In the Home: Modern Farmhouse still going strong. Here are some tips on how to incorporate it.

Modern farmhouse style has been all the rage – in magazines, on design TV shows and in Connecticut homes and all across the country.

According to a study by Ruby Home, modern farmhouse is the leading home interior style across the United States and is the most popular in Connecticut. The style is a blend of classic and contemporary and is known for its mixture of old and new.

Modern farmhouse incorporates traditional farmhouse components such as wood, metal and distressed surfaces along with clean lines, neutral colors and contemporary touches.

It is especially popular amid the pandemic because of the use of older furniture. Upcycling and thrifting for older pieces and giving them new life is very on trend right now.

According to Sharon McCormick of Sharon McCormick Designs, modern farmhouse is going strong but within reason.

Homeowners are “not decorating with every single element of the style in one room so that style becomes a caricature of itself,” she said. “Like any style, it is most successful when the structure and architecture of the home are congruent with the décor. For example, a mid-century modern home doesn’t lend itself to shiplap walls.”

When modern farmhouse first came out, many homeowners rushed to buffalo check plaid and signs with sayings or farm symbols on them. However there are better ways to incorporate the style without feeling like you’re living in a barn.

“Clients who have specifically requested to have their interiors designed in modern farmhouse style are attracted to it for many reasons,” McCormick said. “It is uncluttered yet cozy. It’s traditional, but not fussy.”

The neutral color palette in whites, beiges and grays are easy to live with, she said, as well as being calming and soothing. Materials – furniture, flooring and more – are natural and sometimes imperfect. Some of the things that make up the style include reclaimed flooring, stone, brick, granite and soapstone. They all add texture without a lot of pattern.

“The mix of vintage with more contemporary pieces is interesting and personal,” McCormick said. “Comfortable upholstered furniture pieces in casual fabrics are family-friendly.”

Function in modern farmhouse is very important.

“Function is as important as aesthetics, with storage as concealed as possible. Furniture is arranged to be conducive to socializing,” she said.

The style also inspires many environmentally-friendly homeowners.

“It’s ‘green,’ with recycling and reusing materials and furniture,” she said. “It’s a great way to use family heirlooms.”

An offshoot of your typical modern farmhouse is industrial modern farmhouse which brings an edgier style into the mix.

“It incorporates the same elements but without the rusticity,” McCormick said. “A greater proportion of metals are used, including copper, brass, iron, stainless steel, brushed nickel and tin.”

She suggested homeowners use up to three different metals in a room so that it feels more eclectic than matchy-matchy. Metals can be used in lighting, appliances, furniture and building supplies. Metals and wood used together are particularly appealing.

In kitchens

Copper is a popular choice for a modern farmhouse kitchen.

“Copper is a warm metal which stands out and adds personality because it’s not used as frequently as others,” McCormick said.

As for cabinets, Shaker-style is often used in modern farmhouse for its simplicity while white Shaker-style feels clean. Pair them with honed black granite countertops to impart a casualness while a shinier countertop reflects light.

While white cabinets prevail, she suggested using color for the island.

There are also other ways to incorporate something like shiplap into a kitchen. In one of her kitchens, McCormick used shiplap on the ceiling instead of the walls

Sign usage

Signs make a frequent appearance in the modern farmhouse style. McCormick had some tips on using them thoughtfully and with purpose.

“I like to keep it to one per house, if any, to keep it from becoming a cliché. It’s best if it’s a personal sign that has meaning,” she said.

In one of her kitchens, the sign said Farmington, which was where the antique home was located.

Barn doors

Lastly, one of every homeowner’s favorite thing to do with modern farmhouse is to use barn doors. It adds that cozy, barn feel that shows off the wood and rustic style. McCormick said to be sure not to overuse barn doors.

“I like to use them where they make sense in the floor plan, not gratuitously,” she said. “Replacing a swing door with a barn door as the entry to a master bath can provide extra square footage.”