Small modern farmhouse kitchen ideas – 7 ways to get this classic look in a bijou space

How to get the look in a smaller kitchen without compromising on style

(Image credit: Farmer's Daughter Interiors & Delina Langridge Photography/Tori Murphy/deVOL)

The modern farmhouse aesthetic is a design trend that's set to endure. Blending traditional farmhouse style with a more modern finish, it's a theme that feels timeless with the ability to add your own flair.

It's proven particularly popular in kitchens – think oversized islands, glass-fronted upper cabinets, and plenty of space for hosting and socializing. If your kitchen is on the smaller size, it can feel like a difficult task to emulate the style in your space, but it's absolutely possible with a few key design elements.

We know it's never easy to plan a kitchen redesign, so we've asked interior designers to share their best small modern farmhouse kitchen ideas to offer up some useful inspiration.

Small modern farmhouse kitchen ideas

No kitchen is too small to create a beautiful design, and modern farmhouse kitchens are no exception. From smaller details and decor to colors and hardware, these ideas are sure to inspire.

1. Brighten the kitchen with warm neutrals

A white kitchen with a ladder

(Image credit: Future)

There are few avenues to explore when it comes to modern farmhouse kitchen colors, but if you are working with a smaller space, opt for warm neutrals to stick to the aesthetic palette while keeping a bright, airy feel. 

'In a small modern farmhouse kitchen, I recommend a warm white paint for the walls and using your counter space sparingly to avoid a sense of clutter,' recommends Kathy Kuo, CEO of Kathy Kuo Home. 

As well as helping to make your kitchen feel bigger, neutrals are timeless and pair with so many different hardware finishes. 'Instead of an abundance of decorative features on your surfaces, add visual intrigue with carefully chosen hardware on your cabinets and drawer pulls.' Opt for an aged brass or brushed gold finish on handles to create a balance of old and new on the cabinets – a warm white paint will allow them to really shine.

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

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. 

2. Choose a kitchen island over a dining table

Small modern farmhouse kitchen with island seating

(Image credit: Farmer's Daughter Interiors/Delina Langridge Photography)

In a traditional farmhouse kitchen, and subsequently many modern farmhouse kitchens, you'd find an island and a large table, a staple for socialising, preparing food and sitting down for meals. If you're working with a smaller space, it's unlikely you're going to be able to fit both, so picking just one will give you more space without loosing the essence of modern farmhouse style.

'Our grain farming clients asked to forgo their dining room space which you would see in a traditional farmhouse and opt for a large island instead.' says Kelsey Grose, founder and principal designer of Farmer’s Daughter Interiors.  Opting for a kitchen island over a table offers extra storage, which is an essential in smaller kitchens, while also providing multi-purpose space that can be used for both food prep and dining.

3. Make a feature of open shelving

Small modern farmhouse kitchen painted dark creen with shaker kitchen cabinets and open shelving

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Open shelving has been cropping up in lots of kitchen trends recently, but this decorative storage solution is a staple in modern farmhouse kitchens. It's also really handy if you are working with a smaller kitchen – wall-to-wall upper cabinets will instantly make a room feel much smaller and over crowded, despite offering storage.

The truth is, if you are used to a smaller kitchen, you probably have the amount of dinnerware and appliances that are appropriate for the space you have. As such, removing the upper cabinets and replacing them with open kitchen shelving actually won't make too much of a difference. Instead of hiding your favourite dinner sets, glassware and wooden cutting boards behind close cabinet doors, you can have them on display to enjoy even when you aren't using them. 

4. Blend modern and traditional appliances

Small modern farmhouse kitchen painted in pink hues and a traditional AGA range cooker in the centre of the kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

With less space, adding elements to the kitchen that clearly display traditional farmhouse style is crucial. Think about the larger appliances that are essential in any kitchen – the fridge, cooker, and even the taps. These are things you notice, and are often considered eyesores if they aren't considered properly in a design (no one likes a big white fridge stuck in the corner).

'A nice big range cooker is a must-have – an AGA type range is the real deal but a contemporary or industrial cooker is just as nice and gives a slightly more edgy and contemporary look,' says Helen Parker, Creative Director of deVOL Kitchens. 'Mixing old and new is perfect, so a nice new but retro style fridge such as a Smeg would work perfectly. Don’t be afraid to include some gadgets such as hot water taps and integrated bins, after all, you do want the kitchen to be easy and comfortable to work in, not filled with old cronky finds that look good but don’t really work.'  

Helen Parker
Helen Parker

Helen is the Creative Director at deVOL, a leading kitchen design company that mixes classic and contemporary. Helen has been creative director at the company since 2011, passionate about the signature understated approach deVOL takes to designing kitchens. 

5. Create a focal point with a farmhouse sink

Small modern farmhouse kitchen with traditional farmhouse kitchen sink

(Image credit: Farmer's Daughter Interiors/Delina Langridge Photography/Native Trails sink)

A big farmhouse kitchen sink certainly has a place in modernized spaces, and just because your kitchen is small doesn't mean you have to forgo this feature. An open front sink adds a wonderful focal point in a small kitchen, and can actually give the illusion of a larger space. It's a win-win!

'We placed the beautiful farmhouse sink on the feature wall as your eye is immediately drawn to this area of the room' explains Kelsey Grose. 'A concrete apron front sink is a reference to the original home – it can withstand the rigor of everyday farm life and draws your eye towards the brand new pantry space.'

The more traditional farmhouse sink has been paired with contemporary gold faucets to reintroduce the modern element while also creating a cohesive finish with the lighting a drawer pulls.

6. Combine old and new

Small modern farmhouse kitchen with antique and vintage decor

(Image credit: deVOL)

The beauty of a modern farmhouse kitchen is bringing together traditional and contemporary style, so think about how you can incorporate this into different elements of the design. This can be trickier to do in a smaller space, but think about the materials you use throughout the kitchen and how they can add to the overall look.

'Modern farmhouse kitchens always work well when a combination of new and old vintage or antique pieces are used – whether you are trying to achieve a traditional or a contemporary look, this is essential,' explains Helen Parker. If you've gone modern with the kitchen counters, introduce antique utensil holders, aged copper pans or vintage cabinet handles to reintroduce that farmhouse character.

'Farmhouse kitchens tend to be much more authentic if the actual fabric of the room is old and filled with original features, possibly reclaimed or original flooring and typically styled windows and doors.' 

7. Introduce a variety of materials and textures

Small modern farmhouse kitchen with wooden and linen decorative details

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

When you think of a modern farmhouse kitchen, what comes to mind? What are the key components that create that timeless blend of old and new? 'Modern farmhouse style is my dream style of decorating. It's elegant but lived in, impressive but understated, eclectic but somehow cohesive,' says Tori Murphy.

When planning a small modern farmhouse kitchen, think further than appliances and cabinetry, consider the smaller details and how they will add to the overall aesthetic in a more compact space. 'When I think of the style, I think of natural materials – wood, stone, cotton, linen, wool – materials which are in keeping with their surroundings. Choose fabrics with texture and kitchen textiles with character,' she adds.

In this kitchen, these elements have been introduced through essentials such as tea towels and oven gloves, however, clever use of space sees some of those wooden pieces displayed in open storage – perfect for making use of every inch of space in a small modern farmhouse kitchen.

Having a small kitchen doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. The modern farmhouse kitchen style can be created in rooms of all shapes and sizes, it simply takes some creative thinking. Whether you lean into the warm color scheme, introduce classic farmhouse features, or add subtle details with vintage decor, no kitchen is too small!

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.