Five Elements of Modern Farmhouse Design

The modern farmhouse style of design is not just a look, it’s a feeling. It’s easy and casual, nothing overdone or excessive. Farmhouse style homes make wonderful and beautiful vacation homes. They combine the best of modern and old fashioned looks, and they work in all kinds of locations. Old farmhouses are easy to remodel for modern living, and farmhouse style homes can easily be built from the ground up, too. While there is no definitive guide as to what makes a house, farmhouse style, there are five distinct elements of the farmhouse design.

Oversized Openings Are a Farmhouse Design Keystone

Traditional farmhouses have large openings. They have to accommodate large items and groups of people going in and out of the doors. Windows tend to be larger too, to keep an eye on the farm from the inside of the house. Modern farmhouse style homes share this feature. Residents might not need to keep an eye on a working farm, but wide openings really allow for amazing views. Even if the house’s location does not offer anything truly spectacular in the way of scenery, large openings still allow the house to flow, breaking down barriers between indoor and outdoor space. These openings will help the house breathe well too.

Light Walls

Traditional farmhouses were constructed quickly and efficiently. The business of a farm was work, so farmers did not spend a lot of time or money making the interiors fancy. Instead of colored paints, wallpapers, and rugs, natural or whitewashed wood was preferred, for cost and speed of application. In keeping with this traditional look, walls in modern farmhouse style homes tend to be light, usually a white or off-white color. This will nicely complement the hardwood floors that are common in the farmhouse style.


One of the classic characteristics of the modern farmhouse design style is natural-looking woodwork. The floors are often hardwood, and either varnished or lightly stained and varnished, for a natural-seeming appearance. Exposed beam ceilings are classic, and look truly exceptional when paired with the classic light interior walls.

Big Open Kitchen

A farmhouse kitchen should be open and easy to move through. It should be large enough to cook for a small army. A center island is a classic element, as are the racks of pots and pans hanging over it. Wood countertops would be more appropriate than marble countertops. However, granite would also be appropriate for a modern farmhouse. Try a mixture of glass fronted cabinets, wooden cabinets, and open shelves to get that old fashioned, eclectic farmhouse look. Of course, no farmhouse kitchen would be complete without plate racks, for displaying large ornamental plates and serving trays.

Covered Porch

A lot of farmhouse living was done outside, so farmhouses had some effort put into their porches. Of course, a lot of vacation home living is done outside as well, so a good covered porch is a must. It should be large enough for several people to sit comfortably on, while being able to see each other well. It should provide a good view of the property around the house. The roof allows the porch to be enjoyed even on rainy evenings. It should almost go without saying that rocking chairs on a farmhouse porch are a must. A porch swing would be a good traditional touch.

Covered porches, large doors, whitewashed walls, big kitchens, and exposed wood are the most classic components of the farmhouse design style. Of course, there are many other elements to the style as well. Sinks with legs, galvanized tubs, and plentiful mason jars can all give a powerful country feel to a home.