Modern Farmhouse Decor, Is It Really Me?

Modern farmhouse decor is a style that I admire. I had planned to use it in our updated beach house, but I’m not sure it’s really me.

When we first began the beach house remodel project, I created a mood board and am sharing photos from that with you today. As we get closer to the end of the remodeling project and I begin to source items for the house, I’m struggling to understand if this style is really me? Let me explain my dilemma.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets
Photo by Semihandmade

The photos I am sharing today are what I have found as my inspiration photos and I love the look. The kitchen photo above includes the actual appliances I chose for the beach house. I kind of like this kitchen and was thinking of using this similar style for our beach house.

I think.

Yikes, I need help.

Make it Pretty

Modern Farmhouse vs Traditional Farmhouse

Modern Farmhouse Decor Office
Photo from Scout & Nimble

The photo above is one that I love. Now, this isn’t my usual farmhouse-style and I just want to be sure this is what I want.

But now that the beach house remodel is becoming real, I want to make sure that the beach house I am going to decorate feels like our house, and not someone else’s.

If you have ever tackled a big project like this one, this is something everyone goes through. The decisions are big ones, am I making the right choices?

Winter Farmhouse Kitchen Decor

I love everything about our home in Pasadena, a traditional farmhouse built in 1915. That might sound a little bit crazy, a 100+ year old farmhouse in the Los Angeles area, but yes, it is exactly that! The house was originally built in 1915, when Los Angeles was not the sprawling metropolis that it is today. It was built as a wedding gift to a beloved daughter. The daughter was gifted the home and surrounding land, as a nest egg, for her future family.

The home has only been owned by two families over the years. Luckily that means that the gorgeous structural bones of the house have been respected and the architectural features are original or created based on the original.

What Does Modern Farmhouse Decor Mean To Me?

Modern Farmhouse Decor with Black Rods
Photo from Plank and Pillow

When we embarked on the remodeling of our beach house, there was not any architectural integrity to respect (it was built in 1976), so I am in the process of tying to create it. Thus, a modern farmhouse/beach house design idea was born.

Because our beach house remodel is almost a complete overhaul of the house, I used mood boards to help keep me on track so that every room was cohesive. I loved the concept of modern farmhouse style which combines the sleek clean lines of contemporary design, which is perfect for the beach, with the warm and cozy farmhouse aesthetic.

The Staircase

There are so many decisions to be made about this house. My current project is to decide on the style of the staircase. We have two staircases to redo and I am considering using the style of the Modern Farmhouse Stairway pictured here.

What do you think?

Liveable Modern Farmhouse Decor

One of my favorite things about our beach house, pre-remodeling, was that the house was so livable. No one freaked out when the damp and sandy dogs got on the couches. The house was small and cozy and each room was decorated in beach colors … turquoise, aqua, and sand. It really was the perfect beach house. Cozy. Easy. Comfortable.

Modern Farmhouse Decor
Photo from The Creativity Exchange

Our family has grown, quite literally. Our boys are now all adults, out on their own and we have been so lucky to now also include my daughter-in-law, who I adore. So, this beach house remodel is about having a grown-up, more adult beach house.

I think the house needs a little more sophistication, but still, one where everyone is comfortable curling up on the couch with a little sand lingering on their feet. A home that will accommodate the continued growth of our family with grandchildren someday!

New is always uncomfortable. Until it is no longer new. So I am sinking into this new world of modern farmhouse decor knowing that while it will be more modern, the cozy and warm elements of traditional farmhouse style will be there too. Those traditional touches are what will make it feel like our home. No longer new, but comfortable, and very much us.

As I check, recheck and check again the photos from my mood boards to confirm my decisions and navigate through choosing surfaces, flooring, and lighting, I am a little out of my comfort zone. The modern farmhouse decor elements are a little sleeker, the lines a little smoother and there is lots of black in the mood board photos. Eeeeek! Ok, I’ll calm down about black, I promise.

To be honest, I would love your thoughts in the comments below. Please!

Modern Farmhouse Decor Ceiling Detail
Photo from Chris Loves Julia

I am starting to fall in love with the lighter woods and gray-toned woods that will mix beautifully with the sage green and tan color palette I have chosen. I have vowed that there will be no chippy white furniture at the beach house!

Well, maybe a little bit.

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My Comfort Zone is Quite Literally Comfort

Modern Farmhouse Decor Primary Bath
Photo from The Creativity Exchange

As I write this post, I am beginning to lean into how to combine these two aesthetics of modern and traditional.

It’s all about using them to create comfort. I will choose lighting that is thoughtfully placed in just the right spot so that I can curl up on the more modernly shaped couch with one of my favorite beach reads. I can adopt sleek and uncluttered as a precursor to having a grandbaby safe house.

As planned, I will hang the antique chandelier, that I found at the flea market in France and carried home in my suitcase, in a place where the crystals will reflect the sunshine and create little rainbows on lighter-colored wood.

