Anytime you put the words "modern" and "farmhouse" together, it can sound a bit like an oxymoron. But for a while now, homeowners have been pushing the boundaries of farmhouse style away from rugged toward a more modern direction by integrating sleek and timeless pieces. (Yes, you can have an Amazon Alexa and love farmhouse decor, too). This contemporary approach applies to rustic fireplaces as well.
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But what is the difference between farmhouse and rustic home decor? While both aesthetics put the emphasis on natural elements like wood and stone, farmhouse style often implements color either by painting wood surfaces or walls. It also encourages touches of traditional with an overall fresh feel. Rustic decor tends to be more rugged.
And what about modern farmhouse style? The combination of coziness, rugged materials, and the sleeker lines of contemporary design are paramount to this look. It's simple, warm, and full of texture
Now, are you ready to dive in? Whether you add a concrete surround or sentimental vintage decor, here are 30 ways to give your farmhouse fireplace a modern update.
1. Make your firewood stash a part of the decor.
This oh-so-cozy living room belonging to Melissa Coleman of The Faux Martha has built-in cubbies for firewood, so you can build a warm crackling flame whenever you like without having to run out into the freezing cold to chop more timber. And the stacked wood also adds texture and warmth to an otherwise all-white farmhouse.
2. Go for a cabin vibe.
If you want your home to feel like a mountain retreat (even though it's actually a home in the suburbs), take a cue from this living room designed by Shea of Studio McGee. The furniture and decor are decidedly modern with neutral hues and graphic patterns, but the metal-clad fireplace surround, wall-mounted antlers, hides, and natural stone lend a cabin-like feel.
3. Incorporate a darker hue.
There's no rule that says a farmhouse living room has to be all white. Go against the grain and pick an unexpected wall color that will punctuate your fireplace. The team at MAWR Architecture and Design did just that using dark blue shiplap to highlight the beige fireplace topped with a wood mantel.
4. Surround an old fireplace with current touches.
Instead of a traditional fireplace with a mantel and a hearth, this home designed by General Assembly has a vintage-style wood-burning stove. Paired with custom terra cotta wall tile and modern decor, this old horse barn is a farmhouse dream come true.
5. Freshen things up with an all-white facelift.
Perhaps you're not loving the brick fireplace surround that came with your home. In that case, paint it all-white like Shelby from Farmhouse Living did in her mom's coastal farmhouse abode.
6. Direct the eye upward.
If you're lucky enough to have a home with high ceilings like this bright farmhouse designed by BAM Construction, emphasize them. Draw the eye upward by cladding your fireplace surround in stone, which pairs perfectly with the adjacent pile of stacked wood.
7. Add a unique piece of art.
If you want to push your farmhouse fireplace in a modern direction, all you need is a stylish piece of abstract art above your mantel. Interior designer Kate Marker did just that in this country living room, giving it a welcome jolt of pink.
8. Lean toward Scandi minimalism.
9. Consider concrete.
We sort of have a thing for concrete, and it's not hard to see why if you look at this farmhouse living room designed by Shea from Studio McGee. The floor-to-ceiling, slate-gray surround takes center stage, but the white shiplap walls make a great supporting cast.
10. Or, opt for stone.
We can't stop staring at the fireplace within a fireplace in interior designer Leanne Ford's farmhouse living room. From the rustic stone surround and exposed ceiling beams to the soft and cozy area rug and sheepskin throw, this room is bursting with texture.
11. Let aged items be the stars.
Here, Jenni Kayne's country living room is picture-perfect proof that mixing the old with the new is a recipe for success. Her beautifully aged brick fireplace exudes rich character while the more modern accents act as icing on this farmhouse cake.
12. Weave in bohemian accents.
This Hudson, New York, farmhouse designed by Jennifer Bunsa has a unique worldly vibe. Rustic wood columns, exposed ceiling beams, and a grand brick fireplace are paired with eclectic decor and artifacts from the homeowner's travels, resulting in a warm, boho-chic space with an interesting story to tell.
13. Anchor the design with good ol’ shiplap.
Designed by Brooke Wagner, this living room with tried-and-true white shiplap walls and a marble fireplace surround is farmhouse perfection. You just can't go wrong with shiplap.
14. Display meaningful items.
Lucy from Craftberry Bush uses small items to make a big impact in her farmhouse living room. Thanks to distinctive baskets, pretty glass votives, vintage finds, and prized heirlooms, her fireplace exudes warmth in more ways than one.
