Country has changed a lot since the 80's.  Today's country is clean lined, crisp, neutral and beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  If the word 'country' still conjures up visions of heavy oak furniture and cluttered counters, let me show you what today's country looks like.

I admit, I like a white kitchen.  This country kitchen features simple doors, a country farmhouse sink, hardwood floors, honed granite countertops, bin pulls and glass front cabinets.  The coffered ceiling as an architectural element gives a feeling of elegance and age - like an old country farmhouse - but truly this is a very efficient kitchen. 

Clean lines, minimal accessories - warm wood floor.  I love the beadboard ceiling.

Butcher block topped island with big chunky country legs, a stone floor, simple lighting and the almost industrial look of the stainless appliances

Country kitchens should have a little of the rustic thrown in - like the weathered beams on the ceilings and  the washed brick backsplash.  The polished granite contertops provide a nice contrast to the weathered finishes - and I love the lantern styled lighting

An in-kitchen eating area and slipcovered upholstered chairs and checkered flooring are wonderful country elements.  I love the addition of the industrial style lighting and the stainless range with the steel backsplash.  It's all about the contrasts. 
Hardwood flooring with white cabinetry and wonderful columns and millwork.  The upholstered checkered barstools add a little fun.

Today's country is all about the feel of vintage without the inconvenience.  Vintage style subway tile creates a country backsplash in a slightly modern way.  An antique country table in this kitchen works double duty as a work space or an in-kitchen eating area.  Architectural vintage style range hood and simple cleaned line cabinets - it looks fresh, clean and uncomplicated.

I love the alcove above the range.  It creates a great architectural focal point and brings in that country vintage feel, as do the butcher block counters, beadboard and warm wood flooring.  The island features a curved seating edge - perfect for friendly conversation.     
Todays country - the elements remain the same:  farmhouse sink, simple hardware, simple lighting and simple cabinetry with a vintage feel, clean lines and no clutter.  Adding a little black brings a little drama and elegance to the table, but keeps the palette neutral
This country kitchen has a rustic feel - but at closer look is a kitchen for a very serious cook with double ranges and double sinks.

Its so easy to change the mood with a neutral palette.  Add a soft pop of color and you have a whole new look.   Floor to ceiling plate rack in this kitchen adds vintage country flavor, as do the rush seats on the stools.

Elements of a country kitchen are timeless.  A stone cooking alcove, stone flooring, honed granite counters and vintage styled lighting are set off by an island that looks like a piece of furniture was set in the middle of the room.  That was a common practice in a country farmhouse kitchen back in the day, and adds a true country element to this kitchen. 

Modern convenience combines with rustic travertine in this cooking alcove
Another country element - painted upper cabinetry and wood toned lower

Still keeping in the neutral palette, this elegant kitchen has a dramatic backsplash and simple honed granite countertops.  Rustic beams, vintage styled lighting  and beadboard add more country elements, while modern styled steel barstools add a playful element.
Again, simple vintage styled cabinetry, simple hardware, and serious appliances

This kitchen makes me smile.  Even without the cow.  Industrial stools and light fixtures combine with rustic table, beadboard and stainless steel.  This is NOT your mother's country-style.

Love these light fixtures and highly polished floor, subway tiles, country vintage style barstools
LOVE the top cabinets
Great cabinet - store your dishes and display treasures

Rustic island with stainless steel counter - a little bit of a contemporary backsplash with vintage styled cabinets and great lantern style lighting - contrasts - they are wonderful aren't they?

Meet the master cabinetmaker - Christopher Peacock.  This is inspired by Swedish country - light wood floor, dove grey painted chairs, rustic vintage table, black granite counters -  wink to the Swedish with the candle ring styled lighting fixture

A stone floor and stone wall surrounding the stainless refrigerator - and a pop of color.

So todays country - NO clutter, NEUTRAL palette, INDUSTRIAL/MODERN elements, EFFICIENT appliances, VINTAGE STYLED cabinetry and millwork, CLASSIC wood or stone flooring, SIMPLE lighting.  It all adds up to comfortable, usable, family style living
A neutral palette doesn't mean just white
I couldn't resist one more by the master:
Christopher Peacock.  Beautiful cabinet details.

what do you think of country now?????
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