When someone refers to a home with a “modern farmhouse” style the immediate visuals are LOTS of whites, woods, hits of black, and very clean lines. An NY Times article that recently came out about the style said, “Love it or hate it, the modern farmhouse is the millennial answer to the baby boomer McMansion.” Honestly, that statement feels very true to me…as a millennial:) And while that version of “modern farmhouse” isn’t my particular style, there is nothing wrong with it for those whose style it is. However, in a world that is also increasingly obsessed with cool vintage and a more “granny” aesthetic, I think many of us want to move into uniqueness, color, and warmth. So when I saw Em’s “modern” farmhouse living room, I thought, “YES! That’s the kind of farmhouse I would want to live in.” If you also had a similar reaction to this room reveal and would like to recreate the key elements, then you are in the right place my friends. I do want to say that I think that it’s important to note that the overarching way to nail this “modern” version is individuality. You need to bring yourself into it – your heirlooms, your treasures, your own beloved color palette. Yes, Em had the advantage of years of thrifting and a healthy budget but I promise with time and patience, your home will look just as special.
But since we love to teach and send you in the right direction, I am going to break down the elements that all together, really make this room sing. Ok, class is in session.
Oo baby, do we love to mix and match lighting styles and we learned from the master, Emily Henderson. It’s such a user-friendly way to make a home feel collected and unique. Think about all of Em’s homes…she’s been doing it forever. But for the farmhouse, Emily used her three favorite types – modern traditional, sculptural, and of course, vintage/iconic. Take the photo above for example. She started with those wonderful modern traditional double sconces from Rejuvenation as the “base,” since they are “more permanent” lights. She wanted them to match the style of the farmhouse’s architecture. Great, layer one complete! Then to add in some visual tension (in this particular shot) she decided to bring in this incredible and iconic Noguchi floor lamp she’s wanted for basically a decade. Both are technically modern, but they’re of two totally different styles and eras. The colors are also all neutral which helps them to play nicely together:)
Inspired? Well, I’ve picked out nine pretty affordable “modern” options to help you get the look…
1. Andre Wall Sconce | 2. Gold Ambient Lamp | 3. Crissey Sconce | 4. Walnut Plinth Floor Lamp | 5. 3-Head Floor Lamp | 6. Burnished Brass Pendant Light | 7. Black/Gold Ceiling Fixture | 8. Ceramic Lamp with Tapered Shade | 9. Antique Brass Gallery Sconce
The lighting market is so good right now because look at these options! It’s hard to choose favorites but for a sconce, I love the new Rejuvenation sconce (#3). It’s similar to the one Em used but is just a little less detailed which is just my personal preference. Both are beautiful! For a floor lamp, that World Market cutie (#4) is one I could even put in my current apartment! So versatile, but works great for an eclectic modern farmhouse with that warm wood base and simple drum shade. Then lastly for a table lamp, the white Target x Studio McGee (#8) is so good. The shape is simple but special (DRINK) and it has a mix of materials – ceramic base and fabric shade. I told you it was good!
Is it an Emily Henderson room without a sculptural or handmade-looking lamp? Not often. They act as both a piece of art and a source of light. Win-win! This is also where the “eclectic” part of “modern eclectic farmhouse” starts to come into play.
1. Naomi Table Lamp | 2. Ceramic Geometric Lamp | 3. Ivory Table Lamp | 4. Ruins Ceramic Sculptural Lamp | 5. Tournage Oak Wood Lamp | 6. Square Table Lamp with Tapered Shade | 7. Blonde Sculptural Lamp | 8. Ceramic Lamp with Tapered Shade | 9. Cassandra Table Lamp
The good news is the market is FULL of them! Why? Well, they look good with almost any style, bringing in shape and texture. Take #5 and #7 for instance. Both have a modern, interesting shape in an organic material but are offered at two different price points. Something for everyone! Also, if you only want to dip your toe into this style then #2, #6, and #9 are still awesome but on the simpler side. But if you want to go for some more drama then #1 and #4 are truly excellent.
