The modern farmhouse look taps into what’s going on elsewhere in the culture, with a return to rustic, welcoming artisan products.
Spring is the perfect time to try on the fresh, clean vibe of the modern farmhouse look.
Textiles, furniture and kitchenware are maintaining their traditional, homespun roots while getting an update this season. It’s a look that taps what’s going on elsewhere in the culture, says Lorna Aragon, editor of Martha Stewart Living.
“I think that, just as with the artisanal, farm-to-table food movement, people are looking for home goods that are handcrafted and will last,” she says. “It’s nice to see the hand of the maker in items and to see that someone made them with care.”
Combine that with the modern emphasis on simplicity and clean lines.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW
Aragon’s especially fond of some new modern quilts, which look good as wall hangings as well as on beds. She likes Louise Gray, some of whose designs are being carried by West Elm. The serene, stylish quilts bring the age-old craft firmly into the 21st century with spare graphics and colors.
O&G Studio in Warren, R.I., crafts sleek new interpretations of traditional furniture like colonial settees and Windsor chairs.
At rejuvenation.com, the classic Aurora Steel Stool, an industrial and kitchen staple since the 1930s, is now offered in colors such as honey, tomato and thunder blue.
“Farmhouse style is centered on rustic woods and functional accents that foster a cozy, welcoming environment,” says Kirstin Hoffman, merchandising director for San Francisco-based Dot & Bo, which is offering photographic prints of barns and goats on simple white backgrounds.
Zoe and James Zilian were inspired by the countryside around their home in Woodstock, Vt., to craft a collection of pottery that includes dog bowls, kitchenware and lamps sold at farmhousepottery.com.
Maxwell Ryan, founder of interior design site Apartment Therapy, recently collaborated with Canvas Home to create his debut collection of dishware. The crockery references 18th century creamware, in warm hues of vanilla and gray. Each piece was given a subtle gray tab embellishment that adds a modern touch.
Updated cottage textile prints can be found at Minted, where artist Miriam Tribe of Springville, Utah, pares a floral motif down to its geometric essence. The fabric, called Tribal Rose, graces pillows and table runners in sunny yellow, lichen and pink.
Also at Minted is Oscar & Emma’s Links Pillow, evoking a traditional quilt pattern in a modern way.
Aragon says the key to this modern-country style is in the editing, with lots of white to lighten the look and a bit of black to ground things. Balance clean lines and forms with texture from reclaimed wood, baskets, beadboard or sisal rugs.
“Keep fabrics simple and patterns to a minimum — linen, canvas, ticking stripes and gingham,” she says. “As for collections, grouping them and keeping them monochromatic or all one material will make them feel more modern.”
A display of ironstone, glass, pewter or pottery in a single color looks contemporary, even if there’s a mix of old and new pieces.