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Why The Modern Farmhouse
Is Such A Hit

Thursday, July 26, 2018

From Builder

While contemporary architecture has received a lot of press in recent years, the traditional home is certainly not down for the count. It's making a comeback in the form of the Modern Farmhouse.

In fact, this style has been shaping up as one of the hottest current design trends. Rather than an official style, however, it’s more a way of thinking in which the designer thoughtfully combines traditional exteriors with covered front porches, and interior spaces configured for the way people live today. But those interiors reject the minimalist lines of contemporary design and opt instead for a warm, relaxing aesthetic that recalls a past when people (presumably) led less hectic lives.

In other words, Modern Farmhouse style is the epitome of transitional architecture.

While the Modern Farmhouse look has a longstanding presence in the custom home market, production builders are also warming up to it. Builder has named it as one of the top five trends in floor plans, thanks in part to popular HGTV shows that feature such homes.

“You see a lot of these homes in newer subdivisions where the builder is trying to promote a simpler lifestyle,” says Gary Veclotch, a Georgia-based Architectural Consultant with Jeld Wen. “They capture the essence of the old American Farmhouse but make it suitable for today's buyer.”

Although every designer has their own interpretation of this style, Veclotch finds the following elements to be common.

  • A relatively small footprint (1,500 sq. ft is about average)
  • Wood or faux wood siding
  • Big rooms with high ceilings
  • Tall, skinny windows
  • Asymmetrical room layouts

As a transitional design, every piece of a well-designed Modern Farmhouse should strike a balance between traditional and modern. Perhaps the easiest to understand example of this principle is windows. These homes use windows with muntins that break up the glass area – differentiating them from contemporary units – but those muntins are arranged in grids that look far less busy than on older homes, with two-over-two patterns quite common. The goal is to add interest while eliminating the busy light patterns of older windows.

And those interiors? While the exteriors of these homes lean toward the traditional, the interiors all embrace the modern open floor plan.

Instead of the stark lines of contemporary architecture, however, the interior of the Modern Farmhouse will likely combine light earth-tone surface colors with warm, natural-wood flooring and cabinetry. Interior wood trim can be painted or natural, but it's usually flat and square, with straight lines. “You tend not to see a lot of heavy molding details,” says Veclotch.

The result is a living environment that offers practicality and comfort that appeals to a wide range of buyers. No wonder they're so popular.

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