- 1. Introduce modern details in a traditional kitchen
- 2. Embrace a soft colour palette
- 3. Pair warm neutrals with brass details
- 4. Mix materials
- 5. Focus on finishing touches
- 6. Incorporate natural elements
- 7. Blend trends with timeless style
- 8. Add warmth with color and texture
- 9. Opt for a rustic farmhouse island
- 10. Choose statement light fixtures
Although there are an abundance of kitchen looks to take inspiration from when re-designing your space, it's often one of the trickier rooms when it comes to style. Choosing something too sleek and white can create a space that feels sterile and void of personality, yet more historical styles can feel too old school for some tastes.
A modern farmhouse kitchen is the perfect compromise, offering timeless design features and plenty of character without feeling at all dated.
Whether you like the colorful palettes or playful textures used in farmhouse kitchens, favor the sleek finishes or the airiness of modern schemes, these stylish modern farmhouse kitchen ideas blend the best of both worlds and create spaces that feel both classic and current.
What is a modern farmhouse kitchen?
A modern farmhouse kitchen is defined by a blend of rustic farmhouse style and sleek finishes, modern farmhouse style is the middle ground between old and new. Where traditional farmhouse kitchens lean fully into wooden surfaces and earthy tones such as greens and yellows, this more modern approach favors a mixture of materials to introduce balance, while modern farmhouse kitchen color ideas tend to fall into warmer neutrals with darker accents.
Modern farmhouse kitchen ideas
As with any interior design trend and style, the overall aesthetic can differ – it really comes down to interpretation. However, there are a few elements and details that are really core to a modern farmhouse kitchen that are worth taking note of. Here, we turn to interior designers to find out how they would design this old-meets-new kitchen style.
1. Introduce modern details in a traditional kitchen
Farmhouse-style kitchens are prevalent in older homes, and for many interior designers, there are some easy ways to inject contemporary elements without compromising on character.
'As an adverse to what’s happening these days – instead of creating a modern build and adding farmhouse features – I prefer to take a farmhouse and add the modernity,' says interior designer Leanne Ford.
She advises 'Modernizing with a light touch, but in a way that works for the way we live today.' In this kitchen design, wooden chairs have been added next to sleek, white chairs to add a modern finish, while new gold taps and decorative items have been used on the kitchen countertop. These features are perfect for creating a balance between old and new.
2. Embrace a soft colour palette
Color has a huge impact on the overall mood and style of a kitchen. If you're trying to create a modern farmhouse design, consider using softer palettes.
'We love the soft, pine green we used in this kitchen – it gives the space a classic, warm feeling without being too overpowering or dark' says Christine Carney, director of design at Blackberry Farm Design.
'When flooded with natural light, the kitchen color really echoes the mood of the mountains just outside the window.' Calming green tones have proved popular in recent years, both in traditional farmhouse kitchens and more contemporary designs, making it the perfect tone for blending the two styles.
3. Pair warm neutrals with brass details
An effective approach to this style is mixing the right colors with the right finishes. 'The secret to the perfect modern farmhouse kitchen is a mix of rustic and cozy with luxurious and modern,' says Kathy Kuo, CEO of Kathy Kuo Home
'Go with a warm white for your kitchen walls and backsplash and contrast with wrought iron hardware fixtures, or copper and brass ones if you're craving a pop of metallic shine.'
Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry.
4. Mix materials
Introducing a range of different materials and finishes is a great way to create the traditional meets contemporary aesthetic that creates the modern farmhouse style.
'Farmhouse kitchens have a timeless charm and cozy atmosphere, which is why they are a popular choice among homeowners. If you want to give your farmhouse kitchen a modern twist, mixing materials is a great way to do so,' recommends Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co.
'In this Cotswolds project, bespoke cabinets made from reclaimed oak are paired with vegetable drawers that feature bronze wire fronts. To add to the dynamic and inviting atmosphere, different worktop materials were chosen. The left run features a bespoke wooden worktop with a metal trim, while the right run showcases a Belgian Blue marble top. This combination not only adds visual interest but also enhances the overall appeal of the kitchen.'
Irene Gunter founded London-based interior design firm, Gunter & Co, in 2014, with previous experience working at a whole host of London’s top interior design studios, and has completed projects everywhere from the English countryside to the Côte d'Azur.
5. Focus on finishing touches
It's no secret that Shaker cabinets are a must-have design for an old meets new kitchen, and they work brilliantly in a modern farmhouse kitchen, too. 'We used dark blue cabinets to bring warmth to the space but offset it with a white stone with blue veining on the counters tops and as the backsplash to keep things bright,' says Sarah Kruse, owner and principal designer at Storie Designs.
