Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.
Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.

Modern farmhouse style has become a "thing" in custom and production building worlds. Increasingly, architects and builders strive to craft transitional homes that include traditional exterior elements like covered front porches and open-plan interiors with a warm, relaxing feel.

For remodelers, creating the modern farmhouse style can be easy at the outset – the home might already fit the farmhouse category. The challenge for remodelers comes with the usual complexities of remodeling an old structure, such as out-of-plumb window openings and the need to manage clients' anxieties and budgets.

One such remodeler is Jodi Longo, owner of Renovation Studio in Kensington, Md., specializing in restoration and modernization work. "A lot of the homes we work on are real farmhouses," she said. "The owners want to keep the traditional exterior while updating the interior to be more modern."

Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.
Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.

To retain warmth in those opened-up interiors, she strives for what she calls a Classic look. "We try to pay a subtle honor to the home's traditional architecture," she says. That may include replacing some smaller windows with larger ones that throw more light to the interior. It may also include amplifying that natural light by painting interior walls and ceilings a bright white, and balancing them will natural wood cabinets and flooring.

When it comes to choosing windows, the ideal is one with ample clear glass area that also retains a traditional vibe. Longo says that that ideal has become easier to achieve with the sheer number of product choices now available from makers of high-quality windows. "Companies like JELD-WEN have done an awesome job offering mullion patterns that help create the vibe we want," she says.

Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.
Courtesy of Renovation Studio | Photo: Maryland Photography, Inc.

Of course, the remodeler still has to steer the clients to these products and designs. That usually means helping the clients navigate some fears and anxieties around structural decisions. A good remodeler will help clients understand that structural changes don't always cost as much as they fear, and will advise them on where the benefits of stretching the budget outweigh the cost.

Longo notes, "If taking a wall down to create a larger opening between the living and dining room will make the home more livable, we make a case for spending the money," she says. "If they don't do it, we tell them they will likely regret the decision in a year.”

Some clients also have a “fear of missing out” on trendy products. She tells them that it's OK to have some trendy items but suggests choosing ones that don't cost a lot of money to replace. "Brass cabinet hardware is the rage right now, but it's easy to replace if you get sick of it."

For more on design elements of Farmhouses visit: http://www.jeld-wen.com/en-us/possibilities/farmhouse.