I’ve had my house in Normandy for some 25 years. It’s an old farmhouse complete with an old cowshed and barns. Inside, I’ve introduced elements of rustic country style, which I feel is in keeping with the home’s history. My kitchen (shown here) brings together many rustic elements, including an old cider barrel that I’ve aged using a wash of my paint, Chalk Paint™. By the fire, I keep an old French log basket and a very battered antique Louis Vuitton trunk. The cushion is made of old French mattress ticking.
Rustic country furniture tends to be quite basic and simple in the way it is made. Tables, sideboards, and chairs will be chunky and built to last.
The interior of this American homestead fuses rustic country elements – like an Adirondack style basket and a pair of Swedish wooden children’s snowshoes – with other elements from other styles (the pair of neoclassical vases, for instance). The table is a “country Hepplewhite” and all the elements are natural and rustic in function and texture.
When I was working on my last book, ‘Annie Sloan’s Room Recipes for Style and Colour’, I visited this lovely rustic cottage in the Peak District in the North of England. It was like a hidden treasure-trove with its original features waiting to be discovered. In the kitchen, they have put in an AGA cast-iron range stove, which is very much in keeping with the working kitchen. The kitchen worktop and sink are original. Everything is on display, within easy reach.
The mini cupboard in this rustic English kitchen was actually sourced from Romania. It’s a real country piece and the owners use it to store their collection of English spongeware. To create a similar look, try mixing Antibes Green and a bit of Aubusson Blue from my Chalk Paint™ paint palette, and distress back heavily with sandpaper once painted.
The bathroom in this English cottage is a mix of blue-green hues. The rolltop, freestanding, single-ended Victorian bathtub, with its old brass faucets and ball-and-claw cast iron feet is a classic rustic country item. Here it is set in shades reminiscent of my Aubusson Blue and Louis Blue. The chair is a lighter Greek Blue with very textured and worn paintwork. The natural iron latch on the well-worn door is pure rustic.
ROOM RECIPES FOR STYLE AND COLOUR by ANNIE & FELIX SLOAN, published by CICO Books. Photography by Christopher Drake © CICO Books 2014