Here's Exactly What You Need for a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Consider this your no-fail formula for a dreamy farmhouse kitchen.

Farmhouse kitchen decor ideas - modern farmhouse kitchen
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Farmhouse kitchens may be having a bit of a moment, not least because they offer so many options for crafting that just-right balance of rustic simplicity and modern charm. But admiring farmhouse and rustic décor is one thing—putting these ideas into action is a whole other beast. Fortunately, breaking down a picturesque kitchen into the must-have elements of a modern farmhouse kitchen is the perfect starting point.

There are a number of ingredients, so to speak, that make up every farmhouse kitchen. Still, like interior sliding barn doors, they can be adjusted to suit personal preferences, lifestyles, and budgets. These décor elements are the basic iterations most commonly used in farmhouse kitchens, but swapping a subway tile backsplash for a glass tile one won't ruin the whole look. In fact, it can give a farmhouse kitchen a playful twist. Each of the following ideas is open to interpretation, because the final goal is to craft the just-right kitchen for you and your household.

Most farmhouse kitchens have homemade elements, authentic details, aged materials, and distressed surfaces. Exposed brick, shiplap, and items with a patina can also add that lived-in, farmhouse-esque feel. And if a full-scale renovation isn't possible right now? Some DIY touches—such as giving bright hardware a bit of a patinaed tarnish or installing a little shiplap as a backsplash—can help establish the look, too.

Wood Cabinetry

Farmhouse kitchens almost exclusively have wood cabinets. Other cabinet materials, such as laminate, are too modern for the farmhouse style. Wood kitchen cabinets have just the right amount of traditional details, and they can develop an organic patina—or be stained to have one—that helps further the modern farmhouse look and feel. Most modern farmhouse kitchen cabinets are white, but any color can work with the right hardware, countertops, and accessories.

Neutral Color Scheme

Kitchen color schemes can be all over the color wheel, but farmhouse-style kitchens tend to have neutral tones, with white, black, and wood shades as the primary elements. Gray and navy can also work in more modern farmhouse kitchens.

Open Shelving or Limited Upper Cabinets

Most farmhouse kitchens have a pared-down feel, without much upper cabinetry. This helps spaces feel light and bright, and open shelving can display kitschy décor items (such as cookie jars, heirloom dishware, and more).

Concrete or Quartz Countertops

Farmhouse kitchen décor ideas rely on simplicity—so ornate, marble and granite countertops with bold or multicolored finishes aren't typically a fit. Instead, try concrete countertops or a smooth quartz. A darker shade will contrast nicely against light or white cabinets, while a light one will pop against navy cabinetry or blend nicely with white.

Wood, Tile, or Brick Backsplash

These days, white subway tile with black grout is popular in almost all kitchens, but especially in farmhouse kitchens. It offers a fresh, clean look that fits well with the other simple, homey elements of the space. Exposed wood and brick also work as backsplashes and can offer an unexpected twist on the farmhouse décor style.

An Apron Front or Farmhouse Sink

Unsurprisingly, a farmhouse kitchen tends to feature a sink with a large basin and an apron front—a farmhouse sink. These sinks may take some getting used to–the classic white porcelain ones require regular cleaning–but they offer a distinctive look in any kitchen.

Lantern Pendant Lights

Devotees of farmhouse kitchens typically incorporate a lantern pendant light. These hanging light fixtures offer plenty of light for a cookspace, and their materials can be matched to other hardware in the space for a cohesive look.

Dark Hardware

Black matte hardware on cabinets, drawers, and more are the norm for farmhouse kitchens. They pop against kitchen cabinets of all paint colors, though especially white ones, and their toned-down look fits in with the farmhouse theme. Copper and bronze are also popular for a slightly warmer look. Whatever hardware is used, find faucets in the same finish for a unified look.

Natural Wood Details

Whether on countertops, an island, or in decorative accents, exposed wood is a must for farmhouse kitchens. Many people have wood floating shelves as open shelving or a kitchen island with a contrasting wood countertop.

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