Modern farmhouse style still going strong: Here are some tips on how to incorporate it


PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service


PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service

Modern farmhouse style has been all the rage. According to a study by Ruby Home, it’s the leading home interior style across the United States.

The style is a blend of classic and contemporary and is known for its mixture of old and new. It also incorporates traditional farmhouse components such as wood, metal and distressed surfaces, along with clean lines, neutral colors and contemporary touches.

According to Sharon McCormick, of Sharon McCormick Designs, homeowners are “not decorating with every single element of the style in one room so that style becomes a caricature of itself. Like any style, it is most successful when the structure and architecture of the home are congruent with the décor. For example, a mid-century modern home doesn’t lend itself to shiplap walls.

“Clients who have specifically requested to have their interiors designed in modern farmhouse style are attracted to it for many reasons. It is uncluttered yet cozy. It’s traditional, but not fussy.”

The neutral color palette in whites, beiges and grays are easy to live with, she said, as well as being calming and soothing. Materials are natural and imperfect. Some of the things that make up the style include reclaimed flooring, stone, brick, granite and soapstone. They all add texture without pattern.

“The mix of vintage with more contemporary pieces is interesting and personal,” McCormick said. “Comfortable upholstered furniture pieces in casual fabrics are family-friendly. Function is as important as aesthetics, with storage as concealed as possible. Furniture is arranged to be conducive to socializing.”

The style also inspires environmentally friendly homeowners.

“It’s ‘green,’ with recycling and reusing materials and furniture,” she said. “It’s a great way to use family heirlooms.”

An offshoot is industrial modern farmhouse, which brings an edgier style into the mix.

“It incorporates the same elements but without the rusticity,” McCormick said. “A greater proportion of metals are used, including copper, brass, iron, stainless steel, brushed nickel and tin.”

She suggested homeowners use up to three metals so it feels more eclectic than matchy.

In kitchens

“Copper is a warm metal which stands out and adds personality because it’s not used as frequently as others,” McCormick said.

As for cabinets, Shaker-style often is used for its simplicity, while white Shaker-style feels clean. Pair them with honed black granite countertops to impart a casualness, while a shinier countertop reflects light.

There also are ways to incorporate shiplap into a kitchen. In one, McCormick used shiplap on the ceiling instead of the walls.

Sign usage

“I like to keep it to one per house, if any, to keep it from becoming a cliché. It’s best if it’s a personal sign that has meaning,” she said.

Barn doors

Barn doors add a cozy, barn feel that shows off the wood and rustic style.

“I like to use them where they make sense in the floor plan, not gratuitously,” she said. “Replacing a swing door with a barn door as the entry to a master bath can provide extra square footage.”

Kaitlyn Keegan writes for Hartford Courant.

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