If you grew up in a rural community or if you had family that lived in the country, you may be familiar with a classic farmhouse. While there are many quaint features of a farmhouse, the “originals” often have old features, lack energy efficiency, have cracks in the walls and chipped paint.

How do you take some of the charming and well-loved features of an old farmhouse without buying the farm? Modern farmhouse décor is your answer; it’s easy to create, is a popular look, and you continue to have all the modern amenities that you love in your home.

We will talk about some of the most common elements of the modern farmhouse design and how they work in almost every type of home.


What Is A Modern Farmhouse?

As you browse modern farmhouse plans, you may notice that the farmhouse design imitates and borrows elements from classic century-old farmhouses. While each style of farmhouse varies, depending on the region in the U.S., farmhouses typically have gabled roofs and numerous porches.

Most kitchens are designed to be large enough for eating in even if a formal dining space is also present in the home. The design elements vary, but the primary purpose of the design style is to create comfort in practical and usable space.

Rather than design styles that revolve around technology and stark minimalism, the modern farmhouse has the right balance of elements and for many, it just “feels like home.” Let’s take a closer look at what you’re most likely to see in today’s farmhouse design.


Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood: it has a nice rustic look, it’s unique, it’s sustainable, and it’s a “must have” in modern farmhouse design. You can use reclaimed wood to build a coffee table or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try to build a farmhouse style table out of wood from an old barn or farmhouse.

Today, there are lots of design companies and antique stores that focus a lot of their sales on reclaimed wood. Don’t feel like tackling a reclaimed wood DIY project? You can find many pieces of furniture, in various sizes, made of authentic reclaimed wood in online stores and brick and mortar boutiques.


A Bright and Neutral Palette

A neutral palette is a common element of modern farmhouse design, and it helps to keep a space feeling bright, open, welcoming and not too cluttered. If you’re planning on using a lot of wood and other natural elements throughout your home, select a neutral palette (warm or cool) that works well with the wood tone.

Weathered or reclaimed woods often work well with a variety of dark or light colors so you may have more options and versatility than if you were to choose a wood tone with a finish, such as cherry and dark mahogany.

  • Dark finishes work best with green or blue tints
  • Use light colors for medium-tone woods
  • Warm neutrals complement medium brown wood tones


Mixed Materials

White walls and wood features, such as flooring or shiplap (paneling) on the walls, can look clean and practical but how do you keep the design looking inviting and modern? The key is mixed materials.


Choose Up To Three Metals

Wrought iron is popular when transforming a space into a modern farmhouse look, but it can also end up looking a little “heavy” if you don’t mix in any other types of metal. Rose gold and brass with a matte finish are trending in 2018 and may be a great way to add warmth to any modern farmhouse kitchen or bathroom.

As with many design features, make sure not to go overboard on mixing up your metals; some interior design experts recommend mixing up to three types of metal to each room.


Use A Variety Of Textiles

Another way to soften up and personalize farmhouse style (that sometimes looks too practical and minimalistic) is to use a variety of textiles. Whether you use a quilt that your great-grandmother sewed by hand in your guest bedroom or hang a set of vintage curtains in your dining room, don’t be afraid to mix up your textiles to provide warmth and depth to a room. Some great textiles to consider include:

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Chenille
  • Linen
  • Burlap


Utilizing Organic Materials

If you have exposed stone or other natural elements that are part of the architecture of your home, it’s best to showcase rather than hide them. While there’s a lot of charm and comfort to a farmhouse, most people spent more time outside than indoors.

Today, as we spend a majority of our time in our homes, find ways to bring the outside in with natural and organic materials, such as wicker. Don’t pass up the opportunity to display freshly cut flowers or to start a small container garden of herbs in a sunny window.


Pendant Lighting

As you browse various modern farmhouse designs, you might notice that a majority of the lighting, especially in the kitchen and dining area, is pendant lighting. Ideal pendant lighting for this design is a simple fixture with some antique features (such as Edison bulbs) or oversized to provide sufficient light.

Like many elements in the farmhouse style, you can mix and match with lighting but be mindful of sticking to just a few types of pendants in each room.


Don’t Shy Away From Color

Even though neutral palettes are a big part of the farmhouse look, don’t shy away from using color, notably when accenting. What are some excellent accents to consider? Throw pillows with a bold pattern or a brightly colored metal bar stools are unique ways to add some color without making it look like you tried too hard.

Colorful vintage signs, botanical prints, or even a few knick-knacks can add a little pop of color to any farmhouse room, just make sure not to go overboard and make space look cluttered and kitschy.


Make Room For Art

If you’ve got a lot of wall space, it’s the perfect opportunity to hang up some art. Whether you have an abstract print or a vintage painting of a pastoral scene that you found at a garage sale, eclectic artwork works well with a farmhouse design.

While you might feel like you need to stick to a “rural” theme of livestock and pasture scenes, it’s best to branch out and look for unique pieces that you like. Remember, mixing and matching is a great quality of the farmhouse style; if you match too much, it might end up looking a little tacky.


Use Shelves

Shelving is a great way to display some of your favorite things, from books to antiques, and can help break up areas of a large room. While large cabinets and other storage furniture have been essential in other designs, they can take up a lot of space.

Use reclaimed wood to create some shelving on your own or shop around for some open shelving options that fit into your farmhouse style. When displaying items on your shelves, feel free to mix and match but be mindful that it doesn’t end up looking too cluttered. Shelving should be purposeful but attractive.


Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are an excellent way to bring classic farmhouse into a modern home. Whether you’re replacing the door on a closet or creating a separate space in a large room, sliding doors are easy to use and stay true to the design. While there are some doors made of reclaimed wood, there are several newer options that look just as authentic.


A Few Decorating Tips

A modern farmhouse design is a relatively easy look to achieve, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money trying to recreate certain aspects. Here are some tips to consider when decorating.

Mixing and matching is a fun way to create a look but try not to go overboard. Consider three different materials for each room; it will keep it from looking disorganized.

When shopping around for vintage pieces to display, focus on quality rather than quantity. The goal is to make your home feel comfortable, but not like your visitors are walking around an antique store.

As with any design style, you should only purchase furniture and accessories that you love and can see yourself using for an extended period. Design trends come and go, but specific design styles rarely change. Don’t fill your home with stuff that doesn’t make you excited, just to create the perfect look.

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