12 Ways to Add Modern Mountain Charm

If you love the charm of refined rustic design, we have a collection of rooms for you: Each one pairs the coziness of a mountain getaway with clean architectural lines, sleek furnishings, and natural materials—a combination that works beautifully in any house, in any setting.

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August 07, 2017
By: Amanda Lecky

Photo By: Emily J. Followill

Photo By: Jeffrey Totaro

Photo By: Pagosa Photography

Photo By: Jason Hulet Photography

Photo By: Windermere Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Meechan Architectural Photograph

Photo By: Slifer Designs

Photo By: Slifer Designs

Photo By: Rebecca Zajac

Photo By: Matthew Moger, Moger Mehrhof Architects

Photo By: Jim Westphalen

Photo By: Jim Westphalen

Country Cool

To give a mountain home’s porch a dose of big-city style, designer Brian Patrick Flynn created a monochromatic backdrop of rich charcoal gray, using the color on everything from the porch structure itself, to the stone-faced fireplace, to the wicker sofas. Then, he added drama with bold hits of color: sapphire velvet upholstery and emerald pillows. Last, a Midcentury-inspired chandelier in a rich brass finish lends a shining accent overhead.

Location, Location

Inspired by the setting of this barnlike modern home nestled on a hilltop amongst many acres of undeveloped woods, architect Matthew Moger of Moger Mehrhof Architects used natural stone and wood to give the space a grounded, but luxurious look. The sliding mirror and trough-like sink nod to the home' s location in rural, Pennsylvania farm country.

Sunny Outlook

When a room—any room—has glass as expansive and views as spectacular as the ones this master bedroom enjoys, a designer’s main task is often to keep the focus where it should be: outside. Here, designer Kathe Baker of Feathering the Nest chose a subdued neutral palette to create an atmosphere of quiet elegance. Layers of soft texture add luxury.

Finding Flow

In a large, open-plan space like this one, it’s essential to create a sense of connection between spaces, while allowing each one to function separately. The designers at Kitchen Choreography in Traverse City, Michigan addressed the former issue—connection—by installing wenge-look ceramic tile across the entire span of floor, creating visual flow throughout the room. The L of custom cabinetry along two walls frames the kitchen area, differentiating it from the dining area and two styles of lighting lighting help each space maintain its own character.

Light Effects

All-white rooms have become practically expected in modern and contemporary designs, but this simple palette works just as well in rustic, lodge- or Mission-style homes, as well. Case in point: This dramatic living room, with its breathtaking mountain views and gracefully peaked window. The all-white, low-slung furnishings impart luxurious comfort, without distracting from the setting; subtle texture from the woven rug and wood coffee table add interest.

Site to See

Tucked into the mountainside at nearly 4,300 feet in elevation, this Western North Carolina home blends Modern and Craftsman styles beautifully, seamlessly balancing aesthetics, comfort and function. “Taking careful consideration of the site of this home was an integral part of the design process, and it paid off, with breathtaking views from almost every room,” says architect Amy Conner-Murphy. “Even the outdoor living space is show stopping, with features such as cable railing, wood-look tiles, natural heavy timbers, and a neutral palette punctuated with hints of bolder color and texture.”

Country Meets Contemporary

To give a Colorado bathroom a uniquely luxurious look, the team at Slifer Designs mixed design styles with abandon, lining the walls and floor with rustic wood, but choosing sleek white vessel sinks for the vanity and a contemporary soaker tub. The effect is startling, but completely comforting: The warm wood and cool porcelain balance each other, for a result that’s both embracing and refreshing.

From: Slifer Design

Nature-Loving Statement Pieces

From floor to ceiling, the entire dining room features rustic, exposed grain wood. Strong statement pieces, like a navy blue buffet, mirrored chandelier and even a simple bear portrait, are used to break up the wood. The comfortable dining room is made of a wood slab table, gray bench seats and slipcovered armchairs.

From: Slifer Design

Great Range

Modern mountain style works in any room—even a nursery. Here, designer Rebecca Zajac used a painted wall mural to nod to the home’s setting, but had the mountains painted in an abstract, ombré style for a more contemporary look. Simple shelving units and a natural wood crib don’t detract from the artwork, and a modern yellow bird mobile adds a pop of brightness overhead.

Rustic Reminder

Painted wood paneling is one of the hallmarks of rural architecture—but that doesn’t mean it’s not right at home in more populated settings. In this Nantucket cottage, for example, architect Matthew Moger clad the walls in wide wood planks, creating texture and country charm without making the room feel dark or heavy. Contemporary lighting fixtures and modern furnishings complete this appealing breakfast nook.

Global Influences

Giving your home a Smoky Mountain modern look doesn't limit you to regional design elements. In this mountain home, for example, architect Lee Grutchfield and designer Kim Deetjen of TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design took inspiration from as far afield as Japan, incorporating Shoji-screen-style sliding glass doors to connect the vaulted great room to its outdoor surroundings. Local materials like natural stone and cedar wood help keep the home grounded in its physical location.

Gift to be Simple

Rustic and cabin architecture has a tendency to get cute—with too much twig work, peeling bark, and competing color palettes. But the truest testament to a mountainous site is the simplest of structures, one that lives comfortably in its natural home without distracting (or detracting) from the views. The small entry porch of this home designed by architect Lee Grutchfield and designer Kim Deetjen of TruexCullins Architecture + Interior design is a perfect example: It’s almost completely unadorned, taking its “decoration” from the rich textures of natural stone and the varied tones of the patinated copper roof.