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Is *This* The New “Modern Farmhouse”? The Happy, Warm & Inviting Trend Arlyn Is Seriously Crushing On

I know I’m about to make a bold statement here but we’re amongst friends, right? I can be bold? I’m really quite smitten with a new style for me and claiming it’s the new Modern Farmhouse. Now, I’m not saying it’s so trendy that it *is* replacing the ever-popular shiplap-clad suburban favorite, but what I am implying is that it *should* steal its crown.

Before I tell you what it’s called, let me back up just a minute (mostly, I’m buying myself time…you’ll see why):

An inconvenient thing happens when you’re as obsessed with interior design as most of us around these parts: you fall in love with many styles. I say inconvenient because well…I only have one place to live and a wild mish-mash of styles in the same 1,500 square feet of my home isn’t my vibe. Can you imagine me explaining my design inspiration to any guests who ask: “I was going for the perfect marriage of English grandmother who lived in the mid-century—in a cottage in the country—who time traveled to modern-day Milan who also really loved color but liked things soothing and peaceful but also was after a touch of Victorian baby.” Maybe someone could make that work, but not me.

Now, as someone who is design polyamorous, I often make the mental jump to hypothetically decorating my rooms every time I fall in love with a new aesthetic. And I’m at it again but dare I say, I think this one has the potential to really stick for me in my current stage of life as a mother, homebody, writer, and wanna-be-entertainer. Except, here’s the thing…it doesn’t quite have a name and I’m not entirely sure what to call the style.

design by jessica helgerson interior design | photo by aaron leitz

This project by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design (photography by Aaron Leitz) is a beautiful representation of this style I think is about to come to the forefront of design. It’s so rich, warm, and lasting. It doesn’t feel like “fast home fashion”…but rather that it’ll be a time capsule (in a good way) for decades to come.

design by jessica helgerson interior design | photo by aaron leitz

This “new” Modern Farmhouse is one part mid-century modern but without the retro vibes; one part contemporary without being trendy. It’s just the right amount of colorful, interesting, and eclectic while also being calm and welcoming. It’s not overly precious (a.k.a family-friendly) and feels like a beach vacation but without the heavy-handed coastal or weathered look. It places you in Melbourne, Australia, but also maybe Copenhagen but also the Pacific Northwest, with just a hint of “Is it IKEA?” Maybe a name for this look already exists, but I haven’t quite found it yet, so for the sake of this article, I’m going to call it….drumroll please… Warm Modern Beach Bungalow (or WMBB for short).

If you know anything about my personal design aesthetic, I’m not sure you’d leap this being where my head is going. Perhaps it’s in response to the overload of cottage core/English country with lots of muted colors we’ve all been seeing everywhere. You can’t swipe a thumb on a social media account without getting smacked in the eyeballs with the design style. While I do still find it so beautiful and charming, I’m ready for a palate cleanser of sorts, and perhaps this is it. Plus, if the unexpected red theory taught us anything, people are ready and open to receive…gasp…primary colors.

I. Am. Here. For. It.

design by jessica helgerson interior design | photo by aaron leitz
design by jessica helgerson interior design | photo by aaron leitz

Rather than keep flapping my proverbial lips, why don’t I get into some specifics? Here, I’m going to break down the five key elements that make up the Warm Modern Beach Bungalow aesthetic, and why the look has captivated me so thoroughly.

#1: Neutral Wood Paneling on the Walls & Ceiling (& Everywhere)

White painted shiplap is to Modern Farmhouse what natural, neutral wood paneling is to Warm Modern Beach Bungalow. It’s the crux of this style. There’s wood, and there’s lots of it. It’s up, it’s down, it’s side to side. And I’m not talking about the kind of wood paneling that was the darling of ’60s and ’70s tract homes (goodness, no). This isn’t heavy but rather light yet warm. It’s not blonde wood as we see regularly used in Scandinavian styles or even casual California aesthetics, but it’s not as deep as walnut like you might have found in mid-century modern homes. A lot of the photos I earmarked have wood with either slight red or yellow undertones, leading me to believe it’s oak, but the stain is neutral enough that it won’t feel like a time capsule of a specific era.

