7 ways to bring ‘modern farmhouse’ charm into your kitchen


But trying the style of the farm doesn’t necessarily mean slipping into a decorating hole streaked with choice with a cookie cutter. Drawing inspiration from our series of House Calls home tours and using kitchens as a case study, we examine how knowledgeable homeowners captured the coveted relaxing feeling with their own style.

From an Instagram-ready installation to a kitchen being built on a real 1880s farmhouse, here’s a great deal of inspiration to indulge in your modern farm dreams.

A kitchen island with a marble top and brass sink fixtures. A black and white cat sits next to the sink. There is a window letting in light. There are multiple works of art hanging on the wall.
Carlos Chavarria
Wooden shelves above a kitchen countertop hold various kitchen objects and appliances. There is a toaster, kettle, and other kitchen objects on the countertop. The wall is decorated in grey and white patterned wallpaper. The cabinetry is white.
Carlos Chavarria

Go for pristine

In interior designer Gina Gutierrez’s renovated kitchen, the farmhouse’s vibrations begin with a wall of white cabinets (Ikea boxes with Semihandmade doors), as well as walnut countertops and open shelves lined with rustic pieces such as a paperweight and a fermentation jar. Then come the modern touches: a sparkling Carrara marble island with a farm sink, a brass faucet and hanging lamps to complete the whole.

A kitchen with white cabinets and soapstone countertops.
Heidi’s Bridge

Vary the whites

Housed in a reconstructed annex of a renovated 1860s house in using up, this kitchen balances the old and the new with elegant simplicity. The room relies heavily on white, yes, but keeps things interesting with different textures – matte cabinets, shiny subway tiles, and a shabby shiplap style coating. Black and primary color accents, such as this school applique and Raawii’s jug, add a graphic touch.

A corner of a kitchen. The walls are white, the cabinets are grey. There is an alcove cut out in the wall above the counter top with two windows.
Heidi’s Bridge

Keep it natural

To get away from shades of white for a moment, consider this kitchen area in a real 1880s farmhouse in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Earthy and down-to-earth meet, the space evokes a country ease with uneven walls, simple wooden window frames, off-white tiles and basic glass or neutral countertops. The graceful grey painted cabinets offer a touch of contemporary polishing.

A white kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, cabinets, and an island which holds a bowl of food. There are storage containers on a shelf underneath the island.
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Show off rustic accents

“Modern Farm” is not just a style of decorating, but a way of life in this indoor-outdoor home in the South Carolina swamps, where the owners are able to grow a sprawling garden with vegetables and fruit trees, not to mention building a chicken coop. Against a backdrop of all-white appliances, cabinets, and windows, rustic accents, such as a craft shelf for potted plants, a vintage wooden toy box, and a woven basket, take center stage. A wooden bowl full of fresh eggs from the cooperative is the cherry on top.

An open living room, dining room, and kitchen with exposed white beams on the ceiling, a wooden table, and white counters.
Sam Frost

Consider farmhouse maximalism

This renovated ranch in Los Angeles advocates the farm’s maximalism with its large room including the kitchen, dining area, living room, and press room. The owner, an antique dealer, incorporated a set of salvaged items, including a shelf, wooden cabinets and a carpenter’s workbench that now makes up the island. The white salvaged wooden cabinets, painted in a way that contrasts with their wooden counterparts, take hardiness to the next level – as does the rope wrapped around the central pole and a vibrant pastoral painting on the wall.

A small kitchen with wooden island and six seats. There are white cabinets with black countertops.
Chris Mottalini

Give the cabinets a twist

The couple who renovated this Victorian apartment in Brooklyn describes their aesthetic as “occupied”, which is certainly felt in this kitchen full of practical tools and decorative objects. A consistent palette of black, white and reddish-brown seems deliberate and neat, while opaque, transparent white cabinets give off a fun barn atmosphere.

A kitchen. The walls are white. There are hanging light fixtures. The cabinetry is white and the countertops are wooden. There is a white refrigerator.
Carlos Chavarría

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