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Bright kitchen with a marble-topped island, brass fixtures, and wooden countertops and shelves. Carlos Chavarria

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7 ways to bring ‘modern farmhouse’ charm into your kitchen

Creating a rustic, relaxed style beyond the farmhouse sink

Laidback yet hip and Fixer Upper-approved across dozens of episodes, the “modern farmhouse” look has never been more popular. You know it when you see it—a farmhouse sink inserted in kitchen counters for starters, a brass fixture here and there, and lots and lots of wood and white.

But trying out farmhouse style doesn’t have to mean sliding down a decorating hole streaked with cookie-cutter choices. Drawing from our House Calls home tour series and using kitchens as a case study, we’re taking a look at how savvy homeowners have captured that covetable relaxed feel with their own spin.

From an Instagram-ready setup to a work-in-progress kitchen in a real 1880s farmhouse, here’s a big load of inspiration for indulging in your modern farmhouse dreams.

A kitchen island with a marble top and brass sink fixtures. A black and white cat sits next to the sink. There is a window letting in light. There are multiple works of art hanging on the wall. Carlos Chavarria
Wooden shelves above a kitchen countertop hold various kitchen objects and appliances. There is a toaster, kettle, and other kitchen objects on the countertop. The wall is decorated in grey and white patterned wallpaper. The cabinetry is white.

Go for pristine

In the ultra-Instagrammable remodeled kitchen of interior designer Gina Gutierrez, farmhouse vibes start with a wall of white cabinets (Ikea boxes fronted by doors from Semihandmade), along with walnut wood countertops and open shelves lined with rustic pieces like a clipboard and fermentation jar. Then come the modern touches: a gleaming Carrara marble island with a farmhouse sink and a brass faucet and pendant lights to complete the look.

A kitchen with white cabinets and soapstone countertops. Heidi’s Bridge

Vary the whites

Housed in a rebuilt addition to a renovated 1860 home in upstate New York, this kitchen balances old and new with a stylish simplicity. The room leans heavily into white, yes, but keeps things interesting with different textures—matte cabinets, glossy subway tiles, and a shabby-chic shiplap-style wallcovering. Black and primary-colored accents—like this Schoolhouse sconce and Raawii jug—add a graphic pop.

A corner of a kitchen. The walls are white, the cabinets are grey. There is an alcove cut out in the wall above the counter top with two windows. Heidi’s Bridge

Keep it natural

To get away from shades of white for a moment, consider this kitchen corner in a true 1880s farmhouse located in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Earthy meets down-to-earth, the space evokes a countryside ease with uneven walls, simple wooden window framing, off-white tiles, and countertop basics in glass or neutrals. Cabinets painted a graceful gray offers a dash of contemporary polish.

A white kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, cabinets, and an island which holds a bowl of food. There are storage containers on a shelf underneath the island. Leslie Ryann McKellar

Show off rustic accents

“Modern farmhouse” isn’t just a decor style but a way of life at this indoor-outdoor home in the South Carolina marshlands, where the homeowners are able to grow a sprawling garden with vegetables and fruit trees, not to mention build a chicken coop. Against a backdrop of all-white appliances, cabinets, and windows, rustic accents—like a DIY shelf for potted plants, vintage wooden toy box, and woven basket—take center stage. A wooden bowl full of fresh eggs from the coop is the cherry on top.

An open living room, dining room, and kitchen with exposed white beams on the ceiling, a wooden table, and white counters. Sam Frost

Consider farmhouse maximalism

This remodeled ranch in LA makes the case for farmhouse maximalism with its great room comprising the kitchen, dining nook, sitting room, and media room. The owner, a vintage dealer, incorporates a bunch of salvaged elements, including a shelf, wooden cabinets, and a carpenter’s workbench that’s now the island. The white reclaimed wood cabinets, painted so to contrast with their wooden counterparts, takes rusticity to the next level—as do the rope wrapped around the center post and a vibrant pastoral painting on the wall.

A small kitchen with wooden island and six seats. There are white cabinets with black countertops. Chris Mottalini

Give the cabinets a twist

The couple who remodeled this Victorian apartment in Brooklyn describe their aesthetic as “busy”, which certainly comes through in this kitchen full of both practical tools and decorative objects. A consistent palette of black, white, and a reddish brown feels deliberate and orderly, while the opaque and transparent white cabinets give off a fun, barn vibe.

A kitchen. The walls are white. There are hanging light fixtures. The cabinetry is white and the countertops are wooden. There is a white refrigerator. Carlos Chavarría

Embrace contrasts

In this 900-square-foot midcentury kit house northwest of San Francisco, the open kitchen shows off an intriguing dialogue between the raw and the polished. In the company of shiny appliances and sleek Ikea Märsta cabinets (which replaced Shaker-style red-oak ones), the whitewashed plywood backsplash takes on a monochrome cool. Meanwhile, a hand-knotted pendant over the dining table is elevated to a masterpiece of home-style contemporary art.

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