Vintage And Vintage-Inspired Lighting
Vintage lighting has a special place in our hearts and will without a doubt always bring soul and uniqueness to your farmhouse style (or any other style for that matter).
1. Ellery Tripod Lamp | 2. Kenly Table Lamp | 3. Ceramic Lamp with Tapered Shade | 4. Floor Lamp with Tapered Rattan Shade | 5. Mid-Century Round Orb Lamp | 6. Brown Suede and Metal Dome Lamp | 7. Green Ceramic Lamp with Rattan Shade | 8. Kalani Sconce | 9. Mid-Century Turned Wood Lamp
Clearly, most of these are of the “inspired” variety but can’t you see how much life they would bring to an eclectic farmhouse space (especially paired with some modern fixtures:))? The natural fibers of #1, #3, #4, and #7 give off an instant warmth and softness. I really love that #8 is a sconce! How pretty would that look? Then for a more modern feel that still leans vintage, look at #2 and #6. I’ve actually considered buying both of those for my house too. But there really is something special about the real thing like #5 and #9.
COLOR AND PATTERN
Ok now that we’ve got lighting VERY dialed in, color and pattern are 10000% the most important element. Why? Well, what sets this farmhouse style apart from the very neutral “millennial modern farmhouse” is ummm…color and bold pattern. FYI, this is not a “we hate neutral modern farmhouses”! They are great and again, if that’s your style we absolutely support you. But yes, going eclectic means deciding on a color palette and infusing your home with it. For Em, it was greens, blues, rusts, blacks, and whites, but you can choose whatever you love.
First let’s play with pillows, ya? They are a perfect noncommital cozy decor piece that adds color and texture. What a dream!
1. Tensira Porter Bolster | 2. Modern Throw Pillow | 3. Velvet + Wool Circle Pillow | 4. Round Leather Throw Pillow | 5. Grid Stitch Pillow | 6. Brown Leather Bolster Pillow | 7. Buffalo Check Pillow Cover | 8. Corduroy Throw Pillow | 9. Woven Alpaca Wool-Blend Pillow
Mixing patterns and solids will help balance the overall look of the room so it feels fun but not overwhelming (unless that’s what you want). Then make sure you mix bold colors with more neutral tones for the same reason. This is also a great opportunity to add a little “luxe” into your room with material like velvet, corduroy ( #2, #3, and #8), or leather (like #4 and #6). For patterns, you also want to make sure if you are using more than one to vary the scale of each pattern. Oh, and lastly make sure to vary those pillow shapes. That was a lot in one little paragraph!
Boldly Patterned Throw Blankets
Of course, throw blankets are a must and the same pattern rules apply! As you can see Emily mixed new and vintage but varied the pattern scales and kept the color palette consistent. She also gave you a few examples of how to display your beautiful throw blanket:) Shall we just jump right into the shoppable options?
1. Blue And Green Plaid Throw | 2. Ezcaray Matisse Throw | 3. Ivory Windowpane Throw | 4. Handmade Kantha-Stitched Throw | 5. Ikat Striped Throw | 6. Young River Knit Blanket | 7. Ivory and Terracotta Checkered Throw | 8. Eleanor Pritchard Dovetail Throw | 9. Pantelho Throw
Emily is more of a geometric gal when it comes to patterned blankets (but plush solids are a close second)! #1 and #8 remind me the most of the one that Em used in her shoot but #5 and #9 are also so good. If you really “went for it” in the color department for your pillows, then I love the idea of using #3 and #6 for their neutral colors but large-scale pattern. You really can’t go wrong with any of these.
