Ultimate Guide To Modern Farmhouse Decor • Kath Eats


This ultimate guide to modern farmhouse decor showcases my favorite elements of the design style and how we’re using them in our home renovation. Buckle up – this post is long!!

Ultimate Guide To Modern Farmhouse Decor

Farmhouse style has swept America these past couple of years, and there is good reason: it’s the perfect blend of old and new, classic and modern.

When I think of modern farmhouse, I think of a comfortable, updated home with modern conveniences (like updated kitchens and baths and windows that aren’t drafty) decorated with more rustic, vintage elements like reclaimed wood, galvanized metal, or antiques.

Modern farmhouse evokes feelings of warmth and coziness, yet the simple, clean lines and neutral-to-muted color palette leave a polished impression. You won’t find orange walls or lots of clutter. Alas, I find farmhouse style to be very calming!

It’s hard not to mention Chip and Joanna Gaines, as their super popular show Fixer Upper and their brand Magnolia and Hearth and Hand at Target has brought farmhouse style to the mainstream markets.

Here is a guide to modern farmhouse decor so you can add the elements that connect with you to your own home.

I did not go to interior design school, so take my opinions on farmhouse with a grain of salt 🙂

What Is Modern Farmhouse Style?

If classic farmhouse style leans traditional with a hint of country kitchen, modern farmhouse leans contemporary with a little glitz and glam of modern living.

  • Trade butcher block counters for quartz
  • Busy buffalo check fabric for simple white linen
  • Reduce kitchy accessories for simple and neutral
  • Sprinkle in gold accents
  • Some new furniture mixed with some old
  • A little less barn and a little more industrial
  • Less burlap; more linen

Traditional farmhouse kitchens might have white apron sinks but modern farmhouses might have a sleek stainless sink instead. Traditional farmhouse living rooms might have a 100 year old coffee table over wide wood plank flooring whereas modern farmhouse might have a new-but-distressed coffee table with a cozy wool-jute rug. Modern farmhouse furniture can be old in a new space or new in an old space!

Elements of modern farmhouse design

Modern farmhouse interiors prioritize practical living and modern convenience while still incorporating the simple, natural elements of a classic farmhouse. So you’ll find a mix of old and new.

  • Linen
  • Neutral and white paint colors with muted accent colors
  • Lanterns
  • Open shelving
  • Baskets
  • Plaid
  • Wooden beams
  • Greenery + plants
  • Ceramic pottery
  • Galvanized accents
  • Distressed furniture
  • Black metal
  • Ladders
  • Natural light

I shared our vision of our new home in this post: Modern Coastal Farmhouse Mood Board.

For us, farmhouse feels like: neutral paint colors, black windows and hardware, natural wood colors, and lots of textured natural accents like jute rugs and woven baskets.

Modern Coastal Farmhouse Mood Board

Modern Farmhouse Decor Ideas

1. Baskets

When I think of farmhouse, especially coastal farmhouse, I think of natural materials – plants, baskets, jute rugs. And baskets are the easiest way to bring in grasses in a practical sense! But baskets can come in any material, and wire baskets bring out the industrial side of “modern” farmhouse. This cute woven basket with a lid is practical in any room.

2. Warm Wood Accents

Farmhouse and wood go hand in hand. Wooden hooks, vintage wooden crate, utensil holder. Cutting boards and serving pieces are a great way to add warmth without a big investment.

3. Metal

All the warmth of the wood is balanced by the cool metals. Think trays, baskets, hooks, and light fixtures. Or a steel planter like this one.

4. Plants

While real plants are always a bonus (fiddle leaf figs in a basket!), faux plants work too. My favorite shop for real plants in cute containers for people who aren’t gardeners is The Sill. I have received several of their plants as gifts, and they are still thriving (I guess Thomas is watering them – ha!) But faux plants look so real these days they can still add some life to your room. Add a faux wreath to your door.

5. Linen

I have professed my love for linen! From duvet covers to tablecloths and napkins to sheets. I love our MagicLinen duvet and the Belgian flax linen pillow cover I have from Pottery Barn.

6. Lanterns

I love a lantern! I’ve had these Maltese lanterns since 2007 and have moved them from home to home, indoors and out. These are beautiful too. There are so many on the market from wooden to glam to classic.

7. Woodwork

I am obsessed with woodwork: shiplap, board and batten, beadboard, crown molding. Anything to add character to a home. Remember when I DIYed board and batten in my previous house? If I can do it, literally anyone can because I am so not crafty! I’m trying to get Thomas to add some to our renovation.

I know there is debate if shiplap is going out of style. While I’m not sure I’d do a whole house with shiplap walls, I don’t think woodwork in general goes out of style. It looks classic! Like most things, don’t go overboard.

8. Cozy natural materials

From jute rugs to throw blankets, adding some cozy will keep your modern farmhouse from feeling too industrial or cold. Drape a throw blanket over your couch for a lived-in look.

10. Something old

Just like a wedding, combine something old with something new! Adding an antique, an old ladder or door, or something vintage on the wall can add lots of charm to your space.

