Farmhouse Remodel Guide: What Is Modern Farmhouse Style?
According to one recent study, properties described as having a "modern farmhouse" style sell for around 10% more than others.
Call it a return to basics, or simply the Chip and Joanna Gaines Effect, but there's been a recent resurgence of admiration for everything time-honored, classic, and beautifully simple.
Add in light and bright interiors, rich wood tones, and just the right amount of chippiness, and you've got a lived-in look that's both comfortable and chic.
Are you planning a farmhouse remodel of your own? Today, we're diving deep into this decor aesthetic. We'll explain what it is, why it's so popular, and the perfect pieces to add to your inspiration board.
What Is Modern Farmhouse Style?
If you've watched HGTV or simply browsed the magazine aisle at your local bookstore lately, you've likely seen plenty of references to modern farmhouse style.
Yet, beyond being a design buzzword, what exactly is it?
Put simply, this is a style built on the minimalistic, understated designs of yesteryear. However, it doesn't stop there.
Chances are, for all of its character and charm, your great-grandmother's house in the country was a bit bare-bones. Or, it might not be exactly your taste in 2021.
This is where the "modern" part comes in.
While modern farmhouse style borrows heavily from the past, it's also deeply rooted in the present.
Today, homes built in this aesthetic are rustic, but they're also filled with conveniences and updates that bring them well into the 21st century. You might find exposed wooden stairs and bright white walls here, but you'll also find coffee stations, gallery walls, and charging docks. Big-screen televisions live comfortably beside antique church pews and hand-built dining tables.
The result is a cozy, laidback design that's ideal for any family.
Key Interior Features
Wondering how to incorporate modern farmhouse touches in your own home? Let's start by taking a look at a few of the interior features that most closely define this style.
The rule of thumb here is that nothing needs to be too precious. It should be able to withstand wear and tear and still look great years down the road. For this reason, most homeowners lean toward items that are already aged, or patinaed to look older than they are.
A few examples include:
- Metal light fixtures
- Exposed brickwork
- Hand-lettered, rustic signs
- Open floor plans
- Soft, neutral layers (blankets, throw pillows)
- White shiplap accents
- Black window trim
- Apron-front sinks
Designing a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen
Let's talk about that last point for a moment! Arguably nothing gives a kitchen more modern farmhouse vibes than a gorgeous, apron-front sink.
These are drop-in sinks that feature an exposed, front-facing side. Instead of seeing cabinets directly below them, you see the entire front of the sink. These require special cabinetry and countertops built exactly around the sink's dimensions and designed to fit the piece seamlessly.
While authentic antique farmhouse sinks may have been made of heavy ceramic or porcelain, they were also heavy and tended to scratch or stain easily.
Now, today's alternatives are equally stunning and even more durable.
Fireclay Apron-Front Sinks
This is especially the case with fireclay farmhouse sinks. Fireclay is a strong, heavy-duty material created when clay and glaze are fused together at very high temperatures. Compared to the standard 1200 degrees Fahrenheit used to fire enameled cast iron, fireclay is heated to around 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
This creates an extremely hard material that's capable of standing up to its fair share of messes.
Visually, fireclay looks almost identical to those beloved enameled cast iron sinks that are so on-point with the modern farmhouse trend. However, they're nowhere near as difficult to maintain or keep clean. Their surface is more scratch-resistant and they won't lose their trademark glean as long as you wipe them down regularly.
Farmhouse-Inspired Kitchen ExtrasAn apron-front sink is a great way to add warmth and classic charm to your kitchen. Other additions that can give this space a modern farmhouse look include:
- Vintage-inspired barstools or counter stools
- Shaker-style cabinetry
- Brushed metal cabinet hardware
- Oversized, industrial pendant lights
- Butcherblock or concrete countertops
- Stainless steel appliances
- Neutral subway tile
- Single-body, bridge faucets
- Colorful contemporary artwork
- Pro-style oven range
With proper planning, you can strike an elegant balance between the homey, warm feel of a farmhouse kitchen and the updated, cool tone of a modern one. If you want to add antique touches everywhere but keep your sink totally current, why not incorporate a stainless steel sink instead?
