Drawing inspiration from the farm homes of early settlers, traditional farmhouse style mimics the look and feel of days gone by. It incorporates the simplified, minimalistic decor necessitated by the surroundings of farmhouse residents and their need for durable, practical furnishings.
Unlike past renditions, today’s farmhouse style is all grown up. It’s definitely not your grandmother’s farmhouse. Instead, the farmhouse looks trending at the moment balance an eclectic mix of old and new design elements.
Old vs. “New” Farmhouse Style
Classic farmhouse style includes trademark elements from farm homesteads of the past such as natural wood accents – think paneled wood walls, wide plank floors, shiplap and exposed wood beams – along with mainstays like porcelain apron sinks. Vintage furniture and accessories with weathered finishes are also common as is vintage-inspired lighting.
In contrast, modern farmhouse design starts with the comfortable, relaxed farmhouse style and incorporates more contemporary touches such as clean lines, glossy accents and neutral color palettes. This look is less rustic, more sophisticated and utilizes contemporary design elements such as granite countertops and sleek lighting. The overall aesthetic includes less clutter for a more streamlined look that still maintains the inviting feel of traditional farmhouse style.
How to Achieve Modern Farmhouse Style
Here are some key elements of modern farmhouse style.
Make it practical: Furnishings and accessories should be comfortable and purposeful and have a lived-in feel. They should welcome you into the space, and nothing should be too delicate to use regularly. The room should appear as if it evolved over time. To avoid a cluttered look, keep accessories to a minimum.
Stay neutral: A neutral palette comprised of cool or warm neutrals such as cream, beige, silver and light gray will make the room appear fresh, light and open while balancing natural elements. Pops of subtle color can be incorporated to add depth and help to break up the space, and the use of simple patterns and a mix of textures will bring dimensionality.
Mix and match: Mixing and matching furniture, including vintage and new pieces, stays true to farmhouse roots, while delivering added comfort and style. Pairing traditional natural elements such as wood with newer ones like concrete, stainless steel and other metals puts a new twist on farmhouse style.
Go natural: Natural materials are an important element of any farmhouse-inspired space. Introducing distressed or reclaimed wood in architectural features or furniture helps to anchor a room while using natural fibers, such as cotton, sisal, rattan and wicker adds visual interest. Natural stone brings an organic, timeless quality that is at once classic and modern.
Add industrial touches: Modern, industrial elements will make farmhouse-inspired decor current. Incorporating retro style or vintage-inspired appliances along with industrial-style metal objects like modern lighting fixtures and mid-century modern style furniture can bring unexpected panache and a fresh, of-the-moment feel to a farmhouse space.
See examples of modern farmhouse style.