Classic Country Style Speaks to a New Generation
Homespun touches like animal accents, rodeo art and rustic colors help bring traditional country style to any room in the home today
I am a freelance editorial and wedding photographer and Houzz contributor based out of Hershey, PA. Come visit me at 'A Nest for All Seasons' where I write about design, photography and modern garden living!
I am a freelance editorial and wedding photographer and Houzz contributor... More »
Whether it's traditional Americana, the mauve and powder blue country look of the '80s or, most recently, shabby chic, the idea of country-style living and designing has been part of our vernacular for a long time. There is a reason that country living and styling never truly die. They're bred into our genes and hark back to our roots in America. Sometimes sparse, sometimes rustic, sometimes kitschy but always homey, country living is a style that speaks to our hearts.
Whether or not you like country music, line dancing and rodeos, it is a rare soul who doesn't enjoy a view of wide-open plains, crisp white paint and a floor so smooth it feels like silk underfoot.
The true threads of country design stem from authentic rural living. Paintings of cows and statues of rabbits may go in and out of style, but a love for animals remains. Color schemes may drift from pastels to muddy tones to crisp, bright contrasts, but they are always inspired by nature's palette. We may try to escape the country style of our elders, but a beautiful view of nature will always entice us to come right back.
Perhaps you are a bit less rustic in your style. You love crisp country whites and visions of pastoral living, but cowboy hats aren't for you. Try inserting beadboard, garden touches in a clean finish and stone for a classic, dignified country-manor look.
You can even work country influences into a sleek and modern kitchen. The horse prints work in this space, thanks to repetition and a clear contrast between the deep brown foreground and plain white background.
Your interpretation of country style might be more whimsical, taking cues from ranches and rodeos instead of cottages and cabins. This vintage neon sign is the perfect offbeat accessory to give an open wall a shot of personality.
Perhaps the most iconic image of country style is the barn. Whether it is brilliant red, blinding white or rustic brown, a barn is always a pleasing sight when you're driving down a country road. Updating the classic barn with clean lines, a midtone wood and attractive windows and dormers gives new life to an old favorite.
Perhaps your style veers even further from the traditional barn look, yet you love the idea of rustic country styling. Note this modern rendition of a farmhouse, which takes cues from barns, shacks and chicken coops alike — all with contemporary flair and modern lines.
An oversize portrait of a cowboy hard at work changes up this traditional living space. The image blends well with the room's palette due to the desaturation of the print.
Simply adding a coat of whitewash and open shelving to your kitchen recalls eras gone by, when many of those who lived in the country couldn't afford cabinetry.
Ideabook updated on Feb. 26, 2012.
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