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Trend Spotlight: Meet Victorian Farmhouse

In times of uncertainty, we often look to the past to help define our futures. There’s something comforting about the familiar. So, it makes sense that this desire would show up in our homes. And in 2020, an uncertain year to say the least, traditional and historically-inspired interior designs styles are a trend on the rise. From classic formal to American traditional and even Victorian-inspired design elements, it seems that people are looking for grounding and comforting elements to incorporate into their homes.

In fact, this has created the perfect moment for Victorian style to come back—it’s a trend on the rise! (So much so that we dedicated a whole podcast episode to unpacking Victorian design history and how to shelter in place like a Victorian!) In the Victorian era, much of life was centered around the home. (Sound familiar?)

We’re big fans of Victorian design, so we want to show off some ways to incorporate Victorian design elements into your home. But to bring this style into the 21st century, we’re giving it a farmhouse slant—because who doesn’t want some extra cozy comfort in their highly considered, traditionally inspired space? It’s a rustic country interior design style that we’re calling Victorian Farmhouse.

What is Victorian Farmhouse style?

First things first. What is farmhouse design again? Here’s a quick refresher: it’s a country style that uses actual farmhouses as inspiration, with rustic decorative elements. Farmhouse design is a warm, cozy, and relaxing style that’s full of charm and character.

Victorian Farmhouse style takes all of that, but mixes in the elements and principles foundational to Victorian style—but stays with a definite farmhouse aesthetic. It’s basically Joanna Gaines meets the Victorians—aka the best of both worlds. It takes all of the comfortable, cozy, and approachable parts of farmhouse design, then pulls in some of those antique and classic vibes, with a bit of a collector approach. It’s an elevated country style, with a bit of French country decorating mixed in—and we can’t get enough of it.

Want to see this style come to life and get some key decorating ideas? Keep reading. We designed a living room, dining room, and bedroom, decorated with Victorian Farmhouse style to show off this look.

rustic country interior design styleThe Victorian Farmhouse Living Room

Rustic, classic, and eclectic elements combine in this Victorian Farmhouse living room. It’s full of adorned elements like the classic-inspired floor mirror with its gold frame and that beautifully elegant chandelier. But it’s also very livable, with a major focus on comfort.

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The Key Elements:

Opt for classic shapes with an antique twist. Victorian design featured a lot of what we now consider classic and traditional furniture shapes. Opt for classic forms in your foundational furniture, with details like turned legs or elegant curvatures. This is also a great place to incorporate antique furniture. Layer in vintage-inspired prints in your textiles—whether that’s plaids, stripes, or hints of chintz and florals in your pillows or a washed-out vintage rug. Materials like velvet are also perfect for this style, as they’ll help elevate the overall look of a space.

Focus on comfort. While a Victorian’s definition of comfort was much different than ours today, making their homes comfortable was definitely something they valued. And comfort is most certainly a big part of the farmhouse aesthetic. So, making the living room—the center of the home—a place of warmth and comfort is essential. Make sure your sofa is plush and comfortable; a slipcovered style would be perfect, and you can layer in extra coziness through textiles.

Embrace a rich color palette. Normally Farmhouse style is neutral and high-contrast. But Victorian Farmhouse pulls in a rich palette of colors, celebrating the elegant and sometimes opulent side of Victorian style. Incorporate deeply saturated colors through your textiles and perhaps through an accent chair!

rustic country dining roomThe Victorian Farmhouse Dining Room

This dining room is rooted in the more rustic side of Farmhouse style. The overall look is comfortable and cozy. But the Victorian elements come through in the more ornate details of the room and through the display cabinet, which gives the perfect space to showcase your collections and treasures!

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The Key Elements:

Take a Rustic Farmhouse approach to the furniture. In a Victorian Farmhouse dining room, lean into rustic interior design ideas when picking out foundational furniture. We opted for a farmhouse dining table, though one with a more modern base for a more streamlined look. We paired this with rustic chairs—but in a slipcovered style that is comfortable and adds warmth to the space.

