What is Modern Farmhouse Style vs Industrial Farmhouse? Explained.


I have always been fascinated by home design and interior decor. The way a home is styled can really make a big difference in how it feels. One of the most popular styles out there right now is the “farmhouse” style. But did you know that there are actually two distinct variations of this style? In today’s post, we’re going to dive into the differences between modern farmhouse style and industrial farmhouse style, and how to incorporate elements of each into your own home. Get ready to fall in love with the charm and warmth of both styles – and discover which one is right for you!

What is modern farmhouse style vs industrial farmhouse?

Modern farmhouse and industrial farmhouse are two popular interior design styles that have similar roots in the farmhouse aesthetic. However, there are some key differences between the two that set them apart.
Modern farmhouse style emphasizes a mix of clean, shiny surfaces and white finishes with rustic elements such as reclaimed wood, shiplap, and barn doors. This style often incorporates natural materials such as linen and jute, and is known for its cozy and comfortable vibe.
Industrial farmhouse, on the other hand, leans more heavily into the rugged and raw aesthetic. This style features smoky finishes and darker mixed metals like black iron or brushed nickel. A notable feature of industrial farmhouse is the use of live-edge wood pieces, which are made by leaving the natural, irregular edge of a piece of wood intact rather than cutting it straight. This design element creates a more textured and authentic feeling in a room.
To summarize, the key differences between modern farmhouse and industrial farmhouse come down to finishes and textures. Modern farmhouse is more refined, with white surfaces and clean lines, while industrial farmhouse is grittier, with darker metal finishes and raw, live-edge wood pieces. Despite these differences, both styles offer a warm and inviting atmosphere that draws on the timeless appeal of the American farmhouse.

  • Modern farmhouse emphasizes clean, shiny surfaces and white finishes with rustic elements like barn doors and shiplap
  • Industrial farmhouse has smoky finishes and darker mixed metals like black iron or brushed nickel
  • Live-edge wood pieces are characteristic of industrial farmhouse, as they have an organic, natural feel that fits with the style’s rugged aesthetic
  • Both modern farmhouse and industrial farmhouse styles offer a warm and inviting atmosphere that draws on the timeless appeal of the American farmhouse

💡 Pro Tips:

1. Color palette: Modern farmhouse style often incorporates brighter colors, while industrial farmhouse uses more muted tones and metallic accents.
2. Materials: Modern farmhouse style frequently features natural materials like wood and stone, while industrial farmhouse relies on industrial materials like metal and concrete.
3. Furnishings: Modern farmhouse style often uses antique or vintage pieces, while industrial farmhouse incorporates more streamlined, modern furniture.
4. Décor: Modern farmhouse style tends to incorporate more rustic elements like shiplap and distressed wood, while industrial farmhouse may include exposed pipes and brick.
5. Lighting: Modern farmhouse style often incorporates classic chandeliers or vintage-style light fixtures, while industrial farmhouse uses more utilitarian fixtures like pendant lights or industrial lamps.

Introduction to Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse style is a design aesthetic that is inspired by rural life and the simplicity of country living. This design trend is rooted in American architecture and interior design of the 19th century. The farmhouse style embraces natural materials, warm colors, and a sense of simplicity.
In recent times, farmhouse style has seen a resurgence in popularity with two sub-styles within the overarching category: modern farmhouse and industrial farmhouse. While they share some similarities, there are also differences that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the key characteristics and elements of both modern and industrial farmhouse styles.

Characteristics of Modern Farmhouse Style

Modern farmhouse style is a cross between classic farmhouse and contemporary design. It takes the warmth of farmhouse style and combines it with clean lines and modern finishes. Here are some of the characteristics that define modern farmhouse style:
-Neutral colors: A hallmark of modern farmhouse design is the use of neutral colors such as white, grey, and beige. These colors create a calm and inviting atmosphere in the home.
-Mix of materials: Modern farmhouse style incorporates a mix of materials such as wood, metal, and glass. This creates a balance of traditional and modern elements.
-Clean lines: Unlike traditional farmhouse style which incorporates a lot of detail, modern farmhouse design favors clean lines and simplicity.
-Rustic accents: Modern farmhouse style embraces rustic accents such as weathered wood, distressed finishes, and vintage accessories.
-Large and open spaces: Modern farmhouse style favors open floor plans and large indoor/outdoor spaces to create a welcoming and social atmosphere.

