Give your home a contemporary, rustic feel with wood floors, open shelving, and ceramic tiles
Farmhouse and contemporary don’t usually go in the same sentence, but the “modern farmhouse” trend has been one of the defining styles of the past decade. Whether Irish, American, British or Scandinavian, it is a trend that is versatile, durable, elegant and sophisticated yet relaxed and comfortable, making it popular with families who want an imperfect, low-maintenance look. Every now and then, they’re taken to higher levels by designers, celebrities and their McMansions: Who can forget the flood of photos of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis at their Los Angeles ranch — a giant converted barn that’s rustic, bright, and contemporary in spirit and manages to feel both traditional and modern all at once.
Farmhouses are generally budget-friendly homes (Kutcher and Kunis’s homes aside), embracing salvageable pieces and natural materials, but the trend has evolved to include modern pieces like raw linens, glazed ceramics, and soft woods that elevate them into a modern aesthetic.
Nowhere does this trend shine more than in the kitchen, where classic hardwood floors, beautifully painted cabinets, exposed beams, and open shelving with ceramics give it an undeniable modern farmhouse feel.
While rustic decor skews shabby chic, the modern farmhouse is less sophisticated, blending function and character but without the down-home vibe. Architecture and design critic Alexandra Lange described it as “modernism in clouds”—a way of hiding modernist elements like open floor plans behind amenities like covered porches. Whatever you think, it’s a firmly rooted trend, allowing us to feel connected to our rural history without sacrificing the comforts of modern life.
Achieving the look is about creating warmth and layered textures rather than clutter and clutter. A kitchen table is a good place to start, and Ethnicraft’s Bok table in blonde and black oak with matching chairs is a subtle yet warm addition to your kitchen space (CA Design, Pod Furniture).
You can make other key furniture items around this, like the Zara wooden storage unit or the Neptune butcher block with shelf. The incorporation of other materials such as stone, concrete and ceramic is key to its balanced, modern feel and the lack of heaviness of wood.
You can say a lot with just a few items while infusing your personality and narrative into a kitchen space. For example, a stone or concrete countertop, or open shelves filled with ceramic bowls and mugs.
Scandinavian brands Bloomingville and House Doctor have an ongoing collection of rough-hewn ceramics that are rustic, modern and muted in tones that work perfectly with this style. Likewise, Ferm Living’s contemporary but imperfect finishes for accessories like lamps and pitchers fit well with the modern farmhouse feel.
There’s always room for some classics too: a bistro or Windsor chair, woven rugs, wooden cutting boards and cutlery and some natural textiles like linen napkins and striped tea towels (H&M, Sostrene Grene, Kave Home).