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Not all of us can live in the country, live on the land, and let the land support us. Many of us would like to, but the practicality of making a living and the desire to have close proximity to shopping, theaters, and restaurants is more important. Yet, there is something so compelling about country living. Our perception of that life is romanticized into a yearning for a more simple existence where we can escape the hustle-bustle lives we have in the city.
In our research, Sweet Country Style has found that some of the more important traits of a country life are gardening, cooking, decorating with re-purposed items, and entertaining and relaxing with friends and family. These are just a few ideas that can bring you back to a bygone era and a connection with people—all aspects of a wholesome, simple life.
This is the genesis of the “country living” trend—our desire to incorporate characteristics of a more simple life into our own. One of our favorite magazines, Country Living believes that “how you live means a whole lot more than where you live.” The magazine’s entire mission is to “celebrate a lifestyle embracing home, food, family and entertaining.”
If this is something you would like to pursue as a lifestyle, it isn’t that difficult. Here are 4 tips for creating a bit of country living for you and your family.
Gardening is an important aspect in country living. You won’t believe how much planting and growing your own flowers, herbs, and vegetables can add to your life! Getting your fingers in soil, watering the plants, watching them grow, and picking them to either eat or fill a vase can be therapeutic and a respite from your busy daily life. You don’t need a plot of land to garden—a few pots will do just fine! Pots on your deck or balcony can be filled with herbs for cooking or flowers for displays of color both outside and in your home.
Decorating your living space with things you love enhances your life, especially if those things conjure up a country life. Re-purposing old stuff made to look new again or to use in a different way is a great way to add the “country” into your home. A lot of old stuff looks new again just by being cleaned up and put to use.
But, you can also get creative with items from the past to give them a new life. How about using an ironing board as a bar outside for food and drinks? Or, painting a two-tiered end table from the 1950’s to use as a side table. And, maybe re-purposing old wooden soda crates as a shadow box table is something to consider. Additionally, using pops of color in rugs, pillows, and window treatments can add a country flair for your rooms.
Cooking at home is a big part of country living. We can’t all be Julia Child or Emeril Lagasse, but maybe we can take a few fresh ingredients and cook them simply--the result being a wonderful healthy meal! It only requires us to be more aware of how our food is prepared. Everyone loves a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients—start with some veggies, add a piece of chicken or fish, enhance with some herbs and spices, and you have a wonderful healthy meal. You don’t have to grow all of your veggies yourself, but you also don’t have to spend a lot of money on fresh vegetables at the supermarket. You can start by pulling up some easy recipes on the internet and take it from there!
Our last tip for country living is to relax, enjoy your down time, and make time for friends and family. None of the other 3 tips are worth a hoot if you can’t spend some time relaxing, enjoying your space and sharing it with others. A big part of country living is having get-togethers with others. When we think of the past when most people lived in rural areas, the main way of entertainment was to gather with family and friends. People made their own entertainment with talk, telling stories, and playing games. Be sure to make this a priority and you will achieve an important aspect of country living, and life in general.
We hope these 4 tips can help you in developing your own “country living” lifestyle. Remember, simplicity is the key!