Design Trends

Design Trend: Modern Farmhouse

It’s no secret that the “modern farmhouse” movement has taken off. This comfy-chic aesthetic conveys a sense of history but still provides for our modern-day taste and needs. Even for the at-heart modernist, there’s a way to channel this rustic, timeless look in a clean, uncluttered way.  

We like to think the modern farmhouse is contemporary design with a side of nostalgia. Here are a few ways to blend old with new in a right-now way:

Mix Rustic and Modern Furnishings

Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck, from Kartell. Image via

The often open architectural design of a modern farmhouse dining room permits eclectic pairings of furniture. The timeless appeal of modern furniture works well here, daring not to take away from the charming characteristics of a rustic trestle table and formal wingback chairs. Despite their obvious differences, each element of the dining room comes together quite organically.

Get a Show-Off Sink

Farmhouse Duet Pro Kitchen Sink from Native Trails

Farmhouse kitchens are large, so having a large sink to match is almost a custom. Apron front farmhouse sinks originate from an era where well water was the main source to drink, wash and bath. Built like mini tubs, apron front sinks hold an enormous amount of water, enabling you to tackle all kinds of food prep and dishwashing chores.

Not only are modern apron sinks functional, but charismatic as well. Original farmhouse apron sinks were often made of porcelain or fireclay. But today, materials like brass and stainless steel give apron sinks a fresh look that meshes well with modern countertop materials and adds polish to the entire space.

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Farmhouse Style, Freestanding Baths

At one time, taking a bath was the only way to get clean. These days, taking a long soak is all about luxury and relaxation. Double-slipper bathtubs are simple free-standing tubs, raised on opposing ends so you can relax on either side. If large enough, they can comfortably hold two users. Grand yet classical, contemporary slipper tubs complement the simple aesthetic in modern farmhouse bathrooms.

Lighting that Rings a Bell

Caravaggio Pendant Light by Cecilie Manz, from Lightyears

The nostalgia of country living is creatively evoked in the bell-like silhouette of certain modern pendant lighting, like the Caravaggio Pendant. Farm bells were an important form of communication in rural areas at the beginning of the twentieth century. The bell, which was often mounted on a post outside of the kitchen door, could be rung to signal supper time and used to communicate messages to the fields. Displayed above the dinner table or in the hallway, modern lighting designs recall that historical form of rural communication.

Add Architectural Details

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A farmhouse would not be a farmhouse without barn doors. Barn doors provide a utilitarian function to the farm that makes way for livestock and wide materials to pass through. Now, while you may not have livestock running through your home, sliding barn doors are a stylish representation of everyday farmhouse life. Heavy hinges and diagonal bracing not only are structurally effective, they complete a historic renovation. Met with present day design such as frosted glass and finished metal, sliding barn doors are versatile enough for even the most contemporary spaces.

And in the kitchen, look to break away from all-white or all-wood cabinetry. Two-tone cabinetry is the norm, with upper cabinets a different color from the lower ones, or a kitchen island in a color that contrasts with the rest of the cabinetry that surrounds it.

Do you embrace the Modern Farmhouse look? Show us your home’s modern, yet historical style at #YintheWild.

Tonye Doukpolagha

Tonye Doukpolagha

Tonyé is a Senior Product Content Publisher at YLiving who dwells over the way modern design transforms customary furniture and accessories. She began her career in the Furniture Industry at the San Francisco Design Center and has not turned away since. In her free time she enjoys volunteering, adding images to her incomplete inspo board, obsessing over different ways to refresh her apartment, immersing in the East Bay Art & Culture scene, and never turning down brunch with friends.

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