©Plow & Hearth Oversized and overstuffed, this chair surrounds you with comfort but doesn't sacrifice good looks. Arching, art deco-inspired curves and splayed saber legs deliver dramatic contemporary style.

Contemporary Country

If you like warmth but not clutter, this fresh country style is made for you. It pairs the heirloom character of the past with today's easygoing lifestyle. The result? A look that's as free-spirited as the wide-open spaces: one that's grounded in the beauty of handicrafts and natural materials, the elegance of strong and simple lines, the appeal of rich colors, and lots of windows on the great outdoors.

Contemporary country is inspired by low-slung prairie style and mid-century modern style. But any design with strong and simple lines works well. Antique Shaker-style furniture is a great example of the unity of form and function modernists prize.

Other sure bets are your favorite finds mixed with modern upholstery for a look you can easily live with, anywhere. (A look this clean and uncluttered is as much at home in a city apartment as in a mountain lodge.) So pick contemporary, and feel free. There's nothing more American than that.

Next, learn how the owners of a lakeside retreat achieved a look of timeless livability in their home's country styling.

For more decorating ideas, see: