The term ‘modern’ in modern farmhouse design gives the impression of something simple as well as clean and fresh. The cool thing about using these decorative elements is they are not just about ways in which you can decorate the family home. This style will truly come to define the lifestyle for the family enjoying it. No matter if you live in a big city apartment or out on a ranch in the country, when you gather at the wooden dining table to have a Sunday dinner, you’re enjoying modern farmhouse living.
In contrast, a contemporary style has the potential to give off a cold, uninviting feel as compared to the warm, comfortable ambience brought forth in the farmhouse interior. There is a semblance of nostalgia that comes with the farmhouse style as our country began in the farmhouse with families at that time working long hard days and living very basic lives. Most of our grandparents and those before them were born and raised on these simple farms.
The farmhouse design today wouldn’t be something you would recall from your youth. It has definitely been updated from back in the day in order to meet the needs of modern-day life. There is a nice mix of the modern versus the old and traditional, yet the need for simplicity is still there as well as clean lines and an air of freshness.
Modern Farmhouse Style
Modern farmhouse decor is very versatile in that it will blend well with many other types of styles throughout your home. It is touted as being eclectic, so if you have a fixer upper and choose to only remodel a room at a time to save money, you’ll be able to get away with that fairly easily and inexpensively. Small changes will have you achieving the farmhouse look without spending a fortune all at one time such as applying shiplap to an accent wall or painting white walls. These small changes will get you headed towards your farmhouse goal.
Classic farmhouse decor is traditional without being too cluttered. It is comfortable in the way that you want to sit and stay for a bit. There is a way that designers and decorators blend soft furniture, salvaged materials such as reclaimed wood along with antiques and make it all work harmoniously. The modern farmhouse interior is reminiscent of the more kitschy country style but comes off being much more sophisticated. This decor trend is different from country in that the country living decor trend is heavy on accessories where traditionally farmhouse is more minimalistic.
In most all typical farmhouses, you will commonly find a blend of natural materials that have been salvaged or recycled along with the antiques and the newer furniture.
- Barnwood / Barn doors
- Reclaimed boards
- Oversized plush furniture
- Pine tables and chairs
- Salvaged architecture
- Accents in wrought iron
- Vintage items
- Wide planking for flooring
The key to a farmhouse-type of style is that no one should feel as though they can’t sit down or touch anything inside the home. It should be relaxed and welcoming from the colors that you choose to the furniture all the way to the tchotchkes that you place.
- The color palette that you opt for with your modern design should be neutral in either warm or cooler shades such as creams, greys beiges and then use natural woods to layer in with those colors. The wood should be salvaged showing signs of wear such as scratches, nicks, knots in order to make it appear authentic.
- With this type of style there should be a variety of different textures used to give off the illusion of depth to the space. You want to blend metals with woods and various fabrics together such as cotton or wool or canvas, any type of fabric that calls to you. This trend standardly consists of mostly neutral colors so you will need to mix up the textures in order to keep everything from appearing flat.
- Mix up the metals but keep it limited to three varieties for each room. Do this in the way of lighting fixtures, architecture such as rails, hardware. This will add interest to the space.
- Bring the outdoors in by using organic materials. This can be achieved with wood floors and different types of architectural elements. Don’t limit choices. It’s good to think outside of the box by using other natural materials such as wicker, stone, sisal, rattan.
- Accessories are an important aspect for interior designers but you don’t want to go over the top to where you end up with the country look. Farmhouse is more simple as far as having objects sitting around. A few things that are placed well will help to complete the look without overdoing it.
- Furniture should not match or look like it was all bought at the same time in the same place. You want your place to look like it has evolved over a period of time.
A genuinely authentic farmhouse kitchen consists of a gathering of disparate elements and warm colors. It should be ‘perfectly imperfect’. There is nothing quite as classic as those white kitchens with the oversized kitchen islands directly in the center. There should always be an antique piece of furniture finding its home in the kitchen decor with the heirloom china displayed through the glass. The open-shelved pantry that you find in most farmhouses should have its own color to accent the white. A nice black would elevate the sophistication as there’s nothing quite as quintessential as black and white.
It wouldn’t be a farmhouse without an open ceiling complete with wooden beams that have been reclaimed as well as subway tile that serves as a backsplash. Neutral colors go well in the modern kitchen with varying textures and shades ranging from darks to lights. Adding in industrial elements mixes things up, various metals for the range hood, cabinet handles, and pendant lights.
