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In the past, you might not have considered adding wall decor to a utilitarian space like a kitchen. But as this room becomes a more social hub in our homes, it seems only right that we should make them feel as homely as possible. After all, with so much time spent carefully picking out countertops, tiles, and light fixtures, it would be a shame to skip the final decorative touches.
One interior design style in particular that really benefits from beautiful wall decor is the modern farmhouse kitchen. A timeless blend of old and new, this lived-in style thrives off of being filled with your favorite pieces collected over time.
If you’re not sure how to introduce wall decor into your kitchen in a meaningful way, one of these suggestions from leading interior designers and experts might spark an idea. From simple additions to larger installs, something here is sure to inspire.
Modern farmhouse kitchen wall décor ideas
Wall decor ideas don’t have to involve wallpaper, paint, or wall paneling (although this does work beautifully). Whether you want to transform a wall or simply showcase beautiful decor items, there are some really fun ways to add interest to your modern farmhouse kitchen walls.
1. Hang aesthetic kitchenware on the wall
The modern farmhouse kitchen style really embraces the idea of making the functional beautiful and vice versa. As such, hanging kitchenware on the walls is a great way to add decoration that has more than one function.
‘In lieu of hyper following kitchen trends, like the ‘Modern Farmhouse’ one, or many others, I always lean into function and personalization when finishing kitchens,’ explains Mollie Ranize, founder of Dmar Interiors.
‘For example, this large pizza board gets regular use in this house. Whether for pizza, baking, large charcuterie boards or general entertaining. It’s also larger than what most kitchen cabinets can hold, so by putting it on display, you are able to keep it accessible while giving it a home. It also tells a story about the active kitchen and its family.’
Mollie Ranize is the founder of Dmar Interiors, a nationally recognized design firm based in sunny Southern California. She has been known for her 3T Method for 20+ years: designing Tasteful, Tailored and Timeless interiors.
2. Add floating shelves to showcase your favorite items
Floating shelves are a popular design element in modern farmhouse kitchens. Often used to add open storage for kitchenware that doesn’t feel clunky, they lean both decorative and functional.
If you have an empty wall in your kitchen, use floating shelves to display your favorite decor – whether you add small artworks, a luscious indoor plant or ornaments and trinkets collected over time, they add a pretty personalization to the space.
The added bonus of choosing floating shelves over individually attaching each item to the wall is that you can reorganize and switch out decorative items regularly and easily, with less damage to the walls themselves.
3. Create a display with vintage art
Leaning into the old meets new aesthetic that modern farmhouse kitchens are renowned for, introducing wall decor that errs more vintage is a great way to introduce a traditional element. Michelle Yorke, of Michelle Yorke Interior Design, recommends ‘small framed vintage art pieces, either sitting on an open shelf layered behind mugs or dishware or hanging on a wall in a pair.’
If you’re keen to introduce some original art pieces that feel fitting of a modern farmhouse kitchen, opt for characterful portrait of still life paintings. ‘In terms of kitchen artwork, to our mind nothing tops a 17th-century Dutch still-life painting of game, fruit and vegetables,’ says Anthony Freund, Editorial Director at 1stDibs. ‘If budget is a consideration, it’s always possible to find “school of” examples, or later copies, which tend to be more affordable than works from the Golden Age.’
4. Opt for a decorative range hood
If the majority of your kitchen walls are covered by kitchen cabinets and windows, the space can feel stark and lacking any unique touches, with no space to display decorative items. If this is the case, consider adding detail to walls by switching out boring components for something more interesting.
In the modern farmhouse kitchen designed by Blackberry Farm Design, most of the wall space was taken up by functional kitchen storage, so interest and detail was added through a decorative range hood. It adds a much-needed focal point to the kitchen and adds a beautiful contrast to the white wall paneling it sits on.
5. Introduce a copper pot rail
In line with displaying wooden boards as wall decor, adding a rail with hooks to display your favorite pots and pans adds a real statement in a modern farmhouse kitchen.
‘I love adding copper pots and this copper pot rail that can easily be installed over the range backsplash,’ says Michelle Yorke. ‘The copper metal adds warmth and shimmer to the walls as well function to the farmhouse kitchen for storage and easy access.’
This is certainly not a new idea, but it’s a design feature that has endured and a staple in farmhouse kitchens. ‘Good, old examples are hand forged with dovetailed seams and a warm patina that only comes from many years of service. Surprisingly, many can be found at relatively low price points, but be sure to buy examples with the tin lining in good condition, as this can be expensive to restore,’ advises Anthony Freund.
6. Add ornate sconces to the kitchen walls
Lighting is a multi-functional component in a home – in a living room you might add table lamps for additional illumination, whereas in a bedroom you would add bedside lighting for a cozy ambience. Kitchens are often overlooked in this area. You might have ceiling lights to make sure the room is filled with light and functional for cooking, but there is an argument for adding more decorative fixtures when it comes to kitchen lighting, particularly to the walls.
In this design by Gray Walker Interiors, the kitchen was fitted with a traditional Aga, so no range hood was required. This left a large expanse of wall space empty so decoration was added. The decorative wall sconces are a stand-out feature, adding detail as well as an extra light source if required when using the range.
7. Add a feature wall with wooden paneling
For a subtle detail on a modern farmhouse kitchen wall, wooden paneling adds interest and texture. This a great choice if you want to add wall decor that is more paired back and cohesive with the other walls in your kitchen. ‘You can use wood paneling in your kitchen and either leave it natural or paint it. Wood paneling adds texture and definition to yours walls that paint alone won’t do,’ explains Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport.
Leaving wall paneling with its natural finish will add that traditional farmhouse feel, ideal if the rest of your kitchen feels more modern. Alternatively, painting the wood helps to ensure the wall in question still feels cohesive with the rest of the kitchen, so it really depends on how your space is laid out.
‘We’re particularly fond of painting wood paneling,’ he says, adding ‘the result is a classic and timeless finish but with more oomph than simply painting the walls. It is also popular to pair open shelving with this overall look and is very on trend.’
There are plenty of ways to add wall decoration to a modern farmhouse kitchen, but sticking to ideas that lean more traditional and well-loved seems to be favored by interior designers.
‘I think bringing in organic, rustic, or vintage pieces all add a well-lived well-loved decor element to any modern farmhouse kitchen. Most of my clients who are drawn to the modern farmhouse style love both the simplicity of design elements and the down-to-earth, everyone-is-welcome vibe that is appealing with a farmhouse kitchen. The style just seems to say, “Life happens here”,’ explains Michelle Yorke.
So, make use of that treasured art collection you’ve had stored away, add hooks for your favorite pots, pans and chopping boards, or put up a floating shelf so you can enjoy the decorative items you love most as you prepare food for the household.