Embrace ornate details. The details and home decor have a more classic and Victorian-inspired vibe. The chandeliers lean into an ornate and classic-formal look, adding some polished refinement to the space. The shapes in the chandeliers echo the mirror’s curves, and the intricate geometric metal detail of the cabinet contrasts with the simplicity of the table and chairs.

Put those collections on display. Victorians loved to amass collections of decorative objects—and loved showing them off even more. (They were basically the original maximalists.) While a cabinet is generally intended to conceal things, the geometric cutouts in this one give you a place to put your objects on display. Showcase your favorite decorative objects, treasures, or collections, both in a cabinet like this and styled on tabletops and shelves.

The Victorian Farmhouse Bedroom

This Victorian Farmhouse bedroom has an old-world feel—but is certainly not without modern sensibilities. A high-contrast black and white color palette grounds it in a Farmhouse aesthetic, but pops of rich colors and gilded, ornate decorative moments gives an air of refinement to the space. It’s all about polished and refined moments being juxtaposed with the casual comfort of Farmhouse style. The use of shiplap on the walls is a great example of this; it’s a casual element that really helps to highlight the more ornate details of the room.

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The Key Elements:

Make a statement with a four-poster bed. In a Victorian Farmhouse bedroom, a classic four-poster bed is the perfect statement piece and grounding element for the space. It gives that old-world feel, but with interesting spindles like the ones pictured above, it definitely has a modern twist.

Layer in Victorian-inspired decor. Victorian homes were often filled with portraits of both past and current residents, along with tons of collected objects. We love the idea of using classically inspired wall art and home decor in a Victorian Farmhouse home, but giving it a more modern twist. Need some Victorian decor ideas? Perhaps a vintage-looking portrait in a modern frame, a classic bust statue with a modern finish, or an eclectic collection of decor that you’ve collected through your travels. This is a great way to bring color and personality into your space.

Incorporate decorative materials. Victorians embraced a sense of “decorated living” where everyday objects and furniture had a little something that made them feel special or considered. To help a Victorian Farmhouse room lean into the Victorian side, incorporate decorative materials in the furniture and decor. The cane chair pictured here combines the high-contrast palette of Farmhouse style with a refined shape and style that features decorative caning. The gold mirror and chandelier elevate the look. And the four-poster bed, with its unique spindles, feels really special.

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Design Recipe: The Ultimate Guide to Modern Farmhouse Style

Modern Farmhouse style is a trendy look that’s been increasingly growing in popularity for the past year. It’s safe to say that the design world is obsessed (our Modsy team, included.) We’re seeing this interior design style all over HGTV shows and Pinterest—not to mention our Instagram feed. And it’s no wonder farmhouse decor is so popular, as it’s a style that so many of our Modsy customers are after!

While modern farmhouse style is a bit more dramatic than your typical rustic or classic farmhouse look, it still manages to be effortlessly livable. It embodies that perfect mix of modern and relaxed, for a look that’s both on-trend and approachable.

Curious to learn more about this interior design style and how it differs from other takes on farmhouse? Keep reading for our complete guide to modern farmhouse decor and style!

modern farmhouse styleThe Key Elements of Modern Farmhouse Style

So, what exactly is modern farmhouse style? Well, it’s a mix of modern design elements and a comfortable, relaxed farmhouse aesthetic. In general, classic farmhouse design takes inspiration from the look of an actual barn or farmhouse and uses charming, rural, and cozy decorative elements throughout. But with modern farmhouse homes, think of it as just that: spaces inspired by modern farmhouses that feature bright, contemporary design elements but still have that cozy vibe. To that point, you’ll notice mid-century modern undertones in this style—but the foundational pieces are still decidedly comfortable.

modern farmhouse styleColors + Textures

Modern farmhouse features a dynamic mix of materials and textures. Specifically, a good dose of natural texture is key to this look. Think leather, natural wood, metal, stone, jute, linen. The possibilities are endless—and we definitely recommend mixing and matching various natural textures! Natural materials with both tactile and visual texture are key to this look, no matter what specific material you land on. But you’ll also want to incorporate pops of unexpected materials like brass and velvet, which give a modern edge to this style.

