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An Expert's Guide to Modern Farmhouse Interior Design

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of interior design, one style has captured the hearts of homeowners and designers alike: Modern farmhouse.

This style is a beloved trend that effortlessly blends rustic charm with contemporary flair to create a perfect balance between old-world aesthetics and modern sensibilities.

In this guide, our in-house interior stylist, Adrika, shares her expert tips on this interior design trend. She dives deeper into the nuances of modern farmhouse design and the key elements to master the art of this interior design style.

For Adrika, no two homes are ever the same. With clients’ narratives always at the forefront, it’s her passion to help bring spaces to life! With a wealth of design knowledge built up over the last 8 years in the Interior Design industry, Adrika has styled thousands of homes - between Australia and Singapore!

What is the modern farmhouse design style?

Modern farmhouse is a popular concept that seamlessly marries the rustic allure of traditional farmhouses with the clean sophistication of modern aesthetics.

By fusing warmth, authenticity, and contemporary elegance, modern farmhouse design creates spaces that exude comfort and charm, making it a beloved choice for those seeking a home that embraces both tradition and modernity.

Originating in Germany and Scandinavia in the 1700s, houses in those times were big and spacious. These homes were all about practicality and were built to accommodate the daily lives of farming families.

“Wood was a predominant feature of these original farmhouses as it was abundantly available. This explains why you’ll see exposed wooden beams, flooring, and furniture,” Adrika shares.

As time progressed, and with the rise of urbanisation and industrialisation, the appeal of rural living and the nostalgic charm of farmhouse aesthetics began to influence interior design trends. The concept of "farmhouse style" emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, emphasising rustic elements, natural materials, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere in interior spaces.

Are modern farmhouse styles only reserved for the countryside?

“Oftentimes, I hear people saying that this style is only reserved for people residing in the countryside,” shares Adrika. “While an actual farmhouse might feel worlds away from an inner-city apartment, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring this aesthetic into your home!”

The modern farmhouse design is favored by many because it enables their homes to feel like an escape. It evokes a sense of nostalgia and romanticizes rural living, reminding people of simpler times spent in the countryside.

Even in the bustling city, they can come home to a cosy space that reminds them of the quietness of the countryside.

“And, this style still incorporates touches of modernity, so you won’t exactly be living life like in the 1700s,” she remarks.

Key characteristics of the modern farmhouse interior style

Here are some key characteristics you should take note of when designing a modern farmhouse interior:

  • Exposed wooden beams: These beams harken back to the rustic charm of traditional farmhouses and barns, and play a crucial role in enhancing the overall aesthetic of the space

  • Incorporate vintage or antique pieces: Vintage and antique decor add character and charm to the design, infusing a sense of history and nostalgia

  • Large, comfortable furniture: This style favors large furniture to create a warm, cosy, and inviting atmosphere reminiscent of rural living

  • Layering of textures: This is a signature element of the style and contributes to creating an inviting atmosphere and dynamic space

  • Natural textures and materials: Using materials like solid wood, leather, brick, and metals like iron and steel bring authenticity to the space

Modern farmhouse interior styling tips

Opt for wooden pieces

When looking for furniture for your modern farmhouse home, opt for pieces made from solid wood. Wooden furniture adds warmth and a touch of nature to the interior. The natural grain and unique character of the wood contributes to the style's cosy and inviting ambiance.

“Rustic wooden pieces will quickly bring the farmhouse aesthetic into the space – the more worn and weathered the better – so no need to worry about wear and tear!” Adrika shares.

Whether its a wooden dining table, coffee table, or bed frame, wooden pieces evoke a sense of authenticity, connecting the space to its rural roots.

A dog is sitting next to a wooden dining table, wooden bench, and dining chairs.

@move.withmillie creates a rustic dining space with the Miles Dining Table, Miles Bench, and Austen Chairs in White Wash.

To help you visualise how a modern farmhouse interior might look, we used our room designer tool along with some wooden furniture pieces from our collection - the Dawson Chaise Sectional Sofa, Seb Extended Dining Table and Chairs Set, Seb Round Coffee Table, and Lilou Jute Area Rug.

A room designer tool used to visualize the modern farmhouse interior design.

