Design Recipes: Modern country

Wood elements such as tables and benches are used to create a modern country vibe. (Handout/TNS)

Lighting can bring both a modern and country vibe. (Handout/TNS)

Fireplaces can be an inviting element to include in a modern country decor. (Handout/TNS)

A modern take on a midcentury modern-style chair is displayed on a retail floor. (Handout/TNS)

From slipcovers to painted floors and reclaimed wood, no clear style may define what some consider “country-inspired decor.” But infusing country elements with a modern edge is becoming more popular in the design world. The result is furniture that is often handcrafted by artisans as well as decorative elements that are often vintage or even salvaged.

Here’s our guide to bringing modern country style into your space.


Buying salvage

Salvage yards can often be a treasure trove of fabulous finds, from old doors to furniture, kitchen cabinets and more.

When looking to buy salvage, here are some tips that can assist in your search:

• Go online.

In many instances, a salvage yard will have photographs of their inventory online, so you can preselect before making a trip.

• Compare pricing. Many businesses that sell salvage are reselling items that have been donated to them, while others are reselling items they purchased. You will likely snag a bargain either way, but it helps to know your bargaining power.

• Visit on delivery day.

Nothing beats an opportunity to secure new merchandise before it is snapped up.

Think out of the box

One of the main appeals of country-inspired furniture and accessories is its old look and feel. When looking for decor opportunities, consider using old items in unusual or unexpected ways.

Looking for ideas?

Consider these tips:

• Vintage doorknobs

Old doorknobs come in all different shapes and sizes and can be used for everything from door pulls to creating an interesting wall feature in which you can hang floral arrangements or dried herbs.

• Mason jars

Mason jars remain purposeful and useful in a number of different ways around the home, and they can also be repurposed and used in home decor. Some ideas include: painting them muted colors, rubbing them with a sanding block to make them appear old, wrapping portions of the jar with twine or filling with moss and topping with a succulent, using the mason jar as more of a vase.

• Dried herbs

Dried flowers aren’t the only nature-inspired option for those looking for country-inspired decor. Other ideas include hanging dried herbs or lavender. The look is organic and attractive with long-lasting fragrance.

• Succulents

Succulents are not only hardy but versatile. Try placing succulents on a small bed of stones or embedded in moss for a modern look. Succulents look especially attractive when paired with natural elements such as wood and branches.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and The Hudson Valley. Contact her at or visit her website at

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