Farmhouse style is a current favorite thanks to retailers, TV shows, social media, and everyone in between catching on the trend. It’s no wonder that so many of our Spacejoy customers are looking for a farmhouse style when decorating their homes.
Farmhouse style has come a long way from its rustic and grandma-looking days. Modern farmhouse style is effortlessly livable, stylish and somehow manages to mix modern and relaxed aesthetics to give you that on-trend look that’s still approachable and cozy.
Ready to learn more about this feel-good design style and how you can incorporate it in your home? Keep reading for our complete guide to farmhouse decor.
What is Farmhouse Style?
Farmhouse decor is more about function than it is about style. Traditionally, farmhouses were built on agricultural lands to give those who worked or owned the farm a place to live. By definition, these houses were designed to function around a farming lifestyle. This is why you’ll notice functional choices like large porches, wooden floors, and high arches. The traditional farmhouse also had a separation of formal and informal spaces, with the kitchen and bedrooms often left to the house’s back.
Traditional vs. Modern Farmhouse Style
Farmhouse style decor has been evolving since the early 1700s. While there are no rules or definitions between the different types of farmhouse styles, the most common breakdown is between traditional and modern styles.
Traditional farmhouse style follows a more “French provincial” aesthetic, reminiscent of the 1700s. It’s a softer and more feminine approach that gives chic cottage vibes. You’ll notice more muted color palettes, white-washed wood accents, and classic details like exposed nailheads and ornate cravings.
Modern farmhouse style focuses more on warmth and simplicity. It still shares some of the elements from the traditional style like the washed-woods and natural textures. It also incorporates bright, bold hues, different materials like galvanized steel, emphasizing well-used items, and family heirlooms.
The Key Elements of Farmhouse Style
Today’s farmhouse style home highlights simplicity and rural architecture while embracing modern comforts. Expect to see natural textiles, practical layouts, and hardworking furnishings. Whether you’re on the rustic or modern spectrum of the interpretation of farmhouse style, these key elements will find their way into the decor.
Farmhouse style is:
- Utilitarian at its core, focusing on practicality and functionality. Textiles and furniture pieces are chosen for their ability to withstand use and still look good.
- Simple and clean with a pared-back aesthetic.
- A bit imperfect, letting worn out woods, weathered metals, and antiques have a place in the decor.
Farmhouse style is not:
- Fussy or ornamental, ruffles and pompoms are too much for this style.
- Only new things, celebrated vintage items are at the core of this style.
- Cluttered or overly-decorated rooms are not what’s expected from a farmhouse.
Colors & Texture
Though not exclusive of farmhouse style, neutral color palettes are very much expected. A combination of neutral tones paired with bold highlights for added contrast and warmth is what this style represents. Even still, you must keep the tones within the same color family. Usually, the landscape around the house will be what determined the color palette. Some great shades for farmhouse style homes include:
- Warm Neutrals: buttermilk, cream, camel, straw, and wheat.
- Cool Neutrals: grays, khaki, stones, and greige.
- Natural Blues and Greens: robin egg blue, duck egg blue, sage, and Wedgwood blue.
- Spicy Tones: pumpkin, cinnamon, saffron, pepper, and baked apple.
- Earth Hues: mushroom, chestnut, sepia, and umber.
Another defining feature of farmhouse style has to be the blend of textures. Think natural wood, stones, leathers, metals, linen, and jute, to name a few. Natural materials add depth and warmth to the otherwise neutral environment. Modern farmhouse style decor sometimes might go as far as incorporating unexpected textures like velvet and brass, giving an edgier and more contemporary look to this style.
Walls & Doors
For most interior design styles, walls and doors wouldn’t be a key element, but it is one of the most prominent for farmhouse style. Wall paneling is perhaps the most easy-to-spot element of farmhouse style. In kitchens, living rooms, and even bedrooms, the paneling sets the farmhouse tone and adds some architectural interest to the room.
Remember the origin of farmhouses; barns were an element of the house overall. Today, we carry the same idea by incorporating sliding barn doors in modern homes to inspire the same look. Barn doors are commonly used for pantries, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. These are usually painted with the accent or bolder hues from the color palette to create a statement and add interest.
