Over the past couple of years, the modern farmhouse style has quickly been gaining in popularity in the world of home design. This simple, yet warm and inviting, style takes inspiration from old, classic farmhouses in the materials, techniques and colors used, but with a slightly more modern look. The vintage pieces used blend in well with other modern touches, too, for a comprehensive look that’s a little more sophisticated. If you love the farmhouse style, you’ll love these easy tips on incorporating farmhouse style elements into your home.
What Is the Farmhouse Look?
You don’t need to live on a farm to have this cozy look for your home. The well-worn, inviting looks of old farmhouses have inspired this style, but it is also more about the mindset of the country life, incorporating natural elements and colors and simplifying clutter and design. While you used to only see farmhouse-style houses in the country, today they are quite popular in the suburbs and even in more urban settings. For the most part, the farmhouse style uses soft, neutral colors and lots of antique pieces with plenty of patina and character. It is essential, however, to also have a few new, modern touches to keep the overall look from getting too country or kitschy.
7 Easy Ways to Get the Farmhouse Look in Your Home
Wherever you call home, you can incorporate the farmhouse look into your décor style and embrace this cozy trend. Here are seven farmhouse decorating ideas you can bring home.
1. Use Creamy Colors
If your goal is to achieve the relaxing, cozy vibe of the farmhouse style, it’s best to stick to a light, neutral color palette throughout, and avoid lots of bright or dark colors on the walls. It’s also helpful to avoid using too many colors in different rooms, and instead, use similar wall colors throughout the whole house. What colors are best for farmhouse style? Whites, creams, beiges and light grays will give you the perfect neutral backdrop for the rest of your furniture and décor. Using this color palette consistently throughout the home will give a sense of calm, while unifying the different rooms of the house.
For furniture and décor, stick to more neutrals and other soft colors found in nature. Some pops of color here and there are OK, but avoid busy color palettes or lots of loud, bright colors. If you do use a pop of color, repeat the shade in another small element in the room for a polished look. For example, if you have a barn-red armchair that you love, find something in that same shade, like a vase or throw pillow, to display in another spot in the room to bring the color palette together.
2. Mix Antiques With New Styles
Traditional farmhouse style uses lots of well-loved or well-used items, but too much of this can give the opposite of the polished look you want, so be careful not to overdo it. A more modern approach to farmhouse style incorporates new elements, too, for a perfect blend of styles. Pair a chunky antique wooden coffee table with a modern-looking couch in a neutral cream, for example. Just don’t get too matchy-matchy — you want this style to look like a mixture of old hand-me-downs and antiques, with a few new pieces thrown in, too. It should feel homey and effortless.
Another way to run with the old-with-new idea is to use old items in new ways. Use an old flour sifter as a vase for fresh flowers, or use antique buckets as baskets to corral smaller items like remotes, books or toys. Give a new, practical use to something old, and you’ll truly be embracing the ideas of farmhouse style. It’s a snap to upcycle items like grain sacks, Mason jars and wooden spoons into new décor elements perfect for the farmhouse style.
Try leaving behind the malls and big-box shops for most of your décor shopping, and instead visit local thrift stores, secondhand shops and antique stores. It’s fine to buy some pieces at a big-name store, but make sure you have a mix from different sources, with plenty of elements with some well-used charm.
3. Use Shiplap and Other Textural Elements
Many old farmhouses used to have shiplap walls, and this look has taken hold in farmhouse style. Shiplap uses broad, horizontal planks of wood for a rustic look on walls. The stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are enthusiastic fans of shiplap and have fueled its recent popularity. These boards give walls texture, dimension and lots of charm. You can use it throughout the whole house, in one room or even on an accent wall or a piece of furniture.
Similar to shiplap, wainscoting and beadboard are two more wall treatments that add texture and dimension, while keeping with authentic farmhouse style. Wainscoting is a traditional feature in dining rooms, but it can play a role in other applications too. Beadboard looks great in bathrooms and kitchens, or on the sides of cabinets, islands or shelving. Farmhouse style is full of these textural elements, generally painted with a creamy, whitewashed look.
4. Incorporate Rustic Wooden Elements
Another key aspect of farmhouse style is to use natural wood and rustic wooden antique pieces. Reclaimed barn wood works especially well for this style, and can accent a wall, or you can use it to make furniture or décor. The main idea with these wooden elements is to find pieces that are already a little more worn. New wood furniture in pristine condition and high-gloss varnishes don’t fit in with the farmhouse style.
Chunky wooden furniture fits right in with rustic farmhouse style, but you can incorporate this element in smaller pieces of décor, too. Use interesting pieces of reclaimed wood and antique pieces like spindles, washboards or architectural elements as unique works of art, bookends and more. Especially popular right now are wooden signs, painted on pieces of salvaged wood with inspiring messages.
5. Try Galvanized Metal and Wire Baskets
Galvanized metal touches are popular in the farmhouse style, and there are a variety of ways to use them. This material is reminiscent of old farm buckets, watering cans, milk containers, water troughs and more. Modern farmhouse style uses galvanized metal for buckets for magazines or to use as vases, trays and more. You can find it on bar carts, planters and all sorts of other decorative items.
