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How To Design A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

8 Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Ideas: A step by step guide to nailing the modern farmhouse look in your next home build or renovation!

Do you love the traditional design elements of a farmhouse home, but also feel drawn to some of the cleaner, more minimalist interior design styles? If so, then the modern farmhouse aesthetic might be for you.

Modern farmhouse is one of my absolute favourite interior design styles, as it’s a perfect mix between warm/homely and trendy/modern. It’s fast become one of the most popular interior design styles of 2022, particularly in America… but increasingly across Australia too.

Like the traditional farmhouse style, wood and texture are integral features of Modern Farmhouse design, but the colour palettes are more muted, and texture is introduced in different ways.

The kitchen is hands-down my favourite area of a house to design- but it can also be one of the most expensive. When building our first home, my boyfriend and I spent more of our budget on upgrading the kitchen than perhaps ALL of our other rooms combined. This is mostly due to the ridiculous cost of stone benchtops, but also because I am of the belief that kitchens sell houses. With that being said, it was some of the best money we spent in the design center, along with these other 8 essential upgrades!

In my opinion, there is no better place to invest your money than in kitchens and bathrooms, which is why it is so important to set the tone of your house in these two areas. Bedrooms, living areas and studies are often nothing but empty, white boxes. The kitchen is the place where you really get to make a statement.

So then… how do you design a modern farmhouse kitchen? Here are 10 design elements I think every Modern Farmhouse kitchen needs!

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1. Light/White Countertops

White Modern Farmhouse Benchtop with timber accessories

White/grey countertops are a fantastic starting point for a modern farmhouse kitchen. Light coloured benches will keep your kitchen looking fresh and contemporary for years to come, even once more traditional elements are incorporated. After all, white never goes out of fashion: it’s chic and incredibly easy to keep clean!

In my opinion, you’ll get the most bang for your buck choosing a man-made engineered stone such as smartstone, essastone or cesarstone; they look great and have a much lower price entry point than marble or granite. While it might be worth considering a natural stone in higher-end builds, for most of us, engineered stone is going to be close enough to the real thing.

If stone simply isn’t your thing, timber benchtops are also a popular choice in modern farmhouse design. Where possible, I’d steer clear of dark stains & species, as these will date your kitchen & result in a more traditional farmhouse look/feel. Lighter, more modern species like Victorian Ash, Messmate, American White Oak and Tasmanian Oak are our top picks for the best timbers to use on counters. You may even be able to find a high-quality laminate product that will achieve the same look at half the cost!

2. A Farmhouse Sink

You simply can’t have a farmhouse kitchen without a farmhouse sink.

If you’re looking for a modern twist on the traditional farmhouse sink, there’s plenty of options out there for you! Some of our favourites are the matte black and concrete varieties- but you can find all sorts of colourways for sale (but whether or not they’re stocked by your builder is another story).

The standard, run of the mill, white farmhouse sink will always reign supreme in our book however, as it compliments almost every interior colour scheme perfectly. Better yet, provided you maintain it properly, you won’t need to replace your sink within your lifetime! They’re tried and true, and popular for a reason!

3. Statement Modern/Farmhouse Tapware

Adding statement tapware (such as bronze, brushed gold or black finishes) is a fantastic way to breathe life into your space. Including pops of colour throughout your kitchen will help prevent it from feeling cold or clinical, and really sets your new build apart from others.

A statement tap/faucet is the perfect place to experiment, as they’re so easy to swap out in the event you change your mind or regret your choice. So why not have fun with it?

While style/design is obviously important, it’s also extremely important to choose a functional faucet. Make need to consider things like height and overhang (to ensure that your faucet will sit properly over your sink). You should also think about whether you prefer wall-mounted, sink mounted or counter mounted tapware- as this will help guide your decision.

4. Shaker Style/Traditional Cabinetry

Square Inset/shaker style cabinetry is often considered an upgrade in new construction builds- but, it’s a must-have if you’re looking to achieve a farmhouse aesthetic. Even a modern one. The standard, flat-panel cabinets simply do not do justice to the design style, and will clash with the more traditional elements of your kitchen.