Sleek and comfortable, yes, sleek and comfortable.

Modern Farmhouse Decor Bathroom
Photo from Style Me Pretty

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Inspired by an Apartment in France

Settling In on Our First Day in Provence France

The gorgeous apartment that we stayed in while we visited Provence serves as a lovely inspiration for the marriage of traditional meets modern. While the building itself was built in the 18th century, our apartment was modernly appointed with features like concrete countertops and a Joybird couch. They lived together in beautiful harmony.

If I stay focused on the feeling that I want to create in the beach house, I am confident that I can blend modern farmhouse decor and traditional farmhouse decor and maybe create a whole new style!

When it’s all done, we’ll have to figure out what this new style should be called!

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Modern Farmhouse Decor, Is It Really Me

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  1. I love the modern farmhouse look. I’ve been moving that way in my 1985-built farmhouse, and can’t get there fast enough. Love the clean look of black-and-white, lighter woods (currently have oak cabinets, in great condition)….a fresh look!

    Go with your first instinct and save some time! Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be very pretty and cozy….just like you want it.

  2. I love the look of modern farmhouse, but my husband isn’t all in so I blend in our current transitional and antique pieces. Maybe you could blend some of your signature farm house look if you aren’t completely sold on the more modern sleek farmhouse vibe.

  3. What a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone! My lake home was decorated and designed differently than my home. It was so fun to step out and find another style that was not only aesthetically pleasing – but one we felt totally comfortable in, enjoyed and looked forward to spending time there. Love the look you are going for!

  4. Think how you might feel 10 years from now, then think back 10-20 years and your general style then. Over the years I’ve changed styles but some parts keep coming back. I would go with comfort on the things that can’t easily change or be adapted to a new style and add the personality boldly in other ways. A mix should accomplish that.

  5. Just an idea…Why not consider the beautiful & relaxed “Belgian Farmhouse” style? It’s got that quintessential European farmhouse yumminess but shares the pared-down styling that contemporary or modern offers us in today’s design. It takes its cues from older, softer rustic charm & character, which I know you like. Soft neutral base colors with tons of light, natural woods and perhaps just a touch of black used ever so sparingly and when it is there, it’s more elegant…softer. Perhaps more feminine with simpler, curvier lines.
    It’s a style I adore and I can’t help but think that this old world softer modern farmhouse style might just strike the perfect balance between the two looks you’re contemplating.
    Pinterest has so many wonderful Belgian Farmhouse inspo pics. Would love to know what you think!
    I could see you making this easy breezy casual but elegant style all your own seasonally like you do so brilliantly in your other homes.
    Keep up the good work.
    No matter what you decide…I’m all in on following you! You’re an inspiration to so many of us!
    p.s. thanks for letting us tag along on your fabulous trip to Provence. I haven’t been there in years but you reminded me how lucky I was to have had the pleasure of working and playing in that most stunning part of France for many years. Now…to be able to go back for that kind of fun treasure hunting…I’m salivating at the idea!
    Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Oh my gosh Julie, heading to Pinterest now to check out Belgian Farmhouse! Thank you for reaching out with both your advice and your support. It means so much to me! Our trip to Provence was truly a trip of a lifetime and I was so happy to share it with all of you! I hope that you get the chance to go to Provence again, such a magical experience! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  6. The modern farmhouse aesthetic suits the beach so well. When I look at it, I think modern beach. I have changed houses three times in the last 8 years. Each time, I have tried to modernize my look a bit using most of the same furnishings, each time, I have been happy to move forward keeping myself from getting stuck in antiquity.

    The photos you shared will be delightful in bringing a modern edge to the old farmhouse look. I love the modern staircase. It’s open and fresh with bones of farmhouse.

    I love the direction your mood board has taken. One style doesn’t negate the other. You can compliment the modern farmhouse with old farmhouse furnishings/ accessories or use the more modern edge.

    You’ll make it amazing whatever you choose!!

    1. Thank you Elaine, I appreciate that you reached out and shared your opinion. It has been so helpful, first to write about my dilemma, but also that so many people reached out and shared their opinion. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  7. I love what you have done in the past and I love the South of France look. I do not like modern and I don’t like black. I like my beach house to look like days of the past. I do like the white wash look. Your 100 year home is lovely and I trust the beach house will be what you want. Enjoy!❤️💐

    1. Hi Grace – It really was such perfect timing to stay at the beautiful apartment in France. It was such a lovely blend of old and new. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your opinion. Have a great long weekend!

  8. Leslie! You have your traditional farmhouse! Let this one be your modern one! Perfect for beach living and still so pleasing to the eye! It will hold its own for a long time because it’s classic even though it’s sleek and modern. Perfect for Ventura! Not fussy but very nice. Enjoy! Sounds like you need some time relaxing in it very soon!😉

    1. Hi Sarah – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I have appreciated all of the feedback. It has been very helpful. I can’t wait to share the decisions I am now making! Happy long weekend to you!

