Interior design modern country 3
A modern country house like no other by melina divani · interior design modern country
Modern Country House Interior Design

Modern Country House Interior Design Modern Country House Interior Design

Look for pieces that have marks of wear, a patina of age or a backstory that makes them intriguing. Also think about adapting or customising non-domestic pieces – old pigeonhole drawers from a post office or a machinist’s workbench can become really quirky and unusual home furnishings.

  • Use colour to highlight architectural details, beams, a banister or the traffic area on a staircase (bottom left)
  • For a restrained effect, try limiting yourself to just one strong tone in a room. Used for textiles or as paint against neutral tones such as white or grey (top right), this will have a timeless appeal
  • Update kitchen cabinets or a large piece of furniture, such as a cupboard or armoire, by repainting in a fresh shade (bottom right)
  • Create a focus with areas of strong colour, either used on a single wall (top left) or in stripes of toning shades on cupboard fronts and doors

The fashion for reworking mid-20th-century designs, from both craftspeople and high-street retailers, is very popular. Look out for design classics or traditional pieces with crisp silhouettes. Often echoing classic items, these tend to be a good fit for country houses, and their crisp, latter-day styling works surprisingly well with a mix of antiques.

For the kitchen, the interior designer taps into a modern country aesthetic by using reclaimed timber that has been finished with milk paint. “A very painstaking process,” says Michael, “but worth it in the end. The results provide a lustrous finish.” Clean grey limestone flooring, handmade wall tiles and shiplap boards, which are fastened with steel square-cut nails then brushed with a high-gloss lacquered paint, elevate the contemporary country vibe.

From colour to texture and furniture to pattern, these country-style interior design and decorating tips will get you the modern country look in you own home.

Timeless colour combinations are synonymous with contemporary country spaces and, in keeping with Michael’s usual Neoclassical palettes, this project incorporates greys, blacks and light hues to exquisite effect.

Take inspiration from the elegant cream upholstery, white-painted ceiling and coordinating curtains (left) and the black finish applied to the cabinetry below.

This rustic kitchen is from the same project and continues the use of light-hued woodwork, from the floors to the cabinetry, table and chairs. Patterns make another appearance in the form of a striped blind as do arrangements of green foliage. Rustic touches are delivered via an array of vintage milk casks above the AGA oven and an aged metal ceiling light.

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Geometrics are also popular choices, from simple chevron and repeating shapes to more detailed filigree patterns on tiles or wallpaper – these have their roots in the Spanish or north African designs commonly seen on encaustic tiles. Pattern looks most striking and modern when it is used simply, keeping the rest of the room fairly plain and making a feature of just one design – be it on curtains, a frieze of tiles on a splashback or in the rhythmic patterns of an encaustic floor.

Equally, furniture that is not usually seen in a domestic setting can look unique and modern. Current styles that have their roots in industrial design, such as metal and glazed cabinets, cupboards and storage units, are a good example. Painted pieces can often look more up to date than dark wood, though it is possible to mix them together, too.

  • Pull together a collection of items by keeping them all within a single colour scheme (bottom left)
  • Mix old and new to help modern furniture integrate into your home. Try combining the traditional joinery of a farmhouse table with mismatched contemporary chairs (top right)
  • The pared-back simplicity of a classic Ercol bench will look great in a country-themed hall (top left)

In this converted Cotswolds barn, designer Pippa Paton has combined modern design with natural materials to create a minimalist haven that maintains its rural identity. In the sitting room, clean lines and bright white furnishings contrast with textured elements and artefacts. The fossils, cogs and tools on the mantelpiece were all found in the garden.

