Interior design takes many forms and the Urban Country Look is one of them. Such a charming style. Two homes decorated in this style likely will look entirely different from each other. The designer is well advised to not overdo the country element as has been done in years past. A far too feminine look created a negative attitude toward country style design in years gone by. This new approach to the casual yet elegant look of country is embraced by people from many walks of life. This adjusted style has great charm and appeal to a wide variety of clients, younger as well as older. It is an eclectic and fun form of interior design. There are many ways to achieve this look. There are also many ways to miss the mark and achieve only a drab, worn mish mash. A person’s home speaks volumes about that person. We love to surround ourselves with treasured objects, textures, colours and memories. Many people’s lifestyle has shifted from mainly formal rooms dedicated to one purpose, to a more casual lifestyle where rooms are more versatile and one purpose flows from one room the other.casual upscale outdoor tablescape with folding chairs, lanterns and twig chandelierMany people work from a home office now, so spend much more time in the home than in the past. Advances in technology have created a desire for media rooms, a room that did not previously exist. Bathrooms are larger and emphasize a spa experience. Overall, there is a strong shift away from formality and grandeur over to personal expression and casual style, abundance, and comfort. Comfortable seating, harmonious colour schemes, texture, unexpected objects, and beautiful and effective lighting all work together to create a successful combination of comfort and beauty. There are no hard and fast rules to follow in order to achieve this. Working with an experienced interior designer can give you the confidence to push the limits a little. Whether your home is a small apartment or a ten room house an overall master style plan with colour, fabrics and furnishings needs to be established so that the style flows through the home. With your Mulberry Interiors interior designer assisting in the process each stage of the design is completed in an orderly manner.  A pleasing mix of textural elements is one of the keys to the urban country style. It is accomplished by layering well-made basic furniture pieces for comfort with rich wall colours, leather, wood, and soft lamp light to cast a warm glow. Fireplaces have changed dramatically and remain one of the most desired focal points in the home.Fabrics and furnishings that are useful and pleasing with this style are cotton velvet, damask, chenille, as well as ruched, tufted, or quilted fabrics. Raw silk is not out of place or too formal for this look. Denim is being used in casual furnishings as well nowadays. This look also can be adapted to show a touch of the abstract.buffet with turquoise lamp and dog bookendsShutters or wood venetian blinds are often used as window treatments in this casual style. Shutters and venetians are an excellent way to achieve light control to protect expensive furnishings and finishes in the home. As a design element, they can be appropriate for either a relaxed urban country room style as well as a contemporary interior design style. Shutters and venetians come in wood tones as well as white or cream, and they also are available in many colours to suit the decor style desired. As far as furniture goes, leather furniture with masculine styling in a darker neutral shade can add style to a sitting area. A tall bookcase can display treasured volumes or interesting accessories and artifacts. It can add refined rusticity without overwhelming the space, and a sisal distressed Oriental rug could add texture along with a natural touch. Leather and polished concrete are also elements used especially in condo design for this look. condo living room in taupe colour scheme with tall ceilings, polished concrete floors, tall wall unit and camel tone leather seatingSimple furnishings combined with a subdued, but rich, colour scheme create a pleasing and comfortable room scheme. A distressed trestle table in a dining area with a sheer gray linen drum shade on the chandelier, the crystals twinkling above the table successfully blend elements of rough texture, slubbed fabric and sparkle. Slubbed linen in an earthy shade on the dining chairs lends contrast to the rustic wood table. This look can also be surprisingly dramatic, depending on the elements used in the room design. It is not intended to be a soft, feminine style of decor.casual contemporary condo loft bedroom with live edge wood headboardThe farmhouse sink is expected in a country kitchen, but it can be paired with modern stainless-steel appliances and honed black granite countertops for modern appeal. This way of mixing modern design elements with urban country elements as well as retro industrial items achieves an eclectic finish which can be very pleasant to live with. Painted white kitchen cabinets or cabinets fashioned from reclaimed wood are part of a soothing white palette found flowing through the home. Sunlight streams through many large windows. Often, the kitchen is the hub of the home. If the room is large, it is practical to have an eat-in kitchen. If it is not, it is much more practical to decorate the dining room in a user friendly way and eat there. The kitchen is meant to have large, clear work surfaces so food can be prepared is a happy atmosphere, with plenty of storage for the tools required for the job. It is exhausting to have to trail up and down the basement stairs to get items that don’t fit into the kitchen storage, but which are used relatively often. This is what happens when, in the interest of keeping a casual home, we insist on eating in the over-burdened kitchen, while there is a perfectly good dining room adjacent.
