My husband and I escaped to a ranch in Moab, Ut., over the holiday weekend, and while we paid for the whole “ranch” experience, I don’t think we were prepared for how much this theme would take over every aspect of decor in the room, from the knotty pine of the walls to the horse-themed paintings. I was enjoying it, and giving it the benefit of the doubt, until I saw the toilet paper holder.
And I thought, they really mean it.
But that’s what we paid for, right? We didn’t want to come back from riding horses in the desert and be afraid we were going to stain the white marble floors with our boots.
It made me think, though, about how to bring that ranch feeling to a more urban environment without it feeling like a room based on a theme. Because ranch can get out of hand very easily, and next thing you know you’ve got two horse heads handing you toilet paper.
My mother does a very good job of handling this style, something I like to call contemporary country, by focusing on textures and fabrics rather than on horses or plows. She’s got fantastic collections of antique quilts and custom wood furniture my stepfather has built in his shop. And almost all of her furniture is covered in something incredibly durable, something that can withstand the constant beating of more than a dozen grandchildren.
She also likes to drop subtle hints of Americana into the room, and sometimes not so subtle. Like the one room in her cabin that looks like the founding fathers walked in and exploded all over the walls.
I thought I’d take some of my mother’s direction and put together a mood board of furniture and accessories that would bring some contemporary to country, with not a horse head in sight.
Hopefully this can spark some inspiration, whether your thinking of going a little bit country, or even just blending two very different styles. And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out the country-style rooms at Designers’ Portfolio.
Editor’s Note: Welcome back, Heather, we missed you while you were recapping HGTV Design Star. Glad you’re back and posting with us again every Thursday!