Meg Ryan's open-plan kitchen diner is a masterclass in combining modern and classic design elements

Fall for a modern farmhouse style that blends the rustic and contemporary in a look you’ll love to live with

Meg Ryan
(Image credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter / Staff)

There are plenty of ways to combine styles, materials, and colors without your space looking confused or mismatched. In fact, it is a design conundrum that everyone wants to solve. It is also an area in which interior designer Monique Gibson excels, and can be seen in actress Meg Ryan's open-plan kitchen.

There is so much to admire about this kitchen diner, but it is the room's modern-meets-classic style that is perhaps the most captivating element. 

Farmhouse kitchens, particularly those that lean towards the modern farmhouse style, are amongst the most popular American kitchen styles, and it's obvious why: they are smart and so easy to live with.

Modern farmhouse style, as seen in Meg Ryan's home, might claim to be the perfect blend. It draws on tradition, but feels up to date; it combines rustic touches with contemporary refinements; and it feels cozy and welcoming yet remains beautifully uncluttered.

Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines is a champion of the look and it’s really no wonder so many people have joined her in bringing the style home. After all, with its neutral palette, tactile and organic materials, and emphasis on comfort it makes for a relaxing and practical living environment.

Modern farmhouse ideas mean drawing on the very best elements of classic farmhouse style but giving them a twist that reflects 21st-century living. Plus, it is easier to recreate than you might think. 

‘To me, modern farmhouse is incorporating the old with the new,’ says interior designer Sarah Kruse, founder of Storie. ‘Vintage style furnishings with newer shapes and materials that consistently pay credence to nature.’

To create a modern farmhouse style, you will need to think about the color palette first. Modern farmhouse style begins from a neutral color palette and builds on it. 

Decorate with neutrals by layering whites, creams, and soft charcoals brings the contemporary freshness this style requires and creates a base to which accent shades can be added. However, it’s crucial to ensure the result is not clinical. 

‘To avoid a room looking stark, an off-white or pale neutral is always a good approach to take,' advises Ruth Mottershead, creative director, of Little Greene.' 

'Using different neutral tones from the same color family allows for layering and seamless shifts from room to room giving a sense of consistency with subtle nuances,’ she explains.

Finally, paying attention to using texture in interior design is particularly important in making modern farmhouse decor feel authentic and welcoming.

Quite simply, without texture, a farmhouse kitchen will fall flat. It's crucial to look at the room as a whole and bring an area together with mixed materials for vibrancy and warmth. It's a way of adding depth and dimension to a room as well as comfort.

Layering textures helps to add depth too. 'The layering of materials, colors and shapes all amount to give your interiors an overall texture which can define the look and feel of a kitchen,' says Martin Waller, co-founder of Andrew Martin

'There is nothing worse than a flat design,' says Camilla Clarke, creative director at Albion Nord. 'Try mixing different textures such as natural timber with smooth marble and stainless steel. It creates the perfect backdrop to layer on top of with neutral color and subtle pattern.'

Shop the modern farmhouse kitchen edit

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.