Country style decor has come a long way from its traditional roots. While rustic elements like weathered wood, galvanized metal, and natural fiber textiles are still prevalent, contemporary country style incorporates a refined, urbane sensibility. This updated country style feels warm and inviting yet tailored and elegant.

Blending urban sophistication with rural charm, the new country style brings together the best of both worlds. Natural materials mix seamlessly with modern silhouettes and polished finishes for a look that is inviting and serene. Tradititional style gets refreshed with cleaner lines, crisp color palettes, and contemporary patterns like graphic florals and geometric prints. The result is a soothing, livable look perfect for today’s homes.

Incorporating Rustic and Modern Elements

The key to nailing the updated country style is finding the right balance between raw, rustic elements and sleek, modern finishes. Weathered wood finishes, like whitewashed oak or distressed gray washed pine, add texture and warmth while still feeling current. Metal finishes like matte black, brass, or bronze lend an industrial edge. And incorporating concrete, whether in modern-shaped vessels or a polished concrete floor, brings in an urban vibe.

Adding modern touches like these helps take the country look from kitschy Americana to refined rural chic. But retaining touches of tradition, like a wood plank accent wall, visible beams, a stone fireplace, or ceramic chicken decor prevents the look from feeling too sleek or decorative. The goal is to blend old and new seamlessly.

Natural Materials and Textures

Natural materials are a hallmark of contemporary country style. Wood, stone, rattan, raffia, jute, and ceramic lend organic texture. But modern country incorporates natural materials in updated ways. Think a massive reclaimed wood dining table atop sleek steel legs or cozy linen bedding with decorative ceramic touches.

Rough exposed beams mesh with drywall and plaster. A jute rug feels current in a graphic diamond pattern. And ceramic planters or vases take on modern bubbled shapes. The natural textures feel elevated yet down to Earth.

Relaxed Color Palettes

Traditional country color schemes tend toward busy florals and loud patchwork prints. The updated palette is much more relaxed. Neutral backdrops like warm white, ivory, beige and tan create an airy, welcoming backdrop. Muted blues, greens and gray wash over walls and larger furniture pieces for a soothing feel.

Pops of color come in with accessories and textiles. Throw blankets, accent pillows, and ceramic decor provide visual interest in bold but earthy tones like mustard, olive, ruby red, chocolate brown and deep teal. Monochromatic color schemes also keep the look feeling calm and informal. Overall, the color scheme is muted yet rich.

Updated Country Pattern and Prints

Patchwork quilts and chintz florals give way to more tailored prints and patterns in the new country decor. Graphic botanical prints with contemporary floral or foliage shapes add organic interest in a clean, modern fashion. Abstract geo patterns, intricate tiles, and zigzag or diamond motifs also strike a good balance between natural and polished.

Plaids and checks offer another way to incorporate pattern subtly. Try them on pillows and upholstered furniture or headboards. A cowhide rug or cowhide pillows also lend organic texture and timeless style to the updated country look. Overall the patterns feel more sophisticated than kitschy.

Refined Rustic Furniture

Rustic furniture gets refined to suit the new country style. Whitewashed, distressed and weathered wood finishes update traditional barn wood pieces. Cleaner, more contemporary silhouettes balance the textural wood with sleek lines. Think a whitewashed wood dining table on a metal base or a weathered console table with hairpin legs.

For seating, slender wood frame chairs or sloped arm sofas offer a tailored alternative to bulky rustic pieces. And lighter colored, human-scale wood makes even substantial furniture feel serene rather than clunky. Wood and rattan accents add in warmth and texture. But the forms feel modern.

Timeless Country Accents

Though the overall aesthetic is more streamlined, thoughtful country accents make the style feel genuinely livable. Woven baskets, ceramic pitchers, and galvanized metal objects feel timeless. Natural fiber rugs add texture. And fresh flowers displayed in mason jars or ceramic vases enhance the laid-back charm.

