Modern farmhouse living room ideas are all about getting cozy and warm at home – in fact, you could almost think about it like the design world equivalent of Hygge. It’s all about fostering a rustic – yet sophisticated – space for friends and family to gather around and enjoy each other's company.
Whether you’re looking to create a brilliant modern farmhouse at your cottage in the woods or you’re hoping to channel those rustic elements and make your apartment in the city a little more homely and warm, here are some smart modern farmhouse living room ideas that will set you off on the right foot.
1. MAKE USE OF RUSTIC COLUMNS
‘Wood detailing is synonymous with farmhouse style, so wood beams and panelling immediately evoke a more country look,’ says Heather Hilliard, Founder of Heather Hilliard Design.
‘To make them a little more modern, paint the entire room, including any wood columns, white. It will immediately give it a clean lift and more contemporary, gallery like, feel.’
The designer of this space, Julie Cloos Mølsgaard, chose neutral tones to add a sense of serenity, and added tactile textures for vibrancy and movement.
2. GO FOR A CALMING SCHEME
‘The modern farmhouse should exude comfort, particularly in the main living area,’ says Interior Designer Cherie Lee. ‘A neutral, calming scheme with warm timbers and vintage touches will help to achieve a stylish but lived in feel.’
‘Avoid anything with too much shine and keep fabrics relaxed and tactile.’
3. DON’T FORGET THE EXPOSED WOOD BEAMS
‘The core of modern farmhouse style is mixing contemporary elements with ones most often associated with country life, such as exposed wood beams and rustic elements alongside neutral clean lines,’ says Heather Hilliard of Heather Hilliard Design.
In this space, the white painted beams give a modern feel to the traditional farmhouse style.
4. FASHION RUSTIC FURNITURE
‘Farmhouses are inherently rustic,’ says Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis. 'The idea is to create a feel that is casual (since no farmhouse is ever formal) and worn in like it has been around for a while. That's why rustic items that have a sense of age really work with farmhouse style.’
The use of rustic furniture, used perfectly by designer Alexander Waterworth, adds warmth and character to the clean lines.
5. USE NEUTRAL COLOURS
Rustic, true materials are at the core of farmhouse style according to interior designer Jessica Davis, who says the key to making the style more modern is to use clean lines and to pare back your palette.
This space, designed by The Cotswold Company, uses neutral colours and rustic materials to achieve the ultimate modern farmhouse living space.
6. OPT FOR WOVEN DECOR
‘These baskets are timeless,’ says Jane Badu of We Are Nomads. ‘Bypassing trends, their geometric patterns and natural textures fit beautifully into eclectic interiors, the handmade nature of the baskets align with the rustic nature of a farmhouse.’
This woven basket adds warmth and character to the whites and greys of the modern farmhouse living room.
7. CONSIDER AN ECLECTIC LOOK
‘You need patterns, colors, and texture in any project to create a rich and vibrant home - especially in a Modern Farmhouse where the foundations of the design in the architecture are more simple,’ says Interior Designer Phillip Thomas . ‘You can have a neutral colored background but once you begin to layer it with your favorite color-filled art or objects, or a luxurious textured sofa or woven rug - then it really starts to pop and become personal to you."
8. FOCUS ON THE FURNITURE
According to Neptune Home Designer George Miller, incorporating furniture with modern yet traditional elements is the perfect way to create a farmhouse aesthetic.
Neptune’s Audrey chair featured in the space has a ‘minimal and understated design, but with the new tweed fabric adding texture and earthy hues,’ says Miller.
9. PAIR NEUTRALS WITH ACCENT COLOURS
‘The Modern Farmhouse style is all about natural materials, muted shades, rustic finishes – but with a timeless appeal,’ says Paul Deckland, buying director at The Cotswold Company.
When it comes to furnishing, Deckland suggests pairing sofas in shades of grey and cream with accent cushions to add interest.
10. CONSIDER WALL HANGING BASKETS
Placing wall hanging baskets in your living space is the perfect way to complement earthy tones. Adding subtle, natural textures to clean lines will create a rustic yet warm feel.
11. MIX NATURAL TEXTURES AND MATERIALS
‘Modern Farmhouse style is all about the juxtaposition of clean lines with more organic, rough hewn lines,’ says interior designer Phillip Thomas who suggests mixing natural textures and materials such as wood with simple, soft pieces to create a balance.
In this space, crafted by Nordic House, there is a mix of soft and natural textures to achieve a rustic yet comfortable living room.
12. CONSIDER VINTAGE MIRRORS
In spaces with less light and smaller windows, Interior Designer Alexander Waterworth suggests placing vintage mirrors to help reflect light back into the room while creating a rustic feel. ‘Antiques can also add intrigue and depth to the space,’ says Waterworth.
13. MIX DARK AND LIGHT TONES
‘Keep the space fresh, embrace existing materials by rejuvenating them sympathetically,’ says Alexander Waterworth. ‘Introduce darker tones through furniture, avoid large patterns keeping tones and textures at the forefront of selection’.
14. Take inspiration from the outdoors
Of course, the easiest way to foster a cozy, farmhouse-inspired space is by taking inspiration from the outside. 'Use art and accessories that reference the outdoors,' suggests Interior Designer Jill Valeri. 'Florals, plants, animals and landscape paintings are great – but avoid anything kitsch.'
- See: Modern farmhouse style: what is it, and how to achieve it
15. Decorate with a simple color palette
Don't over-accessorize when it comes to modern farmhouse living rooms. In this space, designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, the more minimal the better. An all-white color palette is cool, calm and collected, while woven elements add subtle texture and interest.
