The farmhouse look is a popular interiors style that has been around for a long time, and will continue to be an evergreen decorating option, whether you live in a rural area or not.
If you want to create a farmhouse style in your home, you need to consider key dos and don’ts. Read on for a guide to getting farmhouse style right in your property.
Do: keep practicalities top of mind
When designing a farmhouse look, it’s important to place a lot of focus on function. Original farmhouses were all about practicalities and using things that were already on hand, easy to use, affordable, and not too delicate. When creating your farmhouse look and feel, stick with pieces that will wear well over time and aren’t too precious.
Don’t worry about coming up with a “matchy-matchy” set of products, either. Farmhouses aren’t designed to feature calculated interiors that have been carefully put together. Instead, they typically contain various styles and materials, based on people collecting and curating items from many places. As such, feel free to pair reupholstered vintage chairs with a brand-new sofa or sideboard, and avoid buying a whole suite of matched goods from a prominent manufacturer or retailer.
Don’t: forget to create spaces suitable for gatherings
Farmhouses are also known for focusing on the heart of the home, with lots of space for kitchen and dining areas. This means you want to set up your farmhouse interior to allow for big, comfortable gatherings throughout the year.
Farmhouses are where everyone congregates and connects, particularly in kitchen-diner setups. Aim for spaces where many people can sit around a large dining table or on big, comfy sofas. You could install a cute farmhouse ceiling fan to keep people cool on hot days, or use a fireplace and its earthy vibes during chilly times of the year.
You’ll want to create an inclusive kitchen, so the person who cooks can keep chatting with others while they handle meal preparation or washing up. A good option is to install a sizeable butcher-block style island in the middle of the cooking zone. You could also add helpful overhead task lighting, and painted wooden cabinets with glass fronts or open shelves to show off your collection of vases, crockery, or glasses.
Do: look for second hand items
You should also aim to use plenty of already well-loved items to create an authentic feel. You might like to introduce second-hand finds from flea markets, charity shops, yard sales, and antique and vintage furniture stores. Farmhouses aren’t fussy, and the best way to get that warm, cosy feel is to use items that have a sense of story to them.
It’s wise to take your time decorating a farmhouse, so you can assemble character-filled pieces over time. Collect items as you find and fall in love with them; this could be when you travel abroad, or discover second-hand retailers in your local area.
Don’t: go too crazy with colour
While there’s nothing wrong with splashing some colour about in your home, you should keep your colour palette reasonably simple and sparse if you want to embody the farmhouse vibe.
A muted colour scheme helps to make a home feel more calm and relaxed. Sticking with elegant neutrals throughout the property will have the added benefit of showcasing the hopefully abundant space and light of your abode.
Do: add plenty of wooden features
Another thing to consider when decorating in the farmhouse style is the use of wood. Farmhouses are known for incorporating this natural element in many different ways, so make sure you don’t stray too far from this approach. If your building already has exposed wooden beams and wooden staircases, that’s a great start, but if not, you could get some put in.
You can bring plenty of warmth to your home by using wood in accents, too. Use it in fittings, fixtures, furnishings, and accessories. You could pick out a large wooden dresser for your bedroom, a timber cabinet for your kitchen or dining room, or wooden chairs, tables, bed heads and bathroom cabinets. Don’t assume that everything needs to be high-gloss, either. Farmhouses often showcase natural, unvarnished, or even chipped and worn wooden products, as this “well-loved” look is a key part of the farmhouse style. Traditionally, people handed well-made wooden items down through the generations, so wooden furniture naturally became a little beat up and worn over time, but it was still proudly showcased and used over the years.
As you decorate your property over the coming months, keep the above dos and don’ts in mind, and you’ll be sure to stay true to the beautiful farmhouse designs that have captured interest for hundreds of years.