A neutral and cohesive color palette helps keep modern farmhouse style from feeling too eclectic though. You can go with a variety of neutral tones for added contrast and warmth, but keeping all the tones in the same color family grounds the look. And, while the palette of modern farmhouse design leans neutral, it’s still very saturated and high-contrast, with a mix of materials and textures throughout—which helps keep it grounded in a modern aesthetic. You can see that contrast in the light fixtures, the natural wood furniture elements, and in other dark metal accents!

modern farmhouse styleModern Farmhouse Furniture

As you can see in these designs—with the curved swivel chairs, the streamlined sofa, and the round drum coffee table—the foundational furniture of modern farmhouse style is comfortable, but each piece has a sleek, modern shape. And though there’s no applied ornamentation on these pieces, there’s a subtle decorative nature that’s found in the texture and material of the furniture and rug. This can be seen in the piping detail on the sofa, or the choice of velvet for the material of the chairs. It’s these small details that really elevate modern farmhouse design.

Modern Farmhouse Decor

But special details aren’t just for the furniture. To help this look really come to life, pay attention to the details within decor pieces as well. Modern farmhouse spaces tend to go with industrial light fixtures to add a  sculptural, architectural element. Along those lines, modern farmhouse decor has a strong emphasis on geometry in the decorative details—from lights and mirrors to art and tabletop decor. The shapes and patterns you see in modern farmhouse decor are all very geometric and non-objective, with serious mid-century influences. And these elements are extra noticeable due to the minimal approach to styling that modern farmhouse interior design loves—it’s all about letting individual pieces shine!

Depending on if you lean more farmhouse or more modern, the wall art you choose can help lean the overall vibe of your space in your preferred direction. If you lean more modern, opt for abstract line art prints and geometric, metal-framed mirrors. If you lean more traditional, choose a landscape painting, nature-themed art, or vintage prints. But you can also create a happy mix of both!

How to Get the Modern Farmhouse Look in Your Room

Want to see some specifics of how this plays out in different rooms throughout your home? Keep reading!

Modern Farmhouse Entryway

Welcome to your dream modern farmhouse entryway. In this space, you’ll see natural textures galore, in woods, a chunky jute knit basket, and even some metal. But all that texture is balanced out with sleek, minimal forms in the furniture and decor. You’ll also notice that minimal approach to styling that we mentioned earlier—this space being a beautiful balance of function and negative space. There’s a basket for easy storage, a tabletop bowl as a catchall, and a chair to sit on when putting on and taking off shoes. But overall it’s not overly styled and has a minimal aesthetic.

The chair in this set-up is actually a perfect example of a traditional form reinterpreted through a modern lens—the embodiment of modern farmhouse. Windsor and spindle-style chairs are super traditional. But this specific style has more of a sleek form and pared-down look, which is much more modern. And the black metal is an unexpected material for this style of chair—which once again perfectly combines all the best parts of farmhouse and modern design elements!

 

Modern Farmhouse Living Room

For this living room in a modern farmhouse lakeside retreat, we started with comfortable foundations—specifically with this plush, sink-in style sofa. We wanted a sofa that you could cozy up on with a book or for a movie marathon. (Added bonus: the dark upholstery is very kid-friendly!) We then sprinkled in some items featuring rustic and natural materials throughout the space—in the wood coffee table, the metal side table, and the leather accent chairs. But these chairs also have a streamlined shape with geometric forms, giving them that mid-century modern flair.

As in any good modern farmhouse space, we went with industrial light fixtures, in both the metal floor and table lamps and the brass pendant light. And the abstract art in this space also skews modern. But we balanced those elements with a traditional rug that anchors the space and adds a pop of warmth and vintage flair. While overall the color palette is neutral, the rug adds just the right amount of color to the space and balances out the white walls! There’s definitely a push and pull in this space. Ultimately, this living room is all about striking the right balance between old and new, expected and unexpected!

