Home On The Range: Modern Farmhouse Decor

Hanna KielarOctober 24, 2019

Modern farmhouse decor is a current take on the traditional farmhouse look. This design style was made popular by Joanna Gaines and her wildly popular television show “Fixer Upper.”

Now, even after “Fixer Upper” has stopped filing original episodes, it is impossible to scroll through Pinterest or walk through a furniture store without seeing the modern farmhouse influences.

What Is Modern Farmhouse Decor?

Modern farmhouse decor takes a fresh spin on the traditional farmhouse style. The trend originated in the southern United States with the remodeling of actual old farmhouses. Now, it’s a popular look to add to any house, from historical to new construction.

Common Characteristics Of Modern Farmhouse Style

While no two homes will be the same, there are several characteristics that tend to reoccur across homes decorated in the modern farmhouse style. You’re all but guaranteed to see several of these elements in any modern farmhouse home that will instantly make you understand the aesthetic they are going for.

White Base With Pops Of Color

The most popular color used in the modern farmhouse style is a bright white. White walls, furniture and decor give the space a bright, modern look and are a great backdrop for accent pieces.

According to RaShea Drake, content manager with Vevano Home, “Popular accents include any kind of wood – finished or reclaimed – and beautifully bold primary colors like barn red, sky blue or grass green.”

These bold accents pop against a white backdrop and are easily swapped out for seasonal decor refreshes. When selecting accent colors, look for shades with gray undertones to best match this style and tie into the white base.

Black Metals And Hardware

Black hardware and fixtures are integral to the modern farmhouse look. Black provides significant contrast against white cabinets and furniture without being too visually busy. When shopping for fixtures, look for lots of straight, modern lines. Open-frame light fixtures, with no glass, are very popular in modern farmhouse decor.

The best way to achieve the modern farmhouse look is mix modern fixtures with more traditional pieces, like a sleek black faucet with a deep white farmhouse sink.

Shiplap Everywhere

Shiplap is horizontal paneling, often painted white, that can be hung on walls, ceilings and many other places. Shiplap was traditionally used to build barns, which is how it got to be such an integral part of the farmhouse look. Shiplap can be an easy DIY project and can even be faked by painting faux lines on a white wall.

Don’t have the budget for shiplap? Beadboard can provide a similar look at a lower price. You can hang beadboard on a ceiling or use it to create a wainscoting wall treatment, both of which are easy DIY projects.

Distressed Wood

Modern farmhouses feature lots of wood accents. Consider wood furniture, like a large dining table, or even a wood top for a kitchen island. It’s also popular to use chunky wood for a mantel or shelving in front of modern tile or backsplash.

When selecting wood tones to feature in your modern farmhouse, look for finishes with a distressed look. Whitewash or gray-toned wood stains are also popular. Combine your wood finishes and mix in painted and non-wood furniture for a balanced look.

Texture And Patterns

To keep in line with the modern farmhouse style, bring in lots of patterns and textures into your space. Focus on large patterns instead of anything too intricate. According to Kayla Hein, creative director at ModernCastle.com, “Patterns like buffalo check and plaid are token farmhouse patterns.”

If patterns are too much for you, consider bringing in natural textures instead. “Natural jute, wicker, or wood are some easy ways to add texture to your everyday farmhouse,” Hein says.

These elements add interest and dimension to your space without adding any additional colors or busyness.

How Does Modern Farmhouse Decor Differ From The Classic Farmhouse Style?

A common question about modern farmhouse decor is how it varies from the traditional farmhouse look. The biggest difference is mixing more modern items in with the traditional farmhouse-style pieces. Achieving a balance between the two looks can be tricky, but when you get it right, it’s very beautiful.

Less Is More

One major difference between traditional and modern farmhouse decor is in the sheer amount of accessories and things you have in your home. A traditional farmhouse look might include a lot of knick-knacks and small accessories. According to Drake, “Pairing modern with farmhouse takes away the overall clutter while highlighting select boldly beautiful statement pieces.”

To get a modern farmhouse look, scale back on small decor pieces and instead make a statement with more large or bold items. A good rule of thumb is not to decorate with any one accessory that is smaller than a watermelon.

Avoid The Kitsch

Traditional farmhouse decor might make you think of rooster figurines and Americana art pieces. Overly farmhouse accessories, as well as overly shabby antiques, should be used in moderation.

“Use these flourishes and accents as they are intended to be; a piece of furniture or accessory that stands out because it complements your room design,” says David Ewart, interior designer at Pavilion Broadway.

Remember the “modern” part of the modern farmhouse style and don’t let country accents distract from your neutral, clean space.

Open Concept Rooms

Another major difference between traditional and modern farmhouse looks is the openness of the rooms. This is in line with the general difference between traditional homes and those that are more modern.

Keely Hersh, owner and designer at Right At Home Interiors says, “Modern is open and bright with a casual, comfortable feel, and classic has smaller closed-in rooms and a darker feel over all.”

If your home does not have an open concept but you still want a modern farmhouse look, focus on making the smaller rooms feel as light and bright as possible. Remove any major light-blocking window treatments and add multiple light sources to each room to maximize brightness. Brighten up any dark furniture with a coat of paint or a whitewash to make a room feel more spacious and open.

Modern farmhouse is a really trendy style right now. It’s actually very easy to achieve in your home. These tips should help you understand, and replicate, the look.

Table of Contents

    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is an Associate Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage focused on personal finance, recruiting and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.