Country Home Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
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When you visualize country inspired decor, images of rustic countryside homes come to mind. Salt of the earth homes, with attached farms and life outdoors. It’s a pioneer style from early America, and actually incorporates hints of the Americana style. What makes country style so alluring is the relaxing, welcoming and simply ‘at home’ feeling you get with this decor style. It’s a combination of rustic, timeworn accents, vintage furnishings, and an uncontrived approach that creates an embracing ambience. The heart of country style aims to simply create a home that everyone loves to spend time in.



CountryClassic country style came from practical country living. Any aspect of rural living and farmhouse style can be harnessed because it remains timeless. The color schemes mainly feature shades of brown from the dark woods gathered around a homestead's immediate surroundings. This classic style is associated with:

  • Traditional florals
  • Lace curtains
  • Crochet doilies
  • Farmhouse furniture
  • Knitted tea cozies
  • Baskets of fresh eggs in the kitchen
  • Floor and table lamps to create warm ambience and reading nooks for relaxation

Classic country kitchen accents can include hints of any of these ideas:

  • Hanging pots
  • Checkered linens- tablecloths, curtains, napkins
  • Metal decor items
  • Vases of fresh or dried wild flowers
  • Ceramic jars for food items
  • Hanging pendant lighting


In a country home setting, the kitchen truly is considered the heart of the home as this is normally where family gathers on a daily basis to share meals. A large central, sturdy table had multipurpose as work and dining space. Choosing a reclaimed wood or stained timber kitchen table is a solid beginning to this style.

Another element to classic country kitchens is the storage shelving or cabinets. There are three styles to choose from:

  • Colonial square
  • Shaker-style
  • Open shelving

Open Kitchen Shelving


Used in both classic and modern country style home decor, timber furniture pieces set the stage. Usually they are inherited family furnishings but if that is not the case, the selection at your local second hand stores, estate sales, and thrift shops should be able to suit your needs just as well. And don’t be intimidated to mix old and new items. There is no need to have matching sets of everything, it actually adds to the authentic look and feel to mix up styles and insert variety.


Timber flooring is almost synonymous with the country look. Add some natural textured throw rugs to complete the look. The kitchen floor can be laid with:

  • Earth-toned tiles
  • Traditional black-and-white checks
  • Stone tiles


When updating the country design style for the modern era, it becomes a balancing act between old and new. The goal is to blend traditional, vintage with contemporary without being too polished. Incorporating the joy of outdoor country living, its charm and heritage while letting go of a bit of the country kitsch. A soulful modern home with a cozy vibe can be suited to a home in part of the country, city or suburb.



A mostly neutral backdrop in paint shades of white work best for the modern country look. To create a bright and airy feeling, choose lighter tones. Contrasting colors of accessories can be brought in with these muted shades that keep the modern home feeling warm and cozy:

  • Dusty rose
  • Washed sage
  • Mint
  • Dusty blues
  • Subtle shades of cream and beige

For an accent wall or a bright ‘pop’ of color, choose a rich red or solid yellow.


Pattern and texture are still welcome in the modern country style. By including one or more of these options, it breathes in a breath of freshness and whimsy to a contemporary look that might be too stale. Feel free to mix in some of the classic country patterns:

  • Stripes
  • Checks
  • Floral pieces

To make these elements more modern, think about presenting them in new expressions. For example, oversized floral prints are an update to the traditional floral patterns. If you’d like to use multiple patterns, keep the look cohesive by sticking to a monotone palette across the range.


The formula for an effective modern country design includes bringing in a healthy amount of elements using natural materials, which is one of the foundations of the outdoorsy country heartland.

  • Barn-style doors
  • Exposed wooden beams
  • Wood paneling
  • Wooden floorboards
  • Weathered wood furniture


Modern country furnishings, again, are a mix of the classic traditional materials and base structural elements but with an updated spin.

  • Farmhouse table in reclaimed, or worn and antique wood.
  • Dining chairs with various materials, mixing up styles to incorporate old and new.
  • Focus on detailed carvings in your wood pieces.
  • Keep modern silhouettes crisp and clean.


If your home is one of an older variety, you can look into the bones of the structure. See what raw, natural materials lie at its core and bring them back to life.

  • Bare plaster
  • Exposed brick
  • Concrete or wood floors

This may result in an industrial-modern hybrid that can work wonderfully with country style elements by including warm copper tones, bare bulb hanging light pendants, white-washed wood accents.

If there are no internal structural elements to work with or you’d like to update a traditional country home, you can do so by bringing in reclaimed elements that you have found and restored or stained and varnished.

  • Reclaimed wood paneling
  • Reclaimed flooring
  • Reclaimed furniture


Modern style is about efficiency. Clutter is minimized and every item in view has a purpose. That means your rustic country style accents and displays are still present but more streamlined. These examples will work well:

  • Open shelving
  • Hanging pots
  • Utensil displays
  • Butcher’s block


  • Vintage enamel water jugs
  • Old glassware-vases or bottles
  • Vintage dining sets
  • Handmade items
  • Blanket throws
  • Textured or patterned cushions


The heart of country style design, classic or modern, is about filling your home with pieces and furnishings that make you happy, make your guests feel welcome. While there are no hard and fast rules, country style is grounding, appreciates nature and natural elements, and cherishes heritage and ultimately creates a well lived-in and loved home.






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