If you dream of spending your weekends sipping coffee from your rocking chair on the front porch and looking out at the natural landscape, you're not alone. One look at your social media feed or major home decor brands, and it's clear that farmhouse style continues to be a fan favorite for its classic and stylish design details.
Farmhouses, as you might've guessed, were originally created for farmers around the 16th century. They were made from easily accessible materials, thus the prevalence of wood and stone. By the time the late 20th century rolled around, modern farmhouses started getting increasingly popular and began to include things like metal roofing and more minimalist architectural elements.
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But what differentiates a farmhouse from other homes? Let's start with the basics: the exterior. The aesthetic can range from more traditional exteriors to rustic barn-inspired looks. "The clean, simple lines and warm, welcoming feel of a farmhouse exterior make it a popular choice for many homeowners," says Zara O'Hare, interior design consultant at Land of Rugs. "Additionally, the versatility of farmhouse style means that it [can be] adapted to suit a variety of different architectural styles and preferences."
Elements you'll typically see on a farmhouse exterior include a welcoming front porch, horizontal siding, and shutters on the windows. The color palette is often muted and earthy. You'll see shades of white, gray, and cream, as well as natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal. "The goal of a farmhouse exterior is to create a simple, elegant, and inviting space. A space that is reflective of [a] rural lifestyle," says O'Hare.
If your home is a different architectural style, but you love the farmhouse look, there are ways to incorporate the aesthetic. An easy update is changing the color scheme. Keep things neutral and simple and stick to light earth tones for your home's siding, trim, and front door color. Bring in different textures with natural components to add drama instead of using bold colors. If your budget is a little bit bigger, look into adding a wraparound porch, new shutters, or switch to horizontal siding. O'Hare also recommends adding natural materials like wood and stone into your landscaping to extend the farmhouse look beyond your home's exterior.
Even though farmhouses have been around for a while, the design choice isn't going anywhere. However, it has changed a lot over the years. "One of the most notable changes has been an increased focus on practicality," says O'Hare. "In the past, farmhouse design was associated with frilly, ornate details and decorative elements — elements that focused on aesthetics and not practicality. Modern farmhouse design has shifted towards a more minimalist, clean-lined aesthetic. This new aesthetic has an improved emphasis on functionality and comfort."
Ready for some inspiration? Here are farmhouse exterior ideas that will give your home major curb appeal.
40 Farmhouse Exterior Design Ideas
1. Match dark accents with warm wood.
Even though farmhouses often keep the color palette to a minimum (think white shiplap and warm wood accents), there's definitely room to play with darker hues. For example, this porch by Joanna Gaines flaunts neutral sage green siding, a wood front door, and weathered wood decking. The charcoal gray window shutters, black planters, rocking chairs, and lantern-style light fixtures add a measured dose of contrast that keeps this exterior interesting.
2. Go bold with a black exterior.
Dark farmhouse exteriors are few and far between, giving the aesthetic even more of an edge. This stunning scene from M House Development proves the bold impact that black paint can have. The combination of shiplap and board and batten siding, with a gable roof, marries rustic and modern styles with effortless cool. The massive windows seal the deal.
3. Add a pop of color to your front door.
Don't be afraid to play with bright colors if you're yearning for something a little less traditional than classic farmhouse decor. This eye-catching exterior by Chango & Co. shows us how it's done with double front doors in a vibrant shade of red, matching side tables, and red and black pillows on all four rocking chairs. The scheme is fun and unexpected without totally deviating from the standard farmhouse aesthetic.
4. Embrace stark contrast for a modern look.
The exterior of a modern farmhouse typically features a high-contrast detail — be it the paint or the type of materials used. The black-and-white color scheme of this home designed by Kate Marker Interiors pops against the vivid green surroundings, while the sleek black-framed windows and shutters offer a bold transition that looks modern, yet still exudes country flair.
5. Use nature to frame an idyllic scene.
Farmhouse exterior designs work best when the landscaping is less manicured and feels slightly overgrown. Consider how you might use natural elements to frame your home. Or, see if you can mimic the colors of nature in your decor.
6. Design a porch with purpose.
When designing a porch with modern farmhouse style in mind, take a cue from this spacious setup belonging to Traci of Beneath My Heart and go for a clean, whitewashed look — preferably complemented by dark accents — for a finish that stands out in all the right ways. A pair of wooden doors adds a welcome touch of warmth.
7. Opt for a front door with a decorative glass accent.
You'll see a few variations of the traditional farmhouse door — like this gem with a decorative stained glass accent at the top. It's sophisticated but doesn't take away from the pared-down country vibe. Complete the look with a wicker porch chair, potted plants, and old-school sconces.
8. Incorporate lots of windows for natural light.
This modern farmhouse exterior from M House Development is about as striking as it gets, flaunting a black-and-white palette and an assortment of black-framed windows. The small, circular window above the entrance is a unique detail that adds to the overall charm of the exterior.
