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Elements of a farmhouse design in your home

22 September 2020

What comes to mind when you think of farmhouse design? Images of white walls, wallpaper with fruit on them, and pale green cabinets often come up. But the modern farmhouse trend is quite a bit different from the classic decorating style. There are many reasons to use this trend in your home, specifically if you are aiming for a relaxed design that veers more towards practicality than decorative. It’s a good mix of simple and straight lines but without the somewhat stark look of a minimalist home.

But if you’re unsure of how to decorate your home with modern farmhouse elements, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

What is the modern farmhouse design?

As you might guess, farmhouse design is inspired by traditional rural farmhouses from a bygone era. Quite unsurprisingly, this trend was not invented by a team of architects and it is not marked by sweeping changes or milestone events. Rather this style has evolved over time to incorporate key elements that have remained constant over the decades. 

The key to creating a modern farmhouse-inspired home is to take your time. This is not a style you can design in a few minutes and buy everything you need from a single store. Instead, take your time to browse flea markets, antique stores, and even yard sales to pick up unique items. You will most likely add various pieces over time, so don’t be in a hurry to mark your home as done. Modern farmhouse is all about function, comfort, and relaxed spaces.

Overall features of modern farmhouse design


  • Neutral palette

With the farmhouse style, you need to get the basics right. Can you imagine a farmhouse painted bright red or navy blue? The hallmark of any farmhouse styled home is a neutral palette, preferably white. Pale yellows or beiges and creams are also a good option. Pick one or two accent colors in warm and earthy shades like chocolate browns or natural wood tones. For a modern farmhouse, some greys and pastel colors as accents will also work well.


  • Black accents

What do we mean by black accents in farmhouse design? We’re not talking about a black accent wall or tiles here. Look for light fixtures and other elements in black metalwork or furniture that uses black metallic accents. A pendant lamp in black metal or an antique coffee table with metal legs fits the bill quite nicely.


  • Lots of wood – reclaimed or otherwise

Farmhouse style does not mean you have to only use reclaimed wood or cover the walls with shiplap. Just highlight one accent wall with shiplap or create a custom decor item with reclaimed wood. But natural textures like wood and metal are a standard fixture in any modern farmhouse-inspired home. From wooden countertops in the kitchen to exposed beams on the ceilings or even hardwood floors, it’s hard to miss one of the defining features of the farmhouse style. 


  • Vintage, antique, and traditional pieces

Another key element is the use of vintage and nostalgia-inspired pieces throughout your home. A reupholstered couch with slipcovers will fit right in with mismatched vintage chairs and family heirlooms. Using antique pieces throughout all your rooms will tie the various design elements together. 

Don’t worry too much about coordinating everything, farmhouse design does not rely on matching pieces. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy a couch from a big box store, just make sure not to get the entire set!


Individual elements of modern farmhouse

There are also several key elements that you can add to your home for the overall farmhouse look:

  • Natural light

Ever seen a dark and gloomy farmhouse? This style is all about letting in lots of natural light, so highlight your windows. Splurge on some window treatments and bring your home to life.


  • Open kitchen

The kitchen is where your family spends most of their evenings, so show it off. An open kitchen that flows into a dining and living room is key to recreate that farmhouse feel.


  • Freestanding kitchen furniture

Opt for freestanding kitchen appliances like a vintage hob in bright turquoise or a huge oven. No built-in appliances here! A baking rack with wooden countertops can double as storage space along an empty wall.


  • Built-in cupboards

No built-in appliances does not mean you can’t have any built-ins at all. In fact, built-in china cabinets for your cutlery or books are perfect farmhouse elements to use.


  • Open shelving

Open shelving and shaker-style cabinets are great options for modern farmhouse kitchens. You can match the color to the cabinets or paint it to match the walls instead.


  • Clawfoot tub

Clawfoot tubs and apron sinks showcase the farmhouse design in any home. What’s better than a long soak in a white clawfoot tub at the end of a hard day?


  • Butcher block counters/island

Butcher block counters are an excellent choice for farmhouse-style kitchens. But if it’s not practical in your home use it for just the island instead.


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