The downside of a style rich in wood surfaces is, of course, it’s not easy or inexpensive to change if you’re looking for something fresh down the line. It’s not friendly to the gallery wall lover (the holes!), either, and while yes, I said this style is family-friendly, I shudder to think what would happen with a toddler and a rogue marker.

Regardless of these limitations, it’s undeniably beautiful and inviting. Take, for instance, the above photo (slide 1) from The Design Files. This is a bit darker and more “cabin” than “beach” to me, but it holds the essence of WMBB, nicely. Wood, vast expanse of windows, contemporary upholstery, simple color blocks. I can just envision myself doing a stack of puzzles with my daughter on that coffee table, watching the birds fly around outside, not at all worried about a roaring flame right next to us and my girl’s curious little fingers. 🙂

Another Australian beauty above by architecture firm Clare Cousins. It feels so peaceful to me. Simplicity without starkness. Even a littering of toys on the floor probably couldn’t shake the stillness in here, and boy what I wouldn’t give for that kind of visual peace.

Can’t you just feel that dusty, kind of annoying grit of having sand stuck between your toes looking at this image from Inside Out Magazine? But in all seriousness, that is the worst, and this beautiful home is the opposite of that. But the wood wrapping this dining nook imparts a gravitas that a paint color or wallpaper could never.

This is either a look loved by Australians (I know Aussie readers are out there…any truth to this?) or editors of The Design Files have the same crush I do because it’s so often found in their gorgeous home features. This one isn’t quite WMBB but the paneling throughout makes the place feel like it’s glowy, and that, at the very least, puts the “warm” in warm modern beach bungalow.

#2: Bold, Primary Colors

You heard it here early (not first, because I know other people have talked about it): primary colors are having a huge moment. And no, I’m not just talking about red. Clear, bright, saturated blue, and yellow are also powerful primaries making a name for themselves in this century. In warm modern beach bungalow, they’re typically balanced by white or wood. In a digital world dominated by images of rooms absolutely sprouting with pattern, WMBB’s penchant for being able to deliver life and personality without all the hullabaloo is very attractive to me right now.

This kitchen by Mel Architect has reached the far corners of the internet and also my heart and soul, and I don’t think it would have had the impact it has had in design circles if it weren’t for that red door, beam, and accents. It’s like a siren call: draws you in and makes it hard to release oneself from its alluring grasp.

Okay, I’ll admit this room—from Nina Freudenberger’s book Bibliostyle—is way more mid-century modern than the modern WMBB is going for, and especially Mondrian-esque in its color story (the first slide). But I’m sharing it because hopefully you can take a step back, look at it, and it’ll do for you what it did for me: make me smile. There is a swift punch you get with the use of solid, bold colors, rather than a ton of pattern, and I’m really, really starting to dig it.

Between the amount of white and the concrete floors, I may jump to call this a bit cold, but the sharp red and blue in the art and furniture leave it more in the happy, friendly camp for me. Plus, the wood railing does a lot in a subtle way for balancing all the contemporary materials.

I am very fond lately of the creamy, butteriness of a color like this, especially as a backdrop to a deeper yellow and some pops of blue. I think it only works well (and doesn’t read “depressing accounting office”) when the natural light is warm and abundant.

It doesn’t have to be super potent, either. Solid red and (maybe it’s pink?) yellow pillows do a lot for a mostly neutral room.

#3: Subtle Styling

As much as I love the highly decorative rooms of the English cottage style that encompasses half (or more) of my saved folder on Instagram, they feel like they’re magnets for dust. This warm modern beach bungalow vibe feels so clean (and easy to clean). Like nary a dust bunny exists in any corner, or under any furniture. Wiping down surfaces would only require moving a vase or two, rather than 12 objects, 6 wicker baskets, and 4 decorative brooms hanging from the peg rails. It elicits simplicity but a strong sense of style all at the same time, a heavy weight carried by #1 and #2 (abundant wood paneling and the strategic use of primary colors…for anyone skimming or not paying attention).

It’s not easy to pull off a contemporary kitchen that also feels approachable, friendly, and rooted, but this one, by Mel Wilson, absolutely does (in fact the whole home, minus a rug or two, tbh, feels very warm modern beach bungalow and I wish I could move in straight away).

