We are so excited to kick off our new “Get the Look” series with designer Allison Crawford! We’ve featured Allison’s work many times — in fact we named her as a top designer to watch in our 2015 anniversary issue. Allison, whose eponymous design firm is based in Texas, knows how to strike a balance: for this designer (and owner of HOTELette), eclectic meets sophisticated, comfort meets luxury, and function meets personality. 

In this series, Allison will show us her tricks of the trade, spilling insider secrets on how to get the most sought-after interiors. We’re starting with a style everyone is currently coveting: Modern Farmhouse. Read on to catch Allison’s tips, from what paint colors work best to the finishing details that will make the space. 

Start with a Neutral Color Palette
Regardless of the project’s inspiration, I almost always start with a neutral backdrop for design projects. I believe the larger investments – like furniture – should be able to withstand design trends, so I add color and personality through art and accessories.

When creating a Modern Farmhouse vibe, I gravitate to warm neutrals like Benjamin Moore Classic Grey and Pale Oak. But, to add a modern spin, I add brighter whites – like Benjamin Moore Super White and Chantilly Lace – for cabinets. Lately, I’ve been encouraging clients to stray from the quintessential white kitchen, and recommending my tried and true colors, Benjamin Moore Chelsea Grey and Coventry Grey. Pairing these greys with a flat white ceiling (a reasonably priced and fool-proof option for both new builds and remodels), creates the clean feeling of a white kitchen, but with more personality.

Add Colorful Vintage Rugs
Though I’m a huge fan of everything vintage, I truly believe a Modern Farmhouse kitchen is the perfect spot for the color and warmth of a vintage rug. I actually prefer using vintage rugs over new ones in the higher-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways, because they have already withstood the test of time. Small rugs and runners are also versatile and can be moved throughout your home as your style evolves or changes. 

Use Durable Countertops
Although I love the look of marble, it’s hard to keep clean and stains very easily. So, I usually recommend that my clients use a a quartz product like Caesarstone or Silestone, which comes in various colors and styles. Quartz is a manmade product that won’t etch, scratch, and stain like natural stones. But, if you’re set on using natural stone, I highly recommend Grey Goose quartzite because it’s less porous than marble but with a similar look.

Keep the Backsplash Simple
A backsplash can be a good place to add color and personality, but in creating a Modern Farmhouse look, I recommend continuing the clean, durable palette used in walls, cabinets and countertops. Go with something that complements the paint colors you’ve been using. If you’re really set on using the backsplash as an opportunity to create an eye-catching element, do this through the way you install your tile.

Always Add Greenery
I love that greenery are surpassing florals right now. It feels more lived-in and laid-back. Plus, greenery is longer-lasting and requires less maintenance. I love using plants like ivy, monsterra leaves, greenery from the yard to add dimension and personality to a Modern Farmhouse kitchen. Double-points if the plants are cut from your own farm!

Devil is in the Details
The personality of a home is created in the art, decor, and books. It’s also a low-risk, easily updated way to add color and style. So, take your time curating a thoughtful and interesting collection of home accessories that represent who you are and what you love. Personally, I love to collect art when I’m at flea markets or travelling, because those pieces always hold dear memories for me. Bold art is an excellent way to add color and pizazz to the Modern Farmhouse design style. And though it may seem counterintuitive to add vintage art to a Modern Farmhouse, try adding a mid century oil painting for an unexpected twist. 

Start the slideshow to see these tips in action!