Let’s do a dive deep into what the modern farmhouse phenomenon is and how to make it work with your home’s interior decor.
You’ve seen the Fixer Upper-inspired “shabby chic” signage in home interiors, and you may have even installed a sliding barn door over an entryway. You may think you know everything there is to know about farmhouse decor (thanks, Joanna Gaines), but do you know what separates a modern farmhouse from its traditional past? Could your very different interior design style ever gel with this look?
We have the answers! Let’s take a deep dive into what makes modern farmhouse design … modern, and discover ways to bring the farmhouse aesthetic to your home — no matter what design style you have.
Joanna Gaines coined the term modern farmhouse to describe a style rooted in the traditional farmhouse culture of America’s past but built around functional, relaxed, and sleek spaces. Her vision took off and started a craze! I guess there's just something about the cosmopolitan edge of rustic spaces that are very attractive to today’s homeowners.
The modern take on this home decor style differs from the traditional farmhouse by taking the practicality of mix-and-match furniture that’s durable enough to stand the test of time and streamlining your decor by including a few choice pieces. An uncluttered space lets these authentic pieces have their moment.
Let that apron sink, a must for the modern farmhouse kitchen, shine by keeping the rest of the room light and bright with light reflective paint and wood. In the same way, the smooth lines of your modern bathroom can be the perfect backdrop for a galvanized trough sink.
Today's farmhouse furnishings are on a larger scale than those of years past because ... well, humans are larger. Add to that the lifestyle change: where a day of work often culminates in lying on a plush, comfy couch for a little streaming time to decompress. You can see why the small, less padded, upright pieces of the past just won’t cut it.
Since your pieces will be larger, consider editing the furnishings and decor in your home to streamline traffic flow and bring visual calm to your space.
While you can appreciate the warmth of old-fashioned craftsmanship of natural materials, don’t rule out modern design elements like the use of metal in structural elements and furnishings.
Sleek wrought iron stair railings or uncluttered metal window casings can bring your traditional look into this century. Just keep your use of mixed metals down to no more than two or three types — remember, we are going for relaxed calm here.
Incorporate natural farmhouse materials in a subtly modern way that gives your variety of materials a uniformity of design. Your materials will still be natural but include modern adaptations.
For instance, the natural stone you’d once see in the modern farmhouse living room fireplace is still going strong. Now, it can also translate to kitchen countertops with a less-traditional glossy marble waterfall edge.
The warm wood of the classic farmhouse style was usually a hodge-podge of types and finishes layered in over the years. In contrast, today’s modern farmhouse is designed to keep the chaos of varying shades of wood to a minimum.
Follow this trend by keeping your rustic, wide plank flooring consistent throughout your home. When you do find yourself with a mix of woods, consider painting some a fresh milky white.
Keeping uniformity of color and materials in mind, fill your home with natural materials used in functional and very visible ways for a genuine modern farmhouse look.
The exposed timber beams of yore were often covered in later decades with new manufacturing technology to hold in heat. Uncover their beauty and let ceiling beams take center stage.
You can even borrow the look and install faux beams to bring the farmhouse look to vaulted ceilings.
We already mentioned the ubiquitous sliding barn door (and that’s a look that screams modern farmhouse the Joanna Gaines way), but sourcing barn doors to replace builder-grade doors with a track system isn’t the only way to give a nod to this fresh style.
Using reclaimed, natural wood for DIY projects is a huge internet favorite because the wood grain and texture add warmth and visual interest to modern interiors that may feel cold and lifeless. You can follow an online tutorial to turn your barn door into a large dining table for a holiday feast that gives your dining room the feeling of storied age.
You may have seen enough white-painted shiplap to last a lifetime, but don’t let any recent connotations cloud your enjoyment of this timeless interior solution.
It may not be necessary for weather-proofing your home, but the lines this treatment introduces to your space can make a room feel larger while injecting more country style. Try running your boards vertically, rather than the traditional horizontal way, to make rooms feel taller.
Much as shiplap adds texture to a room, board-and-batten recalls simpler days while jazzing up a plain wall. You can’t go wrong with a classic, crisp white, but there’s no rule that says you can’t employ another soft, neutral color for your wall colors. If you like the look of country white walls, consider painting an accent wall with paneling a deeper color as a strong focal point in your space.
Curating your rustic elements carefully will keep your home feeling fresh and modern. Use reclaimed wood (or wood treated to make it appear salvaged) strategically to have as much impact as possible without overwhelming the space with texture.
Instead of worrying about having authentic-looking natural oak cabinetry, Keep your painted kitchen cupboards and install one long open shelf in reclaimed barn wood. Old timber can be brought in as structural support or used to craft a custom kitchen island.
If, at this point, you’re doubtful that this new (and ever-evolving) twist on a beloved style can work with your decor, trust us — it can! Let’s look at ways to incorporate modern farmhouse design ideas into several popular interior design trends.
The modern farmhouse look has the same appreciation for clean lines and functionality as the minimalist style. Any design style can be minimalist if you pare down your furnishings and choose a minimal, neutral color palette, but the practicality of farmhouse style allows it to smoothly transition to minimal.
Since farm living brings to mind equipment and functional, heavy-duty pieces, industrial decor can easily translate to a modern farmhouse.
The retro mid-century decor style is right at home in your modern farmhouse home because the two overlap in their use of natural elements, appreciation of clean lines, and attention to function over form. Try upping your mid-century farmhouse style like this:
Bring the mismatched charm of an authentic farmhouse back to your interior design by merging the modern farmhouse decor with your grandmillennial space. This is your chance to use a neutral farmhouse backdrop as the perfect palette for charming, colorful decor elements you may have been hoarding but are unsure how to use without overwhelming your home:
Now that you’ve read these farmhouse decor ideas and your mental wheels are turning (we mean the industrial metal variety, of course.), start mocking up your own space with modern farmhouse interiors using Spoak’s room visualization tool.
Photo Credit: (Left) Scout & Nimble
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