Modern country style ideas – the new rules to follow

From punchy pops of colour to smart slimline shapes, today's modern country styles are easy to pull together and even easier to live with

If you love country interiors, but are longing to give the traditional florals and farmhouse furniture a bit of an update, this is the article for you. Whether you want an unfussy grey scheme or a pattern-packed room, there’s a modern country look to suit every home. Not sure how to go about it? Here are the new country styling rules to keep you right.

Rule 1: Give country an industrial edge

Exposed brick wall modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

Wood, stone and metal are all essentials for this look. Soften raw edges with accessories in tomato red, mustard yellow and aqua blue. Add a feature with stone or panelled-effect wallpaper, but find a design that’s not too dominating so reclaimed pieces can shine out. Furniture needs to be slimline and even sleek – it’s the opposite of farmhouse. And lastly, have fun with styling by putting a blowsy floral cushion next to a retro stripe for a cool mismatched effect.

Get the look
Buy now: brick-look wallpaper, £13 per roll, Graham & Brown
Buy now: similar fabric, £18 per m, John Lewis

Pink headboard modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 Dan Duchars

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Get the look
Buy now: plank-effect wallpaper, I want Wallpaper

Rule 2: Take inspiration from modern crafters

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Relaxed, stylish and homely, this look improves with age and as more pieces are added. Wood is king – from grainy unit doors to lamp bases – but keep tones similar. Bring nature in with scenes from the British countryside on fabrics and in artworks. Rabbit, badger and fox designs, plus ferns and wild flowers are all quintessentially country, yet pale shades and illustrative elements make them artisan, too.

Get the look
Buy now: similar hare fabric, £64 per m, Peony & Sage
Buy now: similar paint, £15 for 2.5ltr, Wilko

Rule 3: Make country a little boho

Country living room modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 timeinukcontent

Image credit: timeincukcontent.com

Country doesn’t have to be calm – it can be boho, too. Express a love of colour and pattern with a happy combo of florals that are as far from chintzy as you can get. To make it all work together, keep a neutral base – panelling, white walls and seagrass allow patterns to leap out, while a colourful rug is a low-cost addition. The trick with lots of patterns is to play with scale. For example, a small motif complements a large-scale floral, rather than fighting it.

Get the look
Buy now: similar stripy rug, from £120, John Lewis
Buy now: similar yellow sofa, £299.99, Sofas World

Floral tablecloth modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

Get the look
Buy now: similar tableware, Love Tiki

Rule 4: Liven up a classic look with soft pastels

Industrial country modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 Joanna Henderson

Image credit: Joanna Henderson

Combine a boxy sofa with French country-style pieces and move this favourite look on by dressing the room with hints of sage green, dusky rose and taupe. Work the weathered style with natural distressed finishes, which warm up a neutral room. With regards to pattern, use it sparingly – let accessories such as cushions or a rug add floral accents, but don’t go overboard.

Get the look
Buy now: similar cushion fabric, Fabrics and Papers
Buy now: similar carpet, £7.99 per sq m, Carpetright

Rule 5: Create a trendy 1950s feel with retro pastels

Wood cladding modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

Ideal for brightening up a dark room, pastels give country a retro vibe that works around the home. Rather than white or natural panelling, be brave and paint your boards in a pretty colour, then add patterns – from runners to cushions, chair covers to napkins. Start with a large-scale hero design then add smaller prints. And remember that furniture paint is your friend – great for chairs, stools and tables just waiting for a retro revival.

Get the look
Buy now: similar swallow fabric, £24 per m, Sophie Allport
Buy now: similar sofa, £2,600, Darlings of Chelsea

Multicoloured chairs modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

Get the look
Buy now:
similar furniture paint, B&Q
Buy now: white planks laminate flooring, £21.99 per sq m, Quick-Step

Rule 6: Go for warmer shades of grey

Grey living room modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

Mix warm neutrals for a scheme that belongs in a hide-away hotel. Add a few country-style must-haves, such as ticking fabric and painted furniture, but avoid accents. This look is tonal and interest comes from subtle patterns and textures, like stripes, wicker and rattan. Make upholstery the star – a corner sofa that’s made for sinking into and a smart footstool in place of a coffee table ensure an inviting space.

Get the look
Buy now: similar paint, £44 for 2.5ltr, Mylands
Buy now: similar fabric, £13.95 per m, Just Fabrics

Rule 7: Mix geometric and graphic prints

Wood wall modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 David Brittain

Image credit: David Brittain

This Scandi-inspired look works well in any room, and is all about adding pattern to a panelled or wooden-clad backdrop. Experiment with planks by laying wood flooring in one direction and wall panelling in another to create interest before introducing your Scandi pattern hit. Limit the number of colours you choose – three or four tops and not every print needs to feature them all. Scandi country is still calm at its heart, rather than being a riot of pattern.

Get the look
Buy now: similar rug, £110.99, Wayfair
Buy now: similar bedding, from £16, The White Company

Yellow rug modern country style ideas SAH July 17 p53 Trevor Richards

Image credit: Trevor Richards

Get the look
Buy now: similar rug, from £129, Marks & Spencer
Buy now: similar side table, £255, The Country Home

Whichever modern country look you go for, they’re all thoroughly welcoming and comfortable – they’re definitely interiors that are made for living in.

This article originally appeared in Style at Home, July 2017.

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