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Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Update

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Southwest was a popular trend in home decor starting about 10+ years ago. Since many homeowners tend to redecorate every 10 years, we are still seeing a lot of that same style in homes today. For clients who are ready for a change, I’ve found that one of the easier styles to transition into from Southwest, without a major overhaul, is Modern Farmhouse.

For this project, my client called me to help update the look of his home. He was thinking that just by painting the interior we could achieve a whole new look. After visiting the home, I explained to him all of the design elements that contributed to this Southwest look and proposed that we change more than the paint. He agreed and we got started immediately. Here’s how we achieved a modern up-to-date look.

This is what the kitchen looked like before we started.


One of the first things we decided on was the paint color. White is definitely a popular choice today and choosing a wall color that is currently on trend is a good first step in updating the look of your home. We liked the idea of painting the interior of the main rooms white, for a crisp clean look. We chose the color "Igloo" in a satin finish by Dunn Edwards. It was the perfect white without any obvious undertones.

Counter Top

The next material we chose was the countertop. We went with a quartz material with a square profile edge for a more modern look. Choosing the countertop first, helped with deciding the cabinet color. We pulled out a shade of gray from the countertop to coordinate the cabinet color.


After creating multiple samples of custom paint colors for the cabinets, we found a close match to the gray tone in the countertop and went with that. The cabinets were a #knottypine, so we were a little concerned on how they would look being refinished with a paint. Our solution was to add a dark glaze over the paint to accent the knots in the cabinets, instead of trying to ignore that they were there. It was a perfect solution and turned out great!


The fan and pendant lights were really dating the kitchen. I’m not in love with ceiling fans in design, but we are in Arizona so a fan in the kitchen is a good idea for the summer months. We swapped the existing fan out with a simple modern looking one. We replaced the pendants with matte black industrial farmhouse lights.


One of my favorite styles is the subway tile. It’s quite popular right now and to be honest I’m not sure how long these will be on-trend, but I feel they are a safe and stylish bet. I think #subwaytiles are a great choice for many kitchens, but especially when renovating kitchens to sell.

Getting creative around the range is a simple way to create interest and break up the backsplash design. I had the tile installer create a herringbone design with the tiles and frame it out with a stainless steel pencil edge. I personally think It turned out perfect.

Door hardware

The cabinets did not have any door hardware, so we had a clean slate to start with. Adding hardware to cabinets and drawers can really add a lot to the look of a kitchen. Along with lighting fixtures, they are the room’s accessories. I chose black handles and knobs to create a bold contrast. The black hardware helped to tie in the black light fixtures. My client wanted to keep the current faucet, so I didn’t bother replacing that. Having stainless steel appliances allowed for two different metal colors to work well within that space.


When designing and decorating kitchens, I like to keep the decor minimal. I love nice clean countertops. I added a few items to stage the kitchen, but left most of the counters clear of clutter. There will be enough items added to the countertop for everyday use, so I don’t feel it’s necessary to be too excessive with decor items.

I kept the color palette neutral and added simple wall art above the cabinets. Placing items on top of the cabinets has become controversial. For me, I think it depends on the home itself. I like adding decorative items above the cabinets for some kitchens and I prefer to leave it out on others. For this particular kitchen, I was going for a more contemporary and simplistic look, so I left the cabinet decor out.

In a nutshell, this is how we went from Southwest to #ModernFarmhouse. One of the most cost-saving efforts we made was keeping the existing cabinets and having them refinished. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the number of cabinets you have, it may or may not be the best choice for you. I would price out both options. If replacing the cabinets is similar in cost to having them refinished, I would go that route.

I hope this provided some inspiration for your home. We truly enjoyed transforming this kitchen and are thrilled with the final result. Take a look at the video for more room updates in this Gilbert, Arizona home and leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Interested in what changes we can make to your home? Let's chat over video or phone during one of our design consultations. Contact us here and let's get started!

Castle Designs

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