9. Add a touch of shiplap.
Shiplap always manages to make its way into farmhouse homes. So why not bring this look to the exterior as well? This setup pairs shiplap siding with a modern barn light from Rejuvenation — complete with an interior brass finish — for a stylish look. The black French door entry adds loads of contrast and pairs beautifully with the lighting and coordinating house numbers.
10. Invest in a classic gable roof.
Pointed gable roofs are a hallmark of traditional farmhouse exterior ideas. And while you can't go wrong with a classic, we love the way that Hayes Barton Homes gave the look a modern twist. By varying the size, orientation, and height of this home's roof, the team successfully added loads of visual interest, without taking away from the overall country aesthetic.
11. Play with unexpected exterior paint colors.
Just because you don't typically see a ton of bright farmhouse exterior palettes doesn't mean you can't break the rules. This design shakes things up with a bright yellow front door and green patio chairs. The color combo is used minimally, so the exterior makes an impact without feeling busy.
12. Mix materials to add dimension.
The mixed array of materials used for this modern farmhouse exterior by James May Homes is a prime example of just how dynamic the style can be. The cool facade is made up of a blend of white paint, light wood, and ivory stone that lends a somewhat coastal vibe. The serene country aesthetic is taken one step further with the help of gray beach pebbles bordering the walkway.
13. Try a classic black-and-white color scheme.
Nothing beats the timeless look of a black-and-white color scheme, and this exterior by Noting Grace is no exception. The black window shutters, front door trim, patio furniture, and planters give the traditional porch a modern edge that definitely won't go unnoticed.
14. Lean into farmhouse style with barn doors.
Any barn doors, whether sliding or decorative, are a foolproof way to lean into farmhouse style. Just take this exterior design by Grand Traditions as proof. Combine them with board and batten siding, a black-and-white facade, and a few windows and you have an exterior that's modern farmhouse all the way.
15. Explore creative ways to display your house number.
Don't forget to think about even the smallest of details, like your house number, when it comes to designing a farmhouse exterior. There are so many stylish options on the market these days, ranging from numbers to text in different font styles and sizes. These house numbers from Etsy add a subtle but contemporary edge to an otherwise traditional porch.
16. Dress up your exterior with board and batten siding.
Board and batten siding — which is comprised of wood panels that alternate between thick and narrow strips — is a signature characteristic of farmhouse exteriors. For example, the facade of this contemporary-cool Austin home adds visual interest and subtle texture — and complements the linear architecture.
17. Embrace asymmetrical features.
It's no secret that not all home designs look the same, and this white farmhouse exterior by Plank and Pillow is picture-perfect proof. It incorporates some classic elements with a twist of asymmetry. The dark roof and black window trim add visual interest while the landscaping plays into the asymmetry of the overall design.
18. Make porch railings the star of the show.
If your white farmhouse exterior happens to come with prominent, traditional features, like this roomy front porch, embrace them by keeping the rest of the decor minimal. This outdoor design puts the focus on the railings that run up the stairs and all around the porch. The rest of the scene is simplified, showcasing shutters in a neutral color and a dark red front door.
19. Focus on the doorway.
If you want to keep your front porch largely clear of furniture and decor, consider creating a vignette near the front door, like this one spotted on Rejuvenation. Keep a rocking chair with a blanket nearby and a plant (or two) for a cozy look that comes together with little effort. Let a black door anchor the picturesque entryway.
20. Build into the surrounding landscape.
With landscaping like this surrounding your quaint farmhouse, you'll never want to be inside. This home exterior spotted on Yardzen ties in both farmhouse colors and materials. The white exterior pops against the black windows, door, and fence, while the gray pavers and deck add even more color and some dimension to the front yard. Throw in a couple of mature trees and you have the perfect farmhouse exterior.
21. Don't be afraid to mix and match materials.
Farmhouse style is all about natural materials, but you can still have fun with your home's exterior. This design by Building Colwyn Bay combines brick and wood in a visually interesting way. The warm brick welcomes you to step inside, while the dark window trim highlights the home's classic architectural features.
22. Complement the nearby trees and foliage with dark green trim.
While we often see window and door trim in black or white, we're loving the dark green shade used on this home and captured by photographer R. Brad Knipstein. The verdant hue is a welcome departure from the usual suspects and a subtle nod to the natural surroundings. Also, those larger trees planted out front provide just the right amount of privacy.
23. Mix modern and traditional design elements.
As traditional farmhouse design evolves, more modern architectural elements are making their way into the interior and exterior designs. Take, for example, this dreamy setup by Watts Studio, which features modern architecture with tried and true materials such as the rustic wood siding reminiscent of an actual barn.
24. Attach flower boxes to the windows.
If you really want to go all out for your farmhouse exterior, follow the lead of Jean Stoffer and add flower boxes to the windows. The florals will add a pop of color as well as country charm. And bonus: You can change the blooms whenever you want to give your facade a little makeover.
25. Stick with shingle siding.
Shingle siding can add a nice textural element to a farmhouse exterior. Just look at the natural wood stain on this home from Studio McGee — it transcends traditional style with clean white trim and simple landscaping. We have a feeling this straightforward design idea will remain a classic.