Antique or vintage rural finds like an old leather saddle, distressed metal lanterns, or a reclaimed wood mantle have lasting appeal. The classic charm of black and white portrait photography also pairs beautifully with the updated country style. Let select accents and accessories do the heavy lifting style-wise. Avoid going overboard so the look stays refined.

Creating Cozy, Inviting Spaces

While balancing old and new elements is crucial, don’t lose sight of creating a space that feels warm, cozy and inviting. Use furniture positioning and lighting to segment open concept spaces. Cozy banquettes and plush sectional sofas beckon you to gather around. And a crackling fireplace never goes out of style.

Layer in comfort with natural fiber area rugs, cushy wool throws, and plush pillows. Warm lighting from table lamps, sconces and Edison bulbs enhance the welcoming vibe. And fresh flowers, potted plants or eucalyptus branches incorporated throughout keep the decor looking—and smelling— lovely. Focusing on comfort ensures the polished look still feels livable.

So embrace the updated country style trend to create a soothing, inviting home. Rustic and modern elements can live harmoniously with a thoughtful, curated approach. The resulting look feels both nostalgic and relevant for today’s country home.

Common Elements of Updated Country Style Decor

Whitewashed and Weathered Wood Finishes

Bleached, whitewashed, or washed wood finishes lighten traditional wood tones for a clean, contemporary look. Popular finishes include whitewashed oak and pine or weathered and distressed gray wood. These provide texture without feeling too rustic.

Timeworn Leather and Hide Accents

Vintage suitcases, leather or cowhide chairs, and cowhide rugs or pillows lend organic texture. A leather saddle displayed as wall art is a charming country accent.

Graphic Botanical and Geometric Patterns

Add pops of pattern and color with pillows, rugs, and ceramics sporting graphic florals, foliage prints, or geometric tiles and diamond motifs. Abstract patterns feel fresh.

Metal and Concrete Accents

Matte black, brass, and bronze finishes lend an industrial edge and feel refined. Polished concrete counters, floors or walls provide sleek contrast to natural wood.

Galvanized Metal and Ceramic Containers

Galvanized metal buckets, bins, and pots have a timeless farmhouse appeal. Modern glazed ceramic vases and crocks provide earthy contrast to sleek surfaces.

Muted Color Palettes

Muted wall colors like warm white, soft tan, light gray and pale blue allow natural materials to stand out. Neutral color schemes punctuated by organic texture and bold accessories keep the look relaxed.

Slender Silhouettes and Clean Lines

Avoid bulky rustic furniture in favor of streamlined silhouettes with tapered legs and simplistic forms. The lighter touch prevents heaviness.

Natural Fiber and Jute Rugs

Sisal, seagrass, jute and braided rugs provide literal grounding with their textured, durable fibers. Contemporary neutrals and shapes prevent a dated look.

Incorporating Rustic Touches in an Urban Environment

Bringing country charm to an urban dwelling may seem challenging, but a few strategic rustic elements go a long way. Here are tips for giving city spaces a touch of rural flair.

Exposed Brick Walls

Many urban homes boast original exposed brick walls. Spotlight these architectural elements by decorating and furnishing around them. White walls allow the brick to stand out.

Reclaimed or Whitewashed Wood

Add reclaimed wood accents like an entryway bench or coffee table. Or opt for whitewashed wood furniture to prevent heaviness. Distressed finishes lighten the look.

Woven Textures

Incorporate organic texture with jute, seagrass or sisal rugs, window treatments, wall hangings and baskets. The natural fiber elements bring warmth.

Vintage Leather

Vintage suitcases crafted from worn leather make charming end tables or storage ottomans. Leather also looks fabulous on dining chairs or accent chairs.

Botanical Prints

Frame graphic floral prints for bold natural art. Or opt for pillows or ceramics with graphic botanical motifs. Modern foliage looks current.

Rustic Metallics

Add industrial edge with matte black metal finishes on fixtures or furniture legs. Brass, bronze and galvanized metals also lend country flair.

