Aug 19, 2023 - Real Estate

Modern farmhouse design dominates DMV suburbs

Front/side view of house with vertical white siding, white beams and black window casings

A modern farmhouse in Maryland. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Vertical white siding, charming porches, black window casings, shiplap and apron sinks have taken over home design in D.C.'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: "There's going to be a spot in architectural history for the modern farmhouse," says Kensington-based designer Laura Fox.

  • The uniform modern farmhouse style is still popular for exteriors, but Fox's clients are leaning more into color and other pops of personality on the inside.

The big picture: The style might be here to stay, especially after retailers like Target and homebuilders jumped on the bandwagon.

  • 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."

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

  • ğŸŽ¨ Paint your walls light, bright white.
  • 🪑 Accessorize with antiques and modern lighting.
  • 🖼 Frame large, contemporary prints with natural wood.
  • 🔨 Install shiplap vertically instead of horizontally and then paint with your favorite color.

What's next: "People will make the home their destination," Fox says.

  • Expect homes to feel like boutique hotels with rich paint colors, wallpaper and expertly paired old and new furnishings.
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, global director of data insights at Pinterest.

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