Style & Design
How to Achieve Modern Farmhouse Design with Tile
What Is Modern Farmhouse Style?
Modern farmhouse style is all about warmth, simplicity and function. It’s never fussy, and it always feels lived in. A modern farmhouse interior is one where guests feel at home curling up into a comfortable chair. It’s a beautiful and fresh way to combine tradition with trend. Eclectic-minded individuals will easily embrace the modern farmhouse look because antiques, vintage pieces and new items in a variety of design styles all have their place and can work together seamlessly. In the example below, a modern chair, pillow and rug easily coexist with antiques, traditional wood and classic elements of Americana. The overall look is welcoming, warm and the embodiment of the modern farmhouse trend.
If you think you’ve seen this style before, you probably have. This design aesthetic has gained a lot of traction after being featured prominently on “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines. It’s also popular because it incorporates aspects of many different styles—modern, country, industrial and rustic, to name a few—which appeals to a wide audience.
Since modern farmhouse style is all about mixing and matching, tiles can easily become an integral design element that incorporate with the other elements in the room seamlessly. Hundreds of tiles embody the modern farmhouse aesthetic, however, we recommend choosing tiles from one (or more) of the following categories that epitomize the style.
Modern Farmhouse Tile: Metallics
Modern Farmhouse Tile: Wood and Wood Look
One of our favorite modern farmhouse looks, the bathroom above is a perfect example of warming up a room with wood and wood-look tile. The wood-look tile on the shower wall warms up the entire room and visually ties all of the tiles together as a transitional color between the light and dark shades. The natural wood vanity and mirror complement the shower wall without being a perfect match—another essential ingredient to modern farmhouse design. It’s not about perfectly matching pieces but about coordinating them. Other elements that give this bathroom a modern farmhouse feel are the wire basket, the mixed metallic fixtures, the encaustic-look floor and the apron sink.
Modern Farmhouse Tile: Encaustics and Patterns
This isn’t the first time you’re seeing patterned tiles in this post. In fact, almost every featured modern farmhouse design incorporates encaustic or patterned tiles for one simple reason—they’re everything to love about modern farmhouse style. Patterned tiles add a handmade, vintage feeling and colors that warm up a space casually, creating that lived-in, functional feeling essential to a modern farmhouse space.
The encaustic cement tile in the bathroom above adds a classic pattern while incorporating warmth through color. The natural wood of the vanity and mirror coordinate with the floor tile and warm up the traditional subway tiles to complete the look.
Modern Farmhouse Tile: Handmade and Handmade Look
With the look of a well-worn, vintage piece, it’s no surprise that handmade and handmade-look tiles are perfectly suited to modern farmhouse design. They lend an authentic and traditional feeling to a room that is an essential component to the style. Instead of clashing with clean white cabinets and walls, the Star floor tile in the image above serves to soften and enhance the neutral color palette while introducing a weathered feeling to the room. Other elements of modern farmhouse interior design used here are white painted wood, shiplap walls, a woven basket (a motif also reflected in the basketweave mosaic tile), vintage wooden chairs, mixed metallic fixtures and the functional layout and design of the space. Brick and brick-look tile, as well as most “imperfect”-looking tile, will also work well with this style.
If you love this look, see more modern farmhouse style done right by one of our inspiring Pro partners who have perfected this design style, West Bay Homes.
Accessorizing the Modern Farmhouse
The rules of accessorizing in modern farmhouse style are much the same as the rules for tiling. Ask yourself if an item makes the room feel comfortable, inviting and authentic. Painted cabinets, farmhouse or apron sinks, shiplap, barn doors, wire shelves, woven baskets, Shaker-style furniture, industrial lighting, big farm tables and rustic pieces that look like they could have been salvaged from a farmhouse (or, better yet, actually were!) are a great start. As you continue to build upon the essentials to create your modern farmhouse, make sure everything you add is something that you’ll love spending time with every day.
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Shop The Look
- Liria Negro Encaustic8 x 8 | Cement | 680214
- Reclaimed Wood Architectural 12 x 14 in | Reclaimed Wood | 620000
- Esa Taupe Hex9 in | Porcelain | 680422
- Suomi Grey Hex10 x 10 in | Porcelain | 680286
- Earth Pebbles12 x 12 in | Rock | 655170
- Hex Matte Black2 x 2 in | Porcelain | 615823
- Retro Fumo3 x 12 in | Ceramic | 494438
Metallic tiles are some of our favorite ways to add punch to a design, especially in a modern farmhouse space. This brushed copper penny round accent in the photo above, enhanced by a frame featuring an antique copper metal trim, adds a pop of color and a rustic element to this room. And don’t be afraid of mixing metallics—copper, silver, gold, stainless and bronze can all live harmoniously together when done right. To avoid metal overload, we recommend using no more than two or three different metals so they aren’t competing for attention. Mix up the textures of your metals, and complement warm or cool color palettes with warm or cool metals, respectively. When in doubt, less is more.
Completing this wet bar in true modern farmhouse style are an encaustic-look floor, an open, wood shelf, a natural, woven basket, a painted cabinet and wood-look walls—a true mixing and matching of styles.