BY JENNIFER ADAMS
homes with calm white
walls and spare furnishings, beautiful
thrown open to an
than just décor, the
hugely popular “
modern farmhouse” look is also a breezy, casual
and effortless lifestyle.
Characterized by earthy textures, clean
lines, a simple, lived-in feel and an uncluttered, unfussy attitude, modern farmhouse
seamlessly blends cues from other recent
trends, including industrial and modern,
with a much warmer twist.
Whatever your current look is, modern
farmhouse is like rebooting your entire
décor. But it’s by undoing instead of redoing. Less is much, much more. Here are a
few ideas for a fresh outlook.
Think light. Choose a light palette for
walls, upholstery, bedding, tile, flooring
and cabinetry. In the kitchen and bath,
classic white subway tiles in stone or
ceramic look great with white or gray grout.
White, pale gray or natural wood finishes
look great for cabinetry. Get the look without replacing anything by painting or refinishing existing dark-toned cabinets.
Counters can be reclaimed wood,
butcher block, stone in a soft, honed (not
shiny) finish or even a combination of these
materials. Light gray, tan or off-white flooring in wood or tile with natural-fiber area
rugs completes the look.
Next: furniture and upholstery.
Update your furniture with smooth woven
fabrics or leather, which mix well with linen
and velvets for added dimension. Swap out
brightly colored throw pillows and blankets
for muted shades.
For upholstery, go for all white or, for
easy maintenance and texture, layer with
natural or oyster tones. This is a great idea
if you have kids or pets. If your dogs are
anything like mine, they think they have
first dibs on the sofa.
All about windows. Simplify window
treatments with breezy lightweight sheer
fabric or linen. The modern farmhouse look
is all about open windows, so go minimal
with just a soft sheer. Linen panels with a
soft gray, tan or indigo stripe across the top
add interest without getting too busy. If you
need more privacy or light control, roller
shades or wide louver shutters provide a
little more function to the style.
Steel or steel-look windows are very hot
right now and are a signature touch of the
modern farmhouse style. If you’re adding
windows, go as big as possible, and consider
a casement style that opens wide, like little
doors. While true steel windows may be
expensive, you can save money by painting
just your existing window frames (not the
trim) a soft black.
Simplify window and wall trim by painting it to match the walls, using naturally
weathered boards or getting rid of the trim
completely. And keep decorative details to
a minimum. For a more modern take on
this style in large rooms, glass garage doors
with black frames that fold up into the ceiling will add openness without taking up any
wall or floor space.
Treating the wood. Use natural or
reclaimed wood finishes for your cabinets
and floors. Cabinet door styles should be
simple without much detail. Flooring can
be wide planks in light oak or very large
(e.g., ;; x ;; inches) limestone tiles set in
a grid or bricklike pattern.
Creative accents. Accent creatively
throughout your house, with found metal,
carved stone bo wls or vases, wood treasures
and natural elements such as rocks, including minerals, crystals, plates of river rock
and more. Plants, such as prickly fig trees
and small ferns, are also trendy now, and
add color as well as an organic touch.
For furnishings and accessories, use
natural-stain finishes or reclaimed wood
combined with simple iron hardware. Tie
the look together by adding touches of iron
in your light fixtures and cabinetry details.
Consistency in colors and materials throughout is the key to a clean look. This style is
about matching, not being eclectic or mixing.
Be personal! Lastly, add a personal
touch and soft color with artwork, plants
and accessories. Go with what you love. In
any room, big plants with large leaves add
color and sculptural drama; green is a great
way to add color naturally. In the kitchen
and bath, hand-painted tile in lively patterns and earthy, calm colors look great.
Large clocks are fun, as is farm-house-themed art such as roosters, hens,
old metal signs and large wicker baskets.
Coffee-table books on your favorite subjects
are colorful and go with almost any style. C
Jennifer Adams ( jenniferadams.com) is a
nationally syndicated interior design expert.
Her products are available on Costco.com
and rotate through Costco warehouses.
Costco and Costco.com offer ;ooring,
cabinetry and a variety of furniture.
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for additional farmhouse
décor tips. (See page 8 for details.)
A décor reboot for