Castlery’s room designer tool can help you to visualise a modern farmhouse interior design.

Bring in natural materials

Bringing in natural materials is a fundamental element of modern farmhouse interior design because it aligns perfectly with the style's emphasis on rustic simplicity, connection to nature, and timeless charm.

Aside from choosing wooden furniture pieces, you can introduce natural fabrics like linen, cotton, and jute for curtains, rugs, and upholstery. These materials have a tactile appeal and contribute to the cosy atmosphere.

A rustic wooden sideboard adorned with decorative items and plants.

@amberdenae adds plants, pottery, and artwork to the Miles Sideboard.

“Baskets are also a great way to bring in another natural material and can be used as storage or on shelving as decoration,” shares Adrika.

Don’t forget to incorporate indoor plants and greenery to bring the outdoors in. Plants add a fresh, lively touch, and pop of green to your space.

Go for oversized furniture

Oversized furniture pieces contribute to the overall farmhouse charm to create a sense of comfort and relaxation in the space.

Furthermore, modern farmhouse designs often emphasise family-oriented living. Hence, oversized furniture accommodates this lifestyle by creating spaces where families can gather and spend quality time together.

Large furniture like sectional sofas and extendable dining tables are great additions to a modern farmhouse design as they can easily fit many people comfortably.

A white sectional sofa and a woven coffee table sit in a living room.

The Dawson Chaise Sectional Sofa has deep seats and ample of seating space. Picture credits: @amy.fritz

Adrika shares that when looking for oversized sofas, select one that has deep seats to help make the space feel extra cosy.

Layering is key

“This is a fundamental concept of the modern farmhouse design. You want the space to feel comfortable and inviting,” says Adrika. This involves adding multiple layers of different textures, fabrics, and elements to create depth, visual interest, and a cosy ambiance in the space.

Layer blankets, cushions, and throws on your sofa to invite people to relax and make the room feel more welcoming. Adding them to your bed also makes it more comfortable.

A cane sofa with several wooden furniture in a living room.

The Lucia Cane Sofa in White Wash is perfect for a modern farmhouse setting.

Use area rugs in your living room to not only add texture, but define the seating space. Natural fibre rugs, such as jute or sisal, are popular choices as they contribute to the rustic feel of modern farmhouse design.

Accent with vintage pieces

Accenting with vintage pieces is a key aspect of this interior design style that adds character, nostalgia, and a sense of history to the space. Vintage pieces infuse the design with a unique character and charm, reflecting the style’s appreciation for old-world aesthetics.

“Seek out time-worn and weathered decor items like vintage signs, aged mirrors, or rustic picture frames. These elements add a touch of vintage allure and craftsmanship to walls and surfaces without it being too overwhelming.”

Incorporate patterns

Patterns help create a dynamic and inviting ambiance while complementing the overall farmhouse style.

“Plaid, gingham, and simple floral patterned decor items are a great way to bring this look in,” she shares. Introduce these patterns through cushions, throw blankets, and even curtains. Layer these patterned textiles with solid-coloured furniture pieces to create a balanced and cohesive look.

A jute area rug helps to anchor a dining table and 6 dining chairs.

The Lilou Jute Area Rug with subtle patterns define the dining area. Also pictured: Austen Chairs in White Wash.

You can also use patterned area rugs to define and anchor living spaces within open floor plans. Consider rugs with geometric patterns, herringbone designs, or traditional motifs that complement the farmhouse aesthetic.

Additionally, display patterned accessories, such as vases, decorative trays, or throw rugs, to add pops of pattern in smaller doses throughout the space.

Mastering modern farmhouse interior design allows you to create an inviting space that harmoniously blends rustic and modern aesthetics. Whether it's a cosy living room, a charming kitchen, or a welcoming bedroom, the modern farmhouse style continues to captivate many with its enduring appeal.

So, embrace the charm of this style and bring the comfort of rural living into contemporary homes with a touch of sophistication.

If you need more help visualizing how the modern farmhouse interior can work for you, check out Castlery’s room designer tool! This tool allows you to bring your imagination to life by placing different furniture pieces and customising colours to suit the modern farmhouse interior design. Try it out today!

Castlery acknowledges Australia's First Nations as the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
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