September 2, 2021 | Updated: 8 September 2021

Trends & Styles

Modern farmhouse: get the look

With all the interest in sustainability issues and the environment, it is not surprising that modern farmhouse décor has become a thing.

The design of home interiors is increasingly going back to our roots for inspiration, where and how our ancestors lived. For that reason, the modern farmhouse has evolved over the last few decades as a popular style. It represents a less stressful and healthier way of living; for both us and the planet. Why is that the case, and how to get the modern farmhouse look? This article looks at both these questions and explains the why and the how of the modern farmhouse style.


Project: Moser residence

Location: Boulder, USA

Photo: Jess Blackwell Photography

Interior design: DAJ Design


Modern farmhouse house

The word “farmhouse” suggests images of wholesomeness, the smell of baking bread, vegetable gardens, a stone hearth with a blazing fire etc. However, adding the word “modern” translates into something very different; all the conveniences that we have become accustomed to over recent decades: electro-domestic appliances, Wifi, spa-like bathrooms etc. So, both these terms combined conjure up the best of both worlds, a homely feeling of ancestral belonging with a contemporary and elegant twist.

Modern farmhouses conjure up a homely feeling of ancestral belonging with a contemporary and elegant twist.

Modern farmhouse layout & design

You don’t have to live in the country to get the modern farmhouse look. These home layout tips will help you achieve this look, whether you live in the city centre or in the suburbs:

  • A large open plan kitchen is a great starting point. If it has a pantry and a separate mudroom, all the better. 
  • An entrance porch to the front of the house is also a bonus. And most importantly of all, a garden or even a generous balcony with window boxes will help connect the indoors and outdoors. 
  • Simple building volumes with pitched roofs provide the ideal architectural container for a modern farmhouse. 
  • Internally exposed timber beams and coved ceilings add height and an authentic traditional feel to the space.
  • Moreover, natural materials (or their sustainable equivalents) are recommended for floors and walls. 



Devon Rivera 29.4X180 (Available in-store)


The modern farmhouse colour palette

To get the authentic farmhouse look with a contemporary twist, it’s best to go back to basics. In the days before commercial paints, farmhouse walls were whitewashed with a mixture of lime and water every year. Follow these tips to achieve a modern farmhouse colour scheme:

  • Use a neutral colour palette in light greys and off-whites for kitchen and dining spaces. Choose a tone that has character but also creates a bright and hygienic looking interior.
  • Bedrooms should take their cues from the simple fabrics and textiles of bed linen. Simple patterns and organic materials evoke a crisp, traditional and clean colour scheme. Like blue and white, or shades of green, pastel tones and off-whites ensure a restful and calm ambience. Stripes and gingham pattern fabrics are traditional but look contemporary, add a patchwork quilt for genuine farmhouse character.
  • Use different, mainly light wood tones in living rooms to evoke a cosy, organic feel. This should be adapted over the year adding soft furnishings (rugs, drapes and throws) according to the changing seasons.
  • Go green; always have fresh cut flowers in living rooms; herbal gardens add a gastronomic touch to kitchens; ferns and plants that love humid conditions for bathrooms lend character; conservatories and terraces should be packed with potted plants. Living and dining areas, if at all possible, should have exterior views and connecting access doors to gardens/terraces.



Vancouver Moka 25×150 (Available in-store)

Emotions® Kitchen E4.40 Limo mate · Roble puro · Cristal Transparente (Available in-store)


Modern farmhouse kitchen 

Materials are at the heart of the farmhouse kitchen; organic materials like wood, stone slate, metal accents, ceramics etc. The trick with the modern farmhouse is to replicate the look, but with all the advantages of the 21st-century. That means minimal maintenance and maximum levels of comfort. 

  • Invariably, the flooring of the traditional farmhouse would have been stone flags or suspended timber floorboards. To get the modern farmhouse look, use large format stone or cement look tiles. Alternatively, timber effect ceramic tiles can also help achieve the feel of a modern farmhouse.
  • Provide the kitchen with additional ceiling height where possible. For instance, when the property is a bungalow with an A-frame roof structure. Plaster the ceiling under the collar tie and expose the lower beams within the space. Important: Always consult an engineer, however, when undertaking any structural work.
  • Modern kitchen accessories and fittings, like taps and sinks, inspired by vintage fittings are a great shortcut to the modern farmhouse style. Tip: a contemporary version of the Belfast or Apron sink is highly recommended.
  • A rustic design for the cabinet doors. Shaker-style is recommended, but any type of framed door will do the trick.
  • A range or a multi-burner stove with a feature extract canopy evokes the farmhouse kitchen ambience like nothing else. Place it at the centre of the kitchen plan and organise everything else around it.
  • Choose a cutting edge modern design for items of furniture like stools for the kitchen island. This helps provide balance to more traditional cabinetry and worktop. 



Metropolitan Antracita 80X80 (Available in-store)


Modern farmhouse living room décor 

Easy maintenance and a warm cosy feel are the two main objectives for modern farmhouse décor. The living room and the dining area, for example, should have tiled or timber floors. This is softened with rugs and soft furnishings. An oversized upholstered sofa in front of a stone hearth sets the perfect tone for the main living space. Add simple, un-fussy timber furniture such as a coffee table or a sideboard for storage. Traditional elements, like a timber mantel over an open fire, are recommended. Architectural features like exposed beams, rubble stone walls and brick are a bonus.  

FAQs regarding modern farmhouse style

The term describes a style that combines traditional and modern in equal measure. Generally, the look is traditional, but the performance and the technology are modern. Interiors are eclectic, with an emphasis on natural and organic materials such as wood, ceramics, metals and stone. The spaces of the modern farmhouse should never be overwhelmed with stuff. Lines should be clean. Simple rather than minimalist is the best approach.

Instead of imitating design magazines and online images, modern farmhouse décor should happen organically. Inspired by traditional and modern design, the décor should reflect healthy living, a good diet and the outdoors.

No. Because the modern farmhouse look will never be out of style. It is timeless. Rather than merely a style, modern farmhouse is a way of life, a philosophy; how we live is expressed through interior design.

Mixing vintage style and modern pieces is the key to creating the modern farmhouse aesthetic. Practical and decorative accessories should be placed abundantly throughout. It helps underline the "lived-in" quality of a modern farmhouse. Pendant lights, table lamps, sconces and floor lamps should all be mixed and matched. Avoid clinical and sterile elements. Think patina and character.

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