It’s undeniable that the central gathering space in most homes is usually the kitchen. With their bright, open spaces, rustic decor, and relaxed feel, this is especially true in modern farmhouse kitchens. The modern farmhouse aesthetic takes elements of country-style homes and combines them with more modern, contemporary styling to cultivate community and serve as a place for friends and family to gather.
While modern farmhouse style has the word “modern” in it, Becc Burgmann, founder of Becc Burgmann Interior Design explains that it’s nothing new: “The modern farmhouse interior style is a style that I think has always been around and popular, but it hasn’t been until recent years that it’s been defined as a style in itself.”
For those seeking to incorporate elements of the modern farmhouse design aesthetic into their kitchen, we consulted interior design experts to showcase 10 examples of modern farmhouse kitchens to inspire your next refresh.
1. Functional storage
When Rachel Waldron and her team first encountered the above farmhouse, it had a small kitchen that was “lacking in character.” As the family who owns the house has a strong connection to their Swedish heritage, it was important to both the family and Rachel’s team to create a space that could provide more functional storage while feeling open, “embracing the farmhouse architecture as well as the Swedish heritage.”
2. Eye-catching features
In the kitchen above, Cortney McClure and team use the ample space available to bring focus to elements, such as the immense island, that “pop and gladden the eye,” according to McClure. As each space brings unique features to the (metaphorical) table, many advise working with your surroundings to bring attention to what makes each space special.
3. Design with intention
In the contemporary North Carolina home above, designer Anna Franklin and her team utilized a mix of sculptural and timeless elements to play with texture, "so it feels like one cohesive space, but still feels unique," Franklin says. While designing the space, Franklin’s goal was to ensure that “every piece [in the home] is intentional, creating a consistent and cohesive space. consistent with the story being told.”
The kitchen features a white apron-front sink that contrasts nicely with the dark green and natural wood shaker cabinets. Open shelving and white subway tiles add to farmhouse vibes. The window above the sink offers natural light and an organic focal point for the space.
4. Create contrast
In the same kitchen, designer Anna Franklin uses contrast to accentuate the deep forest green of the kitchen cabinets, white backsplash, and farmhouse sink. While most assume that color schemes need to be either “light” or “dark,” the use of light and dark shades together create an aesthetically pleasing contrast that highlights each color.
Additionally, Franklin brought in wood accents through the cabinet drawers, wood floors, and accessories that contribute to the overall “modern farmhouse” vibe.
5. Blend styles
In the Minneapolis home above, designer Jennifer Davis blends classic farmhouse and industrial styles to fit the needs and preferences of her clients. According to Davis, a standout feature of the kitchen is the design of the island. “I absolutely love the contrast of the leather counter stools against the deep, rich island,” says Davis. “The dark dining room table top is also such a great balance with the dark tile grout.”
While the open plan kitchen design, large island, and light color scheme work to achieve a farmhouse look and feel, the industrial lighting and stainless steel range hood and refrigerator put the “modern” in modern farmhouse.
6. Use color freely
In the modern farmhouse above, Rachel Waldron used color freely to create a cheerful and colorful space “where all colors flow together beautifully.” As the farmhouse, complete with donkeys and chickens, has a vintage feel, Waldron used color to accentuate the vibe that was already present.
7. Open up your space
By looking at the spacious kitchen above, you’d never think that the space was originally cramped and outdated. Designer Jil Sonia McDonald removed walls, updated appliances, and added a beautiful island to create the above modern farmhouse-style kitchen for her client in Maple Ridge, Canada.
"The original kitchen was so small, the first thing I suggested was to remove two walls, one between the original dining room and kitchen and the second between the tiny kitchen and the hallway," McDonald said. "Thankfully our builder allowed us to remove those walls and we were able to create a large open concept kitchen."
By opening up the space, McDonald was able to create the modern, functional kitchen her client needed to fulfil her dream of cooking and entertaining for large groups.
8. Play off your environment
Murphy and Tolbert feature light teal cabinets and carefully sourced marble and wood that add a classic and coastal feeling to achieve this look.
9. Black and white
The above modern black and white kitchen uses classic contrasting colors to tie the space together. The abundance of cabinetry and spacious island allow for as much family cooking and entertaining as desired, while the adjoining dining room makes for a more formal eating space.
10. Align form and function
Inspired by the traditional cottages in the English countryside, the above modern farmhouse kitchen features massive cabinetry, a soft color palette, and minimalist vibe. Designer Renata Bellentani says that her team was able to “elevate the space by creating a beautiful rhythm and organic flow between the materials.”
Bellentani’s favorite part of the kitchen is the hidden refrigerator drawers. “We incorporated them into the lower cabinets, which eliminated the need for a massive fridge,” says Bellentani. “This solution gave us the freedom to maintain the airy feel desired by the clients. Perfect example of how to align form to function.”
What are the key features of a modern farmhouse kitchen?
When the modern farmhouse aesthetic is done well, it blends elements of rustic, country-style homes with contemporary design principles to create a cohesive, charming look. The aesthetic commonly includes natural fibers and textures juxtaposed with clean horizontal and vertical lines that make the space feel big, bright, and open.
The following features are key to creating a successful modern farmhouse kitchen.
The modern farmhouse interior style is a style that I think has always been around and popular, but it hasn’t been until recent years that it’s been defined as a style in itself
Open floor plan
Something that separates modern farmhouse style from traditional farmhouse style is the focus on maintaining a sense of spaciousness and minimalism with high ceilings and open plans. Unlike a traditional farmhouse, which might have lots of little rooms, nooks, and crannies, a modern farmhouse space is best when it feels open and flowy.
As the goal of the modern farmhouse aesthetic is to create a relaxed space for friends and family to gather, it’s only natural that an open floor plan would be a key feature in its design. Kitchens featuring an open floor plan often adjoin dining or living rooms to allow for conversation to flow between the two rooms, and often feature a prominent kitchen island with barstools or benches.
The use of natural fibers are key when cultivating a calming farmhouse feel. Try using natural wood in your seating selection, kitchen table, and home decor accessories, or choose butcher block countertops for an easy way to incorporate wood tones into your space.
For those looking to steer clear of wood countertops, opt for light marble countertops instead, as they’ll brighten up your space without the maintenance.
Light-colored cabinets, wall paint, and tile backsplash are key in creating a bright, cheerful and country kitchen. If your space has easy access to natural light, accentuate the light already coming in with white trim or reflective surfaces. For those working with little natural light, white cabinets, subway tile, and light paint colors go far in making the space as bright as possible.
A hint of industrial styling
The “modern” of modern farmhouse style is typically brought to the space through contemporary elements, such as industrial light fixtures and stainless steel appliances. In contrast to the traditional farmhouse design, which focuses on relaxation and comfort, “Modern farmhouse design takes those elements and adds more sophisticated features such as sleek lighting, glossy accents, and smooth lines. It's less rustic, more sophisticated, and uses contemporary design elements like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops,” explains Channa Alvarez, interior designer at Living Spaces.
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