The Defining a Style Series: What Is Modern Farmhouse Design?

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There’s a reason why so many of us continue to fall head-over-heels for farmhouse style. Its unique take on comfort and simplicity creates an aura that could make anyone feel at home, even if they’ve never set foot on a farm. However, some people shy away due to the assumption that this aesthetic can feel a little outdated.

We’re going to prove those people wrong. Below is our guide to pulling off modern farmhouse design. Read over these tips and keep them in the forefront of your mind as you work on your own interiors. With any luck, you’ll achieve the perfect balance between classic comfort and modern flair.

Put practicality first

When you consider the ins-and-outs of farm life, it’s no surprise that practicality reigns supreme. While you should always consider functionality and usage as an integral part of any design, in this case, it needs to be your first point of consideration.

As for how to make that happen, planning is key. Before you start getting into the nitty-gritty of your redesign, take some time to look at the space. Consider details like the flow of the room, the lighting, and the furniture arrangement. Consider what’s working and what isn’t, as well as what changes you can make in order to make ease-of-use your first priority.

Then, once you’re ready to start gathering your design elements, remember that function should be your primary focus. Let your furniture and storage options take center stage in the room, above any decorative elements.

Choose a neutral palette

The colors you choose will be crucial to making this look work. Gone are the sage greens and buttermilk yellows that harken to older farmhouse styles. These days, a neutral color palette is a crucial part of any modern design, and including one in your farmhouse-inspired space will be the thing that helps keep your fresh, clean, and totally current.

As always, you’ll want to keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind. Here, white is the natural choice to fulfill the role of your dominant shade. For your other two colors, think about using earthy shades like grays, tans, and browns. Bare in mind that your accent shade should be the boldest of them all.

In a farmhouse design, the finishes you choose will also play an important role. Rather than choosing crisp, bright shades like you would in a truly modern design, you may want to consider choosing colors that have a bit of a vintage or antique feel to them. This will provide a small nod to classic farmhouse style without feeling too over the top.

Mix and match furniture

Next up, it’s time to focus on furniture. Traditionally, farmhouse designs relied heavily on simple wooden furniture to fill up the bulk of their interiors. You should include that in your space as well. The type of wood and finish that you use is up to you, but whenever possible, opt for pieces that feature clean and simple lines.

To give the look a more modern twist, you’ll want to infuse another layer of comfort into the space. Think about balancing out the natural materials in the room with things like plush couches, comfy accent chairs, and cushioned bar stools. You can also enhance the feeling of the room by layerings items like throw pillows and blankets into your design.

Add industrial accents

Lastly, you’ll want to think of the purely decorative elements your design. Here, we’d suggest leaning strongly on industrial-inspired pieces. Not only are industrial pieces commonly based on the machinery used for farming, but they also happen to be experiencing a spike in popularity right now, making them the perfect common thread to finish off your look.

With that in mind, keep an eye out for hanging barn doors, wooden mantles, iron-inspired light fixtures, and galvanized metal storage buckets. In farmhouse design, the best accents are the ones that also play a functional role, so look for pieces that serve a purpose.

Farmhouse style has been around for decades, but that doesn’t mean it has to be synonymous with grandma’s house and days gone by. Take this guide on modern farmhouse design as your inspiration. The tips and advice in this post are the keys to creating a farmhouse-inspired space that feels equal parts warm, welcoming, and current.

What do you think of modern farmhouse design? Would you be willing to try out the look in your own home? Share your opinions with us in the comments below.

12 Tips You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Building a shipping container home seems pretty straightforward in theory. There are millions of excess shipping containers laying around in ports around the world, and they are the perfect size for a home. If you want a multi-story or larger square footage home, you simply stack a few shipping containers on top of one another and, voila, you’ve got a home. Unfortunately, things are never as easy as they seem from the outset. When it comes to building a shipping container home, there are several things you need to know to make sure that your home is structurally sound, sustainable, and singularly beautiful.

1. See Before you Buy

You would never purchase a used car without first inspecting it and taking it for a test drive. When purchasing a used shipping container, you will most likely not be able to do a complete “walk through”, especially if it is currently located at some obscure port on the other side of the world. However, you can ask the seller for detailed pictures and a thorough description of the container.

Older shipping containers, especially, might have several dents, issues with rust, or other structural problems that come with a lifetime of being tossed around on the high seas. One-trip containers are a little bit more expensive, though they are almost assured to be in great shape, and might be worth the investment if you want to avoid the work (and expense) of fixing a container that is all dented up.

2. Know Your Building Code Restrictions

Many towns and cities might have certain restrictions against building a shipping container home. Before you invest several thousand dollars in used shipping containers, make sure you check on your local and state building codes. A good introduction to state building codes and shipping container construction can be found here.

3. Make Sure You Have a Plan for Insulating

An unfinished steel shipping container will be unbearably hot during the summer and freezing cold in the winter unless you have a good plan for adding needed insulation. When designing your shipping container home, ask certain contractors about insulation ideas, and remember that you will have to heavily insulate the roof as well as the walls. Blanket-style insulation will need an interior stud wall, while foam insulation can be sprayed directly onto the wall. If you are exploring a more green or sustainable alternative, consider sheep wool or even adding a green roof onto the top of your shipping container home.

4. Find a Complete Contractor

Instead of attempting to deal with one contractor for placing and modifying your unfinished containers and others for the interior finishing work, it is best to search for one contractor that can oversee the entire process. Since shipping container construction is still a relatively new niche in the building industry, it can be difficult to find contractors with relevant experience. Here is a list of 16 companies around the USA who specialize in shipping container construction as pre-built homes.

