Primitives: Modern Country

Recently, I have had two design consultations, both asking for an updated primitive style in their homes. They both had hand me down pieces of furniture in good condition, as well as a collection of primitives that they had no idea how to work into the space.

When you are trying to accomplish a country-style without going literal with chickens, cows, plaid…everywhere; there are a few new trends to get that updated country primitive style, without it being your “Momma’s House.”

1.) Go neutral in your paint selection. This will help give you the warmth you are striving for without committing to deep red walls, that you will soon be tired of. Don’t be afraid to use different neutrals in all rooms. This also allows you to layer items and play around with existing pieces, as well as some new.

tan walls / dark accents

2.) Layer fabrics and materials that have a country feel, but are updated with a fresh color scheme and use of application.

  • Burlap or feed/seed sack pillows

Burlap pillows with numbers

  • Plaids, florals and stripes in new fresh colors

Rusty Plaid PILLOW COVERS - 14 or 16 inch

Chair with vintage linens and plaid pillow from Bainbridge Blues . . .

.3.) Try black accents. This trick will bring your country-style into the 21st Century. Don’t be afraid to mix existing woods in with black accents. Oil-rubbed bronze and wrought-iron are good choices to bring in contrast with your neutral base.

You can try these accents in a few different ways…

  •  Black interior doors

  • Chandeliers and lighting (Spray paint existing light fixtures and replace globes/lights)

Light Fixture

before and after of spray paint on brass fixtures

  • Cabinet hardware (Spray paint existing hardware)

  • Picture frames

3.)  Use existing pieces to layer. I think this is the best advice I can give. Do an inventory of all your existing pieces and see what new purpose they can fulfill. Can an antique dresser be used for a TV stand? Can your grandmother’s trunk be used for blanket storage, etc? Can non-sentimental items be painted?

  • Gather all your framed pictures and different mementos you would love to display. Create a photo display wall and use your existing items to wall.
  • Create “story shadow boxes.” Let your home tell your story.

DIY vintage shadow box

The overall goal of creating a country space is to reach a balance of old and new, to create a “lived in” atmosphere. This allows you and your guests to feel comfortable in your home. Anyone have any other modern primitive decor ideas?


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