Modern Farmhouse Kitchen your thing? Me too! Take a peek at my remodeled modern farmhouse kitchen for style inspiration, before/after pics, and great resources to help get you started on your own kitchen remodel.

Picture of EA Stewart, San Diego Nutrition Expert in her modern farmhouse kitchen

Welcome to my “modern farmhouse meets Spanish Mediterranean kitchen!

Backstory on my new farmhouse styled kitchen

My hubby, Mr. Spicy, and I remodeled our kitchen for the 1st time, almost 18 years ago, when our first child, SiSi (who just graduated from high school-sniff, sniff) was born.

Before that 1st remodel, we had lived in our house for 1 1/2 years with our original 70’s kitchen.

Think dark brown cabinets, mustard yellow tiles, a neon yellow sink, a gold “drop down” ceiling with buzzing flourescent lighting, laminate flooring, and yellow and brown wall paper.

Our kitchen wasn’t 50 shades of gray, but rather, 50 shades of gold and brown!

Not to mention, it was half the size it is now, with a sitting area adjacent to it, along with a dinning room, right next to the kitchen sitting area. Layout wise, it didn’t make sense at all.

1970s kitchen
Our original 1970’s Kitchen

I wish you could see the gorgeous wall paper (insert sarcasm) and linoleum flooring, but we stripped the wallpaper and installed new flooring throughout the house when we first moved it.

I’ll share before and after photos with you, along with my favorite modern farmhouse kitchen design elements in a minute, but first, a quick musing on my “before kitchen” which I also really loved…

Enter kitchen remodel #1, circa 2001…

For this remodel, we gutted the entire kitchen, and combined our small kitchen with the adjacent eating area to make one big kitchen.

We included: A large eat-in kitchen island, a floor to ceiling built-in buffet with glass doors, a built in desk, all new stainless steel appliances, stained maple cabinets, and granite countertops. Here’s a quick video tour to see what our kitchen looked like after our 2001 remodel.

YouTube video

As I stated earlier, I really did love our kitchen. It was bright and cheery. Not to mention all the wonderful memories forged at the kitchen counter. Art projects, homework sessions, feeding my kids’ friends after sleepovers, and coutnless family dinners.

But, after 17 years, I was ready for a re-fresh.

We had remodeled the rest of our house in a Spanish Mediterranean style 10 years ago, and I wanted the kitchen to feel like an extension of the rest of the house.

To that end, last October, 2018, we embarked on a purely cosmetic kitchen remodel, as we already had a kitchen layout that worked well for us.

Our modern farmhouse kitchen remodel included:

  • Painting the (stained) kitchen cabinet frames and replacing the door and drawer fronts in a simple, shaker style .
  • Replacing our double stainless steel sink with a single, white, farmhouse kitchen sink.
  • Removing our granite countertops and island, and replacing them with a combo of white quartz and distressed wood countertops.
  • Replacing our brushed chrome faucet and door/drawer hardware with matte black.
  • Removing our flourescent canned ceiling lights and replacing them with LEDs. We also swapped the pendant lights about our kitchen island with larger pendants.
  • And, last but not least, my favorite part of our kitchen remodel was removing a whole wall of upper cabinets, plus a built-in spice rack, tiling the entire wall, and adding open kitchen shelves.

Elements of a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen (Before & After)

No. 1 | Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Stained Kitchen Cabinets “Before”
modern farmhouse kitchen cabinets
Painted Kitchen Cabinets “After”

Our original kitchen cabinets were stained maple. They were bright and cheery, and made me happy, but this time around I opted for painted kitchen cabinets. We kept the existing boxes and layout, but added new shaker style drawer and door fronts.

Choosing a paint color was tough, as our kitchen light changes dramatically throughout the day (most windows face West, with a small South facing window). Although I love white and bright kitchens, I wanted something different.

We tried off white, gray, & the color I ultimately ended up choosing-a pale bluish grey called Front Porch by Sherwin Williams for all the cabinets on the walls. Not only does the name make me happy, but the color is equal parts, light & bright, yet very calming and soothing. I LOVE it!

In addition, while we originally thought we would paint the island a dark blue color, we ended up staining it a medium dark brown to match the wood counters (No. 4) and open shelves (No. 7). It adds a pretty warmth to the kitchen, plus a sense of cohesion by tying the different wood elements together.

No. 2 | Farmhouse Sink

Stainless steel kitchen sink
Stainless Steel Sink “Before”
white farmhouse sink
Farmhouse Sink “After”

Naturally, a modern farmhouse kitchen needs a farmhouse sink. Wink, wink.

Our original version was a double stainless steel sink. This time around, I knew I wanted a single sink-perfect for washing larger kitchen items. And, because I had so many other decisions to make, I decided to make things easy, and went with a classic white fireclay sink.

Although I still don’t enjoy doing dishes, at least my sink looks pretty while I do them.

No. 3 | White Quartz Countertops

Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite Countertops “Before”

modern farmhouse kitchen White quartz countertops
Quartz Countertops “After”

Previously we had granite countertops in hues of peach, grey, and black. Again, I loved them, but became enamored with white “marble” countertops-especially as a backdrop for all my healthy gluten free recipes and, (hopefully more to come) cooking videos.

