How to move to the country - the city dweller's guide to modern rustic style

Wondering how to move to the country? This is how to do it in style

how to move to the country
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Pondering how to move to the country has been a big preoccupation in 2020. We’re all ready to up sticks and move into the countryside, it seems, as a surge in demand for rural houses follows in the wake of a year which has seen us spend more time in our homes than ever before.

Perhaps not surprisingly, city dwellers are rethinking their urban locales, craving instead greenery, fresh air, space and pastures new.

how to move to the country

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

London-based architecture and planning firm Urbanist Architecture has noted a 65 per cent increase in enquiries for homes away from its traditional boroughs compared to this time last year, as life ceases to revolve around the capital and remote working becomes the new normal.

‘Prior to COVID-19, around two-thirds of our projects were focused in highly desirable London postcodes, with a fast commute into Zone 1 often a deciding factor.’ says Ufuk Bahar, Managing Director at Urbanist Architecture. ‘We could have never predicted the demand we’re seeing now for large plots of land in truly rural locations, with many deciding to ditch city life and the commute for good.’

While conventionally, rural life went hand in hand with barns, cottages, and historic homes, modern architecture is also escaping to the country with new builds and extensions merging sustainability and contemporary design with a wilder, greener, backdrop, in a development that could see a change in classic ‘country’ style.

how to move to the country

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

What is modern country style?

As more city dwellers are moving to the country, so style is changing. Here are our favourite brands to help you get the modern country look:



Modern Shaker kitchens in even more modern and wonderful colours. Browse the range here


The kitchen and furniture brand has a wide range of modern rustic styles. Browse the rang here

how to move to the country


(Image credit: Neptune)


Little Greene

Its colour chart contains wonderful subtleties and hints of grey pigments, perfect for picking up that green country light. Browse the range here


de Gournay

The brand creates beautiful murals, traditional art-led designs in very modern colours. Browse the range here



Beautiful patterns in a range of hues, it's the weaves that give real depth and texture. Browse the range here


If you are planning to build a grand design in a meadow, or extend lovingly onto a period country home, our guide to the top architecture firms is a good place to start.

Amy Moorea Wong

Amy Moorea Wong is a freelance interior design journalist with a decade of experience in contemporary print and digital editorial, previously News Editor at Livingetc. She writes on a broad range of modern design topics from news and interior zeitgeist to houses, architecture, travel and wider culture. She has a penchant for natural materials, surprising pops of colour and pattern and design with an eco edge.