15. Layer textures for visual interest.
Kate from White Lane Decor added interest to her white farmhouse fireplace by adding some captivating textures and layers throughout the room. There's the wood floor topped by a sisal area rug and a cowhide, for one. And then there's the pair of bookcases displaying various tchotchkes and the fireplace surround covered in white mosaic penny tile.
16. Leave old brick alone.
If you're lucky enough to have a brick fireplace, don't paint over or cover the feature. This serene room from My Scandinavian Home nails the simple charm of farmhouse style with white board and batten walls that showcase the fireplace even more.
17. Anchor the end of your great room without the typical home decor.
What better place than a great room to have a great farmhouse fireplace? This stone design is surrounded by built-in shelves which makes it even smarter. Alair Custom Home Builders nailed the look.
18. Pop a mirror on the mantel for a decorating idea that's timeless.
Stuck on what to put above your farmhouse fireplace mantel? Take a cue from this lovely space by Damask & Dentelle. An oversized round mirror is never a bad idea. We love the wood detailing on this beauty.
19. Create a space to sit and to store.
A fireplace area is the perfect spot to create extra living room storage or, better yet, a place to sit and chat. This shiplap look with built-in bookshelves, storage, and a bench from Emily Henderson combines all those things and more.
20. Divide the room with your fireplace.
Opening up two rooms to create an airier feel in your farmhouse home is a fabulous decor idea. We like how this beautiful stone fireplace design from Aamodt / Plumb also serves as the most stunning room divider ever.
21. Mix materials like wood and concrete.
We're obviously fans of concrete, which is why we had to feature this shiplap and concrete interior design combo spotted on Cherished Bliss. If you go this route, you'll get props for painting the panels in a lovely dark shade to make the fireplace stand out even more. (And props for a cute dog curled up in front, too.)
22. Work all the angles.
Here, Leanne Ford made an awkwardly shaped living space feel intentional. Though the fireplace's stone surround is asymmetrical, everything else in the room feels balanced.
23. Incorporate quirky sconces that are big on charm.
Sconces don't have to be relegated to hallways or bathrooms. They can look just as stunning flanking a farmhouse fireplace. We love how the wall fixtures in this space from R. Brad Knipstein are a little bit quirky to make the room feel fresh.
24. Make the wood beams match.
If you're able to add wood ceiling beams to your family or living room, do it. They warm up everything and make you feel like you're vacationing in a cozy chalet. Now, if you want to take your space to peak farmhouse level, follow the lead of Magnolia Home and add a mantel to your fireplace that features the same warm finish as your ceiling supports.
25. Showcase your flea market finds.
Yes, your fireplace is the star of the show, but that doesn't mean you can't bring in a few vintage accents and mantel decor to round out the farmhouse look. We love this setup from the Lettered Cottage because the old-world decor and found objects create texture and a sweet, layered effect.
26. Add a soothing gray wash to the stonework.
If you have a stone wall surrounding your rustic farmhouse fireplace, you're already on your way to a bucolic scene that will impress your guests. But to make the look even more showstopping, follow Nicole Davis's lead and give the natural material a wash of gray.
27. Bring in a little board and batten for a focal point.
This look from Jute Home just works. The fireplace has been covered in board and batten that evokes the feel of a quaint country cottage. As an added bonus, you can tackle this DIY project yourself and follow along with our board and batten tutorial to make things even easier.
28. Embrace the simplicity of the space.
You can get a farmhouse look with a simple white fireplace, and this living room from Amber Interiors is proof. The space is stunning with a vaulted ceiling and exposed wood beams, but the bright white paint that covers everything from the fireplace to the walls makes it all feel uncomplicated.
29. Love the less is more look in your family room.
This modern farmhouse look from Eserts Studio is awash in white. We love how the white bricks, walls, and ceiling all blend in so beautifully together, allowing the comfy couch and super chic accent chairs stand out.
30. Try a makeover that involves tile.
While barn wood and stone are frequently part of the farmhouse wheelhouse, there's no rule that says adding a touch of tile to your fireplace isn't allowed. Case in point: this vignette photographed by Tessa Neustadt. Keep your tile colors neutral or add a soft shade of blue. Then add in a reclaimed wood mantel, and you're good to go.