Make the sink center stage in the kitchen with soapstone, an authentic element and solid contrast to the cabinetry surrounding it. This makes for an ideal focal point.
Some kitchens are eat-in and then there are dining rooms for the farmhouse. Either way, there are always significant wooden dining tables. This is basically the ‘heart of the home’. This is where the family gathers each week to have dinner and catch up with each other. Generally the accent chair alongside the table will be unique to the table and not something that came with it. The farmhouse table is typically something that has been made from found wood that is worn, tattered, scratched, and knotty. It comes to be a most beloved piece of furniture that passes from generations.
Having all of these pieces in line makes for a foundation for your modern farmhouse kitchen. It invokes the traditional, nostalgic feel of days gone by, but screams of today’s modern vibe.
Updating Your Living Space
Using design ideas from the farmhouse style doesn’t always have to sway towards the rustic spectrum. Those who own turn-of-the century homes are opening them up as a means to bring in more natural light. These contemporary spaces with their open-concept living and dining combinations are modernizing what was once a traditional closed-in look. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t obtain the farmhouse appeal within these spaces by adding in the soft furniture, architectural elements, and well-placed shiplap for an understated take on the trend.
Farmhouse is very adaptable with many other home decor trends meaning that you can have fun with it in order to keep it from being too ‘country’ for you. If you so choose you can add art deco pieces with perhaps a Persian rug to a room with horizontal shiplap and cellular chandelier shades for a look that comes out transitional yet traditional.
Let your rooms speak to you by adding construction material that is organic and mix it up using woods, stones, metals. If you have an exposed stone wall, put found wooden beams on the ceiling. This gives you multiple textures to focus your attention on. Then it’s a matter of adding in simplicity with the furniture and accessories.
This decorating style doesn’t have to be grand in its elements. There doesn’t have to be beams on the ceiling or architectural elements abound in the space. It’s should be your version of relaxed simplicity and how you are comfortable. If your guests come into the living space and feel that they can prop their feet up on your coffee table, then you can rest assured that you have done something right.
Farmhouse can be mixed quite nicely with industrial design as well as contemporary. Allow the architectural elements to take the focus off the room and accentuate those with various different metals. Add to this bar stools in metal and a potbelly stove complete with modern furniture and any type of farm-style rug, you will get the look that you want without too much of any one style. You can make any traditional farmhouse space more contemporary by just adding modern furniture and accessories yet still maintain the classic vibe.
Many people are bringing the outdoors into their living space with lots of plant life and organic materials making their spaces feel unrestricted and creating a type of ‘outdoor’ living space within the comforts of their living room.
In farmhouses long ago, wood paneling was used heavily as a finish for the walls. In this day and age, shiplap is being incorporated as a means to mimic that style into newer homes. When you decide to use this type of material, you want to get boards that are ‘battered’ with scrapes and nicks in order to be reminiscent of the look that they have been weathered and worn for a long time and to present a sense of history with them. Various wood accents will offset the shiplap on the walls to create contrast as with a fireplace mantle.
It isn’t necessary to paint the walls in your living space white. A good alternative would be grey or light blue as a contrast to the variety of woods and metals that you incorporate into the space. It is best to stick with neutrals for the farmhouse feel, though, in order to keep the appeal simple and uncomplicated.
When shopping for the living area, it’s a good idea to stick with thrift stores and antique or flea markets to get one-of-a-kind pieces that look aged, furniture that has a shabby chic appearance with the paint peeling off, unique textiles and linens that you can’t find anywhere anymore. These types of things will add charm and warmth to the living space but you also want to keep the space light and airy. Too cluttered is not a good thing in the farmhouse style.
Living The Farmhouse Lifestyle
The farmhouse look has been around for as long as anyone can remember. That doesn’t mean the look has to be reminiscent of grandma’s house or the days before her. There can be little reminders of those days for nostalgia sake because who doesn’t want to remember ‘the good old days’. But the farmhouse has gotten modernized and simplified to keep up with the times now and we can kind of make it anything we want in pretty much any type of space we want. If you live in a tiny apartment or a large newly constructed open-spaced home, you can incorporate this style into your design. It just takes adding the various different elements, textures, colors.
As long as you have created a space that feels like a place where friends and family can come and they don’t want to leave; where they can sit, touch your things, prop their feet, eat a meal; you’ve achieved your goal. The only other important thing is that it has a perfect balance between being current, cozy, and feeling like home for you. When we get it right, there is no place like home.