Aug 19, 2023 - Real Estate

Modern farmhouse design takes Tampa Bay suburbs

A house with wood doors, white beams and an open patio is reflected in a pool in the evening

A modern farmhouse in Tampa by Sterling Ridge Custom Home Builder. Photo: Courtesy of Seamus Payne

Shiplap, barn doors, reclaimed wood, black hardware and ceiling beams β€” those are the hallmarks of a modern farmhouse, says Sterling Ridge Properties co-owner Laura Scarpinato. And they're gaining traction in Tampa Bay's suburbs.

Why it matters: Modern farmhouses have dethroned McMansions as the suburban dream home.

Driving the news: The breezy, neutral style was popularized 10 years ago when Chip and Joanna Gaines launched HGTV's "Fixer Upper."

What they're saying: The fact that it's "comforting and fairly easy to achieve" is part of the appeal of the modern farmhouse style, says Scarpinato, who worked on a modern farmhouse project in Tampa.

  • But she recommends homeowners focus less on sticking strictly to a specific style, and instead "always to go with things you love that give you joy, [because] your home needs to bring you a sense of calm and happiness."

The big picture: Retailers and home builders jumped on the bandwagon to give consumers what they want.

  • Target's home goods section is stocked with farmhouse-inspired Magnolia and Studio McGee collections.
  • The style dominates new-build communities around the country.

Of note: Some design experts predict the trend is here to stay.

  • The ease of replicating the look "has played a significant role in the phenomenon of the modern farmhouse," says Veronica Valencia, host of HGTV's "Revealed."
  • "As a homeowner, when you look at a simple modern farmhouse room, you immediately feel like, 'Oh! I can tackle that!' There are no bells and whistles to it. … It's simple and familiar," Valencia says.

If you want to incorporate the style at home, here are Valencia's top tips:

  • 🎨 Paint your walls light, bright white.
  • πŸͺ‘ Accessorize with antiques and modern lighting.
  • πŸ–Ό Frame large, contemporary prints with natural wood.

πŸ”¨ Install shiplap vertically instead of horizontally and then paint with your favorite color.

Data: Pinterest; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Pinterest; Chart: Axios Visuals

Some experts have already declared the death of the modern farmhouse movement, but Pinterest searches related to the style have exploded since last summer.

Between the lines: The average consumer isn't ready to quit the approachable style.

What they're saying: "Pinners are also putting their own spin on the trend to make spaces feel like their own," says Swasti Sarna, the Global Director of Data Insights at Pinterest.

  • "Moody farmhouse" and "vintage farmhouse" are both trending.

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