Modern Country: Comfort Meets Modern Aesthetic
It used to be the country decor was all about geese wearing blue bonnets and lots of cutesy clutter. But country has become more streamlined and modern country decors seem to be borrowing design principles from modern interior design portfolios. Modern country style now has a lot in common with contemporary design and the blending of the two styles creates a stylish but homey look. Here’s what’s fresh, new, exciting and modern about today’s country.
Focal Points are Strong
It used to be that country decors had so much going on in a room that it was difficult to determine what the focal point was or if one even existed. In today’s more streamlined country style, focal points are unmistakable. For example, a pair of tall antique iron candle stands may frame a landscape painting above a velvet chaise; to maintain strong visual presence, other decorations in the room are pared down so they don’t compete with the focal point. Walls are painted in clean, neutral colors like travertine brown or foggy gray. These don’t compete with furnishings, wall art, collections or accessories.
Spaciousness is Celebrated
Furniture is arranged in comfortable seating clusters with an eye toward creating open spaces. And much like modern decor, space is celebrated with contrast: Dark wood beams may show off ceiling space above that is painted in simple, clean white, for instance. Or woodwork is painted white to contrast with darker walls, bringing strong architectural clarity, along with drama and sophistication, to a space.
Comfort it Big, but so is Style
Country style furniture is still cushy and comfy, but a lot more attractive than in years past. Long gone are ugly plaids and barnyard patterns. Solids, checks, stripes and florals are freely mixed with a shabby chic or cottage aesthetic over layers of white. Traditionally shaped furniture pieces, such as Queen Anne chairs are used to show off their curvaceous shapes and classic lines. They may be upholstered with fresh, updated fabrics in inviting colors like haystack green or periwinkle blue. Metallic accessories and wall art have heft and are clad in gold or silver that stands out boldly against smoky slate colored walls. Fun, funky fabrics are used on pillows, lamp shades and window treatments, sometimes making it a challenge to determine where country style ends and modern style begins.
Collections are Eclectic
No longer do collections have to be solely about geese and cows. Interesting modern country homes mix paintings and other types of wall art that are not necessarily from the same genre. For example, a vintage sun metal wall art might add color and distinction when hung above an English tea cart or a modern horse metal wall art might complement primitive American antiques used in a keeping room done in shades of charcoal and black with stark cream accents. Similarly, modern country designers mix antiques with contemporary pieces for unexpected shots of personality. You just might see an abstract contemporary painting propped atop an old fireplace mantle, bringing color and a modern attitude to a room.
Furnishings are Eclectic too
People who love country style tend to love vintage furnishings and they don’t want to part with them in order to modernize their rooms. But there is no need to let them go because mixing contemporary with antique or vintage is very chic. For example, you might arrange sleek, modern brushed metal dining chairs around a curved, ornate antique tiger oak table. Part of the fun in decorating in this mixed style is having an opportunity to create a unique look that is truly all your own.