There’s barely anything “styling” this photo (though I’m sure a lot more went into it than meets the eye, of course). It’s a large plant in a simple planter, two baskets, a rug, and some (perfectly placed) toys, and it doesn’t need anything else. It doesn’t need a cushion in a patterned fabric. It doesn’t need a gallery wall. It doesn’t need stacks of coffee table books with candelabras on top. It feels like a breath of fresh air in how little it needs.

#4: Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Any style that consistently has books as a key component of its design is one that will always make me very happy. Considering I still have at least 10 boxes in my garage full of books from when I moved last year (I have nowhere to store them in the new place), I dream of a day when I can implement Project Floor to Ceiling Shelving in a home. And omg…a ladder? CAN YOU IMAGINE? I love having books of all sorts (yup, even including my toddler’s board books) as part of the life of every space.

I love the openness of this built-in shelving unit. And while yes, the shelving-unit-with-no-back is decidedly a mid-century modern design move, it also has a place in warm modern beach bungalow because well, the “modern” in WMBB is birthed from MCM.

An important thing to note is that the books have to feel actually collected by the homeowner. Not just pretty spines used for the sake of stacking to throw a vase atop (as I have been guilty of doing plenty of times for a pretty photo). The cookbooks need splashes of marinara between the pages; the paperbacks need spines bent so many times, that the title is almost not readable. And the trophy books that take pride of place cover-out (rather than spine-out) need to mean something.

The shelves don’t even necessarily have to be all-encompassing. They can even be a sliver like in this sweet family-friendly nook of a home in east London by Emil Eve Architects.

And boy do I love bookshelves that just have books on them. No trinkets, no boxes, no styling hacks. Just books, and lots of them like the ones in this room from a home featured in Domino.

#5: Built-In Storage or Reading Nooks

This point here is an offshoot of the bookshelves, but it seems to be paramount to a warm modern beach bungalow. I suppose it also goes hand in hand with the wood paneling from point #1, but it’s different enough to include as its own key element.

When you have books and books and more books everywhere, you of course need an amazing book bunker to read them all. I could see my daughter climbing up in here and reading stacks of Eric Carle for hours. Is this not every kid’s (and adult’s) dream space? The chandelier Studio Shamshiri used here doesn’t exactly peg WMBB but…that’s not her style anyway and likely not her intention.

Houses built up into the hillsides of LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood aren’t really what I like to call family-oriented (no backyard, steep driveways and stairs up to the front door) but in this living room above, with it’s paneling-backed shelves and ledge, I can picture a very cool family gathered on that sectional. You know, the kind of family that would be cast in CW drama, but this is the home of the nice yet stylish kid that knows all the other kids are making a huge mistake not involving actual adults in their predicaments (but for real, where are all the freaking adults in those shows and why are they always the worst people?!?).

Another spot to lean back and read a book perhaps? Is this whole style crush of mine revolving around the fact that maybe I just want a quiet place to read a friggin’ book without my phone buzzing or my husband asking me something or my daughter running to me to kiss a boo-boo (no please, don’t EVER let that stop). But all my personal things aside, these custom details make these homes feel so special and unique to the people living in them. To me, at least.

In summary: Clean – check. Warm and friendly – check. Some color but not enough to overwhelm the senses – check. It’s kind of everything I never thought I’d want for myself, as a lover of maximalism, but sometimes even the bakery owner tires of cake, you know? It really feels like the style of home I could happily live at peace in while exploring my love of other aesthetics safely and without fear of becoming cloying.

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Leave them at the door, please…I can’t be bothered in my new wood-clad, primary-colored reading nook. 😉 (Kidding, I’d love to know your thoughts, and you know our comment section is waiting to hear from you.)

Until next time…

Opening image credits: Design by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Photo by Aaron Leitz

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Loveley of Honeymoonvintage.com
26 days ago

this is DEFINITELY one of my absolute favorite styles. or my very favorite. that home tour was one that i remember having gone back to multiple times because it made my eyes so happy. what i’ve been wondering is where do they get all the wood paneling from? i see tons of slat wall paneling when i look for it, but none of the non-slatted kinds. and in that tone.

