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Blending modern with European Country is all in the details.

Modern or contemporary furniture and home design is in vogue once again. The strong, simplified lines of this look have a lot to offer. I occasionally meet with clients who like a more modern feel, but they also love traditional European design and wonder how to marry the two looks. One couple I am working with want a home that is clearly European Country on the exterior, but want the interior to reflect a more streamlined aesthetic. To achieve this we simplified the outside by sticking to just one material (stucco) and keeping the roofline shapes the same (hip roofs). We also made interior details, such as trim work and paint, a more streamlined, simple palette. Sounds easy, but not always easy to achieve. The key is in keeping the detailing simple with less excessive trim work, maybe no mantel over the fireplace and simplified hardware and light fixtures. When these details are less pronounced, floor patterns and colors tend to take center stage. Changing flooring materials from one room to another can also lend to this effect. The fact is that true European Country lends itself extremely well to a more streamlined look—afterall, being in the country is all about relaxing and uncluttering oneself from hectic city life.

This is another home I did where the streamlined European Country approach lends itself well to modern furnishings.

The outdoor room for this same home--a sophisticated look that goes easily with a contemporary aesthetic.

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Jack Arnold, AIA