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  • figure-facebook figure-twitter figure-whatsapp figure-pinterest figure-email figure-zoom cta-more Shades of GreyWe’re not suggesting this room is uber modern – there are elements of traditional country style, from the toile de jouy wallpaper to the classic furniture and heritage fabrics – but the colour scheme and uncomplicated approach give it a contemporary country feel.
  • figure-facebook figure-twitter figure-whatsapp figure-pinterest figure-email figure-zoom cta-more Converted StablesA stables which Maria Speake of Retrouvius restored at a Georgian farmhouse in the Chilterns is now the husband’s study and used as overspill for guests. Neutral tones, modern furniture, and plenty of exposed wood make this the perfect contemporary country space. Paul Massey
  • figure-facebook figure-twitter figure-whatsapp figure-pinterest figure-email figure-zoom cta-more Wood BurnerThe cabins at Soho Farmhouse are built using reclaimed board cladding and feature indoor relaxing spaces such as this sitting area with a log burner. A variety of textures make the room feel even cosier, and the reclaimed wooden door is appealingly rustic.
  • figure-facebook figure-twitter figure-whatsapp figure-pinterest figure-email figure-zoom cta-more Olive and WoodA design ethos of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, and his family home. The elegant rural villa not far from Aalter, between Ghent and Bruges, is styled with a wealth of organic materials lending it depth and warmth. The library adjoins the living room, which has plenty of shelving to display books and family photographs. Michael Sinclair
  • figure-facebook figure-twitter figure-whatsapp figure-pinterest figure-email figure-zoom cta-more Exposed StoneIn this converted Cotswolds barn, designer Pippa Paton has combined modern design with natural materials to create a minimalist haven that maintains its rural identity. In the sitting room, clean lines and bright white furnishings contrast with textured elements and artefacts. The fossils, cogs and tools on the mantelpiece were all found in the garden. Elsa Young
  • Natural materials are well suited to hardwearing areas such as a hall, kitchen or utility room (top left and bottom right). For flooring, try using brick or reclaimed pammets combined with underfloor heating
  • If you are renovating, consider leaving some part of your home with a rough finish – such as a bare plaster, brick or stone wall (top right)
  • Contrasting surfaces, mixing sleek and shiny with rough and gritty, heightens textural impact (bottom left)

Cabinetry is also a major ingredient in the recipe for modern country settings and features repeatedly throughout Aiduss’ work.

“When sourcing cabinetry, we always employ the use of craftspeople who can hand-make cabinets. There are all sorts of individuals at varying levels who can do the work depending on the intricacy of the design and, in the end, it allows each project to be bespoke. I love hardware and try to use high-quality or handmade pieces whenever possible. People always notice great hardware.”

I love hardware and try to use high-quality or handmade pieces whenever possible. People always notice great hardware.

We’re not suggesting this room is uber modern – there are elements of traditional country style, from the toile de jouy wallpaper to the classic furniture and heritage fabrics – but the colour scheme and uncomplicated approach give it a contemporary country feel.

Spotlighting the projects of two interior design firms that have mastered this look – Michael Aiduss and Helen Green Design – we explore what it takes to achieve the perfect modern country interior space.

  • Deconstructed styles are fashionable for kitchens, with open units and shelving for storage as well as cupboards (left)
  • Reclaimed wood makes a beautiful display in its own right (right)
  • Turn a sack barrow into a frame for a one-of-a-kind coffee table, or create shelving from wooden crates or scaffold planks

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“Timelessness is a relevant factor when selecting colours,” says Michael. “I love making people guess when things were created. Timelessness is an effect that allows a project to give back to the client. They don’t get tired of the space in two years.”

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You could use reclaimed wood to clad walls or drawer fronts in a kitchen for instant character, while soft textiles can add layers of warmth and visual interest in the form of rough, slubby linen, wool and sheep skin. If you don’t have organic textures to reveal or display, add a tactile quality with wall panelling, natural floor coverings, baskets, furniture and textiles or woven wire pieces.

Mustard yellow, deep teal blue, chalky blush pink, coral and charcoal are all very popular right now, so introducing these shades into a room will certainly make it feel up to date, but it is also about how and where you use colour. Above all, you should choose shades that you are naturally drawn to, rather than something that is purely fashionable, to ensure you don’t tire of them.

The cabins at Soho Farmhouse are built using reclaimed board cladding and feature indoor relaxing spaces such as this sitting area with a log burner. A variety of textures make the room feel even cosier, and the reclaimed wooden door is appealingly rustic.

With a focus on light wood furniture pieces – including an antique-finish chest of drawers and French style fauteuils – fresh hues and natural touches, this living space from a country house in Hampshire is a beautiful demonstration of modern country elegance. “For a country home to feel liveable it is important that the interior is timeless,” explains Sheena Notley-Griffiths, Head of Studio at Helen Green. “Our design balances both luxury and contemporary functionality to a perfect degree.” Just take a look at the juxtaposition of exquisite upholstery and comfortable silhouettes on the furniture designs in this living room for an example.

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The ethos of reusing and repurposing items and materials in interiors has been gaining momentum over the past decade. Recycling makes good sense from an environmental perspective, and can impart character and interest to your home.

Referencing rural surroundings – take inspiration from the bloom-filled vases, floral canvas and woodland-inspired candle holders in this space – is another effective way to create a modern country feel. A stately chandelier and mirror combined with traditional window panes and patterned curtains are used as ways to give rise to a manor-like aesthetic.

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When it comes to the approach for this project, and all of the country projects Helen Green Design puts its hand to for that matter, Sheena explains that the studio aims to create “light and fresh interiors which have an elegant yet cosy feel all year round.”

