If the words “country decorating style” fill your mind with visions of a 1980s-era explosion of dusty blue and mauve ruffles along with be-ribboned geese, it’s time to get up to date. There’s a reason the country style is a decorating classic: it’s extremely versatile, it’s casual and welcoming, it’s easy to adapt to any budget and – with today’s updates – it is relaxing and peaceful: just the vibe you want in your bedroom.
One of the beauties of the country style is how many sub-styles fall under its large umbrella: French country, farmhouse, cottage, rustic, Southwestern, English country, Americana and shabby chic all share the easy, friendly, and most of all, casual country charm. Like all decorating styles, country rises and falls in popularity, and modifies and updates to incorporate contemporary decorating aesthetics. Today’s country is a far cry from the overly fussy, feminine and ruffled looks of yesteryear. So if it’s been awhile since you considered this once-again-riding-high decorating classic, take a look at the eight bedrooms featured here. Each shows off a different face of today’s take on country style.
01 of 08
Yesterday’s French country style was a riot of sunflowers, grapes and wine motifs, roosters and bold color. Today, you’ll still find the traditional warm palette, but it’s softer. Cheery yellow, sage green and terracotta are still hallmarks of the look, but in softer tints, and against a backdrop of creamy white, whispery peach or palest tan, rather than the darker mustards or oranges popular in past versions of this style. One thing that hasn’t changed: toile is a must-have in the French country room. Mix it with florals, checks or stripes, but keep the palette limited to just a few colors with the same intensity for today’s take on French country.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
You might wonder what the difference is between English country and French country. The answer is, not a lot. But in general, French country’s palette is warmer and brighter; English country furniture is sturdy and rustic while French country favors rounded shapes and a more refined appearance; French country leans towards toile, checks and gentle scenes of outdoor life while English country loves florals, dogs and horses, and a mix of patterns.
But there’s nothing fussy or overly traditional about today’s English country décor. Instead, it’s whimsical, colorful and oh-so-comfortable.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
It’s hard to beat the cozy charm of a cottage bedroom. This classic look always features plenty of mixed patterns – particularly floral prints – along with distressed furniture, pastels, lots of throw pillows, and a bed made extra-comfy with thick quilts or blankets. What you won’t find in today’s cottage bedroom, however, is an overabundance of cutesy ruffles and flowers or an excess of knickknacks (although the cottage vibe never approaches minimalism). And today, a few shots of bright color are likely to liven up the otherwise tranquil palette.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Yesterday’s Southwestern décor was heavy, super-rugged and filled with dark wood and intense color, especially red, terracotta and black. Today, the style is reinvigorated with softer hues, trimmed-down furniture, and an overall simpler feel. What you’ll still find, however, are Navajo prints on rugs, bedding or window treatments, along with rustic touches and animal motifs, particularly wolves or bison. The gorgeous Southwestern bedroom shown here was designed by Domestic Imperfection.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
You can’t go wrong with the good old red, white and blue, but that doesn’t mean your Americana-themed bedroom has to look like a float in the Fourth of July parade. Instead of yesterday’s emphasis on flags, Uncle Sam, and an overwhelming palette, today's look uses red, white and blue as cheery accents against a neutral backdrop. Checks, gingham, stripes, and stars are must-have patterns in this style, which although far more sophisticated than in the past, hasn’t lost a bit of its casual charm. This adorable Americana bedroom is from Talk of the House.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
A hallmark of the 1990s, shabby chic took vintage, feminine style to an extreme. White rooms filled with an explosion of ruffles, light fixtures dripping crystal pendants, peeling paint, and pale floral prints were everywhere, until overload set in and decorators started turning to more minimalist styles. But shabby chic is back. Today, however, you’ll find far less ruffles and crystal. Instead, there’s a bit more color, a bit less pattern, and a lot less fuss and clutter. What you’ll still find is distressed furniture, lots of vintage or repurposed items and pretty floral prints.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Yesterday’s rustic style was heavy on the log-cabin vibe, complete with lodge details, bear and moose motifs and dark colors. Today, the rustic style is more sophisticated. Mix aged wooden pieces with contemporary lighting and accessories, keep the palette soft and neutral, pile the bed high with luxurious bedding, and you have a room that soothes and pampers, yet is loaded with personality. Add further interest with twig décor or a faux fur area rug or throw blanket. It’s a far cry from sleeping in a primitive cabin.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
There’s nothing utilitarian or stark about the modern farmhouse look, but it’s not cutesy or colorful, either. The style embraces yesterday’s rustic beauty, casual comfort, and emphasis on simplicity, but adds today’s love of sleek touches of metal, interesting accessories and modern conveniences. The palette is simple, the wood is distressed, the overall vibe is serene.