Ally
25 days ago

This looks like Douglas Fir tongue and groove boards to me. The floors look different, likely a harder wood like Oak. Douglas Fir is native to the area, and is used extensively by architects in the area – speaking as a Portland, OR architect here 🙂

Paula
25 days ago
Reply to  Ally

Yeah, Doug Fir is big in California, too.

Miriam
26 days ago

Wow wow wow! This was exactly what I wanted to take in over morning coffee – so inspiring!

Karen
26 days ago

Brown is back, baby – brown is back.

Susan
26 days ago

As a child of the 70s and 80s in the North woods, it was paneling everywhere and much of it dark. Our accent wall in our brand new 1980 home was a black brown paneling. I vowed I HATED wood on walls and would never have it. However THIS post makes me want to move into any of these spaces immediately. Never have I seen a design aesthetic that resonates with me like this does. For all the reasons you mention. Warm, colorful, peaceful but not fussy or cluttered.
Would you be willing to share the search terms you used to find these images? Other than THIS post, I’ve not seen a curated example of this style in many iterations like you’ve shown and for sure I want more. I wouldn’t even know what terms to use to find it. Love it all so much. Thanks for sharing!

Mary
25 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Susan, you nailed the vibe – to me, this style is midcentury (or late-mid) North Woods Lake House!

Laura
23 days ago

I’d politely disagree here – I think in the US “beach bungalow” varies a lot by region. What’s beach in Florida is different than Southern California or Maine. To me the natural wood, modern architecture feels very much Northern California beach 🙂

Hannah
25 days ago
Reply to  Susan

You should look at Design Files, it’s an Australian based website and this is very much their aesthetic . I’ve been enjoying AU design for a few years now, it’s so much more vibrant and warm than a lot of what is mainstream now.

denisegk
25 days ago
Reply to  Hannah

Agreed, 100%. Those are the exact distinctives that first drew me into Australian design back when we had just gotten internet 2.0 and everyone was trying to figure out how a company blog would work. Australian design has changed and grown over the last 20 or so years I’ve been looking at it, but it also has permanent touchstones that stick around in slightly different form. I would love if it replaced Scandi-whatever and I could actually get my hands on some perfect-for-me design products.

Eve
24 days ago
Reply to  Hannah

Thank you for this! 🙂

Kelly
24 days ago
Reply to  Susan

These images reminded me so much of the homes I visited in the Netherlands. I did a double take on the kitchen as I was sure it was my colleague’s! The combination of wood, sunlight, and color coupled with the use of negative space for visual rest all speak to the aesthetic I loved when staying in homes there. Try searching “Modern Dutch Cottage Interior” or “Cape Dutch Interior” for more inspiration.

Reanna
26 days ago

I screenshot at least 3 of the photos and sent to a friend 🙂 This was so fun. I’m here for it.

JinFL
26 days ago

I. Am. Here. For. It. Too!!!! This trend may be the best news I’ve read on this site in a really long time. I’ve never been a fan of the modern farmhouse trend. I think it’s gray and boring and inauthentic. These are beautiful rooms – a little MCM, a little modern with the curvy furniture, built ins, warmth, minimalism. LOVE this trend and hope to see more and more of it.

Eve
24 days ago

SAME Arlyn!!! I am in LOVE with these designs! Def do NOT want any sterile looking rooms, just calm and happy!

Monica
26 days ago

modern arts and crafts cabin?
it’s bright, simple, warm, and beautiful. A nostalgic mashup for this 80s kid!

Denise S
25 days ago
Reply to  Monica

Definitely some Arts & Crafts flavors, especially the fireplace tiles. Look closely to the right in the first photo – looks like William Morris Montreal wallpaper.

Samantha
24 days ago
Reply to  Monica

That is the vibe I get when looking at these photos. Arts and crafts movement for today.

🥰 Rusty
26 days ago

Those. Fireplace. Tiles!
OMG!!!💗

JinFL
26 days ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Agree! The fireplace is SOOOO good!

Loveley of Honeymoonvintage.com
25 days ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that tone with the wood is amazing together!