Today’s dining rooms are no longer the stiff, formal rooms some of us grew up with. Seldom used and full of items that were expensive but often impractical, these rooms became less and less part of our lives. Many homes are now built without dining rooms. This is a shame because the kitchen is often over crammed and eating in the kitchen stretches an already overburdened space. The advent of the breakfast bar alongside the unused dining table and chairs is a trend we are now moving away from. It is inefficient to have rooms in a home that are not used. A dining table with an easy care finish can be used on a daily basis, rather than just special occasions. The décor of the dining room can be more along the lines of a comfy pair of jeans. Often dining rooms are too small to accommodate our many friends and relations. Many an unused formal living room has been converted into the dining room. The living room is often larger than what was originally designated as the dining room. Finally, this significant percentage of our very expensive real estate gets some practical use. Very often these rooms now have a fireplace. Utilitarian items salvaged from industrial use become part of the decor. A wall of floor to ceiling shelves filled with tableware, stemware and flatware make a nice dramatic decorative display, as long as clutter does not overwhelm. This formerly unused room may well become one of the most popular rooms in the rooms. The design process to successfully achieve this look is much more complicated than some realize. Marguerite Roberts of Mulberry Interiors particularly enjoys this look.wide view of casual upscale dining room in large home with floor to ceiling windowsHome offices have really had an update lately, since so many people have been working from home. The urban country look with reclaimed wood furniture, tribal or abstract  artwork, metals in soft sheens, rivets in furniture, and rich wall colours have made the home office a much more welcoming place to be. funky home office with metal studded egg chair, reclaimed wood desk, and dramatic abstract artworkArtwork in the urban country home is often of a transitional nature. While it often has a rustic element, gone are the geese and pink and blue bows of a bygone day. Rooms adjoining the kitchen are multi-purpose and the accessories and objects displayed are at home in many of the rooms of the house. This look is not necessarily about accessories but is an all over ambiance and final effect. It is not a studied and precise look and it is very easy to live with. upscale casual living room with herringbone patch hide area carpet, paired silver lamps with black shades, cream slope arm sofa, and tryptich of nudes artworkAccessories can be quirky, lending a view into the personality of the home owner. Generally, they should not be overdone as they are in  other country decor styles.less is more.upscale loft style living room with concrete floors and walls, paired nail studded chairs in grey, reclaimed wood table, and wall unit in grey with silver accesoriesA library with shelves full of books, baskets, and other treasures adds a homey touch of comfort and age. Mismatched chairs all upholstered in natural linen or leather with exposed wood a painted white finish ground the scheme. An iron lamp on a side table is an excellent accessory that suits the look. Loft style living is not confined to inner city living. Rough concrete wall or ceiling finishes, leather furniture, sometimes distressed, sometimes not, and thick, glass slab table tops look wonderful in a rural or suburban home, as well. upscale contemporary living room with gently curving long leather sofa, over-hanging floor lamp, and metal and glass coffee tablesRelaxed family rooms suit subdued and worn looking decor materials, as well. Oak-varnished pickled floors, clean lined rustic stone faced fireplace mantels create a neutral backdrop for comfortable, slightly retro furnishings. An overall air of simplicity and serenity pervades.upscale casual family room with slate clad fireplace, paired leather egg chairs, and neutral colour paletteBedrooms are often decorated in this style. Linens and furnishings look restful and clean, slightly retro. Window coverings in linen or linen-look fabrics or slubbed fabrics make simple, flowing draperies. Bare wood floors, furniture with an industrial flavour, and exposed brick walls, original or added as decor, layer in to create this rich, varied style.wide view of casual upscale loft condo apartment bedroom with exposed brick, leather chair and faux fur throwBathrooms, in general,  are larger in newer home construction, and they are more luxuriously appointed. The master ensuite is a common element in many homes today. This applies also in the urban country style. Elements such as raw concrete, tiles with a relaxed rustic look, and thick slab glass may complete the look.upscale urban rustic contemporary bathroom with thick glass counter top, stainless vessel sink, and concrete look back wallOne of the most engaging and democratic art forms is the display of objects that have personal meaning. Guest often find these displays pleasing and fascinating. These pieces tell the story of your interests, travels and heritage. These displays are among the most important aspects of your home. These items should be arranged for maximum impact, grouped by theme, colour, shape, or material. Odd numbered groupings please the eye. Hanging photographs is an art unto itself. Simplicity is the key to this confident yet understated decorating style. It is a style that is very easy to live with and maintain, and one of our personal favourites. tufted leather chair and gallery wall in upscale casual condo
Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a design consultation. For 20 years we have served residential interior design clients in Oakville, Mississauga and Burlington as well as the surrounding GTA. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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