11. Distressed or weathered furniture

The Pottery Barn Farmhouse furniture line is one of my favorites! Crate and Barrel offers similar pieces. Painted and/or distressed furniture is also very classic – whether it’s newly done or actually vintage. The desk in our cottage is a great example.

12. Big wooden tables

There is nothing more iconic than a farmhouse dining table! We have the Pottery Barn Toscana Table (I wish we had the lighter gray wash, but we have the chestnut. Not sure how it will look with the new lighter floors we’re putting in.) This one is beautiful too! Crate and Barrel has a whole farmhouse dining collection you can use to fill your table with food!

Modern Farmhouse Paint Colors

I always laugh thinking about my first house where I painted every room a different bright, bold color. I suppose that was the trend in the early 2000s, but I would never paint a room orange now! My philosophy: keep the walls as neutral (aka boring) as possible and decorate with changeable, seasonal colors as you desire!

Based on my research choosing paint colors for our house, the modern farmhouse paint palette is composed of lots of whites, grays, greiges, blues, and greens, all somewhat muted. Colors are “washed and worn,” sometimes distressed, and grays are mixed with earth tones or muted pastels.

The colors I kept seeing over and over are as follows.

Neutral Farmhouse Paint Colors

Benjamin Moore Simply White

Simply White has been in my head for years because it’s what Young House Love painted their whole Richmond house. I am a pure white kind of girl, so I think it’s probably my favorite white. It is versatile and gives a nice fresh, clean look. Someone wrote “If you’re having a hard time deciding, this one is fail-proof.”

Benjamin Moore Cloud White

is touted as being a mix of Alabaster and Simply White. It is a softer white than Simply but still with neutral undertones.

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster

Alabaster is ALL OVER the farmhouse paint blogs. It is popular because it is a warm white that has subtle beige undertones rather than yellow. They are not too cool, yet not too warm. It’s the color of creamy shiplap! One site called it their “ride or die white.”

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

Classic Gray is a very light warm gray. It is very neutral and does not have any crazy undertones. This is a classic color if you’re looking for a very light color somewhere between gray and greige.

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray

If this one sounds familiar it’s because our entire first floor was Agreeable Gray! I love the color, as it’s the most neutral light-white gray. People call it greige, but I don’t think it lends warm/clay/beige at all. I’d say it’s more light. It’s a gray that won’t make your space feel small.

Agreeable Gray!

Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray

Repose Gray is a versatile neutral with slightly cooler undertones. It’s still quite light. Apparently it has violet undertones, but my eye can’t see those haha.

Farmhouse Paint Colors: Greens and Blues

Sherwin-Williams Silver Strand

This gorgeous muted gray/green is apparently Joanna Gaines’ favorite color for interior walls! Pair it with white trim (and a little shiplap).

Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt

This is another color we already had in our house that I saw on every farmhouse paint blog post. We have it in our main floor bathroom, and we’re keeping the color! I love it – it’s a very, very light blue/green. AKA sea foam. AKA my favorite color!

Sea salt walls!

Kids Bathroom Vanity

Sherwin-Williams Rainwashed

This shade was described as “Sea Salt’s vibrant little sister.” I’m not sure I’d use it on walls (maybe in a bathroom?) but I LOVE it as an accent color for a door or furniture!

Benjamin Moore Tranquility

I wrote down this color a while back because it’s what Young House Love used for their kitchen door! It would make a really pretty island color.

Benjamin Moore Silver Milk

I also noted this one on a lot of blogs and LOVE it for our front door, barn door or island accent. TBD!

Sherwin-Williams Distance

I found this vintage-y blue while searching for accent colors. It’s just the perfect deep blue shade. (And I have a thing for blue islands and doors!)

Sherwin-Williams Hale Navy

I have seen this color over and over for YEARS in home magazines and blogs. Whenever there’s a deep blue, you can bet Hale Navy is it! I’m not sure if we would use a color this deep because we’re going for more of a light coastal vibe, but I sure do love it! It’s very similar to the kitchen cabinets we have here at the rental cottage.

Where To Buy Modern Farmhouse Furniture

Pottery Barn

With a name like barn, it’s gotta be farmhouse! I feel like almost everything in Pottery Barn goes with the farmhouse style. It’s my favorite home store, and we have a lot of their furniture pieces. I think the Pottery Barn decor can be overpriced at times, so I tend to go to places like Target for smaller things.

Hearth and Hand at Target

But for much less you can get farmhouse decor items from Target! The Hearth and Hand line is so fun – I want to buy it all! From these black measuring cups I have to pillows and throws, they have it all.


Etsy is my go-to when vintage shopping, because I’m not a big in-person browser. If I want to find some vintage boxes, Etsy is where I look.

Local Stores + Antique Markets

If you love browsing stores, antique markets will be a great place to find farmhouse decor or classic furniture you can either paint, stain, or make practical in your home.

This little secretary desk once belonged to my grandparents


Good old Amazon has everything. If you’re looking for a specific thing like a metal tray, Amazon probably has it. One of my favorite Amazon finds was this set of six turkish towels that we use for both home use and the beach/pool.

Shop Modern Farmhouse Decor

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