Sarah
26 days ago

I am definitely here for this vibe. I lean a touch more towards harder angles than these contemporary curves and more storied objects than super “fresh” ones, but I love everything else. I love the simplicity while including color. I love the coziness, but without so many things. As a mom of five and a teacher, I think I live in sensory overload, so I really need my spaces to be uncluttered and clear. The primary colors and subtle styling are definitely a win for me! I would love more posts with examples and inspiration of this style.

Eve
24 days ago

I love the pops of color, but in general, I dislike (hate) primary colors when used in furniture, etc./big items or on walls, etc. BUT, like the first pic with the red accents…Oh la la, I am here for it! 🙂

Julie S
26 days ago

It’s calm and inviting for sure, but I think I have had enough of the straight lined minimal look. I like organic minimal if that makes sense! Since I personally do not see any beach vibe in this look (and I lived in San Diego for 15 years) I’m going to try some other names: Warm contemporary? Rustic midcentury? Clean-lined cozy? Wood-heavy modern?

Eve
24 days ago

I live in LA, so I DO love beach house, but maybe just not the whole vibe. I love how most of these are mixed in with beach/lake feels! I need some of that for sure, even if I move back to the Mid-West, which may have to happen as we really just can’t afford to buy a house in LA, any where we’d want to live at least! I would miss this vibe here so much, so if I could incorporate it in a house there, that would help! LOL

cse
26 days ago

I l-o-v-e this style but I can’t see it going mainstream the way modern farmhouse has because all that wood paneling and cabinetry is $$$$$ and can’t really be duped on a budget. But I will swoon over photo from the luxury homes!

Eve
24 days ago
Reply to  cse

Maybe one can pick and choose where to use it in a budget/strategic way!

Kyla
26 days ago

As long as it is replacing shiplap, I’m on board with the new face of modern farmhouse…especially that plaid sofa in the Jessica Helgerson living room. The color palette of the entire space is off the hook. WOW!

Eve
24 days ago
Reply to  Kyla

I used to love shiplap so much, but it has def waned some. This is where I am at!

Pinny
26 days ago

Minnesota chic!!

Rachel
25 days ago
Reply to  Pinny

Oh my gosh – yes!! As a Minnesotan and lover of this aesthetic, I couldn’t agree more

Lia
26 days ago

Another fan of that Jessica Helgerson house (though to me the colours are more muted than bold). I think this house by Reath design could maybe also fit in here – what I like about it is that it has all the qualities you’ve pointed out, Arlyn, but also indulges my love of textiles of all kinds. I don’t love all the patterns in it, but I love the permission it gives to be playful and do what you love. https://www.reathdesign.com/altadena

Roberta Davis
26 days ago

I like these spaces! Although I’d have to get used to the darkness. Hey- the ads are completely out of control on here today. Covering the content and completely annoying! What’s up with that? Thank you, Arlyn!

Violetta
25 days ago

Love the post! so much warmth and color. At least what I could see of it. Do you know that if someone does not have instagram, all they see are a bunch of placeholders for images? Would it be possible to include a screenshot as well/instead of the link? Thank you!

Brianna
25 days ago
Reply to  Violetta

Same!

denisegk
25 days ago

I’ve whitelisted this site and I do have insta – and I have signed in to my account in another tab to fix things – but I still just see the instagram logo as placeholder in a big rectangle. It’s so weird, but then I do use Firefox. Maybe y’all’s web folks don’t test on that? I know plenty of sites that still only test on Safari, Chrome, & Edge/IE so maybe that’s it? I’m okay anyhow, I’m willing to click through.

Karen
25 days ago
Reply to  Violetta

I do not have instagram and I see the images. 🤷‍♀️

Sadie
25 days ago

This reminds me of my favorite Architect, E. Fay Jones. His chapels are so lush with the balance of beautifully honed woodworking and stunning pockets of natural light. Thorncrown Chapel feels like you’re actually outside in the woods (it’s nestled in an Ozark forest), and I went there on Easter Sunday a few years ago. It was raining softly, and it was actually a bit of a mind-bender to see rain coming down and not be getting wet, if that makes any kind of sense, because the space was so seamlessly blended out into its environment. And we’re getting married in his Marty Leonard Chapel, which feels much more warm, honeyed, golden toned like many of the spaces above.
He has several other spaces, including the Mildred B. Cooper Chapel and the Anthony Chapel, that are stunning for similar reasons as well. There really is something restorative about being enveloped in such a happy, nature-feeling space!

