Interior Design Style Ideas Beyond Modern Farmhouse

Three Gorgeous Alternatives to the Overdone “Farmhouse” Design Trend

This image showcases a fresh take on farmhouse style via a contemporary reading nook
A contemporary twist on farmhouse style transforms this lower level into a fresh and relaxing space to both entertain and unwind. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Farmhouse style undoubtedly has its place in design. But, like the overly beige tones of the early 2000s, there is a limit to its longevity – especially when it’s overdone

Any design style, be it Scandinavian interior design, ultra-minimalist and contemporary interiors, or deep and moody traditional aesthetics, can go overboard if you aren’t careful. Thus, creating a house design that is strategic rather than an exact replica of what is deemed “popular” is essential.

Have you been drawn to farmhouse interiors in the past, but ready for a change now? Then today’s post is exactly what you need. Because there are elements of farmhouse style that still work. But executing it in a way that still feels fresh is a must. Read on for our breakdown of farmhouse-adjacent styles. They’re sure to give you that rustic and lived-in infusion, but with an updated twist. (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take our Design Style Quiz to narrow down your personal aesthetic!)

Related: Best Greige Paint Colors – Our Top Grey/Beige Shades for your Home

Streamlined Scandinavian Style

Perhaps the closest thing to farmhouse style without feeling too country chic is the Scandinavian interior design style. Farmhouse interiors favor bright white shiplap and an abundance of reclaimed wood. Scandinavian interiors, on the other hand, similarly adhere to a largely neutral color palette, but with a much more modern take on style overall. Minimalism is typically at the core of its aesthetic. That means clean lines and silhouettes reign supreme.

Scandinavian Warmth

But, don’t think Scandinavian is cold and too-modern. Remember that the minimalist approach to this style doesn’t mean a lack of warmth. It simply refers to the prioritization of essential daily living. Warmth is always infused with hygge elements. Cozy throws, warm wood hues, and plenty of candles and lighting abound. So, if you’re hesitant to totally give up on the simple palette and low-key vibes of farmhouse style, give Scandinavian a try. You just might find it’s the perfect transition to contemporary trends for you.

This kitchen and dining room space showcases Scandinavian style that is modern and fresh
Streamlined furniture silhouettes, minimalistic aesthetic with clean lines, and a mix of warm natural wood tones, white cabinets, and neutral colors make this open floor plan feel intentional and inherently Scandinavian in style. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Neutral white bathroom showcases Scandinavian design style
In this bathroom, the pairing of bright white walls, a deep-stained wood floor, bright white countertops, and a modern sconce guarantees a Scandinavian-inspired design that blends together both function and style.

Vintage Style Design

Farmhouse style certainly excels in the arena of making things look rustic or aged. But truthfully, most of that is artificial. The “shabby chic” influences on farmhouse decor (especially on wall art and in furniture) is overdone.  At this point in the design world, it’s honestly a bit cringeworthy. Instead of opting for another kitschy sign or frame, we recommend experimenting with an infusion of true vintage. Everything from French antiques to mid century silhouettes is up for grabs. You really can’t go wrong with any of it.

How to Mix Vintage & Farmhouse Style

What if your house design is currently in the farmhouse realm? All you need to do is keep the more modern elements of its style as your base. Then, pepper in a few vintage pieces for a unique and eclectic look all around. Vintage pieces also add warmth to a space. Since they’re often made with saturated colors, this can add some much-needed life to your walls and rooms.

Lower level rustic and reclaimed bar showcases a vintage aesthetic
Though this lower level bar retains a dose of modern farmhouse design, it also seamlessly incorporates vintage elements via a vintage ski propped in the corner and reclaimed beams and cowhide-upholstered stools. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Related: Best Neutral Colors for Your Home

Lower level with faux taxidermy bull head showcases vintage aesthetic
This lower level was created to embrace a touch of quirkiness, and between our clients’ faux taxidermy bull head mounted on the wall and the vintage-inspired light fixture overhead, the entire space feels lived-in and expertly curated. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Bold Interior Style

Have you noticed the explosion of color and pattern in design lately? Some speculate it’s the result of a year of quarantine and the subsequent urge to add warmth and coziness to our homes. But it could also be a bucking of the white, black, and greys so often associated with farmhouse style in recent years. Neutrals are of course classics that never really go out of style. But it doesn’t hurt to mix things up a bit to add some personality and charm. Enter the “wild” interiors style. Sometimes tropical and lush, but always imaginative and bold, this aesthetic is all about experimentation with unique patterns and prints.

The Variety of “Wild”

But don’t assume that this design trend is only for beach-loving individuals. Wild interiors can also mean simply saturated interiors. If, for instance, a classic and traditional home style is more up your alley (versus a bohemian style), you can still add a touch of “wild” to your spaces. Just opt for deep and moody hues, whimsical patterned wallpaper, or throw pillows in alluring prints and palettes. The options are endless.

A vibrant and bold room with plenty of color adds instant personality
While white and black floor tiles anchor this space in a classic aesthetic, the pop of a vibrant green hue on the walls paired with whimsical and colorful furniture and plants makes it a refreshing and unexpected space within the home.

RELATED: 39 Easy Center Table Decor Ideas (and tips) for your Living Room

Graphic bathroom floor tiles showcase how pattern can transform a room
Though this basement bathroom still sticks to a neutral color palette, the use of exposed brick and a bold black and white graphic floor tile makes the space pop with pattern and texture, creating a trend-forward look. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Get peel & stick (real) paint color samples to try in your home – HERE!

Ready to upgrade your farmhouse-inspired abode? Try one of these design styles. We have a feeling you’ll love it through and through. And if these don’t quite pique your interest? Remember – there’s always our style quiz to lead the way.


Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

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2 Responses

    1. All of the brink in these images is new! We used a German Schmear technique to give it the appearance of old exposed brick.

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