5. Protect Against Harmful Chemicals

If you are purchasing used shipping containers for your home, it is important to understand that these containers were designed for a lifetime at sea. The wood flooring on most shipping containers includes heavy pesticides to deter rats and rodents from eating through the flooring. Furthermore, the paint on these containers often contains chemicals to protect the containers from saltwater spray from the oceans.

To avoid these harmful chemicals in your shipping container home, you can either choose to buy a new shipping container that does not have these chemical issues or make some adjustments. Consider ripping up the pesticide-infested wood flooring and installing your own flooring. Foam insulation on the interior of the shipping container will protect from any off gassing from harmful chemical paints.

6. Avoid Cutting Your Containers into Pieces

Shipping containers are extremely strong since they are built out of solid steel and the walls can certainly be load bearing if you want to add a second story or build a separate roof structure. However, each time you cut a hole into your shipping container for an extra door or window you are debilitating the structural integrity of the container and will most likely have to invest in a steel beam reinforcement. The more you cut into your container, the more reinforcement it will need, and the higher your budget will rise.

7. Plan Ahead for Plumbing and Electrical

When designing your shipping container home, make sure you have a good idea where the plumbing and electrical lines will enter and leave your home. Ask your contractor to cut the holes for plumbing and electrical lines before finishing the interior so that you can avoid having to move your kitchen cabinets to cut a hole to run that one extra pipe you forgot about.

8. Know the Difference between Containers

Not all shipping containers are the same. While traditional shipping containers are eight-feet tall, high cube containers add an extra foot in height. If you are planning to heavily insulate your floor or ceiling, you can be left with a house that ends up being strangely “Hobbitish.” While high cube containers are usually about $1,000 more expensive than regular shipping containers, the extra height can certainly come in handy.

9. Prepare for the Wind

Shipping container homes placed in windy areas will most likely lead to a noisy home. Because of their rectangular shape, these types of homes are the opposite of aerodynamic. Strong winds and gusts will then most likely hit the walls of the home and cause interior noise. If you live in a windy area, consider placing your home behind a windbreak or in an area that protects your home from the piercing winds.

10. Avoid Excessive Welding to Cut Costs

While one shipping container can perfectly be modelled into a tiny home, when you want more square footage you will have to purchase several containers. Shipping containers need to be welded together for added structural integrity. The problem, of course, is that welding is expensive so design accordingly to try to limit the amount of welding that needs to be done.

11. Consider Local and Vernacular Options First

While many people are interested in shipping container housing because of the sustainability aspect, it is best to always begin with local and vernacular options first. Shipping containers are heavy and the transportation required to move them from some distant port to your home site can have a large environmental impact. Shipping container construction is most sustainable if you can find a used container that is being sold relatively close to your region, especially if you live near a port. Furthermore, consider combining vernacular construction methods with shipping container homes, such as using straw bales and natural plasters for interior insulation and walls.

12. Be Willing to Spend the Extra Dollar

While many people are attracted to shipping container homes because of the supposed affordability, it is important to understand that completely finishing the exterior and interior of a shipping container home can add up in cost. As with almost construction styles, the larger your home, the more expensive it will be. The extra cost associated with welding, insulating, and finishing a multi-container home might end up being just as expensive as a regular stick-framed house.

9 Cool Container Homes To Inspire Your Own

Container homes are what you would imagine them to be. Rectangular, cozy, built from shipping containers, and cost way less than regular homes. Looking at container homes design ignited a crazy idea in me. Forget about a cabin in the woods. One of these shipping container home plans is up for building. Continue reading for your own shipping container house design idea!

Container Homes You Wish Were Your Own!

1. Elegant Modern Container Home

While this is an elaborate design for a container home and anything but a tiny house, you’ll love this. After all, it can pass for an architectural marvel. It’s an ultra-modern home for those who want to keep up. With straight lines, floor-to-ceiling windows with glass panels, it’s anything but recycled.

2. Luxury Shipping Container Home

Check this lovely tiny house listed in homes for sale at a jaw-dropping price of only $35,000! You never get cozy prefab homes at less than $40, 000. For your home extension or a guest house, spare yourself the hefty construction price. With 160 square feet of living space, you can have this complete with furnishings. It is also water and electricity ready via RV-style connections.

3. Modern Container Beach House

Beach houses and holiday homes cost a fortune, but we all love to have one. It is a good investment and it shouldn’t break the bank to build. These beach container homes look promising though some frown on the idea. There are building issues to consider such as the weather and maintenance cost. Check out the interior of this container home and see if it makes you smile instead.

4. Modern Design Container Home

Container home plans build from either single or many cargo containers. This modern container home used four shipping containers. The lower levels of the container home’s exterior used pre-rusted corten steel. The upper levels use expanded metal sheets. It also features floor-to-ceiling windows. And the interior is also like every other home.

5. House Built With 5 Cargo Containers

This couple built this stunning house from 5 shipping containers. Whatever are your concerns in a shipping container house, it’s about to change. Take a tour of their container home and get inspiration for your own project.

6. Container Home And Studio

If you’re a minimalist, you’ll love how this design managed to keep the original exterior of the cargo container. It gives it a rustic feel but the inside is still a homey and sweet vibe. If you have shipping containers for sale near you, this design is perfect.

7. Shipping Container Guest House

With this guest house design, your guests will definitely feel at home with the privacy of a separate dwelling. Watch out! They might stay a few more days beyond their scheduled leave. View the interior of this container guest house and you’ll see what I mean.

8. Tiny Scale Shipping Container House

Even a single container home can provide you with the amenities of a regular home. Check out the interior of this container home as design inspiration for your own project. With double shipping containers, they make great single-family homes.