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5 Surprisingly Contemporary Country Homes

There's a certain charm to country homes that easily translates into modern and contemporary architecture. Out on the farm, form always had to follow function. Thus simple, well-proportioned, unadorned utilitarian structures arose across the agrarian landscape. As architects and designers rediscovered the power of meaning, intention and function in design during the International style/midcentury modern movements, they returned to a stripped-down aesthetic that farmers had been using for many years. Today the combination of traditional design elements, modern technology and design features for contemporary lifestyles results in harmonious homes in the pastoral landscape.
1. Banner Elk, North Carolina

Designer Autumn Simmons of Christopher Kellie Design sums up this house as "an experiment in creating the best of both worlds: mountain rustic and minimalist modern."
One of the biggest gestures the house makes to the local vernacular is the use of traditional bark shingles.
Elements like board and batten siding and minimalist, rustic wood furniture bring a farmhouse feeling to the interiors.

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2. Rhode Island

ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) used traditional agrarian aesthetics for inspiration and passive technologies in the execution of this charming and contemporary country home.
The modern take on barn red continues inside the house as a strong accent color. Otherwise, the white walls and ceilings put the focus on the relaxing views.
3. Chester, South Carolina

Architect Ken Pursley of Pursley-Dixon Architecture looked to historic buildings when designing a farmhouse that would fit in with the rural surroundings.
Rope railings are a good example of the straightforward rustic materials Pursley used indoors and out; others include lots of wood, stone and metal.
The property even yielded unique light fixtures; these were crafted from catfish traps found in the woods.

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4. Hawkins, Texas

Builder Erin Wright had the freedom to use all sorts of original and unorthodox techniques and materials on this house, because it's her own.
In the kitchen she combined concrete floors and countertops, a copper bar top and sink, egg basket light fixtures and a rusted-tin-roof ceiling. The result is a wide-open contemporary space that's full of farm materials.
A modern cedar hot tub has the look of something straight out of Little House on the Prairie but is much more luxurious. The finishing touch is a red water pump-like faucet.

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5. Iowa City

This smart cabin has some shapes and materials swiped from traditional farm buildings combined in a minimalist house.
A galvanized steel shower surround brings the look of utilitarian farm buildings indoors.
The home takes full advantage of its vast pastoral views from every room in the house.