How to navigate popular design trends as they come and go.
Unless you have been living under a rock or off the grid for the last few years, you have most definitely heard of Modern Farmhouse. You might associate the explosion of its popularity with Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, but the foundation of this popular style has been building for the last few decades.
First came the “shabby chic” frenzy in the 80’s. Then “farmhouse” décor dominated in the 90’s. These trends slowly gave way to a more streamlined, but still casual, aesthetic in Modern Farmhouse.
What Makes Up the Modern Farmhouse Style?
One of the most attractive things about trends like Modern Farmhouse is the blend of new and old, and the juxtaposition of two styles that seem opposite. This style says, “what’s old is new again!”
Where many people think of Modern interiors as stark and formal (not always true!), Farmhouse brings in some comfort and casualness. Below you will see the elements of each design that are often incorporated into Modern Farmhouse. You may notice that there is some overlap too!
Elements of Modern Design
- High contrast between colors, generous use of black and white
- Natural materials like stone, wood, and marble
- Restrained accessories
- Modern artwork
- Clean shapes and lines
- Lots of natural light and openness
- Industrial elements
Elements of Farmhouse Design
- Use of lots of white, off white, and other neutral colors
- Natural materials like stone, reclaimed wood, and marble
- Industrial and vintage elements
- Heirloom and refurbished furniture pieces
- Light and bright
- Pops of pattern, textured linens
You can see why these two styles work so well together. You might not immediately think it, but they have a lot in common! With Modern Farmhouse, you get the best of both styles. It is no wonder why so many people are drawn to it.
How Long Will Modern Farmhouse be Popular?
When décor trends hit the Targets and Walmarts of the world, you know a trend has hit its peak. Today you can definitely find ample Modern Farmhouse décor options at all major retailers… so here we are.
However, that is not to say that this trend is passe and if you love it, you should skip it. Trends are a moving target, without hard start and stop dates. This means that Modern Farmhouse will not be going out of style tomorrow. In fact, many elements of it will continue to be popular for years to come and will influence the next big trend.
Remember: Shabby Chic blended into Farmhouse. Country/Farmhouse transitioned into Modern Farmhouse. Modern Farmhouse will adapt and morph into…? We do not know what we will call it yet, but there will be another iteration.
So, how can you navigate these transitions? How do you incorporate a décor trend that you love and make sure that you still love it in a decade? The key is timeless design.
Embrace Timeless Design to Navigate Trends
Unless money is no object and/or you enjoy large home projects with a steady stream of contractors in your home, you will want to be prudent in how you embrace trends.
Go Classic With Big Investments
Big investments like flooring, furniture, cabinetry, and other hardscapes should be of timeless design.
Timeless elements are materials and styles that appear again and again in various design styles throughout history or have stood the test of time. Think of Greek or Roman architecture, aviator sunglasses, and red lipstick. Has there ever been a time when these things were horribly out of place?
I am not advising you to add some Colosseum-esque columns to your home, but hopefully you get the idea here! There are just some things that always fit in, regardless of the current era.
Beware Color Choices
Color can date things quickly. Just think of colors that are associated with a specific decade. Olive and rust for the 70’s, mauve and powder blue for the 80’s. Color is one of my favorite design elements, but a smart strategy is to stick with neutrals on the most expensive stuff… when has white or black ever gone out of style? You can use your colors in accessories, paint, and pillows, which are easy to change and less expensive to update.
“Current” Doesn’t Have to Mean Trendy
It is a myth that you must chase trends for your home to look current. Your home design can be both “of the moment” while also remaining timeless. Good design is intensely personal, which is why when we design for clients, we help them curate their own personal style. It may draw elements from several main design types, but they are always happy. You will be happier too if you are surrounded by beautiful things that mean something to you.
Modern Farmhouse Interiors in Portland, OR by Allison Smith Design
The Modern Farmhouse trend truly does have mass appeal, and we have incorporated elements of it in some interior design projects we have recently completed here in the Portland, OR area.
At Kurth Meadow, the client loved a variety of design styles and had curated many loved pieces from their previous homes, travels, and stages of life. We wanted to make the home sophisticated and stylish, but also keep it comfortable and approachable. We needed to integrate various design styles without appearing disjointed. You can see the Modern Farmhouse present in the combination of light and dark, wood and white, and layers and layers of texture in the upholstery and soft goods.
Modern Northwest Portland “Treehouse”
In this northwest Portland whole-home remodel, we took it from its full 90’s glory to this sleek, gorgeous modern design that makes profusive use of many gorgeous green hues. Throughout the home you will find many nods to Modern design, like furniture with clean lines and industrial lighting. However, there are many touches of whimsy along the way, particularly in the accessories, that add a distinctive Farmhouse feel.