How to Achieve a Modern Farmhouse Look

The modern farmhouse design trend has rapidly gained popularity in recent years, and doesn’t look to be waning anytime soon. A recent home design survey revealed more than 29 percent of Americans felt the modern farmhouse style was the most on-trend for 2017. Both potential homebuyers and homeowners looking to update their current homes are seeking this desirable style.

modern farmhouse look

Modern Farmhouse Style Explained

Many people adore this beautiful and versatile home style due to its simple, clean lines and nostalgia-inducing coziness and charm. While the word “farmhouse” may evoke images of red barn planks, rooster décor and chicken coops, modern farmhouse style elegantly blends sturdy textures such as distressed wood and rich, dark metals with more modern elements such as glass and marble and even industrial elements.

Décor elements found in modern farmhouse style include:

  • Distressed woods and metals
  • Reclaimed and upcycled materials
  • Light color palette with dark accents
  • Vintage and antique accessories

Introducing the modern farmhouse look into your kitchen or bathroom is quite easy to do. Changing your cabinet doors and drawer covers, adding strategic elements of distressed woods and richly colored metals, painting your walls a refreshing neutral and replacing your current kitchen and bath hardware with farmhouse hardware are all simple and beautiful ways to achieve the modern farmhouse look. Don’t forget the cozy details!

kitchen remodel

Remodeling and updating projects are often easier to do, and frequently add more value to your home, than major renovation projects. In fact, minor kitchen remodeling projects reportedly bring an 82.7 percent return on investment. Whether remodeling just for your enjoyment or to prepare for selling your home, updating your kitchen and bathroom with a modern farmhouse look will give these spaces a cozy, clean and modern feel.

Simple ways to incorporate the modern farmhouse look include:

  • Choosing a neutral wall color
  • Incorporating wood, metals, glass and other natural elements
  • Incorporating upcycled and reclaimed materials
  • Adding cozy details
  • Changing your cabinets and drawer faces
  • Adding farmhouse cabinet, kitchen and bath hardware

Choose a Neutral Wall Color

One of the ways the modern farmhouse style maintains its clean and striking look is by contrasting light and dark colors. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to choose a light, neutral wall color. Earth tones create a soothing and airy space and will make your dark accents really pop.

neutral color

Popular wall colors that go well in modern farmhouse-inspired rooms include:

  • Traditional whites
  • Soft grays
  • Silvery sage greens
  • Pale yellows
  • Cool pale blues
  • Beiges and creams

Matte black or dark brown colors to accent light neutral colors are wildly popular with the modern farmhouse style, and look chic and sophisticated in both kitchens and bathrooms. Dark colors can work well on countertop surfaces, design accents such as picture frames and baskets, light and plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware.

In addition to a neutral paint color, board and batten, light colored wood planks, beadboard or shiplap paneling add texture to the neutral space in a modern farmhouse style. White or light subway tiles with contrasting dark grout give a modern and clean feel to kitchens and bathrooms.

To contrast the light wall colors in the modern farmhouse style, colors such as bright or dark green or vibrant navy blue are frequently part of furniture and décor accents. Splashes of bold and bright colors add visual interest to neutral spaces and keep them from looking cold or washed-out.

In the kitchen:

  • Place a matte black set of shelves against light walls to store and display both useful and decorative items such as serving pieces, dishware and glass jars with dry goods.
  • Hang a dark, antique metal pot rack from the ceiling to store and display pots. This creates a visual contrast against light cabinets and walls.
  • Place brightly colored vintage Shaker-style chairs around the table or breakfast bar.
  • Consider dark subway tile or white brick to add color and texture.

In the bathroom:

  • Use dark or black metal hardware and other elements to add visual interest and stand out from the neutral colors.
  • Consider using a light blue or green wall color to evoke a calming spa-like atmosphere.
  • Countertops made of rich, dark woods add a striking contrast to light walls and distressed wood vanities.

Incorporate Woods, Metals, Glass and Natural Elements

Modern farmhouse style elegantly combines natural elements such as woods, metals, glass and stone. These elements occur in everything from countertops to floors and even decorative design elements. Combining them results in a harmonizing blend of textures and colors.

Wood planks are frequently part of floors, walls and ceilings, and it’s not uncommon to see many different types, textures and shades of wood featured in the same room. Combining different types and hues of wood adds warmth and depth to bathrooms and kitchens. Natural, distressed, glazed and painted wood finishes are all common in the modern farmhouse style.

wood metal glass

You can incorporate metal accents in a variety of ways. Metal light fixtures, kitchen and bath hardware, faucets and railings are available in a wide range of colors and finishes, and can all be used to further the modern farmhouse look. Just remember not to combine more than three different metals per room, or it can look discordant.

While glass adds to the clean, modern feel of the farmhouse look, items should not be overly delicate. Incorporating exposed light bulbs, glass light fixtures and large mirrors are all effective ways to add glass elements to a kitchen or bath space. Glass adds the illusion of depth to the area, and can also serve to make a smaller space appear larger.

Stone adds a clean and rustic look to kitchens and bathrooms, while marble gives a modern touch. Both elements are available in a variety of products — from sinks and countertops to floor finishes and decorative accents. Their smooth and simple texture blends well with neutral color schemes and allows a greater contrast against dark and bold accent colors.

 In the kitchen:

  • Nothing suggests “rustic” more than a traditional farmhouse or apron sink. These large sinks, available in a variety of colors and finishes, are both beautiful and functional, and serve to combine clean, modern lines with simple farmhouse charm.
  • Matte and dark-colored metal appliances are a popular choice for kitchens. Colored stainless steel is a relatively new option that offers a break from the traditional silver stainless steel look. Modern kitchen appliances pair well with the modern farmhouse style.
  • Wood, stone or marble countertops are a beautiful way to incorporate elements of nature. Butcher-block countertops bring a natural warmth into rustic kitchens. Use them on all counter surfaces, or just as an accent on kitchen islands. Both wood and stone or marble countertops can even go in the same space and look particularly striking when one is dark and the other light.
  • Place glass panels in cabinet or pantry doors to show contents and add contemporary flair.
  • Use decorative pottery or stone crocks to display and store kitchen utensils.


In the bathroom, incorporate:

  • Glass jars as accents to hold soaps, cotton balls and swabs
  • Mirror or picture frames with distressed wood or metal finish
  • Rustic wooden shelves and small benches
  • Wood, stone, quartz or marble counter or vanity tops
  • Wicker or chicken wire baskets
  • Old-fashioned vessel sinks on distressed wood vanities or washstands
  • Plants and elements of greenery placed in wood and stone vessels

Incorporate Reclaimed and Upcycled Materials

One of the most fun elements of the modern farmhouse style is the ability to repurpose objects and materials. The term “everything old is new again” truly encompasses this style. From reusing old wooden planks and boards, to finding new uses for vintage and antique items, this style is not only beautiful, but environmentally responsible, too.

When it comes to modern farmhouse style, scratches, nicks, peeled paint and weathered finishes add an authentic look to your room. Rough, unfinished wood surfaces are also perfectly acceptable, so long as they are not part of tables, floors or other areas that may cause a safety issue.

Wrought-iron railings, corrugated steel, wooden pallets, copper piping, mosaic and patterned tiles and even antique market finds gain new purpose when incorporated into modern farmhouse spaces. They can easily transform into fashionable and functional elements in your kitchen and bathroom.

reclaimed materials

Objects such as wire baskets, tin cups, watering cans, coal scuttles, glass jars and old doorknobs are perfect for holding both decorative and everyday essentials. They not only add additional space to your kitchen or bathroom, but they also provide visual interest, texture and charm to the space. Antique items that are worn and weathered look right at home in the modern farmhouse style.

In the kitchen:

  • Consider using a vintage armoire as a pantry or server. This piece of furniture looks beautiful in both distressed or glazed wood, or painted in a bright or historic color.
  • Use tin cups or small wooden pails as plant pots.
  • Fashion chair cushions, pillows or window treatments out of burlap or grain sacks.

In the bathroom:

  • Use watering cans to hold plants and flowers.
  • Consider using old barnboard or wooden planks as flooring, wall covering or shelves.
  • Use an old, distressed wood ladder as a towel rack.
  • Use a reclaimed sliding barn door as a divider between rooms or spaces.

Add Cozy Details

True modern farmhouse style uses a mix of both masculine and feminine, old and new elements. To maintain its warm, cozy nature while keeping a clean and simplistic style, don’t go overboard with farm-themed décor, which tends to look kitschy. Aim instead for elements such as authentic vintage or antique items mixed with new and modern pieces.

Using fabric in your spaces is a great way to add some coziness to your kitchen or bath space. Area rugs made of fabric, faux fur, jute and burlap warm up the space and create contrast against light wood-colored floors. Mixing various fabrics such as canvas, chenille and wool creates a comfortable and inviting space. Striped and vintage patterned fabric also add a relaxed and casual feel.

area rugs

It’s important to maintain the minimalist look when adding details to your space. Combining different textures, such as rough woods, smooth metals and soft fabrics, keeps the neutral space from appearing flat and boring. Your details should create visual interest without seeming cluttered.

In the kitchen, use:

  • Fabric chair cushions and pillows with different patterns and textures
  • Skirted fabric on metal rings or rods to cover cabinet fronts
  • Quilts draped over chairs for a rustic and cozy feel, as well as a splash of color and texture

In the bathroom, incorporate:

  • Feminine, ruffled shower curtains made of cotton or linen
  • Folded stacks of fluffy white towels
  • Soft and downy area rugs and bath mats
  • Baskets holding bath tissue, towels, magazines and toiletries

Carefully selected eclectic items look natural and beautiful in farmhouse-inspired rooms, so be sure to take your time when selecting all your design elements. While it may take you a while to complete your decorating, it’s better to choose items that naturally infuse charm into the style, rather than buying everything at once and having the look appear overly matched and forced.

Change Your Cabinets and Drawer Faces

One of the most endearing qualities of modern farmhouse kitchens and bathrooms is beautiful cabinetry. Modern farmhouse cabinets are both beautiful and functional, and feature details such as distressed paint, light or bold color schemes and intricate craftsmanship.

Painted or glazed wood in light and neutral colors of whites, creams, grays and even blues and greens is common in modern farmhouse kitchens, although they can also be found in black and other bold colors. Unfinished woods such as birch, oak and pine give a natural feel to kitchens and bathrooms and also combine nicely with light-colored walls.

Common cabinet styles include Shaker-style, all-white vintage and even those resembling wooden planks and beadboard paneling. While these cabinet styles are readily available for those wishing to demo their kitchen, if opting for a simple kitchen or bath renovation, consider painting your current cabinets and replacing just the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware to achieve the same look for a fraction of the price.

farmhouse cabinets

Open shelving is another popular feature in modern farmhouse kitchens and bathrooms. These shelves provide not only ample storage, but the opportunity to introduce more texture and color into the space. Open shelves are excellent spaces to display antique and heirloom belongings, along with everyday items such as food and dinnerware.

In the kitchen:

  • Use open pantry shelving with colored wooden bins or woven baskets
  • Remove cabinet doors to gain an area of open shelving
  • Paint cabinets in a light or bold color
  • Consider a two-tone color scheme for upper and lower cabinets

In the bathroom:

  • Chalk-paint a wooden vanity or washstand to achieve a distressed wood look
  • Paint your vanity in a bright and bold color
  • Replace old cabinet door and drawer fronts with Shaker-style elements

Combined with rich, rustic-looking or industrial farmhouse kitchen and bathroom hardware, your cabinets, drawer fronts and even your appliances can reflect this simple and elegant style. With the wide variety of colors, designs and styles available, the possibilities are almost endless.

Add Farmhouse Cabinet, Kitchen and Bathroom Hardware

Once you have chosen the perfect color palette and major design elements of your modern farmhouse kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want to finish it off with the right hardware. Rustic, antique and industrial-inspired hardware adds a look of sophistication to your space without making it look outdated. These farmhouse hardware accents are available in beautiful designs, from simple cup pulls to scrolls and twists, and even handles that look like twigs and branches.

farmhouse hardware

Get This Look

Hardware in rich, dark and antiqued metals looks stunning against the light wood-laden style typical of the modern farmhouse design style and pulls the whole look together. Cabinet and drawer pulls, knobs, handles, door latches and hinges and even appliance pulls and bath hardware are available in a wide variety of finishes and styles sure to complement your modern farmhouse kitchen or bathroom.

Kitchen and bathroom hardware elements to incorporate into your modern farmhouse design project include:

Farmhouse cabinet hardware

Farmhouse kitchen hardware

Farmhouse bathroom hardware

Interior accents

Farmhouse cabinet hardware finishes that evoke the modern look include:

  • Venetian bronze & old antique bronze — These beautiful dark oil-rubbed bronze finishes feature rich brown hues. The Venetian bronze finish is brushed to allow glimpses of the copper coloring underneath, while the old antique finish features a clean matte brown look.
  • Antique iron — This rustic and rugged finish features a beautiful pitted and distressed look. Made to look like weathered iron, the bronze material underneath contrasts with the dark texture of the pits and divots.
  • Antique silver — This distressed silver finish features divots and chips that give it a worn and rustic look. This finish looks beautiful in kitchens and bathrooms and adds a touch of rustic beauty and functionality to your space.
  • Rustic antique — This rustic finish features a tarnished brass look complete with antiquing and water spot details. Though meant to look like antiques, this sturdy hardware will maintain the same beautiful finish throughout the years.
  • Matte black — Matte black finish is a must-have in your rustic-inspired space. This clean and dark finish looks great with white and light cabinets and makes a bold statement in any modern farmhouse-style kitchen or bath.
  • Rustic iron — This sturdy, matte finish resembles the actual finish of weathered iron. In dark, mottled tones ranging from gray to black, the rustic iron finish adds a natural feel to your modern farmhouse look.
  • Old copper — This bright, warm finish features a distressed texture that includes black antiquing. This bold finish complements both light and dark-colored cabinets, and adds a rustic and industrial feel to your kitchen or bathroom.

The modern farmhouse style affords the luxury of getting creative and fun. Cabinet knobs and hardware are not just for doors and drawers. You can also use them to hang coats, towels, pictures and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Consider incorporating them into your kitchen or bathroom for a beautiful and practical display and storage solution.

cliffside farmhouse

At Cliffside Industries, we offer superior-quality hardware for all your kitchen and bath needs. Whether you’re building a new home or tackling a remodeling project, we have a large selection of hardware in a variety of beautiful styles and finishes that are sure to impress. We are proud to offer our clients industry-leading customer service, high-quality products and free ground shipping on orders over $800. Browse our large selection of products and finishes or view our product catalog to find the perfect hardware for your next home design project.

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