Modern Farmhouse Bedroom

This bedroom definitely skews to the more modern side of Farmhouse Modern. The foundations feel more rooted in a mid-century aesthetic, as you can see in the bed frame, the nightstands, the side chair, and the bench. But at the same time, the bed is another visual reference to the traditional spindle style! It’s just a more streamlined take on traditional design elements and styles, just like the chair in the entryway. Layers of textiles—from the rug and curtains to pillows and blankets—add warmth and softness to this room and balance out the sharp lines of the mid-century modern furniture.

Meanwhile, the patterns in the rug and pillows feel very traditional—and paired together gives the slightest eclectic vibe to the space, along with the most subtle pop of color (tones of pink and red warm up this space). The abstract line art is very modern and offers a dynamic juxtaposition with the more traditional design elements in this bedroom.

What’s the difference between farmhouse and modern farmhouse?

There are many variations on farmhouse—two of the most notable being classic and rustic farmhouse styles.

Classic farmhouse is a more traditional style with “French provincial” aesthetic influences. It’s a softer, more feminine approach to farmhouse style and creates that classic cottage chic vibe. The color palette for classic farmhouse style is muted, featuring pastels, white-washed woods, and classic design details like button tufting, exposed nailheads, and ornate carvings.

Rustic farmhouse style is a less mid-century and more rustic/industrial take on farmhouse design than modern farmhouse. This is the embodiment of that classic Chip and Joanna Gaines look. It has a heavy focus on rugged materials—like rough-hewn and natural woods, wrought iron, and leather with a rich patina—along with more vintage and antique pieces. But there are also traditional design elements throughout, like spindle chairs, oriental rugs, and vintage prints.

Learn more about the difference between modern, classic, and rustic farmhouse interior design.

Is modern farmhouse style right for you?

This is the perfect look for you if you want the comforts of farmhouse style but also a trendy, modern aesthetic. It’s approachable and easy to personalize, which we love. With the combination of comfortable foundations, sleek modern shapes and sculptural, geometric design elements, this is also the perfect look for couples who are trying to meet in the middle between practical comfort and modern design preferences. It’s like a compromise between modern design and traditional country farmhouse—but it looks so good, neither of you will feel like you’re losing anything. That’s the best kind of compromise, right?

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rustic farmhouse bedroom

5 Ways to Master A Rustic Bedroom Design

A common misconception about rustic style is that it’s always just some variation of the log cabin look. But if you’ve seen some of our favorite rustic bedroom designs, you know the style is far from one note – and it can work beautifully in a number of different ways.

For instance, there’s the refined rustic look, which is all about comfort, soft neutrals, and elegant furnishings with a classic bent. Then you have rustic farmhouse style, a mix of traditional and industrial design elements. And finally, a rustic minimal look strips out all ornamentation in favor of clean-lined pieces and very little styling.

All to say, nailing a rustic look in your bedroom isn’t exactly a simple formula – but it’s also not as difficult as you think. To get you inspired (and started) on your own rustic bedroom design, we’ve rounded up five of our most popular rustic looks. Read on to get our tips for bringing each bedroom look home.

rustic bedroom designThe Look: Rustic Warmth

Warm and inviting, this look is anchored by contemporary furniture with rustic notes. It’s one of our most popular design styles as it brings together modern designs that feel cozy rather than sleek and spare.

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The Key Elements

Rustic Warmth is all about streamlined furnishings that are welcoming. Think dressers and nightstands in darker wood tones, a hefty wood bed frame, a classic rug in updated colors, and accents that lend a livable vibe.

It’s Perfect If You…

Love a house that feels like home, meaning your spaces are guided by comfort and function first. This look might also appeal to you if you love the rustic look but still want your bedroom furniture to be modern and of-the-moment. Also, if you’re not one for lots of color and pattern, Rustic Warmth’s muted palette will feel just right.

coastal bedroom designThe Look: Rustic Coastal

In a nutshell, the rustic coastal look evokes a breezy beach cottage by the ocean. It’s casual and layered and the vibe is welcoming, lived-in, and down-to-earth.

