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Why Farmhouse Style Is a Timeless Choice

Today’s hottest design trend — farmhouse style — is deeply rooted in the past.

Written by Charles Bevier
 Reclaimed barnwood siding paired with rusted-metal roofing evokes a sense of age and history in this newly constructed cabin. Twigstyle railings complete the woodsy feel.  Photo: Appalachian Antique Hardwoods


Characterized by wrap-around porches and sensible layouts, farmhouse design has been part of the American landscape since Colonial times. But over the past decade, home buyers have not only rediscovered this housing genre, they’ve embraced it when building their modern log and timber dream homes.

Today’s farmhouse design harkens back to a time when home buyers valued practicality above all else, according to Molly Hix Cooper, proprietor of Cooper & Co. Interior Design, a division of Honest Abe Log Homes.

“It’s a welcoming look with clean lines,” says Molly, who served as  the interior designer for Honest Abe’s “Southern Grace” concept home, which recently won a design award from the National Association of Home Builders. “People who tour this home love the pressed-tin and barrel ceiling in the kitchen so much, they usually want one for their own home.”



The kitchen’s design, with an island and booth in the center, is another popular design feature. The layout creates a wonderful work surface, with each side of the island centered on a designated task for that area. For example, the side with the bar sink is where the fruits or veggies come out of the fridge to be prepped for meals. The side closest to the stove is where the baking happens, so the cabinet includes a pull-out shelf for the mixer and drawers for baking sheets, mixing bowls and dry goods.

“The area near the main sink is an extension of the prep areas and includes pop-up electrical outlets and USB ports, as well as trash cans on either end — one with a compost bin,” Molly points out.  “Also, this kitchen offers an extensive walk-in pantry that would remind someone of an old general store. There’s also a pot filler over the stove top and an amazing hood unit with side drawers for spice storage.”


 A gambrel roofline is a telltale sign of a barn-style home. A tri-level patio/deck/balcony makes excellent use of the site’s outdoor living capabilities. Photo: Sand Creek Post & Beam


Though the kitchen is undoubtedly at the heart of a modern-day farmhouse motif, it isn’t the only place to infuse nostalgic design. Other elements popular in farmhouse-style include thick wood mantels, rolling barn doors, industrial or tactile light fixtures and other rustic accents, according to Cody Wortmann, marketing director for Sand Creek Post & Beam.

“We’re seeing customers mixing the elements of exposed timbers with either whitewashed shiplap, reclaimed materials or painted drywall to give the home a modern take on a traditional timber frame, which can feel more rustic depending on the amount of wood used,” Cody says.

“Deep apron-front sinks, sliding barn doors and barn lighting fixtures are really popular farmhouse features,” Cody continues. “Home buyers are choosing a blend of natural, warm elements mixed with whites to create an airy, open space while retaining the beauty and timeless art of timber framing. In fact, the ability to be modular with the design makes timber framing perfect for this style of home.”

Above all else, free-flowing floor plans and connected spaces encourage family togetherness. The irony of living in a technology-driven world is that the more “connected” we are, the more disconnected we feel. This need to reconnect lies at the core of the farmhouse movement’s growing popularity. Whether you are looking for a ranch-style layout or a multi-story gem, when planning your dream log or timber home, consider farmhouse design elements. Practicality, functionality and beauty never go out of style.

See also: Modern Farmhouse Finds for Timber Homes

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