Continuing on with our Style File series, this week we’re moving on to the rustic romance of farmhouse style decorating. The combination of a desire to return to simpler times and the popularity of HGTV’s Fixer Upper (the stars of which often lean toward a farmhouse style in their décor) has really thrust this design style into the forefront.
Farmhouse style encompasses the sentimental side of rustic. It is cotton and wood, hand-me-down treasures and well-worn galvanized steel; repurposed farm tools and receptacles, black chalkboard accents and distressed finishes. Farmhouse is a very natural and comfortably worn look.
The Different Components of Modern Farmhouse Style
Farmhouse style harkens back to simpler times. During those times, wood flooring was commonplace in most rural homes. Wood flooring that was well worn, sometimes pitted and scraped, refinished and repaired. Today, distressed hardwood such as hand scraped or wire brushed hardwood and reclaimed flooring can help homeowners achieve that classic farmhouse look.
Homeowners looking to take their love of modern farmhouse beyond simple surface renovations, can go one step beyond paint and furniture, by updating some architectural details (whether faux or real). Shiplap walls, exposed beams, chunkier baseboards and more pronounced window/door trim can all add that farmhouse style.
The best part about adding these details is that for the most part, they’re fairly simply to add yourself (if you’re handy) or with the help of a general contractor.
Think cottons in different weights, grain sack material, ticking stripes and burlap. These fabrics would have been easy to obtain, whether they were originally intended to be sewn into curtains and cushions, etc. or if they were repurposed. Of course that isn’t all, but it’s certainly the basis for the textiles in this style. The goal is for your fabrics to look comfortably worn, handmade or inherited.
For the most part, the modern farmhouse colour palette is neutral. Oftentimes it dips into warm whites, grays, muted greens and light browns. However, occasionally you can see accents of red and gray-tinged blues.
When it comes to furniture, the overarching theme for modern farmhouse style is definitely comfort. Think big comfortable couches and dining room tables large enough to comfortably fit family, friends and then some. It’s an esthetic that’s rooted in good old-fashioned hospitality —when unexpected company was welcomed, families were large and social networking was conducted over a good meal at a sturdy table.
Light, cotton slipcovers are also widely used. So, if you don’t want to commit to purchasing new couches or dining room chairs, you can turn to slips covers and remain perfectly on-trend.
Sinks and Tubs – To take farmhouse charm into the bathroom, adding a classic claw foot tub provides an instant transformation. In the kitchen, a big apron front sink is definitely your go-to.
Farmhouse style is gracious and charming, but can be wonderfully masculine at times. There’s something beautifully reminiscent about its homage to simpler times. When adding décor, look for fixtures that aren’t fussy, but still add charm.
Lighting – Lighting is often rustic, whether indoors or out, in the kitchen, family room or foyer. Look for bulb-exposing pendant lights, caged lights, and rustic-chandeliers are extremely popular, with Edison bulbs quickly becoming the light bulb of choice. Schoolhouse-style lighting is also a common choice in farmhouse décor.
Décor Elements – Natural, repurposed and vintage are three big elements found in modern farmhouse decorating. Think repurposed, galvanized farm supplies like feeder troughs, watering pails and wire baskets, artfully rusted and chippy scales and vintage signage and gingham pillows and feed sack table runners, and natural elements like cotton bouquets and flowers, branches and sprigs of thyme, lavender are all wonderful accents.