Create the space you want with our farmhouse kitchen design guide. With so many different variations to choose from, finding your ideal style can be tough. Here’s all the basics you need to know, in order to make styling your home easier.

For more general info, check out our farmhouse kitchen ideas.

And for more detailed information, check out out other style guides:

Farmhouse Style on a Budget






French Country

You can also try our inspiration and idea posts:

Farmhouse Sink Design Ideas

White Kitchen with Farmhouse Sink

Kitchens with Farmhouse Sinks

Farm Sink Kitchen Images

What is farmhouse style?

Farmhouse style recently rose to fame as a trendy option for modern homes. However, farmhouse and similar styles have been around for a while.

The style as a whole has a lot of country and primitive touches. It’s also common to include classic bits of Americana, like gingham patterns or barn stars. In addition to that, there’s a heavy emphasis on greenery and other natural elements. Wood and natural fiber fabrics are both hallmarks of this style.

However, there are also a lot of modern and industrial influences. Metal, antique or otherwise, is a common addition, hence the industrial flair. The style also favors simple color schemes, clean lines, and plenty of natural light, just like most modern designs. In fact, it can even border on minimalist in some cases.

This blending of the modern with the traditional is what sets the style apart. With farmhouse designs, it’s not uncommon to see antiques paired with a stark, black and white color scheme. This sort of contrast is part of what makes the style so popular and adaptable.

In fact, there are a number of different variations of the style to choose from. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from some of the main options:

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen


The modern variation is perhaps the most popular one for this style, and for good reason.

It’s the best of both worlds, blending the strong points of both modern and traditional design. If you want a look that feels classic and timeless this is definitely the choice to go with.

For this look, the goal is to blend the hallmarks of modern design with traditional elements.

It’s a surprisingly easy task, given that the two styles already have some overlap. Both modern and farmhouse styles favor light, simple color schemes, natural light, and open rooms. With those basics in place, it’s really a simple matter of choosing the right style decorations.

That means you want to start by choosing decor with clean, simple lines. You also want minimal accents, so nothing too ornate. The simpler the look, the better. This also means limiting the amount of decor in the room.


Other aspects of this style include modern materials and smooth textures. You want to avoid anything that has a rough finish, since that’s more of a rustic touch. Stick with things like glass, metal, stone, and plastic.

Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen


Rustic farmhouse is yet another popular option, which is understandable. It’s a warm style that creates inviting spaces, which is perfect for homes.

It’s also one of the most forgiving designs you can choose. Imperfections and mismatched choices actually blend well with this style. In that sense, it’s a great, straightforward option for beginners.

When it comes to rustic kitchens, you’ll want to stick to natural materials as much as possible. In this sense, keep things organic. Use real wood where possible, and try to keep it’s natural texture. You can also use things like stone and metal.

You’ll want to keep your color palette earthy as well, with beige, green, and brown throughout.

Exposed beams, wood siding, and butcher block countertops are all good examples of how to incorporate wood into your kitchen. And if you find that all that wood is darkening your color scheme, don’t worry. One popular option is to give wooden elements a white painted finish.

This gives you all the rustic coziness of the wood, while still creating a bright and open space.

Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen

This style gets its name from its sturdiness and practicality. It favors materials and decor that looks like it could’ve come straight out of a factory. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a kitchen fit for manufacturing and fabrication.

Rather, it means that you need to pay careful attention to the materials you select. For this type of style, metal is the real star. You’ll want to incorporate it throughout your design, wherever possible.

Other popular materials include wood, glass, concrete, and stone. Essentially, anything that’s sturdy and has a hard but smooth texture will work.

With those materials, choose items that aren’t necessarily focused on aesthetics. Avoid heavy ornamentation or decorative elements. Instead, choose simple, clean lines like you would with modern decor.

For colors, things get a little more complicated. As a whole, this style tends to favor darker color schemes, with plenty of black, brown, navy, red, and grey. Unfortunately, those can be tricky to blend with farmhouse style.

In order to get the look, go with earthy tones like you would for rustic designs. An alternative option would be to go black, white, and grey, like you would with a more modern look.

Either way, contrast those colors by using white for major items, like the cabinets, countertops, or sink. Having the larger elements be brighter will allow you to incorporate darker colors without darkening the space overall.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is a very versatile style. You can go vintage, modern, or rustic, depending on your tastes. Don’t be afraid to incorporate antiques, or do to the opposite and choose the newest items possible. The choice is entirely up to you.

French Country Farmhouse Kitchen

This style is a blend of French country and rustic farmhouse. It takes all the warmth of rustic looks, and pairs it with the heavily decorative aspects of traditional French designs.

In that sense, it helps to think of this style as being very similar to shabby-chic. It tends to favor heavy ornamentation, including carved wood, metal art, and other types of decorative elements. It also works well with bright pops of pastel colors, like green, pink, yellow, and blue.

Like rustic or industrial, this style also pairs well with antique or vintage fixtures. You don’t have to go fully vintage if you don’t want to, but that’s always an option. You can also distress items for a more rustic feel.

But the main point of this style is in its focus on being charming. To really nail this style, you’ll want to embrace the fact that it favors fun, interesting aesthetics.

So have fun with unexpected pops of color. Go ahead and mix vintage, modern, and industrial elements. Or you can choose an interesting tile and ornamental backsplash.

If you want to really flex your creative muscle, this style is a good choice. While it does favor rustic and vintage items, it still allows for plenty of room to play with fresh ideas.

Primitive Farmhouse Kitchen

It helps to think of primitive styles as being one step further than rustic styles. It takes rustic design, and then makes it even more serious by being historically accurate.

That doesn’t mean that you have to cut your indoor plumbing or anything. What it means is that you’ll want to incorporate items that look exactly like those used in historical farmhouses.

Some popular options for this style include:

  • Traditional quilted patterns
  • Barn stars
  • Decorative windmill heads
  • Cast iron cookware
  • Traditional curtains and valances

Basically, anything that you would expect to see in an 1800’s home is fair game. From there, treat this style just as you would a rustic design. Incorporate plenty of wood and metal elements, and stick to a darker, earth toned color scheme.

This style is the best choice for anyone who really loves classic, folksy, Americana decor.

It’s definitely not for anyone who likes modern touches. However, it’s a warm, inviting option for anyone who is obsessed with vintage looks.

Discovering Your Style

Since this style is so adaptable, don’t be afraid to get creative. If you can’t pick just one variation, why not mix some together?

You can create your own particular mix of rustic and modern, or industrial and country. The possibilities are endless.

So choose the elements of Farmhouse kitchen design that suit you, and create your dream space.