Living in the country means enjoying peace and calm far away from urban stress. The country retreats we create for ourselves reflect this difference. A measure of the value we place on our rural sanctuaries is the attention paid to every aspect of their design and construction. Today’s rural retreats are far more luxurious, with a greater emphasis on rich and exceptional materials. Yet these dwellings are still quite different from their counterparts in the city. The houses featured in these pages embody a simpler yet no less stylish attitude towards life. Country houses all over the world have been selected for their distinctive architecture and interiors.