26. Add coastal flair with a blue door.
A blue front door and creamy white siding make an absolutely gorgeous pair, as proven by this exterior from Yardzen. The color combo nods to the surrounding coastline, while the wooden wagon and board and batten siding add undeniable country charm.
27. Brighten things up with white accents.
We just love this pretty doorway featuring a gorgeous porch to sit back and watch the world go by. Kelly from The Lily Pad Cottage used a crisp shade of white to highlight and brighten up the otherwise dark exterior design. The high-contrast color combination keeps things feeling fresh and modern, yet still showcases the charm of farmhouse style.
28. Roll out the black carpet.
If you have steps leading up to your farmhouse, follow the lead of Nesting with Grace and turn on the charm with an outdoor stair runner in black and white. The all-white home exterior, with an unexpected pale pink door, receives the royal treatment with this smart touch. And bonus: It will keep those bright white stairs looking fresh and clean longer.
29. Bring on the brick.
Exposed brick is always a classic choice. If you're lucky enough to already have some leading to your front porch, or just want to do something different than a traditional wood or stone entry, take a look at this gorgeous exterior from Addison's Wonderland. Brick is a relatively low-cost and easy-to-maintain material, so you can rest assured that it will last for years to come.
30. Match everything, even your planters.
Who doesn't love a matchy-matchy design moment? Farmhouse front porches can be a thing of envy, like this look from Julia Berolzheimer. Matching the rocking chairs, the siding, the decking, and those glorious planters create an easy-breezy coastal vibe that makes you want to sit down with a glass of lemonade. We love the pale blue front door and window trim for a quiet pop of color.
31. Play with shades of gray.
You can't go wrong with a classic white exterior, but there's something equally soothing and stylish about a gray facade, as demonstrated by this design from Studio McGee. The subtle paint color allows the exterior to blend in with the surroundings. The stunning porch with comfy seating and a front door framed by large potted plants just says, Welcome. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy.
32. Add stonework to your home exterior.
Adding stonework to your farmhouse exterior will up the ante considerably. Just look at this smart design from Amber Interiors that proves our point. The rest of the home, which is painted black, fades into the background, leaving the foreground to welcome visitors with the help of simple pavers set in a sea of gravel and a modern stone-clad portico framing the front door.
33. Go modern and minimal.
Farmhouse homes can be simple and also somewhat minimalist as the style changes and evolves — this modern barn by Amber Interiors is a perfect example. Black trim and light wood-stained siding, with a matching front door, breaks with tradition and proves that natural materials and a gable roof can still fit into a farmhouse design
34. Don't forget about the garage door.
While it's true that the front door and siding are important elements of any home exterior, the garage door deserves a little attention too. Show your carport some love by painting it a fun new color or by replacing it altogether with a farmhouse design. We love the black door showcased as part of this home exterior. It ties in with the black-and-white color scheme and the small windows at the top are a charming detail.
35. Lean into the roofline.
While gable roofs are a classic detail of farmhouse style, we like how this simple cottage copied the roof for the portico over the front door. Sometimes great design can be more about the little things. The wood door, neutral shingle siding, and roofline all come together to create this idyllic lakeside escape by Chango & Co.
36. Make it stand out with a metal roof.
This rustic farmhouse has everything — a black exterior, stone detailing, and natural landscaping. But the metal roof really takes this design to the next level. It turns a chic and cozy cabin into a modern showcase. And metal roofs are considered a sustainable choice that reduces cooling costs during hotter months and retains heat when it gets chilly.
37. Add country flair to the front door.
Switch things up from time to time by adding a little extra flourish to your front door. Celebrate the changing seasons or major holidays with a thoughtful piece of decor. And since farmhouse style is all about natural materials, there are plenty of ways to keep your exterior ever-changing and always welcoming. Think wreaths made out of greenery or bunches of dried florals.
38. Don't underestimate the power of greenery.
There's nothing like the look of a grand white farmhouse surrounded by lush green landscaping to make a home feel timeless, as proven by this Katie LeClercq design. With a rolling green lawn, some boxwood along the pathway, and a couple of trees for shade, this exterior checks all of the boxes. Of course, you'll need to determine whether or not this look is realistic for your home, but whatever plant life you decide to go with, it should be simple so your farmhouse will always be the star of the show.
39. Try low-key lighting.
While outdoor lighting can be sophisticated and ornate, farmhouse style keeps most design elements chic and low-key. Take the barn light installed over this front door — the simple silhouette is right on cue, while the black finish makes it stand out just enough. The placement is also super practical, keeping the entryway illuminated in the dark.
40. Adding a Dutch door will add loads of charm.
We love the look of a Dutch door on almost any home, regardless of its style. But there's something about the look in black that turns a simple exterior into something really special. Plus, you can let the cool breeze in while keeping pets and kids safe. The only downside? Pesky little bugs might think the design feature is an open invitation.