The ‘country’ look is familiar, warm and above all, it’s comfortable. After all, regional and rural homes are often spaces that invite us to slow down, embrace a change of pace, and reconnect with what’s really important.

But country style needn’t be old fashioned. Today, we’re embracing a cool, clean, more refined version of country living. We’ve pulled together an edit of carefully curated spaces, designed for contemporary rural life. They are bright and inviting, often with an element of the unexpected.

I’m inclined to think that the current popularity of contemporary country interiors represents a craving for familiarity and authenticity. There’s a real emphasis on ‘honest’ materials, such as solid timber surfaces and real stone benchtops, and evidence of time-honoured craftsmanship. Imperfections are totally okay in these spaces – in fact, they’re to be embraced.

The incredible country kitchen at Wombat Barn in Daylesford. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Annie Portelli.

EVERYTHING is on display in the home of Kara Rosenlund and Timothy O in Brisbane! Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

By keeping the kitchen all white, the gorgeous objects collected by vintage queen Lynda Gardener are the hero. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

An open shelf made of marble elevates humble kitchen objects in the Palm Beach Home by Alexander and Co. Photo – Felix Forest.

This isn’t a ‘display kitchen’ – it’s a kitchen to cook up a storm in. Treasured vintage kitchen pieces and handmade ceramics are on display, giving this space soul and personality. Photo – Beth Kirby.

Amazing texture in Emma Lane’s home, with rendered walls, buttery leather chairs and a divine fluffy rug! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Natural textures combine for a harmonious room; shearing upholstered armchairs sit on a vintage silk rug with wood floors and an antique wood buffet. Project by Amber Interiors. Photo– Tessa Neustadt.

The rough, rustic timber in this kitchen is balanced with elegant marble and fresh white walls. Byron Bay Abode, The Lodge. Photo – Jessie Prince.

Beautiful contemporary textures, with a hint of rustic glam in the kitchen at The Barn at Ross Farm. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The wonderfully eclectic home of stylist Lynda Gardener. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lynda ‘Queen of Vintage’ Gardener always hits the mark without looking too fussy. This space is layered with Armadillo rugs and a sofa piled with cushions. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Who wouldn’t love to rummage through the vintage ‘out-takes’ of Lynda Gardeners collection? This artwork is perfection on this dado height painted wall, combined with the Major Minor bedlinen. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

The home of Melissa Harris nails the ‘contemporary country’ look (in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs!). Green Pendant lights by Freedom, recycled elm timber table from Provincial Home Living, leather chairs from West Elm, and vintage chair with linen seat from Hunted Antiques. Vintage church pew from Violets with Patina stall at The Vintage Shed. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A contemporary wall lamp elevates an otherwise pared back space at The Dairy on Ross Farm. Photo – Eve Wilson.

What a way to make an entrance! This house in Malibu by Amber Lewis is exactly why she leads the way with this look. It has the elements we know true to ‘country style’; the hand-scraped wood floors, vintage floor rug and antique pieces, but when combined with the Lindsey Adelman light, this space takes on a whole new feeling. Project by Amber Interiors. Photo– Tessa Neustadt.

An innovative way to incorporate modern lighting. Photo – Jessie Prince.

The mountain house in LA designed by Emily Henderson (in collaboration with the loyal readers of her blog) aimed for ‘rustic-modern-Scandinavian-contemporary-minimalist-kitchen.’ vibes, in her words. The striking light fitting by Katy Skelton does a lot of the heavy lifting here! Photo – Sara Ligorria-Tramp.

These simple pendant lights add to the clean lines in this kitchen by Adelaide-based Enoki Design. Photo – Jenah Piwanski.

Living area featuring sofa from Scout House, chairs, stool and rugs from markets and auctions, rope light from the Netherlands. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This loft bedroom is the definition of contemporary comfort. I just want to lie on that bed and roll off onto that lush rug! Project by Emily Henderson. Photo – courtesy of Emily Henderson.

This has got to be the dreamiest, cosiest bedroom EVER! Jersey Ice Cream Co has created a room that is humble and at the same time luxurious. Photo – Nicole Franzen.

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