Fresh rustic, comfortable modern, heritage with a twist — modern farmhouse style is all of these things and more. This easy-to-love style takes the best of the past and updates it with a modern eye for simplicity, color and design … and it works no matter where you live. Try these key pieces to create a modern farmhouse look at home.
- Modern quilts. Originally made as a way to use up the scraps of old clothes and other home textiles that were too worn to otherwise use, quilts became beautiful, functional pieces of art. Today modern quilters are continuing the tradition, with new twists in color and pattern. Quilts are beautiful on beds, stacked in piles or hung on the wall — why not start a collection?
- Grain-sack textiles. Another piece with humble origins, the sack once used to hold grains has an interesting texture and a beautiful natural color that is prized today for pillow covers, dish cloths, table runners and more.
- Rural art subjects. Cows, barns and rolling hills are perennial favorites — keep an eye out when you travel for works by emerging artists, and you can slowly build up a collection.
The more art you look at, the better you will get to know your own taste. For instance, you may find you prefer a contemporary approach to color, paired with a rural subject, as in the oil painting of a barn shown here.
- A farm table. The classic farm table is ample, sturdy and built to last. You can hunt down an antique, find a local craftsperson to make one to your specifications or pick up a farm-style table new at any number of retailers. No matter where you find your farm table, be sure it is solid wood.
- Rustic benches. Simple, versatile benches, like the ones shown here, can be used at the table, in an entryway or at the foot of the bed. It can never hurt to have an extra bench or two in the house!
- Tolix chairs. Created in the 1930s in France, the Tolix chair has a sturdy industrial look that works well with farmhouse style. Paired with a rustic farm table, the chairs really sing.
- Shaker-style chairs. Whether you choose the originals or pick from one of the modernized versions on the market, Shaker-style chairs are a farmhouse must. But don’t feel you need a full set — they also work well as occasional chairs.
- Antique wood furniture. Something genuinely old lends gravitas to an interior — especially important if you are channeling farmhouse style in an apartment or a new build. Even one piece, like the gate-leg table shown here, can be enough to boost the farmhouse feel.
- Barn-style lights. Simple, utilitarian and beloved by both modernists and farmhouse fans, barn lights are a classic pick. Pendants are great in the kitchen or dining room, and gooseneck sconces are ideal on the porch
- Industrial stools. Whether you put them at the kitchen counter, breakfast bar or workstation, sturdy metal adjustable stools will always look good — and look especially crisp against milk-white paint.
- Old wooden cabinets. The more worn and faded, the better! You can also use milk paint to create a rustic, imperfect finish on a plain wooden piece.
- Wire shelving and baskets. Sturdy wire shelves and baskets make fabulous storage containers for towels, bath products, scarves and hats, potatoes and onions, or anything else you have that needs a home. Just remember, the contents are visible, so keep things neat!
- Iron or four-poster beds. Classic bed frames like wrought iron and four-posters will never go out of style. Pair yours with ticking-striped bedding or a modern quilt.
- Barn doors. Want to make a major farmhouse-style gesture? Swap out a regular interior door for a barn-style sliding door — it’s especially great for adding architectural interest to a plain-white-box new build. Before you make the swap, measure carefully to be sure you will have enough room to fully open the sliding door.
- White enamelware or ironware. Enamelware pitchers and pots, along with ironware platters and soup tureens, are farmhouse kitchen staples. Collecting them in all white makes them work in a modern setting.
Tell us: Are you a fan of modern farmhouse style? What about it appeals to you?
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