You don’t have to “go country” to achieve the uber-popular modern farmhouse design. Pepper in some rustic glam for a trendy yet classic appeal with tips from those in the know.
Modern Farmhouse, In A Nutshell
What do you get when you cross industrial design with family heirlooms? The makings of one of today’s hottest trends: modern farmhouse. The design can be inspired by a single piece from your family’s heritage or by a desire to infuse the great outdoors with your contemporary space.
This modern rustic theme should evoke a comfortable and casual feel, have loads of natural light and combine sleek and organic elements seamlessly.
Take, for example, a kitchen showpiece like the Churncraft butter churn. It pays tribute to the churns of yesteryear, but it’s perfectly at home in a contemporary kitchen, thanks to its functional, high-quality design. It’s country charm without the kitsch and a fun little showpiece that embodies the modern farmhouse
“The secret with any style is to let it inspire your decisions not run away with them,” says Chelsea L. Allard, senior project designer with Case Design/Remodeling of Charlotte, North Carolina. “When I think modern farmhouse, I envision white inset cabinets with simple styling – something that could have easily been built by hand in a rural environment – mixed with distressed or reclaimed hardwoods, a classic apron-front sink, and countertops that can take a beating, like soapstone or butcher block.”
Alicia Godmasch embraced the style in her home for a relaxed feel that was still incredibly tasteful. ‘The balance comes into play when choosing your furniture pieces and color schemes,” she says. “Crisp white walls provide a neutral palate, reflect a lot of light, and keep the space modern-looking.”
Godmasch added texture with shiplap walls and hardwood floors. “We chose to go with a weathered gray,” she says, “but you could easily go with a rich walnut, oak, or pine.”
No Roosters Allowed
Farmhouses were made for working, not for dinner parties,” says Allard. “Natural wood textures mixed with clean, more refined finishes and one or two unexpected elements will help keep it from going too far in one direction or the other. Whatever you do, avoid accessories or fabrics with poultry on them. Nothing screams, ‘Country!’ like chickens.”
Amy Bell agrees. A professional interior decorator in Cary, NC, Bell advises modern farmhouse enthusiasts to “say yes to farm… and no to farm animals!” Instead, she encourages homeowners to consider white paint, natural-fiber rugs, and galvanized metal accents. “These touches lend a farmhouse feel,” she says, “while roosters, cows, and pigs can take things over the top pretty quickly.”
A Worldly Approach
“The key to infusing rusting charm without ‘going country’ is to invoke European, not American, rustic themes,” says Brian Davis, co-founder and lead real estate blogger at SparkRental.com. “Incorporate Ian vineyard illustrations or décor, for example, or paintings of traditional French farmhouses.”
Davis suggests using Mediterranean color schemes without going overboard. “The end result is rustic and classic, idyllic and sophisticated,” he says. “It’s an easy style to invoke, and it avoids the hokey rural American folk stays needlepointed into wall hangings.”
Size It Up
“Two other important considerations are scale and sparseness,” explains Bell. “In general, contemporary spaces tend to feature larger-scale furnishings and fewer accessories, while traditional spaces feature smaller-scale furniture and are more heavily accessorized.
What does that mean for modern farmhouse styling? “It means select large-scale furniture and use fewer, larger accessories to achieve the desired look,” Bell says.
For Godmasch, furniture was the fun part. “My rule of thumb was one piece of rustic to every grouping,” she says. “My highlight color was a Tiffany blue to break up the monotony of the grays and whites.” Godmasch created her own rustic flare by sanding down and refinishing modern-looking pieces.
And she mixed it up. “In the dining room, feel free to pair modern upholstered seating with a transitional table. Find color and modern wall art.”
Look through the inspiration images for modern farmhouse concepts and add those you like to the myProSource Project Center. Then contact your local ProSource Showroom, whose experts can help you.
Modern farmhouse is a design style, but it’s personal. Its foundation draws on your own heritage and things you love – so feel free to experiment until it’s just right for you.
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