7 modern farmhouse living room ideas for a classic scheme that has the perfect amount of lived-in feel

Create a blend of old and new with these modern farmhouse living room ideas

Modern Farmhouse Living Room Ideas
(Image credit: Heather Hilliard Design & Michelle Lee Wilson/Tori Murphy/Travis J Photography & House of Jade Interiors)

A modern farmhouse living room requires a blend of old and new – it's a contemporary sofa paired with an antique wooden coffee table, or a white wall adorned with vintage artworks. This old-meets-new aesthetic is proving popular in both period properties and new builds, and it's all thanks to its versatility.

There are lots of modern farmhouse ideas to create a cozy and welcoming space. In a living room, it's all about introducing comfort and character in a stylized way. Whether you're living room is a blank canvas in need of some character or an old space that could do with an update, this aesthetic can be achieved in any space.

From neutral hues and original features to wall decor and cozy textiles, these modern farmhouse living room ideas from interior designers are sure to inspire your living room design.

Modern farmhouse living room ideas 

Modern farmhouse style is proving popular, and for good reason. Aesthetics that embrace an old-meets-new style feel truly timeless and offer the opportunity to inject personality and original style into the decor. If you're not sure where to start, these spaces might just spark an idea.

1. Mix old and new

modern farmhouse mistakes

(Image credit: Travis J Photography/House of Jade Interiors)

Blending old and new is at the core of modern farmhouse style. Introducing contemporary additions alongside more vintage-style pieces will help you to achieve the right transitional design aesthetic. In a living room, consider a modern sofa paired with a rustic wooden coffee table to strike a balance.

'When working on a modern farmhouse project, we like to mix refined furniture with vintage woods and contemporary lighting. We will even add some ceramics to bring in a little color and texture,' explains Kristin Fine and Analisse Taft-Gersten, the duo behind The 1818 Collective.

In this living room, a contemporary sofa and coffee table have been introduced alongside a vintage side table and accent chairs. This balance of old and new, light and dark really embraces the modern farmhouse style.

2. Opt for light wood flooring

Modern farmhouse living room with light wood flooring

(Image credit: Heather Hilliard Design/Michelle Lee Wilson)

In a modern farmhouse kitchen, you might lean towards darker flooring for its durability and ability to hide stains, but there is a greater variety of options in a living room in the style. Consider whether your living room feels more modern or more farmhouse to guide your decision.

'I recommend stripping dark floors and refinishing them in a light oak color. This instantly makes a farmhouse feel more contemporary,' says Heather Hilliard, of Heather Hilliard Design. A lighter floor not only modernizes a space, but it can make the overall scheme feel lighter and brighter, especially if you're decorating a small living room.

A lighter floor also means you can play with different styles and colors of rugs. Opt for something that feels more natural, such as jute, wool or sisal, to infuse an err of rustic appeal.

3. Create harmony between indoors and outside

Modern farmhouse living room with house plants and a beautiful view to outside

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

There is a lot of focus on the outdoors when it comes to modern farmhouse style. Farmhouses are, unsurprisingly, usually located in the middle of the countryside, so try introducing nature in some way to your living room scheme.

The easiest way to do this is by making a window a focal point of the room. In this living room, designer Tori Murphy has made sure that the furniture has been arranged in a way that means no matter where you sit, you can look out of the window and enjoy the surrounding countryside. 

If this isn't possible in your living room, or your view feels more urban than rural, decorate with a few indoors plants in terracotta pots to infuse farmhouse style into a more contemporary space.

4. Add texture through decor

Modern farmhouse living room

(Image credit: Tracy Morris Design/Anice Hoachlander)

As modern farmhouse living rooms tend to lean more neutral, adding texture through decor and soft furnishings can reintroduce a sense of depth and interest to the scheme. Go bold with a textured wallpaper, display a collection of artworks, or add throw pillows made from a variety of fabrics.

'By using texture and neutral tones, a living room can take on a modern farmhouse vibe. Try introducing art that has special meaning, including landscape scenes, as well as layers of pillows and throws for texture and pops of color,' says interior designer Tracy Morris.

'Mixing metals with rich wood finishes adds another dimension to a living room, while neutral wallpaper complements the space and provides a perfect backdrop for accessories,' she adds.

5. Decorate with warm neutral colors

neutral living room with panelled rustic ceiling, neutral couch and a gallery wall

(Image credit: Neptune)

While the traditional farmhouse style embraces hues such as yellow, green, and blue, modern farmhouse is more paired back, and instead leans into a more neutral color palette. This not only feels fresh and more modern but offers a backdrop to be more versatile with decor.

'The modern farmhouse living style is a practical and comfortable style that begins with a blank canvas to build upon. This trend prioritizes comfort, minimalism, and neutrals and BEHR’s Blank Canvas is the perfect backdrop that is easy to build upon and highlight other features in the room. It is a perfect warm, welcoming white with the transformative power to offer limitless design opportunities,' says Erika Woelfel, VP of Color and Creative Services at Behr.

Once you've created a neutral base with your living room color scheme, you can begin to introduce points of interest with your decor. This could be earthy hues, interesting patterns, or striking art pieces that feel appropriate in a modern farmhouse living room.

6. Make a feature of exposed beams

modern farmhouse rustic columns

(Image credit: Anders Schønnemann, Vipp)

A modern farmhouse living room should embrace any quirky features and original details, and if you're decorating an older property, it's not unlikely to find some exposed beams, whether they're on the ceiling or walls. Leaving them in their natural finish and framing them with neutral walls will allow them to truly shine, and introduces authentic character and a farmhouse feel to the scheme.

In this modern farmhouse living room, one of the beams offers support to the ceiling, so it has been thoughtfully used to zone a cozy living space within a larger room. The use of neutral furniture and natural flooring allows the wood tones to become the focal point of the room.

7. Add shiplap paneling for the perfect modern farmhouse feel

Small white living room with corner couch and wall panelling

(Image credit: Future)

There are so many different styles of wall paneling ideas, but for a modern farmhouse living room, opt for a more traditional option – shiplap paneling is very typical of farmhouse interiors, and will add a more classic appeal to your scheme.

To strike a balance between farmhouse style and a more modern aesthetic, opt for a feature wall or add a small section of paneling amongst neutral walls. Or you could create the contrast with your furniture – see how in this living room the more contemporary, simple silhouette of the couch grounds the room and prevents the paneling from looking too fussy and rustic.  

A successful modern farmhouse living room strikes a careful balance between old and new. Keep to a neutral base and add muted hues and a variety of textures for visual interest. Whether you're adding a contemporary touch to an older property or reintroducing character to a plain scheme, there's something to suit every project.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.