I knew I didn’t want real marble-too much upkeep! And, I also wanted “some” but not “too much” marbling. I know, picky right?! After Marni and I looked at several quartz slabs, we both decided the Aurea Stone, in Paragon, would look perfect with my Front Porch Kitchen Cabinets and the backsplash tile (see No. 7) I had already picked out.

The Aurea stone ended up being almost twice as expensive as the other quartz slabs, but I only needed 2 slabs, so it was 100% worth it.

No. 4 | Wood Countertops

wood countertops on a desk and built in buffet in the modern farmhouse kitchen
LOVE these wood countertops on the buffet and desk!

This was a point of contention with Mr. Spicy. He was NOT on board with mixing up countertop materials, but Marni and I convinced him to go along with our plan.

The end result? He LOVES the warmth of the wood countertops on the buffet area and desk. They are made of alder, that’s been distressed and stained to match the open shelves and island.

They compliment our “modern” quartz countertops with a “rustic” feel to add to the charm of our modern farmhouse kitchen. I absolutely love them too!

No. 5 | Matte Black Faucet & Hardware

matte black kitchen faucet and water filter
matte black kitchen hardware

As much as I was drawn to the allure of shiny gold/brass hardware that’s become trendy lately, I’m happy I stuck with Marni’s advice and picked a more traditional matte black finish for our faucet, water filter, and door/drawer hardware.

I especially love the circle door knobs (we only used these on our buffet), and the rope styling on the drawer pulls, with the little black backing we set on the diagonal. It definitely adds to the Spanish feel of our modern farmhouse kitchen design.

No. 6 | Rustic Pendant Lights

While we already had black Moroccan style pendant lights above the kitchen island, Marni thought they were too small for the space, so we replaced them with these larger pendant lights.

They’re wrapped in twine at the top, and have a pretty woven design (that’s a bit hard to see in this photo), which leads to the modern farmhouse kitchen style.

I’ll be honest though, as much as I like them, I’m wondering if we should go with something a little modern here. Plus, I’m looking to replace our bar stool with a more modern style.

What do you think??? I‘d LOVE your input on both the pendant lights and the barstools-thanks!!!

No. 7 | Open Shelving & Mediterranean Tile Backsplash

tiled kitchen backsplash and wood shelves

How gorgeous is this open kitchen shelving and Mediterranean tile backsplash?!!!

And, last but not least, how gorgeous is this open kitchen shelving and our Mediterranean tile backsplash?!

Even before we started getting serious about our modern farmhouse kitchen remodel, I had been dreaming of this open kitchen shelving, and Mediterranean tile backsplash for a LONG time.

It’s probably my favorite feature of our kitchen remodel, but I have to confess, when the tile was first installed, I had a temporary moment of panic, thinking the tile was “too much”, and thought I had made a mistake.

Luckily Marni talked me off the edge (Thanks!!!), and after using the kitchen for a week, and styling the shelves, I can 100% say I absolutely love it!!!

modern farmhouse kitchen built-in buffet

That’s it for the big changes, but a few other updates we made included:

  • Replaced our 17 year old 42-inch built-in Kitchen Aid refrigerator with a 36-inch Thermador. This was a tough one to swallow, since built-in refrigerators are so dang expensive these days. Still, I’m really glad we made the swap, as our old refrigerator was needing more and more repairs. Not to mention, the newer versions are more energy efficient. Although our new fridge was still pricy, I scored a big savings (over $2000) buy purchasing it (brand new w/ warranty) on E-bay. See resources below for details.
  • Painted our kitchen walls with a slightly cooler (yet still neutral) shade of white, to sync with our new painted kitchen cabinets better.
  • Cleaned and resealed our Saltillo kitchen floor tiles. Despite weekly cleanings, the original tiles weren’t well sealed, so our floors looked so filthy. I can’t believe how much brighter and prettier they look now!
modern farmhouse kitchen tiled wall and open shelves

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my modern farmhouse kitchen remodel-truly my happy space! If you have any questions please leave me comment, and check out the resources below. Cheers & happy kitchen remodeling!

Resources for Your Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

Interior Design (San Diego)Marni Miller Design-Awesome!!!
General Contractor (San Diego)R.H. O’Malley Inc
Custom Cabinetry (San Diego)Oscar Peralta at Peralta Cabinets
CountertopsAurea Stone
Countertop Install (San Diego)Amazon Stone Encinitas
Farmhouse SinkBlanco Cerana (via Amazon)
Backsplash TileTierra Y Fuego
FaucetKohler Simplice (via Amazon)
HardwareTop Knobs (Normandy) at The Hardware Hut
LightingDenley Pendant at Ballard Designs
Cabinet PaintFront Porch by Sherwin Williams
Wall PaintAlabaster by Sherwin Williams
Thermador Refrigerator/FreezerEBay
Saltillo Tile Restoration (San Diego)Allen Sommers Natural Stone & Tile Care

Other Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel Resources for Inspiration

  • Pinterest. I’m definitely a visual person, and collected a lot of inspiration for modern farmhouse kitchen remodel on Pinterest.
  • Houzz. I also got some great kitchen remodel inspo via the Houzz app.