It's not just the larger details that dictate the interior design style in a kitchen, but the smaller, finishing touches are just as impactful. 'This home is in the country and has a ton of character, so keeping in line with the soul of the home we mixed contemporary finishes with farmhouse elements. The kitchen wallpaper and library lights above the appliance garage give a vintage feel, in combination with a farmhouse style door leading to outside.'
'Elements such as the ribbed glass at the coffee station provides that added character and older feel, in conjunction with the light fixture above the dining table that again provides a nod to the farmhouse style of the home.'
6. Incorporate natural elements
Natural materials are at the heart of the modern farmhouse kitchen aesthetic. A bright and airy atmosphere has been created in this kitchen thanks to the light wood kitchen cabinetry that has been paired with a beautiful natural stone countertop.
'The modern farmhouse aesthetic can be embraced in a multitude of ways. I think one way to make a kitchen feel rustic without being overly thematic is to incorporate natural elements,' says Marie Flanigan, of Marie Flanigan Interiors.
'I love using beautifully stained wood cabinetry, natural stone flooring and surfaces, wrought iron, unlacquered brass and reclaimed wood beams to achieve a farmhouse feel. When choosing any sort of hardware, look for antique-inspired silhouettes. I also love to infuse the space with styled elements like florals or branches to bring nature inside.'
Marie Flanigan is an award-winning interior designer whose passion and achievements in design have positioned her as one of the nation’s best. She is classically trained and practiced architect, and her trademark style is evident through the sophisticated use of color, texture, and light. Every home she designs receives her personal signature of timeless elegance and innovative simplicity.
7. Blend trends with timeless style
Modern farmhouse kitchens offer the opportunity to include elements of new interior design trends while keeping an overall feeling of timelessness, when they are blended effectively, that is.
'Farmhouse signals something more curated, whether that be an antique or an item that may have been found in a traditional farmhouse kitchen,' advises Shelagh Conway, principal and founder of Triple Heart Design. 'A modern farmhouse kitchen is pulling relevant design styles from current trends and incorporating in the blending of old. It follows a functional working aesthetic.'
Consider a more traditional style of cabinetry and pair it with contemporary hardware like the black handles and faucets in this kitchen. Open kitchen shelving is also very typical of a farmhouse kitchen, so try decorating them with trend-led decorative items or more contemporary art.
8. Add warmth with color and texture
Pure white and earthy green tones are staple colors in farmhouse kitchens, but a simple switch can add that modern touch. 'Incorporating warm neutral tones or even blue accents can bring a bit of dimension to the design and help modernize the overall style,' says Megan Dufresne, founder and principal at MC Design.
If you want to re-introduce some of the more traditional farmhouse features, adding those natural textures in an understated way is an effective way to do it. 'From choosing wood flooring to adding beadboard or shiplap to the walls, wood will create a sense of warmth in the room and connect your more modern kitchen back to the traditional farmhouse aesthetic.'
9. Opt for a rustic farmhouse island
Rustic, dark oak tables are synonymous with farmhouse kitchens, so incorporating one as a kitchen island is both a practical and aesthetic way to showcase the style. In this kitchen, the more traditional kitchen island and old-school range cooker are juxtaposed by the white-painted walls and shiplap paneling, which adds a more modern element to the space.
10. Choose statement light fixtures
When something feels 'off' in a space, kitchen lighting and light fixtures are usually the culprit. The style of fixture you choose not only regulates how much light is released, but it also helps to elevate the overall aesthetic in the space.
'Another design choice in the traditional farmhouse kitchen that can be an avenue to modernize is the use of oversized lighting fixtures. This can be achieved in lantern style lights or pendant lights with oversized shades,' says Megan Dufresne.
'These fixtures become beautiful focal points that also offer an opportunity to be playful and creative with the design and really make the design your own. Using non-traditional finishes or shades can elevate the design while keeping you anchored in the farmhouse appeal.'
This pendant light with antique brass details are perfect for making a statement in a modern farmhouse kitchen.
Modern hardware adds a contemporary touch to a farmhouse kitchen, and this gold faucet is a perfect addition.
A modern farmhouse kitchen is generally an easy aesthetic to achieve, and wonderfully versatile whether you're opting for a kitchen that leans modern with farmhouse touches, or you simply want to add a hint of contemporary in a traditional space. With a soft, neutral color palette and versatile finishes, you can really have fun creating a modern farmhouse kitchen tailored to your home and style.
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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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