I’m confident that this will resonate with at fair few of you, but my definition of a country home – a real country home – is bailer twine hanging outside the front door (depending on the time of year there may also be a brace or two of pheasant, partridge or duck), 20 pairs of muddy wellington boots just inside the front door; dogs and cats everywhere, even the odd pony sticks it’s head through the door on occasion; assorted near-dead/premature baby animals on, in or by the aga/fire and always the smell of something good cooking in the kitchen (sometimes this can be said baby animal if you’ve forgotten to take it out of the oven!!). For me, this is my country home – this is how a farm works, it’s an extension of the farmyard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be pretty and well looked-after. My mum is testament to that last statement – how that house stays clean, tidy and well-looked after with two farmers living there, I’ll never know. But it is certainly never going to be the glossy magazine definition of a country home – you know the one I mean, the pristine pictures that adorn Country Homes magazines, shiny white surfaces, carpets, bed linen and cushions do not mix well with life on a farm – no matter how hard you try.
Just because your Country Home isn’t worthy of the front cover of a glossy magazine (if it is, are you even living there?!), doesn’t mean you have to live in a pigsty (although, speaking from experience, sometimes it does feel as though the pig sty’s are more appealing than your own home!). In my latest blog installment, I’ve turned my attentions to interior decorations – not that I’m an expert but I believe you can fit a bit of country style into anything and any home – regardless of whether it’s a true country home as described above – or you are lucky enough to have a super modern, clean, warm tidy house that needs a bit of a country injection! I’ve picked out a couple of my current favourite home accessories to bring a little bit of country charm into your home.
I love to make things from feathers – last year I made a wreath and some decorations for the Christmas tree with some of the pheasant and partridge feathers I had available from the birds I shot. The feathers are so beautiful that it seems such a waste to simply cast them aside after butchery of the birds, but I’m not particularly artistic nor do I have the time to do anything more than I already have. Thankfully, I don’t need to worry though because there’s a very talented lady who makes the most fabulous creations out of feathers that are fit for every home.
Olivia (the afore mentioned very talented lady) created Ruffled Feathers after moving away from her family farm in Somerset and wanting to take some of the countryside into her new home. What’s so lovely about this new brand is that all of the materials used to create Olivia’s designs are sourced from either the family farm’s Cary Fitzpaine Shoot, or the neighbouring farm’s clay shoot when extra cartridges are required! Oh, and everything is handmade – which means each design is carefully created and treated with respect and love. There are so many lovely designs to choose from, but Olivia was kind enough to create a bespoke Open Partridge Heart Wreath for my bedroom. I absolutely adore the richness of Pheasant feathers but the partridge creation is so elegant, subtle and soft that it matches the dove grey and cream tones of my bedroom perfectly. It’s going to sit in pride of place above my headboard – when I get round to putting it up!!
The quality of the product is second to none – it’s pretty difficult to make something so delicate and fragile and for it to stay intact during delivery, but it did. The wreath is so well made – I’m so pleased with mine that I’m just trying to decide on my next one and where it should hang! I’m thinking of the full Pheasant and cartridge heart wreath (I can see why it’s the best selling option!) or the circular guinea fowl option…it’s so hard to choose because they’re all so beautiful! They’re also fantastic value, considering how much work goes into making them and how much of a statement they make to any room – all the more reason to get two!
Country Abodes Lampshades
Another new favourite of mine, Country Abodes is a local company that produces the most beautiful handmade soft furnishings, all with a country twist! Again, there are so many lovely things to choose from, but I have a zillion cushions (and each one annoys James intensely), so I resisted the cushions and settled on a very much needed lampshade instead! There are so many design options – printed animal linen fabric or tweed, all with the possibility of personalisation and matching cushions, but I was totally drawn to the stag design. In soft, neutral tones this would look great in any room of any home – country or not – but it far from blends in! A real country statement that again, is so brilliantly made and of such great quality that it’s a must for everyone. I opted to have a bespoke leather strap with cartridge design added to the lampshade which I think elevates the design to another level.
In terms of value for money, Country Abodes ticks this box too – prices vary depending on the size of the shade and the amount of extra detailing requested. But, even better…keep your eyes peeled because Country Abodes are kindly offering an exclusive 15% discount to all A Girl About Country readers..coming soon!
Wingfield Digby Photoframes..
…because the moments special enough to capture deserve only the best frame! Perfect to frame your favourite moments – from the outdoors or not, these gorgeous photo frames really capture the essence of the countryside in a classy and elegant way. These stunning feather and glass frames are hand-finished and are available in two different sizes. Very much a statement piece for any home, these frames add a touch of luxury to any surface or shelf! A really great gift idea for someone special (again, I should have been more organised because this would make a perfect Valentines gift – pop in a photo of your loved one and you’re sure to be in the good books for a very long time!), or a gorgeous treat for yourself, the frames are available in a variety of feather designs. I chose the pheasant feather frame because the colours are simply stunning, rich and luxurious – it reminds me of my favourite time of year (Autumn) and will be home (when I finally get my bottom into gear!!) to a photo of my Brother and I from my first Game shoot last year – a very special memory that will be made even more so by keeping it in such a beautiful frame.
I am definitely eyeing up my next frame – I want to start a collection to keep some of my favourite photos, of my favourite people in! The frames come beautifully packaged too, so they make such fabulous gifts – great for guys who are super hard to buy for and for those special gifts – I love the white goose feather option which would make a beautiful wedding gift for any loved one. You get get your Wingfield & Digby Frame here.
In my opinion, you never need an excuse to treat yourself – I am the queen of justifying any purchase, however unnecessary, but with Spring just around the corner (it is there, somewhere!) and these horribly miserable days of late, now is a great time to get your revive your home. I know my top picks have certainly made my house feel more homely and definitely more country..although if I ever need more of that I can just walk into the freshly cleaned hallway in my muddy wellies…!