Subtle Plaid

Incorporate buffalo check or plaid subtly on pillows, drapes or an accent chair or headboard. It adds pattern without going over the top.

Natural Branch Decor

Display weathered birch logs in a tall ceramic vase or lean rustic branches against a mantel or shelf for organic decor.

Fresh Florals

Arrange loose flowers like daisies or lilies in vintage bottles, pitchers or ceramic crocks for a just-picked look.

Chalkboard Art

Display your favorite saying or grocery list on a rustic slate or vintage chalkboard for whimsical rural flair.

With thoughtful curation, even the most urban space can channel cozy contemporary country style. Rustic touches lend warmth and texture without going overboard.

Achieving an Updated Country Look in 5 Steps

Refreshing a tired, traditional country space doesn’t require a total style overhaul. With a few strategic tweaks, you can give your home’s country decor a fresh, contemporary update. Follow these 5 easy steps:

1. Simplify patterns. Retire busy florals and patchwork quilts. Opt for textiles in neutral solids or subdued contemporary prints. Graphic botanicals and abstract geo patterns keep patterns looking modern.

2. Clean up lines. Replace heavy, ornately carved wood furniture with clean-lined pieces in lighter stains. Sleek metal legs lend lightness too. Modern shapes dilute ornate traditional style.

3. Soften colors. Deep country hues can overwhelm a space. Repaint walls in lighter neutrals like warm white, soft gray, or misty blue-green. Crisp white trim keeps things light and fresh.

4. Mix in metallics. Incorporate matte black or antiqued brass and bronze. Metal dining chairs, cabinet hardware and fixture finishes liven up wood-heavy spaces.

5. Whitewash wood. Lighten overly dark wood pieces with a whitewash or bleached finish. Painting built-ins white also prevents heaviness. Distressed paint creates textural depth.

With a few simple tweaks—updated patterns and colors, streamlined silhouettes, and strategically incorporated metallics—you can breathe new life into tired country decor. The result: comfortable, casual spaces with refined modern style.

Key Components to Balance Old and New

When it comes to nailing the updated country look, it’s all about blending old and new stylistic elements seamlessly. These key design aspects help strike the perfect mix of rural and refined:

Modern Rustic Furniture

Look for sleek forms like tapered wood dining tables and chairs. Metal legs add refinement. A polished concrete dining tabletop provides an industrial edge.

Simplified Color Schemes

Keep wall colors light and neutral then punctuate with occasional bold hues on furniture, textiles and decor. Avoid busy patchworks.

Graphic Prints and Patterns

Traditional florals and chintz prints get swapped for abstract geo patterns, graphic botanicals and contemporary plaids.

Galvanized and Ceramic Containers

Vintage galvanized buckets and crocks blend with modern ceramic vases and planters for updated country texture.

Textural Natural Elements

Jute rugs, woven shades, stone and concrete touches, leather accents, and real wood finishes lend organic depth.

Aged and Patinated Metals

Unlacquered brass, bronze, black steel, and iron bring in industrial edge to contrast all the wood. Vintage patinas enhance the look.

Clean-Lined Upholstery

Sleek track arms and tapered legs on sofas, chairs and headboards balance heavier wood pieces. Avoid frills and skirts.

Timeworn Hardwood Floors

Refinished floors in lighter stains warm up spaces without dominating. Try soft grey and white washed finishes rather than dark hues.

Common Color Schemes and Palettes

When designing an updated country space, keep wall colors and backdrop neutrals light to let other elements shine. Here are some pleasing paint and palette combinations:

Soft Whites

Crisp bright white, warm antique white, or slightly creamy Swiss coffee make refined backdrops. Accent with texture and natural wood.

Muted Blues and Greens

Hazy light blues like sky blue or weathered teal complement whitewashed wood. Misty sage green adds organic vibrancy.

Weathered Grays and Tans

Light driftwood gray and stony greige offer cozy alternatives to stark white. Pair with textural tans and bleached wood.

