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The Differences Between Traditional and Modern Farmhouse

The Differences Between Traditional and Modern Farmhouse

Many homeowners are deciding to go back to traditional roots to give their homes an earthier and cozier feel; some choose cottage style, rustic, or boho. But the style that’s persevered throughout different eras of design is the farmhouse. This is likely because farmhouses can contain an entire gambit of style, from earthy traditional to sleek and modern. These two ends of the same style are referred to as traditional farmhouse and modern farmhouse. But what exactly are the differences between the two?

The Design Elements of Traditional Farmhouse

Traditional farmhouse interior décor stems from early America’s past, inspired by the houses of early settlers. Because of this, traditional farmhouse décor focuses on the practical and the minimalistic. When decorating a traditional farmhouse, you’ll see a lot of earth tones and natural colors, as well as vintage items with weathered finishes. This is because the overall feel of the home should give the overall feel of refurbished and reclaimed items. After all, early American settlers couldn’t just throw things away, they had to figure out how they could be re-used.

You’ll also see a lot of paneled wooden walls, exposed beams, and plank flooring, as wood was the most abundant building material of the time period. When decorating, choose patterns of early fabrics such as patchwork, florals, or paisley. Metals may also appear patinaed. The overall idea is for the design aesthetic to appear purposeful, necessary, and useful.

The Design Elements of Modern Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse takes a lot of notes from traditional farmhouse but focuses more on overall comfort than practicality. However, you’ll still see the furniture that is designed for everyday use with a look that suggests aging. You’ll also notice similar minimalism and use of natural elements. But modern farmhouses have a much more mixed style of furniture, pairing the vintage with the industrial.

In modern farmhouses, you’ll see more metals, modern textiles, and sleeker designs. Modern farmhouse is less concerned with working with what you have and more dedicated to highlighting the natural beauty of materials. It takes all the natural feel of the traditional farmhouse and blends it seamlessly with the modern luxury of today.

How To Spot the Differences

When spotting the differences between the two styles, look for materials like wrought iron. Also, be on the lookout for more geometric shapes and more refined materials. Although both styles of farmhouses are typically post and beam homes, one will give off more of a feel of luxury rather than traditionalism. Traditional farmhouses will usually contain vintage furniture or furniture designed to look vintage, whereas modern farmhouse typically does not. Also, a modern farmhouse will typically look sleeker and cleaner than the eclectic traditional farmhouse.

A traditional farmhouse is great for homeowners who want that cottage core feel, while a modern farmhouse is perfect for those who want the feel of tradition with the look of luxury. While the differences between traditional and modern farmhouse may seem minimal and trivial at first glance, knowing them is critical in achieving the style you want.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist ( that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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