Country Decorating Ideas

A New Perspective

Exposed beams and a two-story fireplace are rustic elements that have made country houses comfortable for centuries. The dramatic architectural lines are modern, but the rustic textures and natural materials are timeless and perfect for a sophisticated country home. A combination of contemporary and traditional furniture, including a leather club chair and roll-arm sofa, mix country comfort and impressive good looks.

The rallying cry of modernism, "form follows function," was a radical notion to a world in which the ideal was to cover up function with as much decorative overlay as possible. This spacious, secluded house is designed with the most freeing aspects of modern style, but with all the warmth and dignity we associate with fresh country style in any era.

The vaulted cathedral ceiling is a showstopper, and the rustic stone fireplace surround has an almost sculptural drama of its own. Some of the upholstered furniture is modern, and the handsome area rugs are contemporary foliage patterns that owe some inspiration to William Morris.

Dark, rustic furniture and a low ceiling give a cozy, country look to the dining room. The adjoining living room ceiling soars two stories, but the overall feeling is outdoorsy and casual.

The bath, inherently modern because of its fixtures, has a clean-lined warmth thanks to its stunning overhead architecture and contemporary wood cabinets.

Exposing a building's structure for the beauty of functional form is a modern approach that is also simple enough to fit right in to a contemporary country decorating scheme. If your lot requires more privacy than this, opt for country-canvas Roman shades or neutral pleated shades that don't disturb the room's tailored lines.

The overall look is rich yet serene and informal: Modern style at its best.

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