What are the best vintage decor elements to add to a modern farmhouse kitchen?

April 12, 2024

As purveyors of style and charm, you are always on the look-out for ways to imbue your spaces with an inviting, warm aura. In recent years, the fusion of modern and vintage decor has taken the top spot in interior design preferences. More specifically, the modern farmhouse kitchen has become a beloved style for homeowners. This design style marries the rustic simplicity of farmhouse elements with the sleek elegance of modern aesthetics, resulting in a cozy yet chic space that is both functional and beautiful.

To help you navigate through this trend, we have curated a guide on the best vintage decor elements to introduce into a modern farmhouse kitchen. You’ll find that each piece not only adds visual interest but imbues the space with a character that tells stories of eras gone by. Here are five key vintage decor elements that can truly elevate your modern farmhouse kitchen.

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Open Shelving

In the realm of kitchen design, open shelving is a practical feature that also serves as an aesthetic statement. Originating from vintage times when cabinets were considered a luxury, open shelves present an opportunity for you to showcase your beautiful kitchenware, antique finds, and curated knick-knacks. They add a sense of airiness and openness to your kitchen, breaking the monotony of closed cabinets.

If you’re opting for open shelving, consider using materials that evoke a sense of nostalgia like weathered wood or cast iron brackets. However, balance is key. Maintain the modern aspect of your kitchen by ensuring your shelves are streamlined and uncluttered.

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Antique Lighting Fixtures

Lighting is a crucial part of any kitchen’s design. It not only ensures visibility but also contributes significantly to the overall ambiance of the space. Antique lighting fixtures are a fantastic way to infuse a vintage element into your modern farmhouse kitchen.

Look for fixtures with brass or copper finishes, or those with an exposed Edison bulb design for that authentic vintage feel. Pendant lights above the kitchen island or a rustic chandelier can also add a dramatic touch. These lighting elements, when paired with modern appliances and furnishings, create a pleasing contrast that is characteristic of the modern farmhouse style.

Classic Farmhouse Sink

No modern farmhouse kitchen is complete without a classic farmhouse sink. Also known as an apron-front sink, this kitchen staple harks back to a time when running water was scarce, and large basins were needed for washing dishes.

Unlike traditional sinks, farmhouse sinks are deep and wide, perfect for handling large pots and pans. They come in various materials, but for a true vintage look, opt for a white porcelain or fireclay sink. The sleek, clean lines of a white farmhouse sink add a modern touch, while the design itself is a nod to the past.

Vintage-inspired Appliances

Another way to blend the old with the new in a modern farmhouse kitchen is by introducing vintage-inspired appliances. These appliances combine the charm of yesteryears with the technological advancements of today.

Consider a retro refrigerator or a classic range in shades like cream or pastel shades. These pieces not only stand out as focal points but also provide the conveniences of modern-day cooking.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is a versatile material that brings a dose of rustic charm to your modern farmhouse kitchen. Used for kitchen islands, countertops, flooring, or bar stools, it instantly adds warmth and texture to your space.

The beauty of reclaimed wood lies in its imperfections – the knots, nail holes, and weathering tell a story of its past, lending your kitchen an authentic vintage appeal. Mix it with modern materials like stainless steel appliances or marble countertops for a unique blend of old and new.

Incorporating these vintage elements into your modern farmhouse kitchen can create a delightful blend of style and functionality. So go ahead and add that open shelf, hang that antique lighting fixture, install that classic farmhouse sink, bring in vintage-inspired appliances, and use reclaimed wood in your kitchen design. You’ll be sure to create a space that is not only cozy and inviting but also brimming with character and charm.

Exposed Brickwork

A feature that can truly evoke the rustic nature of a vintage farmhouse is exposed brickwork. Harking back to an era when homes were primarily built with bricks, exposed brickwork can bring a sense of nostalgia and warmth to your modern farmhouse kitchen. This architectural element, often found hidden behind modern plastered walls, is a beautiful way to introduce a vintage touch to your kitchen.

Exposed brick walls in the kitchen are practical and stunning. They can serve as an accent wall that breaks up the monotony or as a backsplash, providing a contrast against smooth modern surfaces like marble or stainless steel. They can also be used to frame your windows, creating an interesting visual effect.

If you’re considering this design element, bear in mind that bricks come in various colors, textures, and finishes. When integrating exposed brickwork into your kitchen, it’s critical to choose one that complements your existing decor. A well-chosen brick can seamlessly blend the modern and the vintage, adding depth and texture to your kitchen.

The rough, rugged nature of exposed brickwork contrasts beautifully with sleek modern appliances and fixtures, emphasizing the blend of old and new that epitomizes the modern farmhouse style. It’s an edgy, eye-catching feature that is sure to make your kitchen stand out.

Patterned Floor Tiles

Patterned floor tiles are another vintage decor element that can significantly impact the aesthetics of your modern farmhouse kitchen. Originating from an era when attention to detail was paramount, patterned floor tiles can evoke feelings of nostalgia and old-world charm. Their intricate designs and colors can add visual interest and character to your kitchen floor.

When choosing patterned floor tiles, consider those with a vintage design, such as Victorian or Moroccan-inspired tiles. These styles are known for their complex designs and rich, earthy tones and can beautifully contrast the clean lines and neutral shades of a modern kitchen.

However, it’s essential to remember that while patterned floor tiles can add a vintage touch, they should also complement the overall style of your kitchen. Choose colors and patterns that harmonize with your kitchen’s color scheme and decor.

Pairing patterned floor tiles with modern cabinetry, appliances, and fixtures can create a stunning contrast that is sure to make your kitchen a focal point in your home. It’s a bold statement that combines the charm of the past with the sleek elegance of the present, creating a kitchen that is undeniably unique and stylish.


In conclusion, the blend of contemporary and vintage elements is a trend that characterizes the modern farmhouse kitchen style. Open shelving, antique lighting fixtures, classic farmhouse sinks, vintage-inspired appliances, reclaimed wood, exposed brickwork, and patterned floor tiles are just a few vintage decor elements that can elevate your kitchen design, making it both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

While each element contributes to achieving the perfect balance between old and new, remember that the key to a successful design is in the details. It’s all about finding the right balance – combining these vintage elements with sleek, modern designs to create a space that is inviting, warm, and unmistakably yours.

So go ahead and infuse your modern farmhouse kitchen with these vintage decor elements. The result will be a beautiful, unique space that seamlessly merges the charm of the past with the conveniences of the present, creating a kitchen that you will love spending time in.