Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The new American Country


Two years ago this beautiful William Sonoma Home graced my mail box. I am not a big fan of WS, however, I fell in love with this cover, and well, the whole book. How am I not a fan I thought? I don't prescribe to any particular style, {a} It is professional career suicide and {b} it is personal design suicide. I mean really, I am a Designer, aka-caprcious, unpredictable, and my lines of reality are a bit blurred between fantasy and actuality. It is in my DNA to be A.D.D, and my professional duty nature not to pick any one style- even if my life depends on it! If I could make a decision for {myself} I would have designed my house ten years ago and stuck with it, instead of flailing around like a 3 year old hopped up on juji fruits, and licorice suffering to make a simple decision on pillow trim. Until this cover enamored me. And two years later, STILL does.

What is it about this style that is so attractive? What exactly is it? It is American Country. The new and improved approach to easy living, with a more youthful and modern twist. Often when a client of mine hears the word "country" they squeal, and run the other way. Actually, so do I. Until now, I never even included this word into my vocabulary. American country is different, it is sophisticated, refined, and easy. Traditionally the look comes from a space converted from a primary use, into another, like a barn turned into a home. 

Stephen and Gail Huberman

American Country can also be a space that looks like a space that was something else. (Like the photo above). American country generally has new mixed in with old. Refined yet livable.

Remains Lighting
American Country has roots in the past, but it is always reaching ahead. Commonly found items in American Country are:

1) Stone generally on fireplaces
2) Raw timber as beams or accessories
3) Iron accents like chandeliers or hardware
4) Furniture from days gone by with original distressing



Stephen and Gail Huberman

Why is American Country a look that people love? Because it has an adult look, without feeling fussy. It is easy on the eyes, and when things are distressed, you feel more comfortable and relaxed. The colors are generally warm, and inviting and mixing stone, with raw timber, distressed furniture, and warm colors is a guaranteed recipe to all things pleasant and agreeable. I also think the look is appealing because it only focuses on necessity, and leaves out the clutter. It also appeals to the GO BIG OR GO HOME motto that AB HOME thrives on. What do you think about the NEW look of country?

21 comments:

  1. I like these photos too -- it's so great to read your philosophy on these things (as always, thank you for sharing with us!)

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  2. I like this one though like you I cannot be cast into one style... I do like the neatness of the look, the old part that is renewed. I don't like too much distressed look, I don't live in that era but a little softens things up like you said...still would not choose this unless I lived in a certain type of location... Love your analyses, have a great day!

    xo

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  3. girl, i have officially fell in love w you! I love this blog♥ I'm your newest follower!

    ps do you happen to have anything in terms of nursery design inspiration? I'm due december 24 and working on the nursery. its a baby girl!

    xx
    anya

    http://theveiledbump.blogspot.com/

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  4. I love how you describe designers...we all have ADD tendencies and hoarding compulsions, don't we? I am totally loving the WS cover!

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  5. Certainly a wonderful way to look at country. I love the dining table.
    Teresa

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  6. Obviously I love open ceilings with beams :)

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  7. Like you, I find this new American Country so totally appealing..no lace and doilies here! And Remains lighting....love!

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  8. I love the American rustic look! As long as we don't have to go back to gingham curtains with pom poms and butter churns (which is what we had in our kitchen when I was little in the early 80s), I'm happy! XX!

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  9. I love the clean lines and yet each space still has its "country" appeal. I love the beams in that last picture!

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  10. I like this new look of country. But I don't have the appropriate home for it. You can find come of it in Country Living, which is less fussy than I expected.

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  11. Simple answer for simple design...I like it.

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  12. It's so washed and worn, tried and true. This decorating style is equivalent to the best pair of jeans you've ever had :)

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  13. Stunning design!..love the second photo, looks so airy and relaxing space!Over all,Love the calming colors and straightforward simple design of each photos. :-)

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  14. Amanda: I do agree that, as designers, it's impossible to stay with one style. I find it hard to do my own house, as I'm ALWAYS changing my mind, or new colors appear every day, or another blog (!) gives me a new idea. Frusstrating!
    And I also agree re. American country: I think it's the wood and stone, which can equal distressed, that is so appealing. We were looking at composite flooring for our new house, just a few weeks ago, and it was only the distressed pieces that I had any interest in....same for tiles.

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  15. I like to call it Modern Country or Country Modern, but I don't follow trends at all. A persons home should be a direct reflection of the people that live there. It's too hard trying to keep up with so-called trend and the Jones' all at the same time. Be Original and be yourself.

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  16. I loved your comment about a 3 yr. old hopped up on juji fruits! Hilarious. Have a great day, Amanda. xx

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  17. Mmm,yes. The American Country look reminds me so much of traditional English country homes. One of my favourite 'home' programmes is Escape To The Country' which shows here on BBC2.I love the large Georgian houses with prominent fireplaces.Stone floors in the kitchen with traditional fixtures and fittings.

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  18. We have a store called, "Urban Country" in Maryland and I think that really defines the look. It is full of pieces that can easily mix with old and new with comfort being the overall driving force. Great post, Many thanks.

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