Blog by Beebe Cline

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Clear the clutter and mix up materials for a contemporary spin on country decorating style

My husband and I split our time between Chicago and Michigan. Five years ago we bought a falling down old farmhouse on an acre about 90 minutes from Chicago and spent 3 years fixing it up. I devoured magazines and books for inspiration for our country house, collecting, editing, and then editing again — I was obsessed. It was the first whole-house project of our own, and we poured our heart and soul into it . Modern-country style has always been more a feel for me than a look. It's about casual and easy, no rules and no worries, and typically includes some patina somewhere. It's is one of my favorite styles, and one that can work all sorts of locations.

Related: Get the Sophisticated Country Look
Whitewashed wood, barnwood, exposed beams and wood paneling are all elements of country modern, but to go modern country, it's all about how you mix it up.

Here you've got modern industrial pendant lights, sleek flat-panel cabinets, modern bar stools and open shelves. Everything about this kitchen is iconic modern country.
Modern country is often a study in contrasts: a rustic farm table mixed with sleek white dining chairs, a headboard ceiling and exposed beams mixed with modern pendants and fan. Another indicator is a clear lack of clutter. The look is restrained and minimal rather than overstuffed.
This built-in hood reminiscent of the plaster hoods from French country farmhouses, and stunning barn-wood ceiling contrasts with a modern tile backsplash and industrial style pendants for a total show-stopper.
Barn doors give any space an instant country feel. This incredible modern kitchen could as easily be in a loft as in a barn.
The rustic patina of barn wood meets a dramatic volume of space in what could be a barn conversion or a home meant to look like one.
Horizontal wide-plank paneling on the back of this island gives it a modern-country feel, along with the oversized bell-jar pendants. There's such a relaxed and calm feel to this kitchen.
Farm tables in the kitchen are another signature look of country style, as are classic white kitchens, but the addition of something as simple as a really modern light fixture can transform the space.
The thing about the term "eclectic" is that it often can go either way. This kitchen is a great example... It's got a modern-country feel even though there's really nothing uber-modern about any of its elements.