Modern Farmhouse Design Tips

Modern Farmhouse Design

Tips for Achieving a Modern Farmhouse Design from Texas Designer, Shayne Morrissey

Design is a family affair for Shayne Morrissey, the Texan entrepreneur and principal designer behind Morrissey Home Solutions. Identifying a need in the marketplace for well-integrated remodeling and interior design services, Shayne and his father, a longtime residential contractor, launched the Fort Worth design-build firm in 2014. His sister Shelby also joined the MHS team, now working as Shayne’s right-hand design assistant.

While known for his well-curated interiors and popular design blog Designing Fort Worth, Morrissey credits his clients for sparking his creative success: “My client is always the first source of inspiration.” Intrigued by his modern-farmhouse design aesthetic, the growing list of A-list clients, and engaging digital presence, we asked Shayne to share some of his modern farmhouse design secrets & predictions for 2019 interior trends.

Modern Farmhouse Design

Entertain in style with the Nicholas media cabinet made from gray cerused oak that has faceted front doors and a metal cap at the bottom of each leg.

Client Spotlight: Shayne Morrissey

Gabby: Please tell us about your design firm. How did you get started? Who is part of your team? What kind of projects do you specialize in?

SM: Morrissey Home Solutions is a comprehensive interior design & remodeling firm located in Fort Worth, TX. Our business model addresses the interior design and construction processes simultaneously. We also procure window treatments and furniture for clients in Fort Worth, and in other parts of the country as well.

My father is a residential contractor, and my background is in interior design. He and I shared a vision of providing our clients with beautiful design and quality remodeling, so we founded MHS in 2014. My sister Shelby works alongside me and assists me with all of our design projects. I have a team of general contractors and subcontractors who work for me as well, but as of now, I make all of the design selections for our projects. It’s a big undertaking, but I like to have my hands in every part of my business. We specialize in residential design and remodeling, but home furnishings are my favorite part of the design process. Furniture and textiles are the pieces that give character and personality to a home.

Modern Farmhouse Design

Shayne Morrissey frequently sources seating, lighting, and case goods from Gabby. Pictured: Bennie Dining Table (right) and Helena Swivel Chairs (left).

Evolving Style

Gabby: How would you describe your interior design aesthetic? How has your style evolved?

SM: This is always a tricky question for me because I love so many different things. I think my aesthetic is best defined as curated. I really don’t believe in rules. My method is that if it feels right, it is right. I want my clients’ homes to be unique to them, and that means getting to know how they live, and what their style is. My client is always the first source of inspiration.

My “style” has evolved and continues to evolve constantly. 5 years ago, I preferred very modern interiors, and now I prefer a blended aesthetic. Modern farmhouse design can be very stale, but so can traditional-–it’s all about styling and finding pieces that work together. There should be a common thread throughout a home or any design space, but pieces should be unique, and not necessarily matched.

Modern Farmhouse Design

The geometric, bronzed metal Theodore Coffee Table grounds this farmhouse-meets-modern living space. Modern Farmhouse Design

Modern Farmhouse Design

Gabby: Can you share any simple styling tips for achieving a modern farmhouse look?

SM: Modern Farmhouse is a term that has recently emerged on the design scene. I love the look of a Farmhouse with some modern elements, but the secret is not to get too hung up on a theme. I think a few rustic elements and a few modern pieces go a long way in a modern farmhouse. Blending finishes and hardware is a great way to get a fusion look without making it look contrived and trendy. I recommend including a couple of vintage pieces- there’s really no way to replicate this with new furniture, and antique pieces make a statement every time. One of the things I love about Gabby is that in addition to designing fabulous new pieces, their designers source vintage and antique pieces that are one-of-a-kind. You don’t find that in many showrooms anymore.

3 Steps to a Modern Farmhouse Design

1. Stay flexible! Don’t worry too much about adhering to a strict design “theme”.
2. Blend finishes and hardware (think brass and oak) to achieve the perfect visual balance.
3. Source vintage/antique pieces to achieve the curated look of a professional interior designer.

Modern Farmhouse Design

Shayne recommends blending finishes and hardware to achieve the perfect modern-mix. Pictured: Johnson Stools modern farmhouse design

A Design Tastemaker

Gabby: As a design tastemaker, what interior trends are you predicting for 2019?

SM: In 2019 I want to see people become excited about making their interiors unique and blended. I don’t focus on trends, because good design lasts for more than a moment. This is another reason why I like sourcing pieces from Gabby-–you can use many pieces from multiple lines to get a blended aesthetic that will still look great for years to come.

As far as trends go, we are seeing a lot of neutral basics and natural wood elements, but people are also embracing contrast and color. I love the idea of keeping large upholstery and case goods neutral and using art, lamps, pillows and other accents to introduce color to a living space. With this method, if you become tired of pillows and accents in 5 years, you can change those items for a new look at minimal cost. [Tip – It’s much less expensive to buy new pillows and lamps than it is to purchase new sofas and chairs.] 

Modern Farmhouse Design

Morrissey predicts clients will be “embracing contrast and color” in 2019. Pictured: Maple Table Lamp & Quinn Chest.Modern Farmhouse DesignModern Farmhouse Design

Favorite Gabby Products

Gabby: Which Gabby products do you most frequently use?

SM: Gabby has a line of acrylic counter stools with metal bases. I use these frequently because they are easy to clean, and they don’t take up a lot of visual space. Kitchens can become cluttered because they house a lot of appliances, so I like to keep the island counter simple with these stools. I also use a lot of Gabby cabinet pieces. I particularly love the Nicholas Media Cabinet, Ludlow Vintage Style Media Cabinet, and Saffron Cabinet.

Gabby: What are your top three Gabby “wishlist” items right now?

SM: My top 3 Gabby “wishlist” items of the moment are Rhett Cabinet, the Ellie Mirror, & Braxton Table Lamp

Modern Farmhouse Design

For photos & updates on Shayne Morrissey’s latest projects, follow @designingfortworth on Instagram or visit 

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