Monique Wright Interior Design
25 days ago

Bye Bye forever ‘Live Laugh, Love’, and ‘Fresh Eggs, 5¢.’ Happy to see warmer woods and good vibes.

Christina
25 days ago

“Modern Brady Bunch.” What ever style the 60s/70s Brady Bunch technically was this, to me, is a modern take on that and I love it!

Erin
25 days ago

Truly gorgeous… I don’t usually lean into wood paneling, but the combination of warmth and spare minimalism here is intoxicating. Thank you!

Kara
25 days ago

Adding to the chorus of people who are feeling like this is IT, finally the articulation of their favorite design style! I appreciate and love a lot of styles but have struggled to articulate the combo of styles that gets it perfect to me…..and you’ve done it, Arlyn! Off to pin pretty much every image in this post.

Amy
25 days ago

I think this design style could safely be called Wes Anderson Movie Set.

Ally
25 days ago

Portland, OR native here… This is definitely influenced by Pacific Northwest Modern, with postmodern elements… I’ve heard people calling this trend “Organic Modern.” PNW Modern is known for using extensive wood paneling like this… so I would call this design evolution Organic PNW Modern.

Ally
24 days ago

It definitely lives in between modern and post modern (the 80’s were full of curves and color, which has made a huge comeback lately). I love the playfulness of post modern design, and would love more discussion around it some day. We’re not really reinventing the wheel, but making that post modern/modern aesthetic more organic and lived-in. It’s very nice to see color and playfulness in design again!

Emily
25 days ago

I am so excited for this style to become more prominent. I live in my grandparents’ house from the 70s where EVERY. SINGLE. WALL is cedar. Literally not a speck of drywall exists aside from a few points of drop-down ceiling. Otherwise all walls are cedar and the ceilings are hemlock boards. We are having to replace a few walls with drywall to redo insulation (the boards shred when taken down, so no saving them) but we are preserving a lot of the wood. It’s so difficult to find inspiration though for what we want to do! The best I could find is some “west coast contemporary” homes from the Seattle/BC area. So looking forward to more ideas and inspiration to exist for my own home renovation.

JB
25 days ago

These designs are a mix of mid-century, California contemporary and cabin/lodge. There’s no “farmhouse” here.

Elissa
25 days ago

Love all of these homes! They don’t really say “beach” to me though. I would call them “Modern Eclectic.”

Lynne
25 days ago

It’s a “Fine Homebuilding” magazine and “Not So Big House” books vibe. I like how this style feels classic, high-quality, designed for real use (not just photos) and a long life.

designpo
25 days ago

This is absolutely an updated version of mid-century. Love the original, love this.

Linda
25 days ago

I like these homes a lot, but not having surfaces to hang all of my art would be a dealbreaker!

denisegk
25 days ago

Art rails need to make a comeback anyhow so we can all go “why does the wall have to meet the ceiling so boringly?” And then the price of coved ceilings will come down and I can live my dream.

Heather
25 days ago

I think we’re all ready for some warmth after years of white, white, white. Love this emerging style, and “with just a hint of “Is it IKEA?”. Haha, that was an LOL for me.

Jessica
25 days ago

Loving all of these spaces! I’m seeing a common thread throughout of a Frank Lloyd Wright vibe? I would call it ‘Frank Lloyd Modern.’

Lisa
25 days ago

I always love an Arlyn post! And especially a peek in your design inspiration!! Especially that first home tour is gooorgeous – I would gladly live in this, or really any of these places! I agree that they all exude a sense of calm and warmth. I always find it super fascinating and helpful to see how you pick apart elements of a style – thank you for that!! For me though I don’t think these spaces would go on my home inspiration folder, not because they’re not beautiful or because I couldn’t imagine living in them long term (nooo concern here!) but because to me they feel less achievable. These spaces I’d argue are less a case of good (interior) design and decorating, but more a case of great architecture (which to be fair is of course also design). These are all spaces with gorgeous huge windows, great light, exquisitely planned out floreplans and build-which allow the people living in them to keep their ‘stuff’ under wraps and – most importantly – all clad in beautiful materials, especially wood!! These feel like places that you either are lucky enough to be able (to afford) to buy or you’re not.… Read more »

