Farmhouse style is a decorating style that is categorized by it’s coziness and warmth. It is relaxed, comfortable and laid back. Here’s our ultimate guide to farmhouse style and farmhouse decor to help you get the look in your own home.
As much as I love the idea of living in an actual farmhouse, surrounded by land and fresh air, our current house is not exactly a country farmhouse in the traditional sense. We do live near corn fields and farms, actually much closer than we ever have. But we live in the suburbs with neighbors close by, to be close to my husband Dean’s work. That’s the great thing about farmhouse style…you can create it in just about any style of house regardless of location.
The Ultimate Guide to Farmhouse Style
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this guide. Just click the link below to go to each section, or scroll through the whole guide below.
Modern farmhouse style has become a very popular and trendy style in the last few years, especially with the rise and widespread popularity of Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show on HGTV. But farmhouse style has been around for years, just utilizing different names like country, primitive or rustic style. I remember helping my mom decorate my childhood homes with ducks and other farmhouse country things as a kid. And in Dean’s and my first house, we decorated with primitive country style pieces.
Today’s farmhouse style, unlike past renditions, tends to steer clear of being too cute or kitschy by balancing old and new and not going overboard with any one thing. Like roosters or pigs. It’s a bit like the country style of the 80’s (in its comfort and coziness), but all grown up.
Farmhouse style homes aim to look collected over time and are definitely not matchy-matchy. They are primarily cozy and comfortable and not at all stuffy or formal.
Farmhouse style is very approachable and comfortable. It’s also versatile and family-friendly. If your kid gets a scratch on the dining room table, who cares, it just adds to the authenticity of the worn and lived-in look.
Farmhouse style can have many sub-styles too like modern farmhouse (less cluttered, more minimalistic), French country farmhouse (classy and romantic) and industrial farmhouse (more masculine, with emphasis on repurposed commercial pieces).
There are several elements that you can use to create this look. Here are the basics.
Neutral Color Palette
Most modern farmhouse looking homes use a neutral color palette including pale shades of grey, beige, taupe and white. Some color may be employed, but it is generally muted colors like sage, aqua or yellow. Occasionally, someone will add vibrant pops of color like teal or red.
When decorating in any style with neutral colors, textures are very important to keep a space from looking flat and boring. Popular textures in this style include chunky knits, linen, grain sack, etc. Multiple finishes of wood also tend to add texture to farmhouse styled spaces.
Unfinished or Natural Wood Pieces
One of the most common elements of modern farmhouse decor is unfinished or stripped wood. Generally this is achieved by incorporating one larger piece with exposed wood, like a dining room table or bathroom vanity.
Of course, with the practicality of farmhouse decor comes the need to use hand-me down pieces of furniture. And the best way to add those pieces – if you don’t love the finish as is – is to paint them to coordinate with the rest of your decor.
Practical and Functional Gathering Areas
Another hallmark of farmhouse style rooms is practical and functional gathering areas. Rooms and spaces like open concept kitchens, large living rooms, etc.
A favorite of farmhouse style decorators is to include architectural elements, either those that are part of the house or as pieces of decor. Elements like real (or even faux) exposed beams, corbels, pillars, hardwood floors, shiplap, etc.
Of course, no farmhouse kitchen would be complete without an apron front sink. But the finishes have changed and range from stainless steel, to acrylic, to cast iron. Paired with plain white shaker cabinets, apron front sinks add instant farmhouse charm to a kitchen. Plus, they’re ridiculously practical for everything from washing that huge lasagna pan to bathing the dog!
In an authentic farmhouse, you’d find hand-me-down pieces. So, if you want to create farmhouse style in your house, you need to have one or two pieces of antique furniture. You don’t have to go overboard or have several antiques. Just one or two placed well will do.
This tends to go hand-in-hand with casual gathering spaces. Open shelves create a space for your practical everyday-use items to shine as part of the decor. Particularly popular in farmhouse style kitchens, open shelving can also be found in bathrooms (think over the toilet), bedrooms, family rooms and dining room. Often the brackets and shelves themselves are decorative as well as functional.
