The modern farmhouse has become a beloved architectural and decorative residential style over the years as home improvement shows like Joanna Gaines’s “Fixer Upper” gained esteemed fame. Whether you love it or have moved on — Google search trends suggest the modern farmhouse may have reached its peak — there’s little chance of it going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, homeowners remain interested in enhancing their space with contemporary farmhouse flair. As the months turn warmer, contractors can expect several requests for modern farmhouse projects to fill their spring schedules.
The original farmhouse style steers clear of modern designs — function, simplicity, salvage-friendly and nostalgia are more common. However, throughout the years, wealthier clients have sought to embrace the traditional farmhouse style coupled with the most current design trends. Now, modern farmhouse architectural features lean into rustic chic, industrial elements and clean, contemporary lines.
You can pinpoint a modern farmhouse by looking at it — the style often includes the following design specifications:
- Wood elements, including exposed beams, beadboard, shiplap, board and batten, and vertical planks
- Large, covered porches with comfortable seating
- Open floor plans
- Open shelving, built-ins and sleek cabinetry
- Mixed-material kitchens
- Neutral-tone walls, cabinets and wide-plank flooring, with black or other dark accent colours
- Patterned tile — for instance, on the bathroom floor or as an accent kitchen backsplash
- Handcrafted and reclaimed pieces
Striking a balance between cosy, homey and renewed is essential to the design. The modern farmhouse also lends itself to soft, organic textures that create a more charming and comfortable environment.
Homeowners often look forward to bringing their renovation plans to fruition after months of winter hibernation. These seven modern farmhouse projects will allow them to update their homes to the more contemporary farmhouse style of their dreams this spring.
1. New Flooring
The modern farmhouse usually borrows similar flooring inspiration found in traditional farmhouses, such as wide-plank wood materials. Many homeowners prefer wood floors for their durability and easy maintenance, while others love the character and warmth they add to the home — the more knots and graining, the better.
In keeping with salvaged and reclaimed features, modern farmhouse projects that update wood floors are also conducive to those interested in eco-friendly living. According to the RICS December 2022 UK Residential Market Survey, 40% of real estate agents indicate U.K. homebuyer interest in energy-efficient homes, many of which are willing to pay a premium for sustainable upgrades.
Of course, a patterned tile in the bathroom, mudroom or foyer can also add a vintage look to a modern farmhouse design.
2. Fresh Coat of Paint
A fresh coat of paint transforms any drab home into a stunning, comfortable modern farmhouse. Like all home decorative tastes, the 60-30-10 rule creates balance in every room.
About 60% of the interior colour will likely cover most of the main living space, sofa and area rugs — consider this hue as an anchor. A secondary shade will cover 30% — usually found in the sheets, furniture, curtains and accent pieces. Light and airy neutral-toned palettes are more common in modern farmhouses, so the 60-30 breakdown should deliver subtle contrast.
Finally, an accent colour should account for 10% of the home’s interior palette. Many homeowners opt for black or iron accent pieces, such as light fixtures, window frames, and knobs and pulls. However, there are endless possibilities to choose from.
3. Shelving and Built-in Cabinetry
Open floor plans are standard in the modern farmhouse, and so are open shelving and built-ins. Homeowners might be interested in adding shelves and built-in cabinetry to their modern farmhouse for more storage or presentation options.
Built-in shelves are beautiful on either side of the fireplace, while a corner display could serve as an upgraded china cabinet. Open wood shelves in the kitchen instead of upper cabinets can add warmth and make the space feel larger.
Of course, contractors should inform homeowners of potential delays in various modern farmhouse projects that entail sawing timber. Lumber shortages have plagued the construction industry following the COVID-19 pandemic and an influx of new construction and DIY renovations. Nearly 72% of businesses have reported similar supply chain snags and materials shortages.
4. Kitchen Upgrades
The kitchen is the heart of the home, where families tend to spend most of their time. As such, the space should meet everyone’s needs.
Modern farmhouses seek to improve functionality, making the kitchen the first area most homeowners look to upgrade in the spring. The latest design innovations include storage solutions that enhance accessibility and practicality for the average household.
Ergonomic cabinets and appliances are sleek and minimalist, while large multipurpose islands serve as a food preparation area, dining surface, and homework or work desk. Durable materials, like wood and quartz, also enhance the modern farmhouse aesthetic, complementing new and old elements.
5. Planked Walls
Wood elements maintain a semblance of rustic charm. However, there are several ways to incorporate wood in modern farmhouse projects. For instance, wide vertical planks, beadboard, and shiplap deliver texture and great visual interest.
Board and batten have also become increasingly popular in modern farmhouse interiors, which involves placing narrow wood strips in geometric patterns on the walls. Vertical installations are popular and draw the eye upward. However, homeowners have gotten more creative with their design by arranging boxed, horizontal and chevron patterns with their battens.
Although planked walls are a somewhat straightforward DIY project, homeowners usually prefer to hire a professional to ensure seamless installation and a complete look.
6. Ceiling Beams
Exposed wood beams through the main living area are popular additions in modern farmhouse projects. Because this particular style usually has a white or off-white colour palette, wood beams provide some much-needed warmth to the space.
A cost-effective alternative is faux wood beams with a foam centre. They are much easier to install because they are lighter than actual wood.
Contractors can recommend intriguing wood beam designs — for instance, along a vaulted ceiling or vertically across a living space. When done correctly, wood beams elevate the modern farmhouse by drawing in a few elements of industrial design, as well.
7. Updated Exterior Siding
Of course, modern farmhouse exteriors should be as breathtaking and contemporary as the inside. Homeowners that have adopted a modern farmhouse decor may be interested in transforming their curb appeal in the spring.
Large porches provide another space for comfortable seating, an upholstered swing or raised garden bed. It’s also possible to paint the siding a light colour that matches the home’s interior or to install a board and batten dormer for a more contemporary aesthetic.
The weather is most suitable for home construction in the spring. With winter nearly behind you, home improvement projects will ramp up in no time. There are plenty of ways your contractor expertise can help homeowners capture the modern farmhouse look.