First came the farmhouse design trend, a humble, nurturing style that is a nostalgic throwback to a simpler time. Early farmhouse style was born of necessity: farmers used the plentiful wood and natural materials like stone found on their land to build simple, practical homes. As time went on, building and décor materials became widely available, and farmhouses gave more attention to creating a cozy and pleasant atmosphere. Today, the farmhouse look incorporates apron sinks, reclaimed wood furniture, shiplap, and traditional fabrics, which were staples of the practical life of original farm homes.

But nothing remains the same forever. Trends evolve, and in recent days farmhouse has grown into a style coined "modern farmhouse." The beloved aspects of farmhouse styling are mixed with modern and even industrial elements that elevate the trend to a fresh, contemporary look.

Glass, metal, warm wood, and other simple industrial materials pair with the vintage touches, organic materials, and handmade pieces that are signature farmhouse elements. Lighting moves from rustic iron chandeliers to more sophisticated styling of geometric, open-cage designs, mixed metals, and wood accents. Outdoor lighting is often taken inside, with larger exterior lanterns and wall lights adding a wow factor to kitchens and living areas.

The modern farmhouse color palette remains muted, with soft greens and blues taking on a more prominent role along with traditional white and gray farmhouse color schemes. Dark hues, including matte black and navy blue, are used to accent furniture and kitchen islands. Shaker-style cabinets and stone countertops in the kitchen are highlighted by open shelving, upon which vintage – but not kitschy – decorative accessories are displayed.

Shiplap is still popular but is used now as trim on furniture and around fireplaces or as a detail on walls in small rooms, like mudrooms or powder rooms. Textiles take center stage, with natural fibers and cozy textures used in throws, pillows, and rugs to soften the modern edges of furniture and floorings.

Outside, a deep front porch is a throwback to farm days when the porch served as a transition point from the muddy fields to the home's clean interior. Now, comfortable furnishings, overhead lighting, and wall sconces cast a welcoming glow to invite visitors to sit down, relax, and stay awhile.

For help bringing the modern farmhouse style to life in your home, or for more advice and inspiration on the latest design trends, visit an ALA-member Showroom.