Ahh now comes time to talk about art. Buying art can feel sooo intimidating but we promise if you take it slow, it doesn’t have to be. Emily, of course, has been collecting for years but I’ve found some pretty great options that are affordable (for the most part) and very much fit the vibe of Emily’s specific living room. But if you want more guidance, Ryann wrote an awesome post about buying art when you’re feeling paralyzed. For this type of electicism, try to be really restricted with your color palette. If you look at Em’s art, it’s an array of blues, greens, whites, and blacks. Like that’s it. This allows for the art to have a ton of movement and dimension without making the room feel too visually intense. This art both excites you and puts you at ease. Did I just describe my perfect man?
1. Abstract Framed Canvas (36″x36″) | 2. Tide IV | 3. Neutral Abstract Framed Canvas (24″x30″) | 4. Landscape Collage 101 | 5. Set of 2 Watercolor Abstract Prints | 6. 1985 Antoni Llena Poster | 7. Abstract Framed Print | 8. Moment of Night (41″x41″) | 9. Split Lines 2
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Target’s art selection. I mean look at #1, #3, #5, and #7! They are all so pretty and come in a range of sizes (#1 is 36″x36″!). Minted is also a classic trusted affordable source that supports artists all over. I really love #2. But if originals are something you are able to invest in we love places like Uprise Art. I have a couple of pieces from them and was so impressed with their beauty and quality. I’ve had my eye on #4 and other pieces from Jordan Sullivan for years. But also never forget Etsy or Chairish! I love that poster (#6) and those are great sites to find lots of similar options. I do want to say that the bigger box stores like Crate & Barrel and West Elm have really wonderful large-scale art selections too. I know #8 is expensive but if you have the budget, 41″x41″ is HUGE!
Ready to get into the small details? Cool. So the final touch to nailing this style is pulling out or hunting for some fun/interesting/weird objects. Bonus points if they look handmade. These can range from sculptures, vases, bowls, candelabras, etc. As with art and lighting, Em has been collecting them for YEARS but they really aren’t that hard to find as you’ll see below. Of course, flea markets and thrift shops are really fun places to hunt. But if you don’t have access to places or events like that, the internet is your friend. Let me show you.
1. Wood Block Sculpture | 2. Lore Sculpture | 3. Ceramic Slate Bowl | 4. Norfolk Jug | 5. SIN Ceramics Candelabra | 6. Gordie Knots | 7. Nordic Candelabra | 8. Villa Ceramic Vase | 9. Terracotta Sculptures
Like Em’s wooden sculptures on her mantel, #1 and #6 are great affordable alternatives. Do they serve a purpose other than looking cool? No. But to us, that is purpose enough:) For the extra “organic” looking vibe, #5, #8, and #9 are so awesome. Emily actually recently bought #5! Then for some darker color contrast, #2 and #4 are both extremely beautiful and come from one of our favorite places to shop for accessories, Jayson Home. And lastly, don’t forget about places like Target (how cute is that bowl? #3) and Anthropologie. They are always coming out with cool interesting things to add just the right amount of eclecticism to your farmhouse (or any other kind of house:))
MIX AND MATCH DESIGN STYLES
We made it to the last tip! This one is less about products (even though you will need products to achieve this) and instead more of an idea since there are truly endless possibilities. What I’m talking about is mixing design styles. Few people do this better than Emily and it’s why her homes look soulful and textured yet fresh. As shown above, don’t be afraid to mix a classic mid-century modern chair with a rustic antique cabinet. Em’s rule is that you can mix any style you want as long as they share similar tones and/or materials. So for the chair and cabinet, both have gray neutral undertones and the warm wood on the chair’s legs talk to the distressed, unpainted parts of the cabinet. It’s also kind of a gut check at the end of the day to decide what looks good together but those guidelines can help:) The more you do it the better you get. Happy styling!!
Hope this is fun and helpful. Collecting pieces you love to decorate a home can take a long time so don’t put pressure on yourself. It’s a process that’s hopefully a really enjoyable one. These are just tips to guide you along the way.
Love you, mean it.