Farmhouse Style in Your Remodeled Kitchen
The modern farmhouse look is today’s defining style. It’s a house with white board and batten vertical siding and large black frame windows. Inside there’s an open concept floor plan, wide plank wood floors, lots of shiplap, and kitchens with apron sinks and floating shelves made of reclaimed wood. The modern farmhouse is the millennial answer to the baby boomer McMansion, and it’s dominating renovations in homes with no connection to farming.
Modern Farmhouse is Most Popular
In 2023, architects, designers and homebuilders are reporting that the modern farmhouse is the most popular interior design style in the country. Clients are asking for a clean look with a neutral palette that feels both traditional and contemporary.
Thank Chip and Joanna for the Modern Farmhouse Look
The modern farmhouse style that only remotely resembles a traditional farmhouse became popular on “Fixer Upper,” the HGTV show that made Chip and Joanna Gaines famous. When they removed floral wallpaper in their renos, they revealed shiplap, a lowly building material they reinvented as the main attraction.
Contemporary Kitchens Love the Farmhouse Style
The modern farmhouse style has become very popular in contemporary kitchens with white shaker cabinets and heavily veined countertops. While many kitchen designers predicted (and secretly hoped) the look would have peaked by now, it has real staying power.
Americans Are Attracted to Rural Life, No Matter Where They Live
There seems to be an innate American attraction to folksiness and rural life, and the modern farmhouse satisfies some of that longing for a simpler life and time. People feel alienated from living in areas where the only thing they encounter is a huge strip mall. To counteract this inhospitable landscape, they have included homeliness in their homes.
Not Everyone Likes The Modern Farmhouse
The modern farmhouse is not without its critics. Some of their criticisms include:
- home décor’s answer to fast fashion
- a style that feels cheap and soulless
- everything is devoid of color
- everybody has to have white shaker cabinets, white subway tile and a giant hood over their stove
What It Is and How To Get It
Farmhouse style is traditional but not fussy, classic but not stuffy, and comfortable in a way that makes everyone feel right at home.
It’s not difficult to create your own farmhouse kitchen. Let’s take a look at the components of farmhouse kitchen style.
1.) Shaker Style Cabinetry
The Shaker style is easy to recognize with its simple frames and flat center panels. Shakers were known for their modest life style, where everything was plain, with no ornamentation. So it is with today’s Shaker door styles.
Their popularity comes from their versatility; they fit in with every possible decorating style – especially the modern farmhouse kitchen. The Shaker door works well with any cabinet style, whether inset, overlay or beaded inset.
It’s possible to get some detail on the doors, if square is too plain for your taste, by specifying a shaped outside edge and/or inside frame bead. In the example above, the Shaker door was modified by giving it wide stiles and rails.
Also, you can get beadboard center panels, wire mesh panels, or even louvered center panels that look like shutters for something really different that expresses the farmhouse style.
2.) White Painted Finish
White painted cabinets are the most popular finish for a farmhouse kitchen. But really, any neutral color, like cream, beige and gray, will work well. Neutral colors are an important part of any modern design, and including one in your new kitchen will go a long way to creating a farmhouse kitchen-inspired style that isn’t anything like your grandma’s kitchen.
All one finish color doesn’t have to be the only option. Blue cabinets paired with white is popular, and shades of green are timeless favorites. One designer always recommends green for the kitchen because it comes it so many shades, from pale celery to dark forest, providing something for everyone’s taste.
Since the modern farmhouse kitchen is all about including time-worn features, consider a specialty finish technique for your cabinets, such as glazed, antiqued, or distressed.
They were popular with the Tuscan-style kitchens back in the 1990s but have found their way back into popularity with the upswing in farmhouse kitchen style.
Scratches, knots, and nicks add to the authenticity of the look.
If Joanna Gaines is credited with the increased popularity of the farmhouse kitchen look, she’s also responsible for bringing shiplap to the attention of homeowners across America.
Shiplap is the rough-sawn paneling often used in barns. Homeowners are getting shiplap built into their new kitchens as island fronts and sides, as custom range hoods, and on walls.
4.) Farm Sink
A farm or apron front sink is the quintessential farmhouse kitchen element. Big, open, hefty sinks were a must on the farm to hold lots of produce fresh from the garden, babies that needed washing, chickens that needed plucking, and mountains of dishes and pots used to cook for hungry farm hands.
Often made of fireclay and cast iron, they can also be made from many other materials, such as copper, zinc and stainless steel. Apron front sinks are charming and utilitarian.
5.) Wood Countertops
Butcher block countertops are practical and add a natural material into your new space. In addition to butcher block, all forms of rustic wood are acceptable in today’s farmhouse kitchen style.
If an entire kitchen full of butcher block is too much butcher block for you, it can be installed on just the island, or by the stove top.
Beadboard is a farmhouse kitchen classic. It can be used on walls, ceilings, wainscot panels and as center panels in doors.
It can be the main focus of the room or an accent only.
7.) Open Shelves
Once upon a time, kitchens had nothing but open shelving for storing dishes. Then along came enclosed wall cabinets, and that style has remained constant until now, when the resurgence of the farmhouse kitchen style has created a demand for open shelves.
You know what they say: what’s old is new again.
8.) Glass Front Cabinets
Glass front cabinets used to be a luxury, but now these cabinets have become a part of the farmhouse kitchen style. You can get a “down home” style in your kitchen design by specifying glass front cabinets.
In addition to being beautiful, they serve a function by breaking up the monotony of a repetitive run of cabinet fronts. Plus you can display decorative dishes and/or cherished keepsakes.
Cabinets with glass in the doors creates an illusion of depth that makes smaller spaces seem larger.
9.) Wood, Wood and More Wood
Wood is an essential element for today’s farmhouse kitchen style. Think hardwood floors with wide planks and exposed beams on the ceiling.
Hardwood floors are easy to maintain and they are extremely durable. Even though time leaves its marks on the floors, it only gives them character and patina.
The atmosphere in a farmhouse kitchen is always more warm and inviting when there are exposed wooden beams on the ceiling. Whether they stand out and contrast with the background color or blend in, they make the room feel very cozy.
10.) Vintage-Inspired Items
Every farmhouse kitchen incorporates vintage-inspired items. Chalkboards work well with the rustic feeling.
You can have a chalkboard center panel in a cabinet or two., or chalkboard can be the front of an island, perfect for children who need a place to get creative. Formica now makes a writable chalkboard surface that fills the bill quite nicely.
Another rustic, vintage-inspired feature that fits in with today’s farmhouse kitchen style is the “X” cross piece on an island end.
11.) Barn Doors
In farmhouse kitchen design, the best accents are ones that also serve a function, so look for items that not only look good but are useful as well. Sliding barn doors can be substituted when you don’t have space for a regular interior door that opens out into the room.
Also, they look great, and what says “farmhouse style” more than barn doors?
Are Farmhouse Style Kitchens Here To Stay?
So, where’s the trend headed? Should we even call it a “trend” if it has as much staying power as it’s proven to possess so far?
If the past few years are any indication, farmhouse kitchens are here to stay.
KDP exists to offer insight and advice about all things related to kitchen remodeling. Our goal is to connect homeowners with talented, experienced kitchen designers who live and work in their communities. We are a serious resource for anyone preparing to remodel their kitchen so they can make the best possible choices about designers, contractors and products.