  9. Hi Lesley,
    The modern farmhouse is very sleek and to me looks very square/angular in contrast to your Pasadena home. Perhaps you need some more curves to make it feel more like you, maybe some lovely rugs on the floors, rugs always make a room feel cozy. It looks like it would be very easy to maintain which is really what you want for a second house.
    Regardless of what you chose it will look great because you have a really artistic talent!

    1. Thank you Heather for your thoughtful support. Writing the post and all of the feedback has been so helpful. Enjoy your long weekend!

  10. I think traditional with some modern style will be satisfying for a longer period than the farmhouse trend. I envision farmhouse coming to an end as it is known today!! I maybe wrong but I know the traditional mixed with other decor styles will go on. PS My Opinion ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you Helen, I very much appreciate that you reached out and shared your opinion. All of the responses have been so helpful. Have a great holiday weekend!

  11. I think you’ll miss warmer tones. I think warm grey is fine but all those cool tones you’re showing don’t feel cozy and add comfort or in my opinion match your new appliances or chandelier which I love.

    1. All of the feedback has been so helpful Maryanne. Thank you for reaching out. I feel like I have a good solid plan for moving forward! Have a great long weekend!

  12. You should check out ItsJennaPierce on Instagram. Her style has that light colored wood and modern aesthetic but she pairs it really well with antiques and warm woods. I think she calls her style California Coastal but in my opinion, she’s modern farmhouse with a nice mix of antiques. She has a YouTube channel as well. I think this would be a good compromise of mixing the light wood and modern look with the comfy, coziness you are after.

    1. Thank you Ruth for the IG account info – I will check it out! I so appreciate all of the feedback, it has been so helpful! Have a wonderful long weekend!

  13. Go ahead and Mix them. I personally have traditional/glam home(I enjoy some glitz), but I mixed it with some farmhouse here and there and even a little black from more modern farmhouse. I decorated my home to what made me say yes, and feel ahhh Im home, when I enter. If you arent comfortable in it, then its not your style. So do what makes you say “yes” and makes you feel “Ahh Im home” when you enter. That will make it beautiful.

    1. I love that advice Jodena. I am so excited to get started with all of these decisions. I very much appreciate the feedback, it has been so helpful! Have a great weekend!

  14. I think you’re on the right path of modern farmhouse, especially with some natural wood floors and colors. I love the touches of architectural interest in the Creative Exchange photos, ie, stairway posts, cabinet styles, etc. Minimal black touches, lighting and hardware, looks terrific and more vintage than modern. I’m sure a few old architectural pieces will find their way in! Can’t wait to see your new style.

    1. Thank you Libby – I am so excited that the project is at this phase of decision making. I can’t wait to see it all come to life! Have a wonderful long weekend!

  15. I love all the photos and I think the Modern Farmhouse style would be perfect for your beach house. As we grow older and styles change, so do our design styles. I have moved away from Farmhouse to Mid-Century Modern (given my age, a throwback to my childhood), a style I never particularly liked. Although I still have those farmhouse decor pieces here and there (mostly in my kitchen still love white cabinets and Mason jars! I believe one of the reasons for the change was I no longer like upholstered or slip-covered (I had the same white sofas as you do) furniture. Instead, I now prefer clean lines, with a combination of natural and man-made materials. Your photos capture that along with a very farmhouse modern vibe.

    1. Thank you for reaching out Ruby. It has been so helpful to hear everyone’s feedback. I hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

  16. Modern farmhouse is going to be very dated in about 5 years. It’s going to scream “renovated in 2022”. But if that’s what you like you won’t mind.

    1. Writing the post and all of the feedback have been really helpful to me, thank you for reaching out!

  17. I totally agree with lady with the lake house that haas a different style than her house . Different can be good and you have a chance for modern farmhouse which is also timeless. If you just can t let go of ALL the details then add in a couple things that will make you more comfortable like trad headers over the doors and trad railing with the railing painted black. Can’t wait to see it!

    1. Thank you Amy! I have loved all of the feedback and it has been so helpful. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  18. Hi Leslie, I think for the staircase, I would pick a very simple timeless look that will go with most styles of decor. These modern farmhouse looking stairs will confine you to a very limited decor aesthetic. It’s your beach house, your second home, you should be able to change up the decor a bit with ease and not have to stick with one style simply because the stairs don’t fit in with the overall design plan. I hope everything works out for you, I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful either way.

    1. Thank you Mary for your thoughtful comment. I am feeling much more settled with the decisions I have in front of me and can’t wait to share updates with you! Hav a wonderful holiday weekend!

  19. I love your French apartment inspiration and mood boards. I completely understand your dilemma. I just got finished redoing more neutrals from southern traditional prints, color and wallpaper and now it’s all coming back full force! Trying to stay true to who you are is a navigating mine field at times!

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