Modern Country Decor: Why This New Style Isn’t an Oxymoron

An example of modern country decor.

When many people think of country decor they think of a dated and precious style. And while that might have been true of the country style of the 1980s and 1990s, today there is a style that encompasses a more up-to-date approach and it’s called modern country.  

Modern country takes from its country roots an emphasis on creating a comfortable home, and from its modern roots it takes a sleeker approach. Think of combining a sleek leather sofa with a rustic rough hewn coffee table and you’ve got the essence of modern country. The effect of a home decorated in the style is elegant, but one you’d actually want to live in.

The path to this new modern country seems to have been driven in some part by people wanting to lead more sustainable lives. A sleek modern home isn’t necessarily an ideal space for vermiposting, home canning or upcycling furniture, but one that incorporates sleekness where appropriate and practicality where needed is more of an ideal situation for many.


Photo Credit: TheVintageCabin

With modern country decor the fun is all in how you mix and incorporate elements from both sides of the spectrum. It allows for lots of creativity and experimentation as there aren’t necessarily any set rules. The key is to find balance and to make sure that it passes muster in the taste department too. Experimentation and adaptability are your friends with this decorating style.

 How to Achieve Modern Country Style

Mix and match. Mix a Danish modern style sofa with bright patterned pillows as accents. Or add mid-century dining chairs to an old farmhouse-style dining table.

Wood and other natural materials are de rigeur in modern country.

modern country kitchen

Photo Credit: ooh_food

Keep your walls white or neutral and add pops of color with textiles, ceramics, art and other accents.

Function should trump form every time.

Take advantage of natural lighting where possible.

modern country bedroom

Photo Credit: ooh_food

Shop at vintage stores, thrift shops, Craigslist and estate auctions to find pieces that fit this style.

Take risks! Don’t be afraid to add industrial style ceiling lamps to your kitchen with its butcher-block topped counters.

Don’t reinvent the wheel—read magazines like Country Living for inspiration.

Keep clutter to a minimum. In traditional country decor, more is more. In modern country, less is more. You do want to keep your rooms open and airy and not too heavy with too many furniture pieces or knickknacks.

Image: UrbanWoodGoods

Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.