood Bench With Storage Shelf…in case you need a simple bench for a classic country house.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
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Round Farmhouse Table
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Slipcovered Dining Chair
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French Stripe Basket Set
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Linen Napkin Set
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Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
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Mohair Throw
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Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing