The farmhouse style has seen a major resurgence in recent years, as homeowners look to add warmth, comfort and a connection to nature in their homes. While traditional farmhouse decor has an old-fashioned, rustic feel, modern farmhouse style puts a fresh spin on it, blending modern and industrial elements with vintage charm.
When it comes to the heart of the home – the kitchen – modern farmhouse style allows you to create a space that feels both nostalgic and current. It brings together natural materials like wood and stone with sleek finishes and metallic accents for a look that’s equal parts cozy and refined.
In this article, we’ll explore how to design a modern farmhouse kitchen, with tips for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting and more. We’ll show you how to incorporate modern touches while still retaining that signature farmhouse feel. Read on to learn how to create the perfect balance of vintage and contemporary for a kitchen that truly feels like home.
The Key Elements of Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Design
When designing a modern farmhouse kitchen, there are a few key elements to focus on:
Mix of Textures and Materials
The modern farmhouse look layers natural textures like wood, stone, and metal. Weathered woods, exposed brick, and galvanized metal bring in organic texture and a sense of history. These are balanced with sleeker modern finishes like quartz countertops, subway tile, and stainless steel appliances.
Vintage Meets Modern Aesthetic
Look for ways to blend old and new. Pair distressed wood beams with clean-lined cabinetry. Combine a classic farmhouse sink with modern metal fixtures. Use vintage-inspired lighting and accessories to add charm. The mix of eras is what creates the modern farmhouse vibe.
Warm, Earthy Color Palette
Traditional farmhouse style has a muted, neutral color palette – creams, tans, browns, whites, and grays. To give it a modern twist, incorporate some warmer tones like light wood, matte black, and brass accents. Crisp whites feel contemporary and allow the texture to shine.
Practical yet Stylish Storage
The farmhouse kitchen was designed for utility – frequently used items within easy reach. Incorporate visible storage like open shelves, racks, baskets and unique containers. A large sink, prep space and sturdy surfaces accommodate cooking. Style it with modern updates like glass-front cabinetry.
The Floor Plan: Optimizing Layout and Flow
When designing a modern farmhouse kitchen, consider how you cook, entertain and live day to day. Plan the layout to maximize workflow and storage while retaining an inviting, spacious feel.
Islands and Peninsulas
Islands or peninsulas are great for creating more prep space and casual seating. Opt for a substantial wood top and include storage, like a farmhouse sink and racks underneath. Position it near or facing other work areas.
Functional Work Zones
Group key zones together for efficiency – sinks under windows with prep space nearby, ovens/stoves close to prep areas. Leave room around zones for multiple cooks. Incorporate a cleanup zone near the sink.
Avoid breaking up the workspace too much. Keep traffic flow open from fridge to stove to sink and back. Place frequently used items in easy reach. Minimal upper cabinets prevent visual clutter.
Dining and Gathering Areas
To encourage gathering, incorporate a substantial dining table or breakfast bar. Built-in bench seating saves space. Display shelving can double as open storage. Large windows and French doors invite natural light and views.
Cabinetry: The Stylish Storage Workhorse
Cabinetry makes a major style statement and has to perform double duty, providing plenty of storage while looking great.
Seek Out Character
Distressed woods, visible grains and handcrafted details bring life. Shaker style doors feel traditional but clean-lined. Glass fronts and open shelving introduce lightness. Mix up depths, textures, and heights for dimension.
Style with Contrast
Go for crisp white paint or stain on some cabinets to contrast the wood cabinets and draw the eye. Try black lower cabinets or an accent wall of built-ins. Vary door styles – recessed panel and glass fronts, for example.
Incorporate deep lower cabinets for pots and pans near cooking zones. Add specialty pull-outs like spice racks, tray dividers and appliance garages. Try open shelving or glass fronts on upper cabinets to limit visual bulk.
Keep items visible and within reach. Dedicate areas for dishes, food staples, cooking tools and daily essentials. Incorporate racks, baskets, and containers for a farmhouse look. Pull-outs keep interior cabinets orderly.
Quality and Durability
Opt for plywood over particle board for stability. Dovetail joinery adds strength. Choose durable surfaces like quartz or granite for heavy use areas. Soft-close hinges prevent slamming. Stainless steel hardware withstands wear.
Countertops: The Stylish, Functional Work Surface
Countertops need to be beautiful, totally functional, and able to withstand heavy use. Here are some top options:
Wood countertops like maple add organic texture and warmth. Butcher block is durable for chopping and food prep. Use large pieces to minimize seams. Opt for treated wood or go unfinished to age naturally.
Quartz is an ideal modern farmhouse choice – it resembles natural stone but is nonporous and nearly indestructible. It resists stains, scratches and heat. Go for a marble-look in white and gray to feel fresh.
Weathered barn wood or salvaged oak boards make a charming distressed countertop. The worn, variegated look instantly creates character. Opt for a finish that lets the natural patina show through.
Soapstone has a soft, smooth texture. Neutral shades like gray suit the aesthetic. It develops a patina over time that adds to the vintage appeal. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface.
Concrete makes a durable, industrial-chic statement. It can be stained, scored to resemble tile, or polished to a smooth sheen. The matte look works well with wood and metal accents.
Flooring: Grounding the Space
The flooring establishes the atmosphere of the space. For modern farmhouse, go for materials that feel natural and evoke a sense of history.