Buttery Yellows

Delicate buttery yellow is cheerful but not overpowering. It spotlights contrasting elements like dark metals beautifully.

Earthy Hues

Deep yet earthy hues like ruby red, olive green, chocolate brown and mustard yellow enliven neutral backdrops. Use judiciously.

All-White Schemes

For a light and airy feel, stick to variations of crisp white and bleached natural wood. Add color with textiles and greenery.

Monochromatic Moments

Choose one soothing neutral hue like heather gray and use it on walls, larger furniture and textiles for a zen look.

The most inviting palettes blend light, neutral backdrops with occasional richly saturated accent colors and moments of bold contrast. Keeping things simple allows the textures and materials to shine.


What are the key differences between traditional and contemporary country style?

Traditional country style tends to look cluttered and kitschy with lots of frilly florals, patchwork, roosters and checkerboard prints. The furniture is heavy and ornately carved. It feels dated and formal.

Contemporary country style pares down the look using abstract patterns and graphic prints sparingly. Cleaner furniture silhouettes with metal accents lighten the look. Decor incorporates vintage and modern elements for refinement. It feels casual, airy and elegant.

What are some easy ways to update country decor?

Some simple refresh strategies include:

  • Painting wood furniture white or adding whitewashed finishes
  • Trading dark ornate wood for cleaner contemporary silhouettes
  • Removing frilly florals and ornate accents for minimalist decor
  • Adding black metal finishes and concrete elements
  • Incorporating graphic botanical and geometric patterns
  • Coating walls in neutral hues like soft white or light gray

Even small tweaks to a few key pieces makes country decor feel current.

Should you avoid rustic elements when designing contemporary country style?

No, rustic elements are integral to achieving the country look. The key is choosing aged and raw materials that feel organic rather than ornate. Think:

  • Distressed wood with nailheads and imperfections
  • Natural jute, seagrass and sisal for rugs and baskets
  • Unlacquered forged iron and patinated bronze
  • Reclaimed barn wood for tables and signage
  • Galvanized cans, buckets and pots for storage and decor

Rustic, tactile elements bring warmth, texture and a sense of history. Just pair them with sleeker modern pieces so they don’t dominate.

What are good contemporary wall colors for a country style space?

For an airy, contemporary feel, stick to light neutrals on walls like:

  • Crisp bright white
  • Warm antique white
  • Soft dove gray
  • Weathered tan
  • Pale blue-gray
  • Misty sage green

Neutral backdrops spotlight all the great aged and natural materials in a country home without competing. Feel free to add occasional bold accent walls or use deeper colors sparingly on furniture and decor.

How do you add country flair to a modern farmhouse?

For a touch of country in a modern farmhouse space, incorporate:

  • Galvanized metal accents and containers
  • Vintage leather suitcases or leather dining chairs
  • Reclaimed or whitewashed wood furniture
  • Ceramic chickens or roosters as tasteful decor
  • Plaid and buffalo check on pillows and upholstered pieces
  • Woven baskets and fiber textiles for texture
  • Graphic nature prints and botanical artwork
  • Fresh floral displays in crocks and pitchers

Rustic, vintage and handcrafted accents keep a modern farmhouse grounded in countryside charm.


The updated country style trend proves rustic decor can feel refined. Blending reclaimed materials and patinated metals with lighter wood pieces, crisp neutrals, and cleaner lines creates approachable elegance. Contemporary country spaces balance raw and polished seamlessly, with graphic prints and modern colors keeping the look feeling fresh.

Embrace white-washed wood, linen and leather textures, graphic florals, and abstract geometry patterns to reimagine traditional country motifs. The resulting look manages to be cozy and current. Your country home can honor heritage while still feeling distinctly today.

So breathe new life into your rustic spaces by incorporating vintage and modern. Refreshed country style greets you with comfort and charm. Finally, the urban and rural unite for spaces as alluring as they are livable. Country decor has come a long way from kitsch—this updated aesthetic is one with lasting, elevated appeal ideal for contemporary homes and lifestyles.