Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Guide Featured Image

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Farmhouse Kitchen

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Guide

You’ve already had a good look at what goes into farmhouse kitchens to get the many types of rustic looks, but not everyone knows much about farmhouse design itself. You might be surprised to know that essential design elements can change one farmhouse kitchen into another, but the overall appearance still has prominent modern farmhouse values. Come and explore what it takes to modernize your kitchen through farmhouse design essentials.

The “Modern Farmhouse” design has been on the rise for the last couple years, which makes sense in this new world of “Transitional” design. Farmhouse is a brilliant way to use elements of rustic simplicity to give a kitchen project modern charm. The farmhouse design is beautiful, but it’s a lot easier to admire and talk about from a distance than it is to actually design it and pull it all together. This is where this post comes in. A picture is worth 1000 words, so let’s use some real farmhouse kitchen pictures to point out all of the must have elements required to build a “Modern Farmhouse” kitchen.

The first thing to consider is your own personal style. Farmhouse design certainly has materials that are used often (glass fronts, bead board, etc.), but there isn’t any universal standard that MUST be used every time. Your opinion matters because a huge part of the “Modern Farmhouse” design is incorporating your own style into the kitchen. Remember, our goal isn’t to build the perfect farmhouse kitchen. The goal is to build the perfect farmhouse kitchen for you.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse

Rustic modern farmhouse model

Modern rustic isn’t so much of a design trend anymore as it’s quick to feature the comforts of modern living. It’s also the fact that many people might be averse to living in a so-called cabin in the woods-style, over a kitchen that’s updated over an existing rustic design. You might say that its form over function brings out the elements of rustic modern farmhouse designs to update any kitchen look that may tend to look blah.

Elements That You’ll Find in Rustic Modern

1. Change the backdrop

The average rustic kitchen is known for having lots and lots of exposed wood. The richer the colors, the better, but for some, this is simply a clash that doesn’t hold water for making this space feel more open and lively. The simplest way to achieve this is to consider a total repaint of the overall wood surfaces that you want to lighten up. This allows you to have a backdrop that will help frame your modern rustic kitchen any way you like.

You don’t need to choose a solid white since many shades of white will help neutralize your kitchen interior, allowing the remaining features to pop out much easier instead. The best features you want to leave are rustic beams or rough support beams within your kitchen that inspire a solid backbone to what holds up everything.

2. Lighten the mood

Keep windows uncluttered without adding window treatments. If you have great window frames already, these will be the perfect opportunity to bring in more light. The whole idea is to lighten up an otherwise dim or dark kitchen window. Use this newfound advantage to give your floors the same effect with lighter floors that can still appear rustic but help to bounce light all throughout your kitchen.

3. Update and upgrade without losing rustic values

Whatever you place into your kitchen after that should be a generous mixture of modern and rustic accent designs. Everything from lighting and light fixtures should allow you to stay within the rustic looking, but not limited to modern touches that are meant to look old. One modern touch is to add hidden accent lighting within your rustic cabinetry using flat LED strip lighting.

Try to preserve as much of the rustic look but it doesn’t hurt to freshen up an overall design with lighter colors to make your kitchen feel modern without crossing the border completely.

Modern Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse model

As opposed to rustic modern, the model for making a modern farmhouse kitchen is all a matter of adding and subtracting rustic and modern design elements. It’s actually taking more of the modern approach and inserting farmhouse elements into that scenery. The result is strikingly fresh and allows you more freedom to create a lively kitchen setting with all the best aspects of a farmhouse kitchen.

There are rules for keeping a modern farmhouse kitchen but a lot of these newer ideas are completely up to your personal style. The basics include a lighter and brighter kitchen with less dark wood saturation and more open wide spaces. Many aspects still include rustic decoration but this is dialed back to be much lower than a modern farmhouse kitchen actually needs. Here are some of the prominent differences:

1. Add a splash of cabinet color

While you could repaint wooden cabinets to a white color, the latest trend is spicing up your kitchen with subtle colors. These colors need to complement the rest of your kitchen so the best approach is to stick with soft pastel colors around cabinet frames. It’s just enough color to make a modern look without losing that farmhouse feel. Navy blue and grey are proving to be the most popular choice that looks fresh and inviting.

