Feeling fatigued by farmhouse style? Homepolish designer Cindy De Luzuriaga shares her tips to mastering and modernizing the look, as exemplified by her work on family home in Darien, Connecticut.
Photos by Sean Litchfield
You don’t need to peruse Pinterest or turn on HGTV to know that farmhouse style has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. In fact, at times it feels like every corner you turn, you’re met with either shaker-style cabinets, an apron sink, or shiplap-clad walls. But as pervasive as many of the design style’s hallmark features may seem, we’re constantly impressed with our designers’ ability to make the trend feel fresh. One gorgeous example of this feat: designer Cindy De Luzuriaga’s transformation of a couple’s Darien, Connecticut home into a modern, refined farmhouse—one that tilts more towards refined minimalist than rustic country. Here, we walk you through how she pulled of a fresh take on the style.
1. Pick the Perfect Paint
If you want your home to evoke the bright, warm essence that’s indicative of so many farmhouse-style homes, be sure select paint colors that maximize on the distinctive amount of brightness in each space.
“What really made the difference was paint colors,” Cindy shares. “The light is so different in each room that we ended up using a different grey for each space and updated the office to a fresh white.”
The home was originally swathed in outdated shades of mauve and taupe, so the light hues provide a solid, complementary palette to build upon. Cindy even coated the house’s facade in a fresh coat of grey to “give a hint as to what is inside.”
2. Twist Tradition
Textbook farmhouse style sways traditional, but Cindy found ways to not only modernize it, but add some fun as well. To nudge this style out of its comfort zone, Cindy scouted accents one wouldn’t find in a barn—like a very modern BZippy rope vase in the office, and a statement-making leather safari chair.
“I tend to have a more avant garde style, so most of my designs are the result of reigning in ideas and refining some of my instincts,” Cindy says. “I found a playful twist to the ordinary and the results speak for themselves.”
She jumped on opportunities to incorporate fun, minimal prints—visible on the throw pillows in the office and living room, as well as the rugs throughout—to add some pattern and texture.
The designer also wasn’t afraid to lean into many of the rooms’ asymmetrical layouts. The off-kilter format in the kitchen, living room, and offices add more visual interest and establish vibe where comfort trumps formality.
3. Cue the Color
While greys and whites reign supreme in farmhouse-style homes, pops of color can feel entirely fresh, as well. Cindy added a splash of blue in each room, opting for a chair and throw pillows in the office and a blue chevron rug in the master bedroom. She even took cues from her client’s wardrobe when selecting colorful pieces.
“The clients really wanted pops of color to reflect their personality,” Cindy reveals. “I noticed these gorgeous neon striped vintage fabric pillows on a day the client was wearing a neon lanyard necklace, and it turned out to be a perfect hint of color on the sofa in the living room.”
In the playroom, she delivered pops of neon through toys and accessories while keeping the backdrop primarily neutral. She also wove in subtle color in unexpected ways throughout the home. In the white and grey kitchen, for instance, the client wanted the dining light to introduce some color, so Cindy opted for a red cord.
4. Invite the Outdoors In
For Cindy’s clients, a nod to nature was key to their vision, and the designer managed to incorporate them in a way that feels polished.
“When we did a preliminary design discovery, the client noted they liked things from nature, which reflected in the art, accents, and use of light wood,” Cindy says.
To establish an elevated take on natural style, she hand-picked an assortment of light wood pieces bearing clean lines. In the dining room, a farmhouse-style table in light wood along with wishbone chairs adds a touch of playfulness and complements the sun-drenched space.
The office is also peppered with blonde wood pieces, from an angular side table from TRNK to a customized navy and wood console from Pinch. And in terms of artwork, she layered in pieces from Uprise Art that showcase organic forms also inspired by nature.
5. Maximize on Minimalism
Clean lines, minimalist touches, and sparsely decorated nooks spaces are emblematic of farmhouse-style home, and Cindy looked for opportunities to embrace a less-is-more aesthetic.
“The owners have very little clutter,” she explains. “They don’t have any items that are unnecessary. The lack of clutter really makes a statement and lets the furniture do the talking.”
In the playroom at the center of the home, Cindy established a space that blends in with the clean, minimalist vibe of the surrounding “grown-up” areas while weaving in some whimsy (think a rattan hanging chair and sail-inspired bean bag chairs with contrast whipstitching). To ensure the playful space can easily be tidied, Cindy designed storage spaces where books and toys can be conveniently tucked away.
And while the entire home is predominantly pared down, the bathrooms—complete with natural touches, minimalist accessories, and one ultra-relaxing soaker tub—are the ultimate example of this approach.
Ready to invite modern farmhouse style into your home? Sign up for Homepolish today.