Emily
25 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

I can think of so many ways this inspiration can be incorporated. For example: strip kitchen cabinets back to their original wood instead of painting over them; paint walls a sandy/wood-toned color; leave room trims as wood; when purchasing furniture choose wood or dull textiles (wool, boucle, etc) over shiny materials; have open-backed bookshelves; do ikea hacks to make store-shelf items look built in (like all the hacks to use trim to make ikea bookshelves look custom); choose natural materials whenever possible; cut back on display items (book cases that are just books or only 1 item on top of a desk or dresser instead of 10), pick solid colors or simplistic patterns like plaid or stripes, etc etc. In a lot of these photos the base color palette is brown/cream/white/greens, with pops of other colors layered on top.

Emily
25 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

Also just throwing out there that it’s not as expensive as one would (wood) think to have wood walls. Instead of drywall the previous owners of my home used t-11 wood siding meant for the outdoors on all the basement walls. It’s more expensive per sheet than drywall (by about 2x) but you also don’t have to mud/tape/paint so you loose that cost and the extra labor.

Emily
25 days ago
Reply to  Emily

*lose. Apparently I can’t spell today

Kate
25 days ago

I LOVE THIS. You nailed what I’ve been considering my “personal style” — ha. Apparently, I’ve been influenced. But I’m into it. We’re doing a gut remodel of our 1959 home and this post is essentially my Pinterest board. #WMBB

Melody
25 days ago

I’ve heard of this design style referred to as “Modern Australian” which is agree with. But sadly, no, hardly any actual houses in Australia look like this. I LOVE The Design Files (my Pinterest page is full) but most of the houses (especially the newly renovated ones with panelling) are multi-million dollar homes! Building/construction is expensive everywhere but it’s insane here at the moment.
That’s said I’m (slowly) working towards my own (budget) version and it’s nice to see it validated here. I have floor to ceiling oak bookshelves (not custom but they fit the space) against oak floors in my upstairs landing and it’s absolutely my favorite space in my house.

CC
25 days ago
Reply to  Melody

I agree. I think the Australian examples here are just a modern, high-budget interpretation of the mid-century style that originally existed in many areas of Victoria (where many of the Design Files houses are located). And sadly so many of the original mid-century houses still in existence are having their wood paneling painted white or replaced with drywall; or, in the instance of my Grandfather’s suburb, which was a treasure trove of mid-century houses, torn down and replaced with either faux french provincial houses or what can only be described as concrete bunkers.

T.
25 days ago

My first thought looking at the first couple of photographs was that it looked like an updated version of MCM, or a modern spin on the ’70s. I do like it though.

Tracy
25 days ago

Not loving it…….

Stacey
25 days ago

This is very reminiscent of Sunset Magazine’s home aesthetic starting in the 70’s and going forward. A bit like Sea Ranch x A frame.

Laura
23 days ago
Reply to  Stacey

100% I grew up reading my mother’s Sunset magazine and this would fit right in 🙂

Also in total agreement on Sea Ranch! In as kind a way as possible, not including that iconic development here feels like a bit of a miss? But that’s maybe reflective of my very northern California-centric POV 😉

Kristi
25 days ago

The investment in livability and beauty remind me of Sarah Susanka’s ‘Not so big house’ from the 90’s 2000’s. This inspired me then and still does.

Hilary
25 days ago

I’m all for any style where the first example is Jessica Helgerson’s work. I can’t identify it immediately, but as this point I should know that when my heart stops and I think “OMG my favorite room ever,” it must be her.

Breanna
25 days ago

You are without a doubt speaking my language! Loved this post so much, I’ll be archiving nearly every image you shared. Thank you!!

PJ
25 days ago

Thanks for sharing a new look – I am so over farmhouse (never did buy into the 5cent signs!). I have lived in 2 separate houses which had wood on walls and ceiling, and it felt dark and oppressive. Even with a lot of sunshine like in Australia. My mood was negatively impacted and so it is a hard no for me. Even though they look nice in photos, I find it is not as livable in northern North America.

