Cabinets have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of a kitchen. From the style and scale to the color and hardware chosen, every kitchen trend has a design that feels most appropriate. Modern farmhouse kitchens are no exception – the cabinetry chosen is integral to injecting that sense of old meets new that this style is well-known and admired for.
As with any timeless design, modern farmhouse kitchens rely on seamlessly blending the fundamentals of a traditional farmhouse with more refined, contemporary additions. Think cabinets painted in appropriate hues paired with aged brass hardware, or rustic wooden doors paired with a sleek marble countertop.
So, what are the best modern farmhouse kitchen cabinet ideas to truly capture this staple style? We've put the question to leading interior designers to share their expert opinions.
Modern farmhouse kitchen cabinet ideas
Modern farmhouse kitchens can be executed beautifully in spaces of all shapes and sizes. Here, interior designers have suggested kitchen cabinetry ideas that require small adjustments as well as bolder design decisions, so there's something for every level of redesign!
1. Embrace dark colors on the cabinetry
The color of your kitchen cabinets have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic. In a modern farmhouse kitchen, palettes typically embrace warm neutrals and dark hues. In this kitchen, the cabinets have been painted in a deep blue shade, described by Hannah Yeo, Senior Manager of Color Marketing at Benjamin Moore, as 'an intriguing blue that blends a classic rich navy with the comfort of a denim blue.'
This combination of the deepest blue and diffused white works really well in a modern farmhouse kitchen – it's a timeless pairing that perfectly balances that old meets new look.
'Effortlessly sophisticated, this statement-making hue is also a practical choice for high-traffic areas' says Hannah Yeo. 'In this kitchen, Mysterious AF-565 pairs well with soft whites, such as Steam AF-15, and natural elements such as wood, stone, and brick—making this hue a great fit for a modern farmhouse.'
2. Opt for glass-fronted cabinets
Modern farmhouse kitchens really come to life when you switch up the cabinetry, particularly the uppers. Instead of sticking to traditional wooden doors, why not switch it up for something more eye-catching?
'I love the look of a modern farmhouse kitchen featuring glass-front cabinets,' says Kathy Kuo, CEO of Kathy Kuo Home. 'It's a lovely way to add visual interest and put some of your farmhouse-inspired dishware on display but still carefully stored away. It's practical, beautiful, and cozy!'
Not only do glass-fronted cabinets look beautiful, but replacing cabinets that feel bulky for something more delicate to the eye is an easy way to introduce new materials and textures. Stick to plain glass for a more contemporary finish, or if you want to lean more into the traditional farmhouse style, consider using fluted glass for a vintage feel.
3. Mis-match the cabinetry in a modern farmhouse kitchen
If your modern farmhouse kitchen is feeling a bit flat, a more eclectic edit of cabinets will add an abundance of character to your space. Helen Parker, creative director at deVOL Kitchens, suggests choosing 'not a fitted kitchen but more a beautiful assortment of freestanding cupboards that work together in perfect harmony but don't always match, perhaps some old and some new.'
There are a number of ways to achieve this mismatched look. For a bolder statement, follow Helen's lead with a curated selection of cabinets with different door styles and wood finishes. If this feels too brave for your style, you can also create a deliberately inconsistent look with color – opt for different tones (contrasting or of the same family) on the lower and upper cabinets, or if you have a kitchen island, make a statement by painting it in its own shade.
Alternatively, subtle details can make all the difference. Instead of these eye-catching changes, consider simply swapping out your hardware. Cabinet handles in a slightly different style to the drawer pulls offer a discreet solution to creating that collected feel to the kitchen.
4. Stick to minimal upper cabinets
Ditching your upper cabinets altogether is somewhat impractical unless you're lucky enough to have a lot of space for below-counter storage. If forgoing all that vertical storage space feels unreasonable, opt for the middle ground of simply reducing how many cupboards you have.
'Strongly consider not having wall-to-wall upper cabinets in your kitchen; you really don’t get much storage out of them anyway,' advises Kristen Harrison, a Virginia-based interior designer & owner of Bungalow 10 Interiors.
Helen Parker of deVOL agrees, adding 'the actual kitchen cabinets will probably only equate to half of the room, as you really need a mix of textures and materials and individuality within the room. Filling the room with kitchen cupboards will not give you the right look.'
Decide where in your kitchen feels most practical and visually appealing to introduce a single cupboard for essentials, and then create more decorative elements. 'Throw in a cupboard for your plates, a marble ledge, and an unexpected statement extractor hood,' she suggests.
5. If in doubt always go for Shaker kitchen cabinets
For a simple but effective option, choose a transitional kitchen cabinet design – Shaker kitchen cabinets suit a multitude of timeless kitchen styles, including modern farmhouse. The key here is to choose the right colors, hardware and, of course, configuration.
To nail the modern farmhouse kitchen style, consider keeping the Shaker cabinets on the lower portion of the kitchen and use open shelving to utilize vertical space. This is easier to execute in larger kitchens, or those with a decent-sized pantry, so definitely consider your space before finalizing any decisions.
Color is also really important – stay away from stark whites or typical farmhouse hues of yellow, as they can confuse the design style you're trying to achieve. Beiges of darker shades are a great way to add warmth and color in keeping with modern farmhouse. Alternatively, leaving your Shaker cabinets unpainted can have a really lovely impact, just make sure to introduce more modern elements through your kitchen tile ideas or counter to add balance.
These modern farmhouse kitchen cabinet ideas are all really versatile, so you can pick, choose and adapt according to your kitchen space and style. As you redesign your space, consider the practical elements as well as the visual ones – you don't want to go to the effort of removing all of your wall cupboards just to be left with no storage space.
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Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she 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 the best places to source pre-loved homeware.
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