Home Advisor: Essentials for a modern farmhouse design

Lauren White

Modern farmhouse design is one of this year’s hottest trends — and for good reason. The style combines the warmth of a traditional farm home with a streamlined, minimal aesthetic. And the result is not only stunning; it’s timeless. There are lots of ways to achieve the look, but incorporating a few essentials will help you capture the core of the design and create the space you’re envisioning.

Open shelving — Open or visible shelving is an important aspect of this design. It lends itself to a cozy, make-yourself-at-home feeling. Homeowners most commonly install floating shelves in a raw wood grain or a clean white, with or without visible brackets. If your kitchen already has cabinets, you don’t need to pull them out to get this look. Simply remove the doors or replace them with glass door inserts.

Whites and neutrals — This style marries clean lines with cozy textures and accents. Choose white, black and neutral colors that keep the space airy and minimal. Incorporate clean-line materials like bead board, shiplap and subway tiles. For accents like throw pillows, use hand-hewn textures such as burlap.

Barn doors — Barn doors can go a long way in anchoring your theme. Install them as sliding doors for pantries or bathrooms in either a sleek white finish or a rustic paint color. You can even use a reclaimed barn door to make a table.

Farmhouse sinks — A great way to get this look is with the quintessential farmhouse sink, also known as an apron-front sink. These are deeper than other sinks, and you can find them in both single and double-basin styles. They are typically made from porcelain. However, stainless steel and copper sinks are popular in modern farmhouse designs.

Windows and natural light — To truly achieve this style, incorporate lots of natural light. Your windows should let in as much light as possible. Keep them clean; cut back on shady trees; and swap dark, heavy curtains for light window treatments. If you have an opportunity to resize or reconfigure your windows, consider floor-to-ceiling fixtures in living spaces and rows of window panes in the kitchen.

Reclaimed wood — This is a staple feature of the style, and you can incorporate it in a number of ways. One popular installation is a beamed ceiling, constructed using reclaimed wood with its grain proudly exposed. Another great installation is a plank wall, which you can either leave raw or whitewash for the look of painted barn wood. Otherwise, you can use reclaimed wood in accent pieces such as tables and benches.

Antiques — Sprinkle these sparingly and purposefully. This style leans toward minimalism, so you don’t want to litter your shelves and counters with memorabilia. Vintage light fixtures, such as wiry pendant lights with Edison bulbs, are a perfect choice for overhead lighting. Industrial stools, vintage signs, porcelain jugs and functional mason jars also make great accent pieces.

The increased demand for this style can be attributed to much more than aesthetic tastes. In today’s fast-paced culture, homeowners need their houses to be both an escape and a comfort.