Sydney
25 days ago

Australian designer here putting my hand up as one of the lucky people who live a in a home like this (that has also featured on The Design Files), which my architect husband and I built in more affordable pre-Covid times. In Australia, we use a lot of Tasmanian Oak / Victorian Ash, which is a local hardwood with a pale golden colouring with slightly pink undertones (rather than the yellow of Oak). Yes, it is expensive (especially now) and not suited to every home, but there are definitely more affordable ways to replicate/achieve the look. Locally, we have companies that produce light-weight lining boards that are stained to match hardwood timbers. They’re perfect for walls and ceilings and can be easily installed. Perfect for sections of wall if you don’t want to go all out. And yes, you can hang art! It just requires committing to where you want art to be and taking a deep breath when you drill the hole because there is no turning back!

Jenn
24 days ago
Reply to  Sydney

Your point about pink undertones in Australian woods is so fascinating. I had wondered before if the Design Files use some kind of pinkish filter on their photos…but this would explain it! (And to be clear I LOVE the pinkish tones and am now jealous of your wood options)

Sydney
24 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

Funny that you are jealous. I spent a long time longing for the pale Scandi woods we just don’t have here! Grass is always greener … or is it timber is always paler?! ha ha.

Emie
24 days ago
Reply to  Sydney

Would you mind sharing the link to your home in The Design Files please? I’d love to see it. Thanks

Sydney
23 days ago
Reply to  Emie
Zana
22 days ago
Reply to  Sydney

Wow! Amazing home! Warm and modern, a very hard thing to pull off.

Rita
25 days ago

Loved these homes. Back in the 80s my dad lined the hallway and two walls in our lounge with cedar and everyone that saw it for the first time would say how much they loved it and run their hands over it, I still do that now when I visit my mum. It still looks amazing. I lived in Fiztroy North (back then it was called North Fitzroy) and still go there often and to Northcote and the houses common to the suburbs are so not beach bungalow, well from the front anyway. Most a Victorian and Edwardian homes. Loved this post and thank you for the hard work finding all these examples.

Ann
25 days ago

I lived in a Lockwood home in New Zealand for many years. This post makes me incredibly homesick for that home and that beautiful place. The wood walls were warm and cozy and incredibly durable.

Tara Lynch
24 days ago

I’m so in love with the plaid Hay sofa (I had to deep dive to find the source!) that I may not be able to move on without it. 😉

Emie
24 days ago

Thr plaid sofa reminds me of the Madras fabric, was it the 70’s? I still have a shirt.

kj
23 days ago

Or TWO plaid sofas! I cannot stop looking at that photo.

Jenny
24 days ago

I think Frank Lloyd Wright would approve! 🙂

Eve
24 days ago

OMG. You have nailed what style I have been trying to put a name to, and how it makes you feel when at home. I dont’ want to live in a modern sterile museum, I need warmth (wood!!!), a calm space with some fun to it, def scandi-leaning/modern farmhouse!!! I love this post so so much, but you made me go down a very long design rabbit hole, adding these Insta’s and pinning designs I love, like a mad woman! LOL! I love the pops of color so much. Thank you so much for introducing me to new designers I like! Also, do I need to move to that Victoria are in Australia?!!

Bev
24 days ago

Heck yes, Arlyn, you’ve done it again! This is exactly the style I’ve been trying to put together in our new home, with wood everywhere, color and pretty functionality, but it’s been so hard to hunt down inspiration, other than just looking at everything Design Files posts, or And And And Studio and weeding through for what I’m trying to find. And now I have a whole post to reference any time I need some inspiration *chefs kiss*. I’m in the Sierras, so I’ve been calling it Mountain Post-Modern, you know, cabin vibes, but updated.

Laura
23 days ago

This feels very Northern California / PNW to me, but I’m a bit biased as I grew up in Marin spending a lot of time in modern homes built out of beautiful redwood. Sunset magazine was formative in shaping my aesthetic.

Would definitely include Sea Ranch as the epitome of this style. The hotel (Sea Ranch Lodge) was recently remodeled and it hits on all the elements you highlight – natural wood walls, minimal design, minimal styling, bright colors, graphic elements.

Cassie
22 days ago

I love this home look, whatever it is called. You pulled together so many good thoughts and images!