Shiplap or Other Wood Wall Accents
Of course, no discussion on farmhouse style would be complete without mentioning shiplap. Of course, true shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings (according to wikipedia) or a rough-sawn pine paneling often used in barns and historic homes (according to HGTV/Fixer Upper). But most of us aren’t so lucky as to live in old or historic homes that have true shiplap hiding beneath the drywall, so we have to fake it with simple horizontal planking. We’ve ‘shiplapped‘ a few walls in our homes, including a bathroom with pine tongue and groove planking and a kitchen and laundry room with cheap plywood cut into strips.
With the rise in popularity of farmhouse style, it has become much easier to find farmhouse decor in mainstream stores, both online and off. Here are my favorite places to find farmhouse decor on a budget. (Links are affiliate links. See full disclosure here. All shopping images below copyright their respective shops and owners, used only to promote products.)
One of my go-to sources for farmhouse decor pieces is Wayfair. They tend to have everything from clocks, to bedding, to fabulous dinnerware. Of course they’re in the U.S., but they have a Canadian site too and a bonus for Canadians is free shipping for orders over $75!
Another new favorite place to find unique farmhouse pieces is H&M. Their home department has been around in the U.S. for awhile, and it’s finally in Canada too. Athough most stores still don’t carry home items, you can shop online for them! Not much turns up on the site when you search Farmhouse, so be creative and search for pillow covers, table linens, etc. and scroll through to find what you’re looking for. Plus there’s a huge range in prices here, so keep trying if you don’t find what you want at first.
Amazon has everything…including farmhouse style decor for budget minded shoppers.
Find the perfect accents for your home. From their vintage shoppe to seasonal farmhouse décor, Antique Farm House has the perfect pieces to make your house a home.
With everything from the now infamous “Fresh Baked Pies” sign to baskets and furniture, World Market has a plethora of farmhouse style pieces for your home. Unfortunately, they only ship within the U.S.
For everything vintage, farmhouse and old, I love to shop Etsy. But I also love Etsy for art prints, downloadable items, signs and jewelry! Etsy is one of my favorite online places to shop!
Zulily has some great ones. Beautiful farmhouse finds and clothes too if you’re into that sort of thing! But if you see something you like, better hurry, the deals don’t last long!
Jane.com is a very beautiful boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion trends, home decor, and children’s clothing. Their collection of farmhouse decor changes frequently so be sure to grab something when you see it, or it may be gone for good!
Find new deals daily on our discount boutique. Get up to 70% off clothing, home decor and children’s items. Also a daily deal type site, so be sure to snap up your favorites while you can.
You Americans don’t know how good you have it! I’m talking about Target, of course. In Canada, we just got a wee little tease and then *poof*, it was gone. But did you know that you can shop online at Target? Yup, Canadians too! (Except the Hearth and Hand line which doesn’t ship here. But if you REALLY love something you could use a service like MyUS.com.)
Over the last eight years, we’ve redecorated many rooms in the three homes we lived in. Several of them were made over with the farmhouse style in mind, especially the spaces in our current house.
Of course, at the heart of farmhouse style is a desire to make your home your own. One of the best ways to do that is to DIY or create your own farmhouse decor. Here are a few of our DIY farmhouse decor projects that you might like to try.
Of course, we’re not the only ones to decorate our home in farmhouse style. Here are a few our favorite bloggers and Instagrammers who have similar farmhouse style to ours. You know, so you can go find more inspiration for your own home!
In the United States
- Liz Marie Blog
- Love Grows Wild
- The Little White Farmhouse
- Big Family Little Farmhouse
- The Alabama Farm Wife
- Bless’er House
- The Refined Farmhouse
- Creekline House
- Vin’yet Etc.
- Making it in the Mountains
- One House 2 Barns
- Building Walnut Farm
- The Schoolhouse Grey
- Drumlin Farmhouse
- Cotton Wood Acres
I hope this is a helpful resource for you if you’re just starting out with farmhouse style or if you wanted to know more about farmhouse decor. Please send me an email if you think anything is missing from our Ultimate Guide to Farmhouse Style & Farmhouse Decor.