If you follow us on Instagram (and if you don’t, you should), you may have noticed that many of our most liked posts are farmhouse style homes. Lots of different things may come to mind when you hear the phrase “farmhouse style.” Maybe it’s rustic beams, rooster decor in the kitchen, vintage wooden furniture… The list goes on. Unlike many other design styles, like Scandinavian or Palm Beach, that have signature components, farmhouse style is very flexible and you’ll see homes that range from very nostalgic and kitschy to modern and pristine. That being said, there are some commonalities we’re sharing today on the blog to help you get the farmhouse look you want for your home. Enjoy!
The Farmhouse Kitchen
We’re starting this article with the kitchen because, in the farmhouse style home, the kitchen is the epicenter of all family activity. A good farmhouse kitchen will have large work areas, like our Edmond French Reclaimed Pine Kitchen Island, that allows space for families and friends to gather and make something together. It’s also great for storing large kitchenware like mixing bowls or cast iron skillets. Or, hang yours pots and pans on a rack overhead for added vintage appeal.
The countryside kitchen calls for a place to gather, like our Lyle Reclaimed Pine Dining Table. Or if a rectangular dining table is too long for your kitchen space, create a charming breakfast nook with our Barnes Whitewash Wood Round Table. Remember that the farmhouse kitchen is all about usability, so open shelves and wooden cabinets without doors are frequently seen to provide quick and easy access to the dishware and utensils (not to mention, open shelves look absolutely STUNNING when beautifully styled). For the same usability reasons, you’ll find huge ovens (often two) and apron sinks (bonus points for a hand-pump style faucet). The farmhouse kitchen is unpretentious and is always expecting several mouths to feed. Invite the neighbors over while you’re at it!
When selecting decor and lighting, note that these decisions are what define the variation of farmhouse style you’re designing. If you’re going for rustic charm, add in elements of French Country, like our French Country stoneware pitcher or Cafe de Paris French Cottage Style Wall Clock, for that Old World, bucolic ambience. For a more modern take on farmhouse (which is very popular right now in interiors), add in industrial pieces that’ll bring a cool, contrasting feature to the natural and warm elements.
Farmhouse Style Features
Outside of the classic farmhouse style kitchen, what other features make the modern farmhouse? We’ve listed out a few of our favorite features to include to bring the farmhouse look home to your family.
Sliding Barn Doors: They’re not just for keeping in the livestock anymore! Replacing traditional doors with sliding barns doors is a trending home accent that provides a fun and more casual approach to dividing and separating spaces in the home. Jump onto Pinterest, and you’ll see them all over the place. Sliding barn doors are also a clever and stylish solution for hiding the TV, storage closets, or other media and technology.
Wood Floors, Walls, and Ceilings: Actual farmhouses, especially older ones, are constructed almost entirely of wood, so it’s not surprising that wood is one of the key elements of the farmhouse style. Wide plank wood flooring, especially in a pine or distressed oak, offers rustic farmhouse authenticity. But perhaps the most iconic feature of farmhouse style is a ceiling with wood beams constructed to give the visual appeal of the inside of an old barn. Most importantly, wood brings warmth and a natural comfort that is key to the modern farmhouse mindset, both friendly and inviting.
A White, Light Color Palette: Historically, farmers did not have the means for or access to the colored finishes we have today (Fun fact: Almost all farmhouses, barns, and sheds were white until farmers began adding rust into the oil paint mixture to produce the traditional burnt “farmhouse red”). Today, the white walls have been adopted into the design style to serve as a perfect canvas for the rest of the room. If you don’t go with a white wall, make sure to choose a soft, neutral tone instead.
Natural Fabrics and Materials: When selecting furniture, choose mainly natural fabrics and materials (like leather, wood and burlap) for your furniture and decor. But for a more modern approach, don’t be afraid to mix in a softer and more elevated fabric, like crisp, white linen sofas for the living area. Want to learn more? Check out our fabric guide!
Simple Lighting: When it comes to lighting, the traditional farmhouse style is beholden to simple shapes. Pendants and lanterns are very common as well as large chandeliers (sometimes two) constructed of wood or wrought iron. If you’re creating a more modern farmhouse look, lighting is a great way to play with the aesthetic because you can introduce new shapes and materials in a way that won’t distract from the overarching farmhouse appeal.
Furniture and Decor: This is where your personality and the flexibility of the farmhouse style work together to create a home you adore. For a more traditional farmhouse feel, choose rustic decor or pieces reminiscent of farm life, but for an updated look, choose neutral accents from our Modern Classics collection, like our Libby Ivory Velvet Medallion Pillow or our Jerri Box Edge Ivory Pillow to throw on your sofa. Need more ideas? Shop the board below, or shop our Farmhouse Retreat lookbook!
If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: The farmhouse style is character-driven. It’s rooted in nostalgia and uses great visual appeal and elements of the past to create the peaceful atmosphere and harmony of countryside life. Moreso than other styles, the goal of a farmhouse style home is to have it say “stay for supper” and make you feel comfortable and truly at home.