“Modern farmhouse” and “urban farmhouse” are home design buzzwords that get bandied about a lot. Mentioning them often leads to comments from people who grew up in real farmhouses and aren’t buying the terms. But it’s a new style inspired by a classic vernacular style. Designers are taking elements from the original period architecture, mixing them up, giving them a twist or two and turning them into something new.
1. Front porch. The modern farmhouse aesthetic takes the front porch and does what it wants with it. Whether it spans the entire front facade, wraps around or is small and enclosed on three sides like this one, a front porch is a welcoming farmhouse touch. Depending on the orientation of the house, it’s a cooling one as well, with the overhangs keeping out the direct sunlight.
2. Barn lighting. As it turns out, basic utilitarian barn lights have wonderful style. Gooseneck lamps and other barn-style lights bring the look into the home, and their simplicity fits in well with modern style.
3. Metal roof. A metal roof has original farmhouse style and is still one of the most durable roofing materials money can buy. It’s unfussy and streamlined—just right for an updated farmhouse look.
4. Tongue-and-groove paneling, shiplap and butt boards. A classic farmhouse would not have had drywall. These types of wall treatments add homey texture to the walls. They also introduce strong lines, and they lend a more modern look when painted white.
5. Board-and-batten siding. This kind of paneling is often found on the exterior of original farm buildings. Bringing it indoors is an updated twist.
6. Shaker-style cabinetry. The Shaker profile has a classic simplicity that fits right in with just about every design style, from traditional to contemporary. And modern is no exception — the clean simple lines and straightforward boxy profiles are just right for a modern farmhouse
8. Exposed reclaimed beams. In a vaulted ceiling, these bring in a barn look, and in the case of reclaimed beams like these, that’s often where they came from in the first place. They lend a sense of age and history in the modern farmhouse mix.
9. Wide plank floors. The lumber industry was quite different back in Pa Ingalls’ day. The floorboards were nice and wide, and were often made of heart pine. You can still get them for your modern farmhouse—many operations around the country salvage these boards from old buildings slated for demolition and then sell them.
10. Two-over-two windows. This look is classic American farmhouse, and like the Shaker cabinet profiles, it’s a look that translates well to a modern design. Also worth noting in this project is the no-frills, clean-lined trim, painted the same color as the walls.