Upgraded cabinetry really is a make or break for this design style, so make sure you have some money set aside in your budget. There really is no use spending money upgrading the rest of your kitchen in this manner if you’re unwilling to commit to this particular upgrade.

If you’re really not fond of the shaker-style doors, there are other options you can consider. Really, any style with a bit of dimension will be an improvement on the modern, flat design.

Below are 5 of the most popular cabinet designs you’ll find in modern farmhouse kitchens to help you in your selections:

5 Modern Farmhouse timber cabinet door profiles

5. Pendant Lighting

While pendant lighting is important in any kitchen, it’s especially important in farmhouse kitchens. Lighting is a fantastic way to add your own flair to a space after, and let the world know exactly what your design style is.

Pendant lighting in traditional farmhouse kitchens often include black or wrought iron elements, but you’re a little less limited in modern farmhouse kitchens. While you may still choose to bring in iron or black elements, you can also play around with warmer textures such as timber, wicker and concrete.

Most home builders in Australia source their lighting from Beacon. But even if they don’t, you can use some of their styles as a starting point for your own selections!

Related Reading: 5 Budget Friendly Ways To Add Character To A New Build Home

6. Floorboards

Gone are the days of tiled kitchens floors – open plan living has made floorboards the new standard. This is especially true for modern farmhouse kitchens, as timber is an extremely prominent and important design element.

Most flooring will fit within a modern farmhouse colour palette, although it’s best to try and steer clear of cool-toned timbers where possible. The warmer your flooring, the more welcoming and homely your kitchen will feel. This is exactly what we’re trying to achieve in a modern farmhouse kitchen

It doesn’t particularly matter whether you use light or dark timbers, although as we mentioned above, darker timbers will feel more traditional, while lighter timbers will feel more modern. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference and what other elements you might be looking to bring into your home.

7. The Right Backsplash

White subway tile backsplash in a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

In my opinion, the best modern farmhouse kitchens take inspiration from the traditional farmhouse style. So, in the case of backsplashes, this can only mean one thing: subway tiles.

Subway tile has been in fashion for years, and it’s unlikely to go out of vogue anytime soon. It’s far too popular. It’s a timeless design choice, and one that has become synonymous with farmhouse kitchens over time!

There’s no safer or easier choice than a standard brick-lay subway tile. But, it can also feel a little predictable at times. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, why not try a herringbone, chevron or stack bond lay? Alternatively, using a textured, coloured or irregularly sized subway tile can also add intrigue to your backsplash.

8. Lots of Natural Light

If you want your kitchen to feel modern, spacious and airy, windows are massively important. Artificial light simply does not have the same effect that natural light does (although admittedly it’s better than nothing). Your home will feel so much bigger and brighter if you can find a way to utilise natural lighting.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this in a kitchen is to include a skylight over your kitchen bench. This can unfortunately be quite a costly endeavour, however. So instead, I recommend putting windows anywhere and everywhere you can. Whether that be in lieu of a tiled backsplash, as a hilite over your cabinets or even using glass doors between rooms.

The more natural light you can bring in, the better.

9. Decorative Moulding

Decorative architraves, crown mouldings and cornices add oodles of character to a new home. In my opinion, it is the easiest and cheapest way to make a new construction house feel lived in.

Farmhouse design is all about adding personality and life to a home. Even a brand new extension or new builds should feel as though it’s been around the block a few times. There’s just something so inviting about new homes with traditional features.

Crown mouldings and skirting boards are often overlooked in new builds in favour of flashier upgrades. I’m here to tell you they’re 100% worth the extra cash! Take a look at these two pictures and tell me which one packs the biggest punch.

10. Handles

Handles on cabinets are extremely popular in Modern Farmhouse design & furniture. Unlike Scandinavian and minimalist kitchens, where handles are becoming less common, they’re here to stay in farmhouse!

So… what kind of handles work best in a farmhouse kitchen? We absolutely adore scalloped gold/satin gold finishes on coloured cabinetry and matte black against white!

The most popular designs are your traditional bar/pull & cup pulls!

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, check out some of the examples below:

The Old Rectory – Cotswold Cup Pull by Armac Martin
Kingsheath Pull by Armac Martin

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