Rethinking “Modern Farmhouse”

Taking on a new build is one of the most time-intensive and rewarding projects for designers. It means that we get to be with our clients every step of the way. Together, we meet with architects and contractors, help make decisions about scale and proportion, and select finishes and lighting as one complete vision for the entire home rather than one room at a time. When our clients approached Kim with the blueprints for this modern farmhouse, she embraced the opportunity to help them put their own twist on this popular style and set out to combine interesting, high quality materials with rich colors to balance the signature light-and-airy look of typical farmhouse design. 

The big hitters for the modern farmhouse look remained a priority for the client throughout the project. When you tour the images below, you will see eight shades of white walls. You will also see variations on classic subway tile, shiplap, and clean-lined built-in cabinetry (as seen in the detail of the great room to the left). When possible, though, Kim and her client sought depth and texture through floor and wall coverings, cabinetry color, and hardware. You’ll see this in smaller spaces like the butler’s pantry, laundry room, and bathrooms. These are always great spaces to bring in color and pattern, especially when it might be a little outside of the norm.


All About the Finishes

We owe a great deal to our friends at Barron Tile and Stone for helping us find unique tile that used traditional patterns and materials to create more modern designs (for example the terracotta tiles in the butler’s pantry, the faux wood tile in the master bathroom, and floor tile in the upstairs bonus bathroom). In the butler’s pantry, Kim suggested dark cabinetry and butcher block counter tops to complement the primarily white patterned floor and shiplap on the walls. The simplified crystal knobs from Emtek are not to be missed in what quickly has become one of our favorite rooms in the house!

The boldest tile Kim selected for the house appears in three rooms – in two bathrooms and in the main level laundry room alongside dark grey shiplap (pictured right). In the upper level bonus bathroom, they opted to keep the walls light but added texture to the white shower surround by using a beveled diamond patterned tile from Halsey Tile. Halsey expertly completed installation for all of the tile you see in the home, while ZStone is responsible for all of the stone finishes, including the jaw-dropping quartzite island that separates the kitchen from the rest of the main living space. 


Creating Contrast

Texture and pattern is particularly important when neutrals are a focus in a design. Kim and her client added texture to the mudroom and back hall with a brick floor in a herring bone pattern. Determined to find the perfect look, the brick tiles are actually carefully sheered down to the correct thickness from thicker brick pavers by Rose Brick. The end result is an authentic farmhouse feel, an awesome introduction from the mud room into the main living space, and the perfect contrast to the lighter, polished stone in the adjacent kitchen. In the lower level wine cellar, Kim found a similar solution to a small, bare wall by adding extra stone from one of the office fireplaces.

The design for the horizontal metal stair rail is the finishing touch that united the dark accents in the rest of the home. The combination of strong materials and delicate lines is mimicked in the sconces and chandeliers as well as the hardware not only in the kitchen but also on the built-ins in the great room, four season room, offices, and bedrooms. Enjoy the journey as you tour the photos below, find more images using #morethanmodernfarmhouse on Instagram, and stay tuned for similar details as Kim and her clients start to furnish the newly completed home!