As long as you stick with powder-soft pastels nearly any range of colors will work in your kitchen. You can also consider using two-tone colors to create more appeal that brings out decorative trimming and complementary lines.

2. Open shelving makes a difference

Rustic modern kitchens often have shelving that includes single open shelves or hanging cabinets without doors. These shelves don’t always need to stand out with natural wood color and instead be painted to be the same color as your walls. What makes these shelves easier to spot is the array of modern farmhouse decorations, pots, or colorful cups you place on them.

Open shelving is a feature oft used in farmhouse design, but it is NOT a rule. The presence of normal upper cabinetry doesn’t destroy your farmhouse effect. However, given that the idea behind farmhouse design is to give the space a unique, rustic design while still appearing cozy and lived in. Open shelving is a great way to warm up a design with personality by displaying items on those shelves unique to you.

Another exception is to use glass framed doors that help show off all of your dishes and kitchen wares. This still gives the illusion the cabinets are wide open if you prefer closing doors on your cabinets.

3. Backsplash tile textures

Rustic modern tends to shy away from decorative elements such as detailed tiles and decorative backsplash designs. Modern farmhouse changes this rule by setting up your backsplash area to be highly detailed. This is where you can get very creative adding colors, patterns, and textures to give more of a modern kitchen appearance. You don’t need to stick to old-fashioned designs for dressing up your backsplash, just be creative as you like.

4. Liven-up wall space

This is one big difference that concerns all of the decorative dressings you want to add to your kitchen walls. You don’t have to go full retard with Americana antiques as they do at any TGI Fridays restaurant, but who says you can’t? Blank walls can be boring, and the best solution to making modern farmhouse kitchens look more homelike is the personal touches you add to your walls.

5. Wood Cabinets

There’s no way around it farmhouse kitchens need to have wood cabinets. Other materials, such as laminates, are just too modern and won’t fit the look. The finish options for wood cabinets fit the farmhouse style perfectly. The most popular combination is a painted cabinet (usually a white shaker) with a raw or stained wood to provide contrast.

6. Neutral Colors

Usually with a kitchen design the sky is the limit when it comes to selecting a color palette, however, with farmhouse the color wheel is pretty exclusive. A typical farmhouse kitchen design will use white, gray, black and wood shades as the primary colors and base of the color palette. You can mix and match these any way you want to great effect, but stray outside the color palette and you are no longer designing a farmhouse kitchen.

7. Quartz Countertops

Farmhouse design is simple, clean and uncluttered. Also, a farmhouse design is more about simple elements coming together to create something grander than it is about individual accent pieces. So an ornate marble or quartzite, or a bold multicolored counter top won’t be a good fit, it’s too busy. Whereas a simple quartz is perfect.

8. Ceramic Backsplash

White ceramic subway tile with either white or black backsplash is by far the most common choice for backsplash in farmhouse design. Why? It’s a clean look that matches everything.

9. Apron Front or Farmhouse Sink

First of all, these are the same thing..some people say “farmhouse”, some say “apron front.” It’s a sink with a large basin and an apron on the front. This type of sink is in the overwhelming majority for use in farmhouse design.

10. Pendant Lights

There aren’t any hard fast rules when it comes to lighting and farmhouse design. What we typically use are hanging pendant lights. They are easy to use because they offer plenty of light for your prep and cook space and they are easy match and blend with other materials such as hardware and faucets etc.

11. Dark Hardware

Darker hardware, such as matte black, are more popular for farmhouse because they stand out better against the whites, grays and blacks used everywhere else in the design. For example, the most popular cabinet selection is White Shaker. A black pull stands out clearer against the white cabinet than stainless steel. Again, not a rule, but by far the majority.

Contemporary Farmhouse

Contemporary farmhouse model

The most advanced model of what is now being called contemporary farmhouse is one that walks a fine line between a modern farmhouse and contemporary rules. As most designers already know that contemporary is very minimalist when it comes to being overly decorative. Putting these two styles together sounds like it’s asking for trouble, but you would be surprised how well this marriage between these two can last?