Using deep or intense hues to highlight specific areas, such as alcoves or a single wall, will enhance architectural details and bring atmosphere to an interior. Strong, zingy colours can also be very effective to show off details on furniture or used in well-chosen accessories. A single vibrant painted chair, the underside of a freestanding bath, a rug, the rim of a table or the legs of a chair will all catch the eye and add drama to your space.

Timeless colour combinations are synonymous with contemporary country spaces

  • A splashback can introduce a measured amount of pattern to a kitchen – use tiles or a decorated panel (top right)
  • Traditional florals immediately become sharper and more modern when used in a larger-scale print or monochrome colourway (bottom right)
  • Keep a room’s decoration restricted to just one pattern or colourway for a clean, simple effect (bottom left)
  • Canvases or wallhangings can be made to measure, allowing a delicate flower or botanical artwork to be enlarged (top left)
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The industry’s go-to design elements for contemporary country interiors

Aside from grey limestone, Michael lists honed Carrara marble, raw plaster walls and natural waxed finishes on timber treated with lime as his go-to materials for a modern country look. “In essence ‘natural surfaces’ are the underlying answer when creating an atmospheric modern country environment,” Michael advises. “The key to making it successful is in making sure the architectural design and decoration looks and feels strong, ” advises Michael. “Whether modern or traditional, I always tell my clients that I want the finished result to be believable.”

Once upon a time, a country home was synonymous with traditional interiors and furnishings, but now bold looks and contemporary design hold equal sway…

Rough, organic surfaces, rich in natural patina, are a key element of the modern country look. Previous generations have tended to cover up such imperfections, papering and painting walls to make homes more pristine, but the trend for stripping back to reveal the bones of a property and celebrating the honesty of raw, natural materials has now found favour. Bare plaster or exposed brick can be appealing indoors, or try polished concrete for floors, worktops and even walls. It is warm and silky to the touch, and has depth in its watery, uneven tones.

“A neutral base with a hint of a pale colour will add contrast while patterned and textured wallpapers will add interest and depth. For us, it’s all about the layering of textures and materials,” says Sheena.

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What does Sheena name as the fail-safe design elements for creating contemporary country homes? “A combination of distressed timbers, granite work tops and light-painted finishes paired with leather and patterned linens” are the studio’s firm favourites.   “Furniture should always be scaled correctly and each piece should have its place in a room,” says Sheena. “Mostly all of our furniture is bespoke and made in the UK to a classic contemporary aesthetic. Finally, we often use ceramics and pottery to accessorise country interiors as they complement the light-painted finishes and distressed timbers used throughout our projects.” 

Whilst the team at Helen Green Design are experts at tailoring luxe contemporary environments, they have also got the relaxed modern country look down to a tee, understanding just the kind of design elements that a 21st-century country-style property needs.

A design ethos of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, and his family home. The elegant rural villa not far from Aalter, between Ghent and Bruges, is styled with a wealth of organic materials lending it depth and warmth. The library adjoins the living room, which has plenty of shelving to display books and family photographs.

It’s clear from the beautiful kitchen above – taken from a private house in Essex Fells, located in the northern part of New Jersey – that American-based interior designer Michael Aiduss has a flair for creating contemporary country interiors.

“The building is a classic New England style house, built in the 1930s by architect James Timpson,” explains Michael Aiduss. “Timpson created the house for his wife and himself, and included his architecture studio on the property.

The original design incorporated architectural parts from an 1830s house in upstate New York.” In addition to using materials to achieve a modern country look, Michael reveals: “I was mindful of using reclaimed materials to channel the thought process of Timpson while integrating the new renovations in a seamless way.

In a world where doing something different and staying one step ahead is the objective of many, the potential of traditional aesthetics are sometimes forgotten. Classic country interiors work beautifully in contemporary settings and are used by some of the finest interior designers to create modern country interiors. Timeless with a contemporary twist, this look draws on the best elements of country interior design – think distressed timbers, light hues, patterned linens – and offsets them against a modern backdrop.

A stables which Maria Speake of Retrouvius restored at a Georgian farmhouse in the Chilterns is now the husband’s study and used as overspill for guests. Neutral tones, modern furniture, and plenty of exposed wood make this the perfect contemporary country space.

It might be thought by many that a modern country home means an absence of decoration. But introducing pattern can still feel striking and fresh, depending on how it is used. Choosing a floral or botanical motif in an unexpected scale can make a traditional design feel original and new. And enlarged as a mural or canvas, for example, it will look quite dramatic.

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