Elements of Modern Country

When designing homes for my clients, I see a common thread. They all want their spaces to be warm & inviting; casual, comfortable, unpretentious and where you can put your feet up without worry and judgement. Hence the surge of the modern farmhouse and enter modern country or new country. It’s rustic living without being too rustic, it’s simple, yet it’s filled with furnishings that screams a “passion for craftsmanship allowing the natural materials to shine through.” I came across this book that celebrates all of that and more; Modern Living | New Country by the amazing interiors journalist & design writer Claire Bingham {she was the Homes Editor for Elle Decoration UK and her work has been featured in international glossies, including Vogue Living and Architectural Digest}.

There are tons of eye-candy in this book; you’ll find a Moroccan villa, a French chalet, a Nordic log cabin — the book re-interprets what “country” is. But my best takeaways are the practical tips to achieve this look, here are my Top 10.

modern-country

Let’s examine what I mean by each one, shall we?

1/ Layers: The lived-in look is all about layering and mixing & matching. Love 2 rugs for your living room? Why not layer & use them both? Have so many textures going on & think it may be too much? The answer is “No.” Go ahead and have linen, velvets, kilims & sheepskin all in one space.

2/ Whitewash Walls: In the era of shiplap {thanks Joanna Gaines}, whitewash walls takes it to another level of rustic. Don’t think whitewashing can be done to wood only, essentially any surface can be whitewashed — sheetrock walls, brick, anything!

3/ Vintage Tub: I saw lots of them in this book & for good reason. They are just so adorable & gives a bathroom so much character. A simple refinishing is just what a vintage tub needs but if you find one, don’t get it refinished to where it’s too pristine; the wear & tear should still shine through.

4/ Ticking: That casual fabric made of cotton & textile used in the old days to cover mattresses & pillows is now used as upholstery,linens & napkins, cushion covers & even drapery. I’m rather partial to red ticking. See some of my fabric obsessions here & here.

5/ Functional Spaces: This seems like a no-brainer but how many of us have spaces in our homes that literally have no function? In a modern country home, each space is important. The stair landing may hold a cabinet storing extra linens or a wall niche may hold firewood logs.

6/ Natural Hues: The organic tones of wood, the crisp whiteness of clouds, the ashen gray & black hues of burnt firewood.

7/ Salvaged Rustic Pieces: What is country without rustic pieces right? A factory cart turned into a coffee table, lighting suspended on old pulleys, old barn doors turned into wall art, the list goes on.

8/ Wood Beams: Of course, right? Get some reclaimed ones while you’re at it. It will be perfect!

9/ Rethink Wood Floors: Real wood floors — it’s timeless, it’s classic. But give it a modern twist — mix it with other materials. By now, you’ve probably seen a lot of the tile-wood combo where the tile bleeds on the wooden floors {or is it the other way around?}; you would need a geometric tile & at Fireclay tile, the possibilities are endless.

10/ Linens + Slipcovers: Dress your seating in this type of fabric — they just spell comfort.

More eye candy ….
modern-country-bedrooms new country living room

denim chair and ticking

From top left: 1. A white bedroom with canopy makes for a New Country bedroom dream 2. A rustic French chalet makes way for a Rococo bed 3. A very Scandinavian Living room 4. A glorious nook

The verdict for the book? Two thumbs up & five stars — you will not be disappointed with a whole slew of inspiration & heaps of practical tips — to making the most of small spaces to lessons in layering. Go get it at Teneues or it’s here on Amazon too! It’s a must have for every design enthusiast & a perfect coffee table book.

Modern Living New Country Book

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