From the urban farmer to the modern farmhouse, our ideas of idyllic country living have adapted for the modern age. And in the same way that the urban farming movement has allowed stressed-out city dwellers to find peace through nature, modern farmhouse style has allowed home decorators to create a peaceful escape through practical interior design.
Modern farmhouse style pairs cozy farmhouse design with modern, minimalist elements to create a look that feels just as at home in a Brooklyn loft as it does in a Texas ranch. So yeah, even if you’re not from Waco, Texas, you can still pull off a modern farmhouse look in your home.
Here are the key elements of modern farmhouse style and five decor ideas that will help you recreate the look in your home.
What is modern farmhouse style?
Embracing the farmhouse aesthetic is not new. Designers and homeowners have been intentionally incorporating elements of rustic, country living since at least the 1700s when French Country style emerged.
French Country style incorporates worn-in, lime-washed furniture and gently faded linens that look like they were handed down for generations (because originally, they were).
This style eventually evolved into classic farmhouse style, which is essentially a more rustic interpretation of traditional style decor. (Picture a table with turned legs in the dining room, a crocheted Afghan in the living room, and those familiar rooster and pig statues on the bookcase.)
Classic farmhouse style is comfortable but can look thrown together — it lacks intentional design choices and often falls short of creating a cohesive aesthetic. Modern farmhouse style is much more intentional in its approach.
Modern farmhouse decor takes the worn-in look of French Country style but removes the frillier elements. Imagine swapping that crystal chandelier for a cast iron light fixture, replacing the lace tablecloth with a burlap table runner, and switching out the French rose-print fabrics for Cape Cod-inspired stripes. Then, combine these comfortable, country elements with contemporary touches.
Modern farmhouse design brings in elements from several contemporary design styles, including mid-century modern, Scandinavian, and industrial style decor. Instead of traditional furniture with turned legs, it features modern silhouettes with clean lines — but it keeps that worn-in look.
Part of the beauty of modern farmhouse decor is in its functionality. Everything should be sturdy enough for everyday use.
Elements of modern farmhouse style
While a certain HGTV couple may have popularized open floor plans, exposed wood beams, and shiplap everywhere, you don’t need to do a dramatic remodel to get the farmhouse look. After all, accessible design is part of every modern farmhouse‘s charm. So, start redecorating by incorporating these simple styling tips into your farmhouse plan.
Keep it neutral
Much like Scandinavian decor, the modern farmhouse aesthetic uses a neutral color palette to create a peaceful backdrop for your home. White, cream, and grey are all popular farmhouse paint colors, as are light blues and greens with grey undertones. Choose a lighter color for larger surfaces like walls and cabinetry. Then, accessorize with darker colors (like black, navy, or forest green) to create elegant contrast.
Because modern farmhouse design keeps the colors neutral, it relies on texture to add visual interest. Look for rich textures like a faux fur or chunky cable knit throw for your living space. Try mixing natural materials like wood and stone with industrial materials like metal and concrete. Picture a natural wood table with metal legs, or a poured concrete countertop with wood cabinetry.
Look for clean lines
Unlike French Country or classic farmhouse style, which embrace ornate details like scroll work and turned table legs, modern farmhouse style sticks to clean lines. Clean lines, like a simple rectangular dresser with tapered legs, are typical of most forms of modern home design, including mid-century modern, Scandinavian, and yes, modern farmhouse design.
One feature that differentiates modern farmhouse style from other modern home decor styles is that it’s not concerned with looking new and shiny. An aged patina, a chipped corner, and a faded paint job all add character to your decor.
Nothing in your home should look too precious to be touched. Well-loved and well-used items will help you create that rustic farmhouse look.
Mix the old with the new
To add those slightly flawed but full-of-character pieces to your home, look for authentic vintage home decor. Incorporate aged wood accents by hanging antique cutting boards in your modern farmhouse kitchen, or arrange flowers in a vintage watering can and display it on top of a modern dining room table. The combination of old and new will help your house feel both contemporary and timeless.
5 decor ideas for your modern farmhouse
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to start redecorating. Use these design ideas to turn your house into a modern farmhouse.
1. Add an entryway bench
Whether you place an entryway bench beside your front door or in your mudroom, it can create a cozy feel and give you a place to store your favorite pair of shoes (just slide them under the bench so they’re out of the way, but always accessible). We like this upholstered bench in beige and black because of its striking mix of textures with linen, leather, wood, and metal.
2. Invest in an architectural feature
While barn doors and shiplap may be one of the home trends that are on the way out, you can easily add a similar and still-on-trend architectural feature. Try upgrading your panel doors with a DIY makeover. Or use geometric wood paneling instead of shiplap to add depth and texture to your walls.
3. Upgrade your dining room table
Here’s a bit of classic farmhouse wisdom that’s still true today: The kitchen is the heart of the home. So, it’s a natural place to start your home decor update. When you’re ready to invest in farmhouse furniture, look for a farmhouse table first. It will become the centerpiece of your home. We like the Barrett Marble Top Dining Table in White and Natural because it combines two beautiful natural materials — acacia wood and marble — in a modern silhouette.
4. Create a rustic centerpiece
Accentuate your farmhouse table with a beautiful centerpiece. Try a table runner or table throw to create a look that’s more casual than a traditional tablecloth. Then add natural elements like pine cones or dried herbs and flowers displayed in Mason jars. You can also add a framed chalkboard on your dining room or kitchen wall so you can plan out the week’s menu or keep track of your shopping list.
5. Choose a metal headboard
To add a timeless farmhouse element to your guest room or master bedroom, choose a metal bed frame with a simple design. Look for a pattern with clean lines rather than elaborate scroll work. We like the Livingston Panel Metal Bed in dark bronze because it features a rectangular silhouette with simple, rounded corners.
Comfortable, uncluttered, and cozy
Modern farmhouse style has become incredibly popular because it offers something many of us are looking for: a way to add more comfort to our hectic modern lives. Farmhouse decor is beautiful and practical. Every element is designed for everyday life — from its organized, minimalist aesthetic to its worn-in, ready-to-use furniture pieces.
This easy-going style can be accessible to everyone, even if you’re on a budget. You don’t need a major remodel to fulfill your farmhouse dreams. Start with neutral wall paints, add a few vintage decor items and flea market finds, and then shop for furniture that offers modern silhouettes in natural materials. Soon you’ll have your own quiet country escape — even if you’re in the middle of a big city.
Livingston California King Panel Metal Bed Dark Bronze
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