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classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse
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Classic Farmhouse vs. Modern Farmhouse

There's something enduring and warm-hearted about farmhouse style. Classic farmhouse has stood the test of time and evolved into today's modern farmhouse style, which is welcoming, comfortable and timelessly fresh.

Origins of Farmhouse Style

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Whether it's called classic, vintage, rustic or traditional, farmhouse style has a historic place in America. Drawing from the farm homes of early settlers, this style mimics the look and feel of days past. It incorporates the simplified, minimalistic décor molded by the surroundings of farmhouse residents and their need for sturdy, practical furnishings.

Characteristics of Classic Farmhouse Style

Classic farmhouse style has trademark elements that echo farm homesteads:

  • Natural wood accents: Wood was abundant and, therefore, the natural building material. Farm homes usually had panelled wood walls, wide-plank floors and exposed wood beams. Today's classic farmhouse style often uses barn board for accent panelling and butcher block for countertops.
  • Apron sinks: Nothing says farmhouse like an apron sink. In a classic farmhouse, this sink is usually porcelain.
  • Vintage furniture and accessories: An easy way to decorate in classic farmhouse style is to use vintage furnishings. It's best if they're not in perfect condition and they could even have weathered finishes. Vintage-inspired lighting looks ideal in a classic farmhouse.
  • Traditional fabrics: Decorating fabrics lean toward floral and paisley, and slipcovers give vintage furniture a second life.

classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse style

How Modern Farmhouse Is Different

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Modern farmhouse design takes the comfortable, relaxed farmhouse style and adds modern touches such as smooth lines, glossy accents and neutral color schemes. It's less rustic, more sophisticated and uses contemporary design elements like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and sleek lighting.

How to Achieve the Modern Farmhouse Look

When designing in modern farmhouse style, look for these features:
classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse kitchen islands Practicality: Furnishing and accessories should be comfortable and practical. They should welcome you into the room, and nothing should be too precious to use regularly. The room should look like it evolved over time.
classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse dining room

A neutral palette: Choose a neutral palette to make the room appear fresh and open. Cool or warm neutrals such as cream, beige, silver and grey all work well and balance natural elements. Keep patterns simple and contemporary and bring depth to the neutral palette with a variety of textures.

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Mixed and matched: Mix and match furniture, especially vintage and new. Vintage furniture has authenticity, and new furniture has added comfort and style. Also, mix and match traditional natural elements such as wood with newer ones like stainless steel.

classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse chair

Natural elements: Stick to natural materials as much as possible. Continue in the vein of classic farmhouse by introducing distressed wood in architectural features or furniture, but also use natural fibers, such as cotton, sisal, rattan and wicker, and natural stone.

classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse industrial dining table

Modern and industrial touches: Modern or industrial elements help make farmhouse style current. For example, in a modern farmhouse, the apron sink and appliances are more likely to be stainless steel. Introduce industrial-style metal objects like modern lighting fixtures and mid-century modern-style furniture like a teak dining set for their sleek look and feel.

classic farmhouse vs. modern farmhouse nightstand

Minimalism: You want to create a cozy, not cluttered, room, so keep accessories to a minimum.

To get the modern farmhouse look, take the natural elements of farmhouse style and add clean lines, modern home accents and a neutral color palette. Give your home the relaxed, comfortable touches of a farmhouse with a cool, contemporary vibe.

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