'Farmhouse-inspired makes me think about wide-open fields, breathtaking views, and the idea of the outdoors and open space,' says Interior Designer Beth Brown. 'Don't cramp the room with items just to fill it. Select a couple of standout pieces and work around them for heightened results.'
16. Add high contrast colors
'High contrast color is a hallmark feature you will see in many modern farmhouse ideas,' says Eric Ross, Founder of Eric Ross Interiors. 'You typically see black and white; however, I like to take a different approach with spaces using multiple colors.' This can easily be done by adding unexpected linens, wallpapers, and even tiling.
In this light and bright living room, designed by Kate Marker Interiors, a selection of complimentary colors – from opposite ends of the color wheel – are guaranteed to add drama to any room. By taking shades that sit opposite each other on the wheel, such as orange and blue, you can create a rich, vibrant scheme packed with energy.
17. Mix modern materials with antiques
'The more modern approach to country decor is an approach that I am really enjoying,' says Susan Peters, Interior Design at 9108 Designs. 'I love the idea of using some of those antiques and classic pieces, while at the same time putting a more modern twist in your room. One of my recommendations would be to mix antique and modern furniture, accessories and so forth. This can achieve a curated updated look that will help your home be an original.'
In this space, crafted by Leanne Ford Interiors, the designer masterfully mixes modern with classic elements for a truly tremendous living room scheme.
18. Go for statement lighting
'Light fixtures are a great place to put a bit of modern into your home; don't be afraid to couple a modern light fixture in your space,' says Susan Peters. 'By mixing in some of each style, you can achieve a modern-farmhouse look.'
19. Consider meaningful art
Your artwork can also be something that helps to mesh two styles. Susan Peters suggests choosing a thin black metal frame to house a collection of vintage maps, botanicals, or artful sketches.
Designed by Rachel Halvorson Designs, this modern farmhouse living room exudes personality and character – an important element when choosing a rustic interior scheme for your home.
20. Don’t forget your own personal taste
It can be tempting to take a page out of the all-white, heavily curated farmhouse style, but according to Interior Designer Kathy Kuo, one of the most important aspects when designing a farmhouse room is bringing in a sense of charm. 'Find pieces you love that are timeless, chic and accentuate your personality; this makes your room unique and adds some character.'
Here, designers Ashe Leandro, have crafted a fun, unique room. One that makes you instantly smile on arrival.
21. Combine Scandinavian design elements
'Avoid going overly rustic. Instead, include modern or industrial elements to complement the more traditional farmhouse elements,' suggests Melissa Marcus, Founder of Melissa Marcus Designs. 'This will give the space an elevated look. I like to combine clean lines from a Scandinavian or Mid-century modern design with the shabby chic / natural wood elements we think of when we think farmhouse.'
22. Go for different metals
When it comes to accents, Melissa Marcus suggests predominantly sticking with iron, which offers a bold yet neutral aesthetic that can easily be built upon. However, she also suggests sprinkling in another metal, either gold or silver, depending on the design, to add some visual interest to the space.
23. Don't forget the ceiling
'When it comes to modern farmhouse design in a living room, I always say that the ceiling is just as important as the other walls in a room,' says Lindsay Hendrix, Founder of Hi-Luxe Interiors. 'For a layer of texture, warmth and interest, wood beams on the ceiling are always a gorgeous addition. Faux wood beams can be incredibly light and easy to install, and when you walk into the room, it really gives that wow factor.'
24. Opt for earthy tones
'I suggest mixing wooden and darker earthy tones with modern textures and neutral tones,' says Ana Bueno of Ana B Arch Design. 'Background paints should be a clean/neutral tone since everything else will be bolder and dense.'
Brimming with warmth, character and famed for its timeless beauty and durability, wood is still one of the most popular materials for the home. Here, designer Ashe Leandro uses it to perfection.
25. Look to your library for modern farmhouse inspiration
According to Michelle Harrison-McAlliser, Founder of Michelle Harrison Design, layering vintage books on the coffee table or displaying them on an airy shelf is the easiest way to lend a cozy aesthetic while showing off your personality.
26. Don’t forget the fireplace
Lucky enough to have an existing fireplace in your space? Consider making small tweaks to help bring out the modern elements. 'If you have a fireplace, swap out the traditional log for white birch wood ones,' suggests Harrison.
27. Employ ropes and strings
'Something we are loving right now in our living rooms is adding in items that have ropes and rattan texture,' says Heather Fujikawa, Owner and Principal Designer of House Sprucing. 'Whether it is a roping detail on the side of a chair, a light fixture hanging from a thick rope or drapery tie backs with rope – we can’t get enough of this textured detail that adds some fresh impact.'
Studio LIFESTYLE designed this living room for comfort and quiet reflection – a theme seen in many modern farmhouse spaces.
28. Go for a bright ceiling
'I love white painted boxed beams with nickel joints on the ceiling,' says Angela Reynolds, Founder of Angela Reynolds Designs. 'I find it creates an authentic farmhouse feel that also mixes in some modern.'
Crafted by Jean Stoffer Designs, this living room puts family and entertaining at the heart of its design, all while remaining stylish and sophisticated.
What is a modern farmhouse living room?
The trend of modern farmhouse came into its own in 2020 – during the worldwide pandemic – and it's going to be around for some time to come. This modern yet cozy style is bang on the zeitgeist, allowing more personality than city sleek modern and more calm than traditional rural stylings.
The modern farmhouse look works in just about any setting, from new-builds to country cottages. The style predominantly showcases clean lines and a sleek aesthetic. In terms of decoration, look for neutral color, plenty of texture and natural materials for an authentic modern farmhouse aesthetic.
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