Key Elements of Modern Farmhouse Style

There are several key elements that make up modern farmhouse style:
-Shiplap: Boards with a distinct rabbet, or groove, on both edges. Once installed, the rabbets overlap slightly to create a tight seal between the boards. Often painted white or light gray, shiplap is a signature element of modern farmhouse design.
-Barn doors: Sliding barn doors are a popular element in modern farmhouse style. They add character and charm to any room while also saving space.
-Farmhouse sink: Also known as an apron-front sink, the farmhouse sink is a large, deep sink that extends beyond the countertop. It’s a statement piece that adds a touch of classic farmhouse charm to any kitchen.
-Open shelving: Open shelving is a great way to display decorative items and keep essentials within easy reach. It’s a common element in modern farmhouse kitchens.
-Statement lighting: Statement lighting fixtures such as oversized pendant lights or chandeliers can add drama and style to any room.

The Role of Shiny and White Surfaces in Modern Farmhouse Style

Shiny and white surfaces are common in modern farmhouse design for several reasons. First, white is a neutral color that creates a clean and fresh look. White surfaces also reflect light, making rooms feel brighter and more spacious. In addition, shiny surfaces such as polished metal or glossy marble add a touch of sophistication and elegance to modern farmhouse design.

Defining Industrial Farmhouse Style

Industrial farmhouse style is a combination of classic farmhouse design and industrial elements. This style combines rustic charm with raw, edgy materials to create a unique and modern look. Here are some of the defining characteristics of industrial farmhouse style:
-Raw materials: Industrial farmhouse style incorporates raw materials such as metal, brick, concrete, and reclaimed wood. These materials give the home a raw and edgy look.
-Exposed elements: Industrial farmhouse design exposes raw elements such as pipes, ductwork, and electrical wiring to create an industrial aesthetic.
-Mixed metals: Industrial farmhouse style favors mixed metals such as steel and copper. This adds depth and texture to the design.
-Functional furniture: Industrial farmhouse style favors functional and practical furniture such as metal stools, wooden benches, and wire baskets.
-Bold accents: Industrial farmhouse design incorporates bold accents such as oversized clocks, vintage signs, and industrial lighting fixtures to add character and charm.

Darker Mixed Metals and Smoky Finishes in Industrial Farmhouse Style

One of the defining features of industrial farmhouse style is the use of darker mixed metals and smoky finishes. This includes materials such as blackened steel, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed nickel. These finishes add depth and texture to the design, and create a sense of industrial ruggedness. Smoky finishes, such as brushed or charred wood, add a rustic and natural touch to industrial farmhouse design.

Use of Live-Edged Wood in Farmhouse Style

Another element that is common in both modern and industrial farmhouse styles is the use of live-edged wood. Live-edged wood is a design where the edges aren’t straight, however, they show the form the tree naturally takes. This type of wood adds a natural and rustic feel to the home. It’s often used as a dining table, mantel, or accent piece in modern and industrial farmhouse design.

Differences between Modern and Industrial Farmhouse Styles

While modern and industrial farmhouse styles share some similarities, there are also differences that set them apart. Modern farmhouse style favors clean lines and a neutral color palette with rustic and vintage accents. Industrial farmhouse style, on the other hand, favors raw and edgy materials such as metal, brick, and concrete with darker mixed metals and smoky finishes.
In conclusion, farmhouse style is a design aesthetic that is rooted in simplicity and natural materials. Modern and industrial farmhouse styles take this concept and put a twist on it to create unique and inviting homes. Whether you prefer the clean lines of modern farmhouse design or the raw, edgy elements of industrial farmhouse style, there’s no denying that farmhouse style is here to stay.


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