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A Modern Michigan Farmhouse Makeover

A Modern Michigan Farmhouse Makeover

farmhouse white kitchen with wood island and white subway tile

This modern Michigan farmhouse combines architectural elements with country design to create idyllic comfort.

There’s no better backdrop for farmhouse style than a lush 38-acre property. Blogger Sarah Symonds of Grace in My Space lives with her family in a picturesque modern Michigan farmhouse that sits on sprawling land. Its classic shiplap walls, large storybook windows and seamless flow from room to room are all the fruits of Sarah’s labor in transforming the house from its former dated 1990s aesthetic to a functional, stylish and personalized family home.

sitting room with storybook windows
In non-pandemic years, the Symonds family loves to entertain, and the living room with its picturesque views of the lush land is the ideal place for guests to congregate. The seating is casual, cozy and informal. “We like to have it be as comfortable as possible,” Sarah says.

Big Changes in the Modern Michigan Farmhouse

“We basically changed everything,” Sarah says, “if not just with paint, then with much more extensive renovations.” One of the most transformed projects was the kitchen. When the dishwasher broke and Sarah and her husband learned they would have to remove the floors and countertops to replace it, they took the opportunity to gut the entire kitchen and build their vision from scratch.

side view of modern Michigan farmhouse kitchen white with wood accents
The kitchen’s design is simpler but consistent with Sarah’s vision. Open shelving puts earthy clay pots and green glassware on display and keeps the countertops clutter-free.

They sacrificed cabinet space to bring more natural light into the room, using a pantry and drawers to make up for the missing cupboard space, and installed a row of windows over the sink. Sarah keeps the décor simple here. “I wanted the design elements like the black sink and wood to shine and not get cluttered with too much décor,” she says.

entryway with circular mirror and fiddleleaf fig
Sarah takes a simple approach when putting together her entryway. “Since it’s a smaller area, it requires less décor,” she says. She keeps it minimal with a focal mirror, a bench to sit on while you slip on shoes and a hook to hang a purse. “Center the styling around the practical needs of a room while keeping it polished and pretty,” Sarah says. 

One of the major undertakings in creating their dream home was removing elements that were completely unsuited to the family’s needs—like a giant built-in fish tank and an indoor hot tub/spa room adjacent to the primary bedroom.

dining room with shiplap walls and farmhouse decor

Sarah and her husband smartly decided the old indoor spa room could be put to much better use as a dining room. The only ghost of the space’s original purpose is the stunning cedar ceiling that Sarah opted to keep. The tall ceiling gives the room a grand feeling, but the playful hanging tulips, pop of blue and wood bowls and boards on display bring the room back to the effortless earthy vibe that matches the rest of the house.

branch art hanging tulips and navy blue and white sideboard
True to Sarah’s style, the dining room is inviting and comfortable rather than formal and fussy. Her earthy DIY tulip art ties together the natural cedar ceilings and vintage table that she refinished herself.
front entryway to modern Michigan farmhouse
The walkway to the front of the home is just as green and lush as the surrounding woods on the property. The various plants, trees and hedges are the perfect natural way to invite visitors indoors, and the simple pops of pink on the wreaths are a fresh summertime addition.

Lay of the Land

Sarah and her family get just as much enjoyment outside their house as they do inside their modern Michigan farmhouse. When it comes to designing her outdoor spaces, Sarah’s focus is on how to make an area suited to kicking back and taking in the beauty of the surrounding great outdoors. “Most of the time when you have a large property, you’re always working it, so it’s all about taking a minute and resting and enjoying the land we have.”

patio with dining nook and outdoor rug
A simple seating arrangement makes it easy to enjoy the rural outdoors.

Sarah chooses seating that's comfortable for entertaining and keeps the décor fuss-free with plenty of plants and a few throw pillows. Her back patio is perfect for sitting and taking in the gentle sounds of the creek that runs through
the property of the modern Michigan farmhouse.

white reading nook with framed botanical prints and photographs
To ensure that the primary bedroom was more than just a room with a bed, Sarah added another dimension with a cozy reading nook. She plays off the beautiful natural views right outside the window with plants and floral artwork surrounding the armchair.
teal accent wall word art and lavender bed frame in farmhouse bedroom
Sarah’s green wall not only serves as an accent wall but the board and batten adds texture and elevates the space, while her fun sign and colorful throw pillows give it flair.

Rooms With Purpose in the Modern Michigan Farmhouse

Just off the dining room is the modern Michigan farmhouse's primary bedroom. Designing the space presented a bit of a problem to Sarah: It’s an important room but also one that as a busy mom of two she doesn’t get to spend much time in. “It’s a room where people want to create an oasis, but it’s often the least used room of a house,” she says.

She focused on making it more than just a place to rest your head at the end of a long day and decided to create a reading nook to bring another dimension of function into the space. “Once you create it for a purpose, then people tend to go there,” she says.

blue sofa and upcycled coffee table in Michigan farmhouse
Sarah’s ability to see potential means she’s always scoring vintage pieces, like her “trash to treasure” coffee table that she spruced up with a little TLC.
child's bedroom with black and white tree wallpaper

A room that Sarah certainly did not have to worry about being underutilized or unappreciated in her modern Michigan farmhouse was her children’s playroom. However, its position in the home’s layout presented a tricky problem, as there are no windows. Sarah’s fix was to install wood slats on the wall and paint the ceiling sky blue to give the room a more outdoorsy and playful feel.

kids' playroom with wood accent wall
Sarah doesn’t stress about the playroom looking too perfect or put together. With the simple shelving and storage cubbies, she makes her kids’ toys and books work as a part of the décor. “Organization is important to give them structure, but in reality it’s going to get messy, and we’re okay with that in this place,” she says.

You might think the wall with quirky squiggles is wallpaper, but it’s actually Sarah’s own hand-painted design. “They can be whimsical in this space and be kids,” she says. Ultimately, Sarah recognizes that “a playroom is meant for play.”

mudroom with beadboard and rug in modern Michigan farmhouse
The mudroom serves a functional purpose, but it does so with style. “I built all the peg racks and did the walls myself,” Sarah says. “It’s a utilitarian space made to look pretty.”

There’s also a guest house attached to a pole barn. Sarah employed the same approach when designing the guest suite as she did when working on the main modern Michigan farmhouse — functionality and an inviting atmosphere are always top of mind.

fireplace with natural wood mantle and hanging plants
The fireplace sits across from the home’s front doors, and Sarah designed it using river rock and a German smear technique. The fireplace commands your attention as soon as you step into the house. “It is the central point of the home,” Sarah says.

Love Sarah's designs? Tour her guest house too! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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