Modern farmhouse interior design bathroom with gold hardware, a black steel mirror and various apothecary style beauty accessories

What is Modern Farmhouse interior design? (with decor shopping list!)

If you’re into TV about interior design, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of the Modern Farmhouse interior design style. From shows like Fixer Upper with Chip and Jo Gaines, to Dream Home Makeover with Shea McGee, this style has had its moment to shine. It’s definitely an HGTV fan favorite.

It’s blown up over the past decade or so. And that’s because it really is the bridge between two generations: Gen X’ers who love cozier and warmer decor. And millennials who crave more modernity. Modern farmhouse brings all the character of farmhouse, with the sleekness of modernity.

So basically, a major bonding moment for moms and daughters. Anyone else always watch Fixer Upper with their moms, or is it just me?

It could be seen as a compromise to the minimalism that took the world by storm over the past several decades. Modern farmhouse gives people a chance to try on the minimalist trend for size, but in a more lived-in and approachable way.

So what is Modern Farmhouse all about?

This interior style is all about mixing the cozy rustic vibe of the farmhouse with modern, minimalist and industrial elements.

There is usually a sense of lightness to any modern farmhouse space. And they strike a pretty even balance between feminine and masculine vibes.

In comparison to classic farmhouse which is all about vintage furnishings, classic patterns, and a really rustic vibe, modern farmhouse is markedly more current. Comfort and charm is still a guiding force behind the style, but the modern elements help to balance out the rustic-ness.

what modern farmhouse looks like

As I mentioned, you will still see some elements of the classic farmhouse aesthetic. Details like exposed wooden beams, vintage apothecary accents, and of course, barn doors, are common. These rustic elements will be used sparingly, however, and balanced out with more modern elements.

The modernity that make this balance possible is expressed through elements like black iron, shiplap, and wide plank flooring. A lot of these modern touches also have an industrial quality to them. This industrial flair really makes the blending of both the modern and rustic elements seamless, because it sits somewhere in between the two.

As far as furniture goes, it sways slightly more towards the modern end of the spectrum. You will notice a lot of streamlined pieces that have a decidedly modern vibe. But these are complimented by vintage or rustic pieces as well. Accent pieces like weathered vintage china cabinets, live edge wood furniture, and antique signage are common focal pieces in modern farmhouse homes. These extra rustic pieces will always be surrounded by more modern pieces. Because, you know, balance.

As for the color palette, you will see mostly neutral colors, especially bright whites, warm wood tones, and black. There is a major focus on contrast. The most common contrast you’ll see is between bright white walls and either darker wood floors or beams on the ceiling.

The open floor plan

One of the main modern elements of most modern farmhouse homes is the open floor plan. Again, going back to Fixer Upper here. One of the first things Chip gets to on demo day is knocking out the walls separating the kitchen, dining and living rooms.

The ~flow~ between all of these central rooms is a defining characteristic of the style. That’s one of the reasons that it has gotten so popular over the last decade or so. It exudes a certain type of comfort and emotional openness. Not to mention, it’s killer for entertaining.

This open floor plan is a major break from the highly separated feeling of rooms in traditional country homes.

Another major differentiator that has to do with openness: open shelving. In the modern farmhouse style more than any other perhaps, it’s popular to put your plates, serving ware, and glassware out on display. Whether it’s all cabinets (sounds like a nightmare to maintain for me, personally), or just one or two open display shelves, this style rejects the notion that everything should be tucked away and hidden.

What to buy to cream the Modern Farmhouse style in your home

If reading all about the Modern Farmhouse aesthetic has you all jazzed, you may be ready to incorporate this style into your home. Even if you’re in a rental and aren’t able to go all out on adding wood beams and barn doors, there are so many ways to bring in a little MF flair to your home.

Shop the products below to channel your inner Chip and Jo.

Want to know more about all the interior design styles?

Check out my master post that goes over 20+ of the major interior design styles. Learn what they’re all about, and see which ones speak to you most.

Want more deep-dives into styles and recommendations on how to create them in your home? Check out the posts below.


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Scandinavian interior design essentials – homey homies blog

Want to know more about where interior design trends come from, who decides them, why some stick while others don’t, and how to apply them while maintaining your own personal style? Check out my complete guide blog post.

your guide to interior design trends

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