Simple Rules To Follow With Contemporary Farmhouse

Where there is a will, there’s a way and this includes mixing modern farmhouse design with very sleek concepts in the same setting. While this design is subjective to what can and cannot exist in the same space together, it’s not impossible to create a super-clean and sleek farmhouse kitchen work perfectly in your home. Here are important tips for mixing these two correctly:

1. Working around existing rustic or farmhouse details

If you already have rustic features in your kitchen, you can strip things down only so far with replacing cabinets and kitchen hardware. Perhaps you have walls and wooden beams that are a showcase to be seen. Rather than start from scratch, use and exploit what you have already to insert contemporary furniture into a farmhouse setting. This way, you will have more freedom to still have leftover modern farmhouse kitchen details.

2. Open shelving works both ways

Thankfully, the strict aspects of contemporary also are big fans of open shelves. This still gives you many decorative ideas as to what to put on these shelves. As long as you stick with a neat and organized collection on your shelves, it still fits into the parameters of contemporary design. Stick to the organized pharmacy shelf idealism of keeping everything stacked or separated due to sizes and shapes.

3. Backsplashes and countertops

You can add as much texture and design to a backsplash with any contemporary kitchen as long as you follow up by matching them with similar countertops. For example, it’s fine to mix and match marble and stone backsplashes that compliment all stone countertops. This is also extended to include island counters too. Colors shouldn’t be too brilliant above the neutral levels you can expect from modern farmhouse kitchens.

4. Vital textural touches

Since most of the rustic decorations are kept to a minimum with contemporary farmhouses, you can still sneak in these features here and there. Tall barstools or elegant high back chairs can include textured seats or backings that provide a farmhouse feel. This is followed by a woven throw rug near to or alongside the serving side of kitchen islands. Their pattern does need to match your kitchen colors but the details and texture can include a farmhouse feel.

You can also display single objects placed in strategic locations within your kitchen that compliment the country aspect of your design tastes. A well-placed copper pot on a shelf or decorative frames with a farmhouse feel is also a great choice. Don’t forget that herbs and spices look great for adding a country-like flair to any open shelf. Just remember that it needs to be well organized so it still falls in line with a contemporary style (see more on contemporary guidelines). If you’d like to discuss our services for Scottsdale cabinets, please get in contact with us.


Frequently Asked Questions

Modern farmhouse style combines the classic elements of traditional farmhouse design with a more contemporary and clean aesthetic. It features warm and natural materials, such as wood and stone, combined with modern and sleek finishes like steel and iron.

What are the key elements of modern farmhouse design?

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Vintage furnishings and traditional fabrics make up some of the key elements of modern farmhouse design, along with a few modern items like light fixtures or stainless steel appliances to bring the modern in. Think wood, texture, fabrics all in a close to brown color scheme.

How can I add a modern farmhouse touch to my home decor?

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 02:43 pm

You can bring a  modern farmhouse touch to your home décor by using a few vintage or antique furnishings, adding some stone or other natural materials like wicker baskets for the homey feel aspect. Reclaimed wood is great for this and can be used from anything like wide boarded flooring to tables.

Can modern farmhouse style work in a small space?

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Sure, the modern farmhouse style can work in any space, regardless of size or even shape. This design experience is more about what you bring to the space rather than its size. And if you’re dealing with a smaller space, some tips to remember are keeping the design elements simple and uncluttered and use light colors to help make the room feel larger.

How do I balance modern and traditional elements in modern farmhouse design?

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Balancing modern and traditional elements in modern farmhouse design can be achieved by selecting a neutral color palette and incorporating both contemporary and vintage furniture and decor. For example, pair a modern sofa with a vintage wood coffee table, or hang contemporary lighting fixtures alongside a classic shiplap wall.

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When you engage our design team, we simplify the very complicated and tedious kitchen remodel process. We do this by listening to what you want, then translating your vision and expression into a virtual design that is uniquely yours.

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