Wide Plank Wood
Hand-scraped or distressed woods like oak evoke an aged, artisanal quality. The varied grain and natural knots add character. Go for wider planks for a more relaxed vibe. Frequent re-coating is required.
More stable and scratch-resistant than solid wood, engineered planks still provide the warmth of wood with unique grain patterns visible. Works well in high-moisture areas like kitchens.
Achieves the appearance of wood without the maintenance. Wood-look porcelain or ceramic tile has texture and graining for a convincing look. Use large tiles to emulate plank flooring. More durable and moisture-resistant.
Slate, travertine and limestone bring an organic, Old World feel with natural variations in the veining, coloring and edges. Honed finishes enhance the patina. Textural but requires sealing.
Brick or Encaustic Tile
Brick is classic for farmhouse floors. Encaustic cement tiles provide worn, European charm in patterned designs. Use them selectively in backsplashes, butters and accent areas.
Backsplashes: The Decorative Protective Layer
While they safeguard the walls, backsplashes also provide an opportunity to embellish with color, texture and pattern.
Classic white 3” x 6” subway tile instantly evokes old-fashioned kitchens. Pair with dark grout for contrast. Shape them in herringbone patterns or framed vignettes for character.
Tin Ceiling Tiles
Vintage-look tin ceiling tiles, often in geometric or pressed patterns, add industrial flair. Go for a rusted, weathered or retro color scheme. Provide contrast to wood cabinets.
Textured & 3D Tiles
Handmade, imperfect tiles like Moroccan fish-scale add global flair. Dimensional tiles like 3D hexagons make a textural feature wall. Peel-and-stick options available.
Sections of natural stone like marble, travertine or slate slabs can resemble wall art. Mix up sizes, cuts (honed, polished) and colors for eclectic character. Great behind a stove.
Reclaimed barn wood or shiplap planks make a warm, earthy statement. Try vertical for a more modern look. Teamed with white cabinets, it avoids feeling too heavy.
Lighting: For Task, Ambience and Character
Lighting serves key functional roles while infusing style. Combine general, task and accent lighting.
Suspended lighting adds visual interest and depth. Multi light pendants work over islands – try black metal or vintage styles. Go for single pendants at other tasks zones.
Under Cabinet Lighting
Illuminates tasks directly. LED strip lighting provides excellent visibility minus shadows. Coordinate with cabinetry finish. Dimming lets you control brightness.
Wall mounted lighting frees up counter space and casts attractive uplighting on architectural features. Go modern with swing arm styles or vintage metal.
Highly adjustable to put light right where it’s needed. Go for exposed Edison bulb style or sleek low-profile track heads. Helps create an industrial modern look.
Unobtrusive addition of ambient lighting. Specify trims that complement the decor – deep baffle trim with black interior for contrast. Use smart options to control.
A showstopping chandelier lends old-fashioned character and puts a focal point over the table. Try a distressed wood, vintage brass or antique-inspired fixture.
Stylish and Functional Additions
Special touches give the space personality and custom utility.
A farmhouse sink creates an anchor. Opt for a substantial apron-front, enameled cast-iron style often in fireclay white. Double bowl versions accommodate tasks.
Bridge-style faucets with exposed piping fit the industrial edge. Go for black, brass or chrome. Consider extending the faucet for increased functionality.
An oversized vent hood provides impact while removing cooking fumes. Try a chimney-style stainless hood or warmer wood cover. Exposed ductwork furthers the aesthetic.
Floating wood shelves add warmth while keeping items within reach. Iron pipe brackets offer industrial contrast. Built-in shelving frames windows or doors.
Racks & Container Storage
Use metal racks for open display of wares. Wire storage racks add a mini pantry. Galvanized buckets, bins, canisters and cake stands corral items attractively.
Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Inspiration
Now that we’ve covered the essential elements for designing a modern farmhouse kitchen, let’s look at some inspiring examples and ideas that bring it all together into a cohesive look.
Rustic Wood Meets Modern White
This kitchen seamlessly blends old and new with glossy white cabinets, exposed brick walls, and natural wood beams. The beamed ceiling adds height while the brick backsplash and butcher block island provide texture. White quartz countertops complement the cabinets nicely.
Metal Accents Add Edge
The black window frames, modern fixtures and stainless appliances inject edge into this cozy kitchen. Warm wood counters soften while open shelving keeps the look airy. The subtle brick backsplash ties to the feature wall.
Crisp White with Rustic Beams
White shaker cabinets paired with exposed wood beams create a light and airy feel. The marble-look quartz island grounds the space while open shelves, a distressed mirror and pendant lighting add character.
The classic apron-front sink, exposed brick, and glass-front cabinetry have an old-fashioned allure. The pendant lighting, marble-look quartz and sleek faucet keep it fresh. Vintage stools add eclectic flair.
Inviting Breakfast Nook
The built-in banquette seating creates a cozy corner breakfast nook, great for casual meals. White shaker cabinets maintain the light and airy vibe while the wood table and floors add warmth.
Design Details to Personalize Your Space
Once you have the overall look established, have fun adding unique details that reflect your style. These personalized touches turn the kitchen into an expression of you.
Add Architectural Interest
Exposed ceiling beams, an arched window over the sink, or a brick accent wall lend cottage character. Try shiplap or tongue-and-groove planks for visual texture.
Incorporate Meaningful Pieces
Display chic thrifted plates or your grandma’s baking tools for a dose of nostalgia. Floating shelves offer