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The farmhouse style is getting a modern twist

You might think you know the farmhouse style (repurposed wood beams and sliding barn doors may be the first two things to come to mind). But this aesthetic is evolving from campy (as in hunting, not Met Gala) to something sleeker and more modern. It still has that Southern look we love, but with a timeless contemporary twist.

This look has remained a lasting trend for a reason, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. (Farmhouse was in the top three most searched decor styles in 2022, according to Architectural Digest). Interior designer Sarah Cooper says it’s because the style is approachable, accessible and feasible. 

Cooper describes the overall theme as “modest, with minimalist ornamentation. Think straightforward and smooth lines.” She says it’s a practical design with simple floor plans that create a welcoming feel. Mix in the natural fibers, earthy neutral color scheme and large, comfortable furniture for a soothing touch.


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Some signature architectural elements of this style (other than barn doors and exposed beams) include open shelving, wood flooring, and black hardware or light fixtures. “A popular exterior farmhouse design is when the window panes are painted black and paired with black pitch roofs and dormers,” Cooper says.

But the style has been seeing some enhanced upgrades in recent years.

“The rustic farmhouse elements are being replaced by refined finishes (like marble or stone), combined with modern furniture and appliances,” she says.

Think of Joanna Gaines, who became famous for the farmhouse style while transforming it into the Target-approved, more refined Magnolia brand aesthetic. The simplicity and refinement of this brand is proof that even Chip & Jo are modernizing the look that made them famous—just check out the photos from Gaines’ latest solo renovation.

Yes, there’s no escaping this style in the South, but with this modern take, even those furthest from the farmhouse vibe could come around. Cooper says there’s inspiration everywhere, so be on the look out for local takes on this American staple.

Find more interior design inspiration @inregister.