Modern and Industrial Details to Update Your Old Farmhouse Aesthetic

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

Farmhouse style ruled home interiors for nigh on a decade, but these days, houses that are too devoted to the pure farmhouse aesthetic seem a bit gauche. The world has moved on to embrace vastly different interior designs, like modern and maximalist. Even if you live on a real, working farm — like we do — it might be time for you to update your home.

Some of the best interior styles to mix with farmhouse are industrial and modern. If you are eager to make a change to the look and feel of your home, you might consider introducing any of the following modern and industrial details to your home’s design.

farmhouse style

Add Black

Traditional and pure farmhouse décor tends to be dominated by whites and other bright, light colors to create a soothing and somewhat washed-out color palette.

Therefore, an easy way to bring an older farmhouse aesthetic into contemporary design is by adding more contrast in the visual field, ideally with an attention-grabbing color like black.

In many contexts, black is a masculine hue, and when used amidst the light and feminine palette of farmhouse, it strikes an attractive balance.

There are near infinite ways you can integrate black into your interior design without overwhelming your existing farmhouse aesthetic. Perhaps the easiest and most tasteful option is to switch most the hardware in your home for black matte options, including drawer and door pulls, cabinet hinges, faucets, and some light fixtures.

If you are considering updating your windows, you might also opt for new windows with black frames — or you can paint your old white or beige window frames black yourself. Finally, you might hang black caged ceiling fans, which in addition to their dark color have an industrial style about them.

If you want to make a bigger impact, you might consider choosing an accent wall and painting it black. This works particularly well if you can add some kind of texture to the wall, like brick veneer, wainscoting or slatting, which will hold attention and add value to your design after the dark hue grabs the eye.

If you don’t have a good wall to use as an accent, you can still integrate a larger amount of black by painting your lower kitchen cabinets black or by integrating black pieces of furniture in your living spaces.

However, you should be careful not to go overboard with the black, as you don’t want to pivot your style to far from farmhouse and too deep into dark academia or goth.

Expose a Few Kitchen Shelves

Practicality is important to the farmhouse aesthetic, as you likely already know and appreciate. The farmhouse style tends to make a house look, feel and function like a home, and you probably don’t want to change too much about your home’s design to impact the way you live and work.

However, if you are intent on updating your farmhouse home, you do need to make a few sacrifices, and the upper cabinets in your kitchen might be one of them.

Upper cabinets create a lot of visual weight. As large furniture objects hung high in the field of vision, they can make a space feel heavy and full. Thus, aesthetics that are more streamlined tend to do away with upper cabinets entirely, opting instead for open shelving usually floating on the wall.

You don’t have to take down all the upper cabinets in your home; in fact, doing so will likely severely impact the amount of storage you have at your disposal. However, you might choose to replace a few upper cupboards in highly visible locations with open shelves.

The easiest way to do this is simply to remove the doors from your existing cabinets and paint or wallpaper the cabinet interiors. Yet, your kitchen will look more refined if you fully replace your chosen cabinets with new, bespoke shelves.


Farmhouse isn’t the height of style, but with a few simple tweaks to your interior design, you can update the aesthetic considerably. Then, you extend the lifespan of your beloved farmhouse interior and continue feeling proud of your well-appointed home.