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The Key Elements

This look is defined by a stylish mix of natural materials that add texture. Think natural-fibers, like sisal and jute, rattan, light weathered driftwood, relaxed linen upholstery and lightweight throw blankets. It also pulls in coastal elements, such as a palette of blues and whites that plays up a sense of serenity and recalls the ocean, as well as ocean-inspired accents and shell art.

It’s Perfect If You…

Are drawn to California’s rustic coastal homes or simply enjoy the laid-back vibe of those spaces. This look will also likely resonate with you if you love a room that feels relaxed but still chicly put-together.

rustic farmhouse bedroomThe Look: Vintage Farmhouse

This is probably the look that’s most like what you might traditionally imagine rustic style spaces to be. It has classic and industrial elements that recall farmhouse interiors and more than a hint of vintage.

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The Key Elements

The Vintage Farmhouse mix is comprised of handcrafted designs (metal sconces and wooden bench), vintage-style finds (candelabra chandelier, weathered-wood round mirror), and barn-like furnishings (spindle bed, rocking chair, weathered armoire). Carved details and small accents that give off an antiqued sensibility also add to the overall farmhouse feeling.

It’s Perfect If You…

Appreciate the perfectly imperfect, old-meets-new look, where traditional-looking pieces are arranged in a fresh, contemporary way. This might also be the look for you if you find beauty in well-crafted designs and spaces that convey a sense of history.

Rustic Bedroom with Bird PrintsThe Look: Rustic Farmhouse

A trendier take on vintage farmhouse style, rustic farmhouse has a lot of similar elements as modern farmhouse, but (naturally) with more of a rustic bent. (Confused by the difference? Check out a breakdown on three takes on farmhouse interior design style.) It has a beautiful way of balancing hard and soft, old and new, for a look that’s cozy and fresh.

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The Key Elements

Rustic farmhouse bedrooms mix rustic and traditional elements with a contemporary twist. Case in point: an antique-inspired spindle bed, rendered in a more contemporary shape. The same goes for natural materials like wood, leather, and linen: rugged but streamlined. Mixing of metals with plush layers of bedding creates that contrast between hard and soft, which visually echoes the high-contrast but neutral color palette. Whimsical artwork with antique-inspired vibes adds some distinct personality to the space.

It’s Perfect If You…

Love shiplap and need the perfect cozy, character-filled farmhouse bedroom to go with it. This is your classic Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines look—so if you’re a fan of their aesthetic, this is your look.

rustic minimal bedroomThe Look: Rustic Minimal

Think of this as the perfect blend of cool and warm, where pared-down vintage elements are combined with a calm, monochromatic palette. This is also the place where clean-lined design meets a touch of rustic charm.

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The Key Elements

Rustic minimal style is exactly what it sounds like: Streamlined furniture in rustic materials that lend depth and warmth to the room. There’s also an organic approach to furnishings and accents that are highly curated – think a perfectly slender metal console, a round wood mirror, mid-century-style stools in a distinct fabric, sparkling porcelain table lamps. Every detail and material is carefully chosen to have both simple and cozy appeal.

It’s Perfect If You…

Mostly prefer minimally styled spaces that still feel warm and inviting. If you don’t like having a lot of “stuff” but appreciate well-designed furniture and objects, this curated approach might appeal to you.

rustic bedroom designThe Look: Refined Rustic

Formal and elegant, this look presents rustic in a slightly more feminine and elevated light. With a bedroom, the refined rustic approach conjures up the feeling of a serene and sophisticated hotel in the countryside.

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The Key Elements

Keep to rustic furnishings that have a classic, formal twist. Design details, such as natural textures like linen, rattan, and weathered woods, help to play up the look. Look for pieces that have traditional silhouettes, like a nightstand with drawers and decorative pulls or a bench with turned legs. Finally, add accents that have vintage appeal, such as botanical art and ticking-stripe pillows. Just be sure to stick to soft hues for your palette.

It’s Perfect If You…

Like classic formal spaces but want them to feel slightly more approachable. This look is pure elegance with perfect ease to match, and it’s ideal for someone who prefers a space where rustic notes appear in more delicate and subtle ways.

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