What are the keys to the new country look? Discover how to modernize timeless country style without losing the charm.
This new book, Modern Living—New Country, offers tips on modernizing country style without losing any of its charm.
Anew era of country style is in, and it features the implementation of modern fixtures in traditional and classic homes, as well as much, much more.
In Claire Bingham’s new book, Modern Living—New Country, she features eight beautiful homes that define the new country look, from an Italian chateau to a Mediterranean villa.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Before she could begin exploring new country, Bingham had to first consider simple country style. Classically defined by quantity over quality, country homes feature rooms packed with furniture and accessories. As Bingham describes it, these rooms are “stacked to their wallpaper seams with stuff,” while still maintaining a simple feel. She also details how country homes have a respect for traditional craft techniques and natural materials, as well as original architecture. Featuring distressed floors and walls that offset the menagerie of pieces in the home, there are a multitude of accessories to be shown off. With handmade quality very present—whether that’s rugs, baskets, pottery, metalwork or even carved wooden bowls—these classic pieces are staples of the country look.
What’s important is maintaining a respect for traditional architecture and design.
IN WITH THE NEW
As much as she appreciates and respects country style, Bingham much prefers the contemporary look that is new country. While quantity was previously a seminal aspect of the country look, Bingham says “long gone is the chintz,” as new country is all about specific pieces chosen for precise looks and feels. The tables have turned, and now quality is preferable to quantity, according to Bingham. Instead of amassing large numbers of trinkets and furniture from flea markets and antiques sales, Bingham stresses making a few, careful selections of art and furniture to complement the home.
Most notably, new country is a modernization of the iconic country look, combining old and new seamlessly. In Bingham’s words, “The most fashionable homes in the countryside know how to mix old and new with aplomb.”
GET THE LOOK
For many, implementing a new style in an old home can seem intimidating. Bingham ignores how daunting it may seem, instead featuring homes that have taken on the challenge and succeeded beautifully. To her, what’s important is maintaining a respect for traditional architecture and design, combined with modern amenities and stylistic touches. With modern light technology and fixtures adding a contemporary touch, Bingham says, “To keep the style country-like, the trick is to go distressed with the floors and walls.”This combination of new and old is sure to blend well for a new country look. Also featured in every home in her book, a fundamental part of the new country look is to have a healthy mix of antique and modern accessories. For the homes Bingham features, this means a medley of contemporary technology and heirloom treasures.
Throughout the different homes she features in her book, one thing is clear: All feature a perfect mixture of traditional and modern. Whether it’s the coastal cottage on the ocean or the Swedish country home, these homes blur the lines between new and old, and in the process, define the new country style for Claire Bingham.
|LEFT| Repurposing an old Persian rug as a cushion cover gave this newer chair a more traditional edge. New country doesn’t have to be entirely modern, and sometimes a mix is better.
|OPPOSITE| Sticking to a single-color palette can help to make the most of a small space. In this case, the white walls bring out the real sheen of the white linens.
Respecting traditional architecture, this kitchen is designed with stone flooring and wooden countertops. The various pieces of metalwork throughout the room help to define this new country look. Modern Living—New Country by Claire Bingham, published by teNeues, © 2017; teneues.com.