Modern Farmhouse Vs. Contemporary Style Homes: What's The Difference?

Both modern farmhouse and contemporary styles are popular interior aesthetics for homes. They both feature clean and often minimalist designs and often feature a neutral color scheme. Though they have some similar design features, the two differ quite a bit.

Modern farmhouse in interior design is inspired by traditional farmhouses but with an updated twist. With this design style, craftsmanship and texture are important details. It blends contemporary and comfort, according to Decoraid, and makes traditional country interiors a little more minimal.

Nailing down contemporary style can be tricky because the style is always evolving. It's often used interchangeably with "modern," but within interior design, these two are completely separate. In interior design, modern refers to styles popularized between the 1950s and 1980s, with mid-century modern and postmodernism respectfully. But contemporary design refers to the current trends and what's popular in today's homes, so the style is always changing. So you can think of contemporary design as a sort of umbrella term, and under it are many of the popular styles of today, including modern farmhouse.

What are the different color schemes?

Modern farmhouses tend to have a neutral color scheme that's very soothing. Whites, tans, and grays are popular bases for modern farmhouse color schemes. Keep the space light, airy, and minimal. Pop of color like greens, blues, and pinks are also common. You'll also often see black accents in modern farmhouses, especially in details like cabinet hardware and sink faucets. Gold or brass finishes are also popular. This creates contrast without weighing the design down with visually heavy colors.

Since contemporary covers a wide range of styles, there are quite a few color schemes that are trending in contemporary interior design. Similar to modern farmhouse design, neutral colors are popular, along with boho earth tones like mossy green, mustard yellow, and burnt orange. Also trending in the contemporary scene are bright colors with lots of contrast. These colors can be seen in the contemporary maximalist style, which has been on the rise lately, as shown by MyMove.

What's materials are common in each?

The goal of a modern farmhouse is to create a cozy interior. Though the color scheme is minimal, it's not stark or sterile. Introducing some natural elements help warm up the space and make it feel like a homey space. American Hardwood Information Center shows how natural wood accents throughout the home add a timeless character. Shiplap on the wall or exposed ceiling beams adds texture and warmth against the otherwise neutral interior. Modern farmhouses also use some materials that create a luxurious feel. Marble or quartz countertops in the bathrooms and kitchens. Sleek tiles in the kitchen or bathroom add a bit of shine. And exposed bricks on the fireplace create a rustic-chic gathering space.

Within contemporary design, you'll find a lot of silk, cotton, linen, and wool. All of these add texture that makes a home feel well-designed but also comfy. Current trends indicate that velvet–especially for sofas and side chairs–adds a luxe look to contemporary homes. Quartz and marble are also popular in overall contemporary design. But for tiles, you'll find that they're a little more playful. More color, interesting shapes, and geometric patterns are all on-trend to add a bit of personality to a contemporary home.

Where to shop to create each style?

Modern farmhouse and contemporary style are widely popular interior designs, so there are tons of places to buy furniture at multiple price points. No matter what your budget is, you'll be able to find everything from small decor details to large furniture pieces.

The Beauty Revival suggests furniture retailers like Wayfair, Joss and Main, Pottery Barn, and Ashley Homestore are great for buying pieces like sofas, cabinets, and dining room tables. For decor and accents, try Target and Marshalls. Etsy is a great place to look for art, pillows, and homemade textiles like blankets and curtains. Lastly, to infuse some true farmhouse design, check out thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets to get those one-of-a-kind statement pieces.

Stores like West Elm, AllModern, Article, and Rejuvenation are great stores for contemporary furniture. Find your decor accents at Anthropologie, CB2, and Target are great places to shop for decorative accents and art. What's great about contemporary style is that it encompasses so many styles that you can customize your space to your exact tastes.