Cool, durable and artful, these sinks work well with any design theme. Like our fireclay sinks, they're also a cinch to keep clean.
Key Exterior Features
Some homes lean very heavily on modern farmhouse influences for the interior, but the exterior is far more modern or traditional. Then, there are some homeowners who totally embrace the look, working from the outside in.
Are you building a new home? Or, are you preparing to totally renovate your existing property?
If so, there are certain elements you can incorporate into your exterior that can alert passersby to your design trend of choice. If you want to give the outside of your home a modern farmhouse look, here are a few of the key characteristics to consider:
- White exterior paint
- Mix of horizontal and vertical siding
- Double, natural-wood front doors
- Board and batten shutters
- Barn-style exterior lights
- Covered porch
- Gable roof
- Carriage-style garage doors
An abundance of windows is also key, here. The idea is to let as much natural light flow through your home as possible, to illuminate the fresh and clean-toned interior. Of course, to look as authentic as possible, a modern farmhouse also needs a large, wraparound front porch. Adorn yours with rocking chairs and a bed-style front porch swing, and neighbors will soon turn into friends!
Remodeling an Older Home
If you're building from the ground-up, you can enjoy complete control over your modern farmhouse design. Every choice, from the type of material used for your siding to the style of farmhouse sink you select, is all up to you.
Will you go with a simple, smooth apron front? Or, will you incorporate a more intricate and eye-catching design, such as our 30-inch Ulan Handcrafted Single-Bowl Vine Apron Farmhouse Sink? You're free to choose these elements based on your own personal preferences, drawing from inspiration across the web and around your neighborhood.
On the other hand, remodeling an existing, older home should be approached a little differently. Instead of assuming that you need to rip everything out and start again from scratch, see if you can repurpose or upcycle any of your existing fixtures. Here are a few ways to determine which route to take.
Keep or Replace?
While it's relatively easy to make a newer home look rustic, the opposite doesn't always hold true. Instead of seeking to change everything about your current style, look for ways to showcase what you've already got! Not only will this save you money down the road, but it could also help preserve both your time and your sanity.
Take your flooring, for example. While natural wooden floorboards are all the rage, many modern homeowners are opting for more durable options, made from materials such as Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVPs) that are waterproof and designed to last a lifetime.
While these look great and certainly hold up well, they might not be necessary for your home.
Instead of investing a huge portion of your budget in new flooring, consider the quality of your existing planks. If they're in great shape, stick with them and consider that part of the project done! If they're looking worse for the wear, see if it's possible to refinish them.
In your kitchen, see if you can refresh your current cabinets by giving them a new coat of stain or paint. This effort is especially worth it if you have original, retro cabinets that are nearly impossible to replicate. If you choose this alternative, you may have enough money left over to swap your existing drop-in sink for a more elaborate apron-front model, such as our 30-inch Yovanny Fireclay Fluted Apron Single-Bowl Farmhouse Sink.
Embrace Your Farmhouse Remodel
While the different decor choices for a modern farmhouse remodel might seem overwhelming, keep in mind that this is a design based heavily on simplicity.
Instead of feeling like you need to buy all of the chippy wall signs or immediately rip up the carpet runner on your stairs, start small. Think of a few elements you'd like to embrace, as well as the features in your home that you'd like to keep intact.
Love your dark paint and don't plan on changing it? See if you can open your floor plan up a little, or add some windows to bring in more light. Adore your existing can lights? Add a farm sink to your kitchen and skip the metal pendants.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a home that you love returning to every day. Make it warm, inviting and totally your own, and you can't go wrong. As you pursue this project, feel free to browse our extensive collection of sinks, faucets, and other accessories that can help you transform the heart of your home. If you have any questions, contact us!
- Tyler Reis