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Incorporate country in a contemporary kitchen

Incorporate country elements into your contemporary kitchen.

You’ve installed your dream kitchen; time to decorate! Chances are, you’ve gone for a sleek, minimalist look. Can you still add a touch of rusticity? “Absolutely,” says Frank Turco, creative director of Turcof Design.

One way to do this is with olive wood. “There’s a big trend in reclaimed wood,” says Turco. He suggests accessorizing with a knotty, asymmetrical bowl, or a charcuterie board that can be displayed on the wall when it’s not in use.

Turco likes the craftsmanship of Le Creuset enamel ware. “It’s beautiful and artisanal, but it comes in great colours: French blue, reds and yellows.” Then there are motifs like the rooster, in any material from wire to ceramic. “It could be subtle; it could even be on a tea towel,” he says. Another effective rustic motif is a word like “kitchen,” or its Italian equivalent “cucina,” in distressed wood, displayed on a counter or backsplash.

“The other element that I really love is a blackboard,” he says. “You can create your own using blackboard paint, and then frame it, which is so easy.” Then there are “fabrics of course: classic gingham or a two-coloured plaid is nice. Area rugs also warm up a stark space,” he adds.

Here’s our pick of Pinterest-worthy accent pieces that combine country charm with contemporary elegance.

  • There’s a chalkboard feel to this lyrical poster by North Carolina artist Renee Garner, celebrating the opulence of heirloom tomatoes. (Various sizes, $20-$45 at renee-garner.com)
  • No one does “country kitchen” like the French. Covet the brand-new Matte line from Le Creuset, like a set of three Mini Cocottes in Cotton, Sisal and Mineral Blue ($75). They play nicely with Emile Henry’s ceramic salt pig ($46.99), which keeps your fine sea salt close at hand, or their newly released Natural Chic pitcher that could have been drawn by Cézanne himself ($79.99).
  • Whether you fill them with pickles, candy or quinoa, you’ll appreciate the fresh look of Bernardin’s limited-edition green jars, only available in Canada. In the US, look for Ball’s Heritage collection, also launching a green jar for 2014. (Pint or quart/litre six-packs: $13 to $15)
  • A nod to the modern era: the clean lines of Belkin’s Chef Stand, designed to hold your iPad while you follow a recipe on your go-to food blog. Widely available, with a stylus to keep the screen smudge-free, for about $40.
  • From UK-based Garden Trading, subtly elegant steel canisters for bread, cake, coffee, sugar or tea in softly muted colours like Chalk, Charcoal, Clay, Flint and Shutter Blue. ($18-$48 at amara.com)
  • Primary colours pop in this delightful botanical “Villa” tablecloth, hand-printed on cotton by Pomegranate studio in Kentucky ($138 at Anthropologie)
-by Sarah B. Hood