Wire baskets and other décor that uses chicken wire are also common elements in farmhouse décor. These items, also reminiscent of old-fashioned farm elements, bring historic charm to a home. Baskets made from wire are a great organizational element, or strictly for decoration, too. Hang them on the wall, display a cluster of them above a cabinet or use an extra-large basket to store blankets and pillows.
6. Paint Old Furniture or Find Distressed Pieces
If you have some wooden furniture pieces you love, but that don’t quite match the modern farmhouse style, consider giving them a fresh coat of paint. Painting mismatched furniture pieces the same colors can bring a room together. Think about the same creamy neutrals that work best on farmhouse-style walls for a truly unified look.
You can also try to distress painted furniture yourself for a more worn-in look, or shop for lovely distressed pieces at antique or secondhand stores. Here is one time where imperfections make a piece more desirable. Look for pieces with lots of visible wear and chipped paint to add tons of character to your room. An old, reclaimed door or window with distressed paint makes for a great decorative element if you’re looking for creative farmhouse wall decorating ideas.
7. Decorate With Farmhouse Fabrics
When you’re selecting softer elements for your vintage farmhouse style, choose from the same neutrals as the wall colors or use rustic, natural tones. Avoid bright colors and shiny finishes on any fabrics. Consider unusual fabrics that give a vintage farmhouse vibe like burlap for throw pillows and decorative touches. It’s a great natural color that blends seamlessly in farmhouse décor.
Traditional patterns coordinate best with this look. For farmhouse kitchen decorating ideas, incorporate gingham or striped dish towels in soft colors. For couches and other upholstered furniture, go with solid colors, plaids or small florals in soft, natural tones. Try a throw blanket over the couch in a creamy neutral color and a soft, chunky knit.
Rustic Farmhouse Décor Ideas
Whether you’re overhauling your whole house, or looking to add a few farmhouse-style touches to your home, these homey updates can give your home a cozy, inviting feeling and lots of historic charm. For farmhouse living room decorating ideas — or any other room in the house, for that matter — check out these inspirations.
- Vintage furniture: Not every piece in the house needs to be an antique, but adding in a few rustic, well-worn pieces of furniture goes a long way toward the farmhouse look.
- A farmhouse table: Perhaps nothing says farmhouse better than an oversized dining table, made from reclaimed wood and painted legs. Find one at a furniture store, or build one yourself for even more charm and personality.
- Exposed wooden beams: This idea involves a larger construction project, and you can consider yourself lucky if your home already has them! A qualified contractor can install these beams, so consider adding them if you don’t already have them, for the ultimate in rustic country charm.
- Rustic storage pieces: For fun and interesting storage ideas in any room, get creative with rustic wooden crates, chunky woven baskets, wire baskets and galvanized metal buckets. Look to old farm equipment and supplies and use antique milk cans, flour sacks and more, repurposed for new uses in the home.
- Elements from nature: Cut logs into unique planters, vases and candle holders to bring the outdoors in. Wreaths made from twigs, baskets of pinecones and vases of fresh-cut flowers all bring the elements of nature into your home and add to the rustic natural beauty.
- Quirky shelving: Find unique or unexpected pieces that can double as shelving units for books, decorative elements or for holding towels in the bathroom. Industrial-looking shelving units made from pipes and chunky wooden shelves work particularly well. For farmhouse bathroom decorating ideas, use old wooden ladders to create shelves or hang towels and linens from. Place a rustic hutch in the living room or in the bathroom to display your rustic décor.
- Painted wood signs: This staple of modern farmhouse décor is more popular than ever. You can find them in stores, or they can make a fun and easy craft project. Find weathered slabs of wood, use muted shades of paint and choose meaningful or fun words or quotes to paint on the sign.
- Wood slices: A chunky slice of a tree can stand in for a wooden plank for sign-making. Also, consider using it as a tray, charger plate or any number of other creative ideas. Leave it rough and rustic with the bark on for more natural character.
- Mason jars: Another staple of the modern farmhouse look, Mason jars — or recycled jars of any size and shape — can serve as vases, organization solutions for small items, hanging planters or décor on their own. The uses for these versatile pieces are endless.
- Rustic picture frames: Frame your photos and artwork in rustic-looking distressed wood for an easy farmhouse touch. Also try frames made from twigs, wrapped in twine or burlap or a wooden frame enhanced with wood-burning tools.
Any of these ideas will give your home the rustic farmhouse-style home décor that is so popular today. Make a fun weekend out of thrift-store shopping for some of these elements, or get crafty and make some of them yourself. Either way, you’ll be off to a strong start for how to turn your home into farmhouse style.
Check out Farmhouse Plans
If you love the vintage farmhouse style, why not go all out and build your gorgeous farmhouse from the ground up? Houses in this style generally have two stories, with a large family room by the front door, a country-style kitchen and a cluster of bedrooms upstairs. Most farmhouse plans include sprawling wraparound porches perfect for family gatherings. Family Home Plans has hundreds of beautiful farmhouse-style home plans you can view online. Take a look today and start planning the farmhouse of your dreams!