HOW TO CREATE THE MODERN FARMHOUSE STYLE

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March 11, 2021

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I'm Kristel

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I’m excited to share with you today how to change your decor to have the modern farmhouse style with a few simple changes that won’t break the bank!

Modern Farmhouse Family Room with natural light

Lately I’ve been craving simplicity. Looking around my home I just felt like things were cluttered; that stuff was everywhere. So where do I turn when I need inspiration? Pinterest of course.

I started scrolling and pinning rooms that gave me that fresh and airy feel. After a few minutes, I looked at what I’d pinned collectively and had to chuckle…

Funny story time. When we built our current house, I hired a decorator because I wasn’t secure enough in my own style and I wanted to achieve that Pottery Barn Magazine look. When we met for the first time with our decorator, Mike and I both handed her pictures of spaces we liked. Mine were colorful, with patterns and deep rich tones. Mike’s were clean, simple, modern, with varying shades of whites and natural woods.

HA! If hindsight was 20/20 right? I had convinced him then that we needed color, and now I find myself resorting back to all the things he had wanted for our home in the beginning. If I had only listened!

So, here I sit explaining to you how I achieved the Modern Farmhouse look AFTER all the color!

HOW TO BEGIN

I started by creating a Farmhouse Style Mood Board on Pinterest. It really is the best place I have found to gather pictures of others’ homes that bring a smile to my face and give me that airy feel. I wanted to mimic what I was seeing in the pictures, but the weight of what was in front of me was a bit overwhelming. Seriously, how do I make a 180?

So, I cleaned everything out. I took down all the mantle decor, removed the paintings from the walls, stored the blankets and throw pillows in another room, and took in my blank slate. I noticed right away that the bones were there, I just needed to brighten things up a bit.

BRIGHTEN THE ROOM

Our walls are Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter which has been a very versatile color as during the day it appears beige, but as the sun goes down it turns grey. I still felt like I could make the room reflect more light.

So, we decided to shiplap the fireplace wall. This would not only reflect the light coming in from the four windows, but it would create a feature wall giving our room the focal point it desperately needed. The process was fairly simple. We chose to use the Metrie Complete Shiplap System. The boards come pre-painted and there is a finishing kit to use after you’ve secured your boards to the wall. The finishing kit is used to fill in the nail holes, and buff out the covering wax. This step alone saves time and money; no wood filler or paint required.

Instead of replacing our original mantle, we built a mantle from a few pieces of pine boards and stained it to match our floors. Building the floating mantle, allowed us to customize the size of our mantle, making it wider and deeper than our previous mantle.

Just look at the difference in light! Just by swapping out our patterned drapes with all white ones.

LINENS

After shiplapping the fireplace wall, the heaviness was still there. I went back to my Pinterest Mood Board and noticed that in every picture there were white curtains. I remember how much our custom drapes cost us when we moved in, and knew there was no way I could get Mike to agree to that again!

So, I set out to IKEA where I grabbed 4 RITVA Curtains. At $39.99 a pair, I knew this was our solution. These curtains are a decorator’s dream! They are 118″ in length which allows for the extra height on our windows along with a puddle effect on the floor. They’re slightly gauzy which allows even more light to comes through our windows, brightening the space. The best part though? You can choose to hang them on your curtain rods, with drapery hooks, or with pleater hooks because the pocket, the tabs, and the pleats are already sewed in for you! We went with the pleater hooks to give a more high end feel to our drapes.

Then, it was time to replace the throw pillows, but the pillows we had were down-stuffed and still in good shape. I found a pair of ivory throw pillow covers that had fringe detail along with tassels on Amazon for $28! The key is textures. If I had chosen plain solid fabric covers the space would look flat. Instead, I searched for covers that were not exactly the same. One has rows of fringe while the other has embroidered detailing with tassels. I stayed away from floral patterns because it would give a cottage-feel and instead looked for details that had straight lines to keep with our Modern vibe my husband loves so much. The ivory pillows complement each other because they are in the same color family, but they are not a complete match. You can bring depth into your room with texture!

I also replaced our burgundy throw blankets with neutral ones. One is a crocheted cream throw while the other is a heathered light grey. Keeping in the same color family, but varying the material gave interest to our blanket basket.

Modern Farmhouse Living Room with warm wood tones

WARM UP THE SPACE

Once we had brightened the room with a white shiplap feature wall and changed our colorful linens for neutral shades of white and ivory, we needed to warm the space up. I love to bring in wood to create that cozy feel. Varying your wood pieces really gives that farmhouse effect to a room.

We have wood furniture for our accent tables, but they are not a matching set. Each piece is a bit different but we stayed in the same family of color, using a dark rich espresso base. Our furniture is square, straight-lined instead of rounded arms and plush backs. This again plays to the Modern style.

Furthermore, we mimicked the wood color in lumbar leather pillows on our sitting chairs. Leather is a great option to add warmth to a room. Leather furniture can be pricey, so look to accents, like throw pillows or table decor, to bring in leather elements to your space.

ART

I knew I didn’t want to add our watercolor prints back to our room because they gave a more Country Side feel instead of Modern Farmhouse. I also wanted to create a gallery wall to display some of our favorite memories from this past year.

I went with large square pictures 18×18 frames that have a large mat. Picture frames with large mat space create breathing room between your pictures. If I had chosen pictures frames that displayed pictures almost the size of the frame, the wall would look cluttered. Instead these 18×18 only display 4×6 pictures which gives each memory the spot light it deserves.

I printed the pictures in black and white because they were taken at different times. Choosing monochromatic prints keeps with our neutral tones of the room and also makes the pictures feel uniform or part of a set. If I’d printed them in color they would look like mismatched socks.

To bring a cohesive look to your gallery wall, print your memories in black and white. Let the joy on your faces speak for themselves instead of your clothes.

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN

Finally we needed to add some green to our living room. In keeping with the true Modern Farmhouse style, I knew that we needed to add a bit of nature into our space. House plants are a great way to do this.

Now, I have not been the best at keeping flowering planters outside alive so I searched for relatively easy house plants that I knew only needed minimal support. Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees and Philodendron plants are what I chose for this space because they only need to be watered once a week.

I chose a textured cement pot from Target to hold Figgy, our Fiddle Leaf Fig and a terracotta pot to plant our Philodendron in. The cement pot adds texture and keeps in the white-ivory color family while the terracotta pot adds to our warm wood and leather tones in our room.

On the coffee table I added clippings from a friend’s Magnolia tree to a large glass vase because the leaves are a rich, dark green all year. I added a few neutral covered coffee table books and a weathered terracotta urn as well. For a fun little element, I placed three wooden spinning tops, too.

This switch from Cottage Country to Modern Farmhouse has been so up-lifting. It has taken a few weeks, but when I really sat down and listed the elements that make up the Modern Farmhouse style, it was an easy change.

Modern Farmhouse Living Room with demi john and magnolia leaves

So let’s recap!

MODERN FARMHOUSE TIPS

  • Brighten your space by adding a white feature wall, or painting the walls a shade of white.
  • Swap out the patterned linens with white or ivory.
  • Bring texture into the room with different fabrics in the throw pillows and blankets.
  • Wood tones warm the space.
  • Bring the outside in by adding house plants.

SHOP THIS ROOM

WANT TO CREATE THIS SPACE FOR YOURSELF? PIN TO SAVE!

I hope this inspired you to make your house a home,

Kristel

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