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An Expert’s Guide to Creating A Modern Farmhouse Living Room

Castlery   |   Aug 23, 2023

The allure of a modern farmhouse living room lies in its harmonious blend of rustic charm and contemporary elegance. The mix of the old and the new has captured the hearts of homeowners seeking a cosy and inviting space that resembles the calmness of the countryside.

In this comprehensive guide, Adrika, our interior stylist, will walk you through the essential elements, design principles, and tips to help you craft the perfect modern farmhouse design for your living room.

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!

8 ways to achieve a modern farmhouse living room

Opt for an oversized sofa

One of the primary benefits of an oversized sofa is the generous seating it provides. This is particularly advantageous for a modern farmhouse living room, where the focus is on creating a family-friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

A fabric sofa against a white wall with trimming. The Dawson Sofa features deep and spacious seats, perfect for family gatherings. Picture credits: @anniemescallhome

“An oversized sofa encourages relaxation and cosy gatherings, aligning perfectly with the warm and hospitable nature of farmhouse living.”

Use neutral colours

“You often see modern farmhouse designs with colours like white, taupe, beige, and gray as the dominant colour because there are a lot of wooden elements at play here. These colours gel beautifully with the natural colour of the wood,” says Adrika.

An ottoman placed next to a wooden sideboard. @ellisandhale maintains a clean aesthetic with neutral colours. Pictured: The Miles Sideboard.

That said, start your modern farmhouse journey by selecting a neutral colour palette that sets the tone for your living room. Opt for warm earthy tones to create a serene and welcoming atmosphere. These colours serve as a backdrop for the rest of your design elements to shine.

Have several wooden furniture

Modern farmhouses usually showcase exposed wooden beams, panels, and flooring to mimic a real farmhouse. That said, wood furniture is integral to complement and enhance the natural wooden structures in your living room.

A living room with wooden beams, flooring, and lots of natural light. The light wood of the Miles TV Console blends well with the wooden bench, flooring, and beams. Picture credits: @thelocalinnterior and @v.ii.n.s

The texture and grain of wood contribute to the tactile appeal of your living room. Whether it's a handcrafted wooden shelf or a shiplap accent wall, these natural textures enhance the cosy ambiance of a modern farmhouse space, making it feel like a haven of comfort.

“Don’t be afraid to introduce a variety of natural wood tones into your living room like dark walnut wood and honey oak. These tones can serve as focal points or complementary accents, creating depth within the space,” says Adrika.

She also recommends incorporating antique wooden pieces alongside newer furniture to create a sense of nostalgia. A weathered wooden trunk or classic rocking chair can add authenticity to the modern farmhouse design, bridging the gap between the past and the present.

Showcase reclaimed and vintage decor

Give your living room a distinct character and authenticity by integrating reclaimed and vintage pieces. If possible, Adrika recommends incorporating barn doors into your home for that true farmhouse look.

Repurposed wood, vintage books, and distressed wooden signs are also great decorative elements you can add to the space.

Strike a balance between openness and cosiness

Modern farmhouse living rooms often embrace an open layout that connects different functional areas seamlessly. This layout allows for easy flow and interaction between spaces, such as the living area, dining area, and kitchen. An open layout fosters a sense of togetherness and makes the room feel more spacious.

“While maintaining an open layout, it's essential to define specific zones within the living room,” says Adrika. “Use furniture arrangement, rugs, and lighting to delineate different areas, such as a cosy seating nook, a dining space, and a reading corner. This creates a sense of organization and purpose within the room.”

Utilize open shelving to display decorative items and books, while also creating intimate seating areas with plush armchairs and soft cushions for a snug feel.

Anchor the space with a jute area rug

The use of a jute rug in a modern farmhouse living room is a design choice that not only adds visual appeal but also embodies the essence of nature and rustic elegance.

“The rough jute rug introduces organic texture into your living room, contributing to the overall warmth and tactile comfort,” Adrika mentions. “The coarseness of the jute fibers add authenticity, reminiscent of rural living.”

A jute area rug anchors a cane sofa in the living room. The Lilou Jute Area Rug and Lucia Cane Sofa in White Wash. Picture credits: @genevavanderzeil

An area rug also helps to anchor the space in the living room, delineating the main conversation area from the rest of the space.

Incorporate patterns

“Patterns are pretty much a must-have in a modern farmhouse interior,” says Adrika. It adds personality and a dynamic look to your living room.

Dress your windows with plaid curtains or decorate your sofas with floral-printed cushions. You can also consider using vintage-inspired or distressed wallpaper to create an accent wall to infuse your space with a nostalgic charm.

Use chandeliers or pendant lights

“Chandeliers and pendant lights are great options for that modern farmhouse aesthetic as they often have exposed bulbs. This achieves an industrial farmhouse vibe by adding a vintage flair.”

Look for lighting that incorporates natural materials like wood, rattan, or burlap. A wooden chandelier with candelabra bulbs or a pendant light with a woven rattan shade can infuse a touch of nature into your space.

Creating a living room with a modern farmhouse aesthetic combines the best of both worlds: the charm of rustic simplicity and the elegance of contemporary design. By following these design principles and incorporating your creativity, you can curate a space that not only embodies the spirit of a farmhouse but also exudes modern sophistication.

If you need more help transforming your living room into a cosy modern farmhouse, book a styling consultation with us at our showroom to enjoy personalised space planning and advice!

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