American country style has humble rural beginnings. But that doesn’t mean today’s country rooms have to live in the past. Mix in a pinch of modern for a fresh take that stays true to its roots.

By Producer Carol Schalla; Photographer Kritsada
Country roots: A muted Fourth of July color scheme, wide stripes and a hand-stamped flag-motif pillow.

American Country has grown up! Its simplicity-born of rural landscapes, primitive handcrafts and love of nature-has forged a not-so-surprising partnership with equally uncomplicated modern design. This mix sweeps away clutter and returns country style to its original roots, with a twist.

Bye-bye heavy wool rugs, fussy window treatments and collections displayed on every surface. Hello, simple shapes, large-scale patterns and organic materials interspersed with contemporary furniture. Unorthodox accessories emphasize country's inherent playfulness: a tobacco basket or tree branch as wall art, homemade string balls as floor decor, a cable-knit sweater-inspired rug. The unexpected mix of old with new, and old reinvented, is at the heart of this rebirth.

Country roots living room for Fourth of July.

In its new incarnation, country keeps the informality that's always been the soul of this much-loved, comfortable style. So have fun and play a little!

Get the look

Windsor chair with metal reinterpretation.

Try these ideas for updating your country-style home:

Color Tone down brights and limit the number of hues in a room. Muted organic wall colors, like stone gray or midnight blue, enhance wood finishes and allow furniture shapes to stand out.

Pattern Use country checks, stripes or quilt patterns, but bump up the scale for more impact, like on the striped blanket and quilt pillow and rug in our pictures.

Collections Pare collectibles to one or two impressive pieces. Or put the focus on one great sizeable find, like the moose antler on our table or vintage wood vice under our desk. Group small items so they become a unified display rather than visual clutter.

Buying Guide

Contemporary quilted bedroom.
  • Living room
  • Coffee table449960 Campaign coffee table. Cost Plus World Market (877) 967-5367;worldmarket.com
  • RugJust Plain Folk 19.7-inch carpet squares, color: Linen. Flor (866) 952-4093;flor.com
  • Sofa throw/blanketBOA1Q cotton twill, color: Oatmeal/Ink. Pine Cone Hill (877) 586-4771;pineconehill.com
  • Twine ballsFound Things, 520 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 265-8624;foundthingsdsm.com
  • USA pillow80489314 hand-stamped USA in flag shape. CC's Chicetsy.com/shop/CCschic
  • Wall colorHC-156 Van Deusen Blue. Benjamin Moore (855) 724-6802;http://benjaminmoore.com
  • Bedroom
  • Nightstand94-4582201 crate floor storage on wheels. Pottery Barn (800) 922-5507;potterybarn.com
  • Oblong pillowBlanket Patchwork Quilted pillow. Pine Cone Hill (see Living room, Sofa throw/blanket).
  • RugRDB199 Catamaran stripe, colors: Platinum and Ivory. Dash and Albert (800) 658-5035;dashandalbert.com
  • Entry
  • ChairMain Street Metal Windsor side chair. Better Homes and Gardens Furniture Collection. Universal Furniturebhgfurniture.com
  • Pendant light73-2746881 glass jar pendant, color: Gray. West Elm (888) 922-4119;westelm.com
  • Wall colorSW6002 Essential Gray. Sherwin-Williams (800) 474-3794;sherwin-williams.com
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