We often associate rural living with simplicity, quiet, and escape. The notion of farmhouse living conjures images of a small home perched atop a hill, overlooking acres of grassy pastures while horses or other livestock roam the open fields.
Today’s modern farmhouses, however, take all the benefits of breathtaking landscape, vast natural surroundings, and wide-open spaces and marry them with the trappings of luxurious amenities, contemporary design, and plain-old good taste. These pastoral charmers are shining examples of just that.
Woodland, Utah, United States
Warm, rustic design meets a penchant for adventure in this cabin-style property by award-winning architect Fred Babcock. Traditional American farmhouse features—a table by the hearth at the edge of the kitchen, a welcoming front porch, and provincial windows —receive an updated twist from details like the sturdy granite countertops and ambient outdoor lighting.
Stunning woodwork is present throughout, from the beams supporting the vaulted ceilings to inviting hardwood flooring passing throughout the common areas and seven bedrooms. Outside, an open pavilion plays host to a generous, circular fireplace with room for handmade chairs, a three-quarter acre pond is stocked with rainbow trout, and a 500-square-foot barn houses your prized sorrel with room to spare.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Pastoral living isn’t constrained to rustic country style—proof of which is in the minimalist details and comfortable open rooms of this pavilion-style residence in New South Wales. The decor is earthy but lively, reflecting the spirit of the area and fluidity of its indoor-outdoor living.
A 25-meter mosaic-tiled pool is flanked by lush greenery and an outdoor cooking area, complete with wood fire pizza oven. Inside, the master suite steals the show, with its own walk-in courtyard and garden. Other modern trimmings to adore: a gourmet kitchen, impressive wine cellar, home theatre, and boat room, among others.
Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Let snow-capped mountains and scenic lake views turn up your expectations of farm living. Sitting within a solid 24 hectares, this New Zealand property is as private as it is picturesque. Inside the Sarah Scott–designed home, a ceiling of incredible truss-style wood radiates warmth throughout. The expansive open-concept main room is comprised of a sleek chef’s kitchen overlooking a cozy living area, complete with inviting fireplace.
The finishing touch? An organic wrap-around deck that brings the outdoors in to every room and with it, unrivaled vistas of the night sky.
Texas, United States
At this incredible Texas ranch, unrivalled stone columns and wood beams crisscross over 10,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space. With over 105 acres to call home, the property makes good use: two guest houses, a main barn, caretaker’s house, tennis court, fishing lake, and horse barn pepper its stunning grounds. (Definitely not the typical pasture land, although it has that too.)
Once known as “The Briarpatch”, the ranch has played host to parties and events attended by sports legends and the Hollywood elite, who often arrived via private plane or helicopter.
Modern developments are changing the face of farm properties, bringing creative opportunities for the contemporary homeowner keen on the trappings of pastoral life without having to sacrifice creature comforts. And while these impressive estates may offer luxurious retreats miles from hectic city living, they also sit miles out of the ordinary.