The foundational furniture of farmhouse style is comfortable above everything else. Pieces are minimally embellished, and they feature strong and sleek lines. Think of industrial metal stools, antique long farm tables, and wooden chests. Upholstery tends to gravitate towards solids in natural, neutral colors. One distinguishing feature of farmhouse upholstery is that patterns take a backseat, and texture reigns above all. When patterns appear in accent chairs or pillows, they lean classic with stripes, big buffalo checks, and stylized florals.
Though kept minimal, farmhouse decor carries immense sentimental value. Decorative accents are chosen very carefully and often have a nod of history and handcraft traditions to them. Modern farmhouses, in particular, will go with more sculptural, architectural elements like industrial light fixtures. The traditional farmhouse will go with artwork that features natural themes, grain-sack textiles, enamelware and ironware on display, woven baskets, and quilts instead.
Depending on if you lean more farmhouse or more modern, your choice of decor can help lean the overall aesthetic in your preferred direction. Modern homes can opt for abstract and geometric artwork with metal-framed mirrors. The traditional farmhouse will display more rustic and nature-theme art pieces. But combining both is always a possibility for a perfect medium.
The Farmhouse Style House
The way you incorporate the farmhouse style key elements into the different rooms throughout your home are vital for a cohesive look and feel. While each room has its own personality and functionality, incorporating the key elements of farmhouse style in each one will help you design your home better.
The entryway is finally getting the attention it deserves. To stay true to the farmhouse aesthetic, you don’t want to overly style this area and maintain a minimal aesthetic. Whether you choose traditional, rustic, modern, or any other style, this space is all about functionality.
Tap into natural textures like woods, chunky jute, and metals to add depth and create interest. When designing your entryway, consider what you use this space for. A table can serve to leave mail and keys, a basket is great for storing outdoor accessories, and a large mirror brings light to this area. Other elements like eucalyptus branches or floral accents can add a touch of color and texture to the entryway as well.
Farmhouse Living Room
The living room is a focal point of the farmhouse decor. It’s common for traditional farmhouses to have built-in shelves around a fireplace, and the living room layout is planned around these elements. Some modern living rooms won’t have these elements and incorporate cabinets to achieve the same effect.
You’ll notice that industrial light fixtures are almost a given with most farmhouse living rooms. All the elements that make farmhouse style what it is will be on full display in this room. Some will choose a more neutral color palette and let rugs and furniture pieces become the accent pops of colors. At the same time, other rooms will maintain a neutral color palette even by choosing painted furniture pieces that match the palette.
Farmhouse Dining Room & Kitchen
The kitchen and dining room area are clean, open, welcoming, and inspire that warm, homey feeling everyone loves. By far, the kitchen is the one room in any farmhouse-style home that blends traditional and modern decor. It is a graceful compromise between the old furnishings and the new elements in the kitchen.
A farmhouse style kitchen will have a traditional apron-front sink. You’ll notice simple hardware and freestanding furniture like cabinets, islands, and appliances to give that lived-in kitchen look. As with much of the rest of the house, expect wide plank floors, exposed beams, and more natural elements that bring a warm feel to the room. Another key aspect of the kitchen is the use of floating shelves to display ironware and bakeware that’s probably been passed on from previous generations.
The use of freestanding furniture pieces like bar carts and sideboards with glass doors is expected by the dining room. This is another excellent example of finding a compromise in the choice of decor.
The farmhouse-style bedroom is a blissful oasis that focuses heavily on inspiring calmness and serenity. Here textures are the star of the show, layered in the rug, curtains, blankets, and throws to add warmth and softness to the room. This is particularly this way because the bed frame, nightstand, and surrounding furniture like dressers and accent chairs are often more heavy in woods, metals, and more sturdy materials.
For the bedroom, a soothing color palette will be the main focus. Then, industrial pieces like metal light fixtures will add more visual interest. Wood flooring or wood beams on the ceiling play with the rustic style, while mid-century furniture pieces will make the room feel more modern. Again, decorations are kept to a minimum here, focusing heavily on textures instead. Although gallery walls and nature-themed art walls are encouraged to add interest and a touch of color.
Ready to See How Farmhouse Style Looks In Your Home?
If you want to see in real-life how farmhouse style will look in your home, start a project today. Our expert designers will create real-life 3D renderings of every room in your house. Mastering the art of farmhouse style is all about laying the right foundations and sprinkling the perfect accents. Collaborate with our interior designers to transform your house and design rooms that spark nothing but joy.