Wholesale Living Room Furniture
Back in the nineties, country styling was all the rage; people were searching for a more wholesome look after the excess of the eighties. It was unapologetically old-fashioned and largely made up of chunky-pine furniture, floral fabrics and liberal use of rich colours like sunflower yellow, forest green and deep burgundy.
Fast forward two decades and we are once again craving a more wholesome look and lifestyle, and the tree change trend and resurgence of modern country style is proof. Even Australia's number one renovating show, The Block, has made a tree change this year to Gisborne in Victoria's Macedon Ranges, where the five teams will transform five relocated homes into luxurious modern farmhouses.
"In the fast-paced world we live in with social media and crazy work hours, we are looking to get back to basics to create a more relaxed environment," says interior stylist Steve Cordony, who has just completed the most breathtaking renovation on his own chic country home near Orange, NSW
If you're looking to give your own rural abode a contemporary country makeover or inject some warmth into a modern home, our expert guide to modern country interior design is a the perfect place to start...
Thankfully, our approach to country-style has changed somewhat since its previous heyday in the nineties. "We are now confident to mix contemporary finishes with rustic elements in our homes," says Angela Lavender, Director of online retailer Country Culture
Rather than going all-out with a look that screams 'country', we are selecting bits and pieces that lend a more modern country style to our homes . "Country style tends to have strong sentimental value as much as anything," says Joanna Kenneally, managing director at Cotswold Furniture Collection . "It evokes memories of family and friends and lends itself easily to being inclusive and warm rather than following strict style criteria."A monochrome colour palette of white ,cream and grey works best in a modern country style home. Add interest with accessories and texture.
Photography: Brigid Arnott
Many home decorators are steering clear of a defined style and are instead developing an interior that is decidedly eclectic. In this instance, contemporary elements – be it architecture or furniture – are combined with earthy materials such as timber and natural stone. Unique, character-filled pieces complete the look. "For example the juxtaposition of smooth marble with a handmade lamp merges the new with the rustic," says Angela.
One of the most popular applications for this look is a classic country-style kitchen . To create a country feel, start with the cabinet doors. Colonial square or shaker-style doors are quintessentially country and can be combined with modern finishes like an engineered stone benchtop or statement marble splashback. A central table or large island bench acts as an additional workspace and provides a gathering place right where all the action is.Open shelving in the kitchen works well in country style homes, but remember there's more dust and cleaning required with all those stacked plates and mugs. Shelving behind large, clear-glass doors may be a more practical alternative. As for appliances, a large freestanding cooker is the quintessential country kitchen must-have, as it instantly allows for lots of home baking and family gatherings.Since its renovation, this spacious, light-filled kitchen is now the focal point of this relaxed family farmhouse.
Photography: Abbie Melle
Country style is inspired by the natural-landscape. It's about re-interpreting elements of the outside for the indoors, which explains its rustic and relaxed appeal.
It's therefore important to shine a spotlight on natural materials wherever possible. "Often Australian makers and designers create products that have lovely, earthy tones," says Angela. "I believe that every room needs a few handmade items – I always add baskets, handmade ceramics or knitted throws. The result will look amazing – authentic and real."
Layering is equally important to this look and will bring depth to your home. "Style your spaces in a more laidback manner with lots of textural accessories and soft furnishing to add warmth to more heavy surfaces," Steve advises.Look to nature as your muse when decorating your home, incorporating natural elements and making the most of your natural surrounds and views if you have them.
Photography: Brigid Arnott
While you should avoid the mass-produced, it's not necessary to fork out a fortune on bespoke designer furniture. "It doesn't all have to match," says Joanna. "Your dining chairs can be a mixed bunch, but bring them together with a simple rustic dining table."
Ultimately it boils down to the details. By opting for natural products with a simple and honest appeal, you can't go wrong.
Inherited or salvaged timber pieces with a history are a key part of furnishing modern farmhouses contemporary country homes. They can also be a mix of old and new , not just matching sets. So if you didn't inherit Grandma's antique sideboard, check out your local Salvos, auctions, or garage sales to pick up a few special pieces that can work in your home.An antique chandelier hangs above an old European carpenter's bench, adding a rustic touch to the all-white kitchen in this modern farmhouse.
Photography: Nic Gossage / Styling: Natalie JohnsonTimber flooring throughout the home is a fabulous way to work the country look, but be sure to use rugs to add texture and warmth.
For the kitchen floor, earth-toned tiles or even the traditional black-and-white checks can complete the look.
Some well-placed country home decor will also help set the mood and add heart and soul to a modern home. Consider using an old shoe horn as a door stop, or maybe a vintage enamel water jug would make a great vase and add some interest.
Old glassware, such as vases or bottles, vintage plates (which don't have to match as a set), and the odd piece of silverware all combine to create a handed-down look that really amplifies the country feel.A collection of vintage treasures and artwork found on Etsy, creates a colourful display in this modern farmhouse in Mudgee
Photography: Felix Forest
Hand crafted items are the cornerstone of country style, so seek out local makers or boutiques when shopping for decorative items. Adding a throw is a great way to transform a tired lounge and add some textured or patterned cushions to transform your living area. The best thing about country style is that there are no strict rules. Mainly, it's about combining items you love or that mean something to you, to create a home that feels lived-in and well-loved.
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