How to Modernize a Farmhouse Without Losing Its Character

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Image: Simply Stated Living

Traditionally, the farmhouse was a place to be just as it describes: a house for farmers. Today, many of these old farmhouses are being converted into multi-functional living spaces that are perfect for that open floor plan so many people crave. They are spacious, comfortable, casual, and rustic whether you are actually a farmer or not.

Here are my tricks to modernizing an old farmhouse—or any old house for that matter:

Use Modern Lighting Fixtures and Convert Spaces

Modernize a Farmhouse with Unique Lighting Fixtures on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) Indecora (right) Vintage Weave

Lighting is one of the quickest ways to update an old house. The oversized wicker ceiling pendant (left) maintains the rustic style while bringing in a more whimsical element with its scale. Additionally, the wall sconce in a clean, modern copper, adds in a modernized element.

You can also convert a space to it’s modern uses. The kitchen above (right) previously contained a huge oven but today it’s used for a long table, which acts as storage.

Bring in Additional Textures

Modernize a Farmhouse with Additional Textures on the Interior CollectiveImage: The Shabby Creek Cottage

An old farmhouse is typically made from simple materials like woods from local groves. This kitchen adds beautiful marbles to a variety of metals, including a collection of metal dishes on display above the stove . It also adds texture with woods in a variety of colors.

Keep Something Old, Add Something New

Modernize a Farmhouse Using Old and New on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) DigsDigs (right) Decor Advisor

One way to drastically update an old space is to juxtapose it with beautiful, sleek furniture like this dining space (left). The table has a simple shape in a mirrored metal, while the seating options are sparse yet comfortable. Top it off with some simple décor elements and it instantly feels new.

While modernizing an old home; however, remember to hold on to the design elements that give the space character. One of my favorite parts about many old houses, especially farmhouses, is the wooden beams. Do not cover those! Like the bedroom above (right) it adds so much character to a space.

Have you lived in a farmhouse? Have dreams of doing so? How would you redo it?

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.