Recognizing and appreciating simple things can be an easy way to experience a country lifestyle and can have a big impact on your life.
We use a clothesline whenever possible in warm weather and wooden clothes racks around the wood stove in winter, with the added benefit of extra humidity in the air. Just small touches, but they make a big difference to me.
Some things take a bit more planning, but are worth it. We supplement our furnace heat with wood, every evening and weekend in the cold weather, meaning we only turn the furnace on in the coldest of weather. We live like folks did in the old days, closing off little used rooms and only heating the upstairs when absolutely necessary. We sleep upstairs and layer on the down comforters and flannel sheets in winter and all is cozy. Whenever the radiators are on, I place glass bread pans on them filled with water and herbs, to humidify and scent the air.
Braided rugs grace many an old wooden floor in our home. I have rugs made by myself, my mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother. It’s a veritable legacy beneath our feet.
In the office, I re-purposed a lot of items for use there. I use varying sized canning jars for small items, rubber bands and so forth, keeping those items attractively in plain sight. I use baskets to hold file folders and recycled a very old door to make a computer cupboard. An antique table serves as my desk. Mixing bowls hold plants and small notes and notebooks. Interesting rocks and shells are paperweights.
In the bathroom, I use a lot of old canning jars to hold small soaps, hair ties, Q-tips, cotton balls etc. Old lace salvaged from otherwise ruined antique textiles, adorns the edge of towels. An old crocheted antimacassar doily works as a window topper. An antique marble mantle shelf covers the radiator and holds heat resistant items. And old medicine cabinet, repainted, works to hold odd items on the wall. Baskets hold sponges and larger items.
In the bedroom, spice and small canning jars hold hair clips, jewelry items and change on the dresser. Rescued lace adorns a bed skirt and trims pillowcases. An heirloom crocheted coverlet covers the bed in some seasons. An old dry sink doubles as a bedside stand. Elderly bureaus hold clothes and rejuvenated trunks hold larger items. A family rocker passed down several generations, affords a comfortable spot to relax.
Our activities are often guided by the time of day, as in where the best natural light is, and the time of year. Country living, in part, means working and living with the environment. That being said, we always looking to reduce our carbon footprint and respect our one and only earth.