You don’t need to reside in a rambling old manor house or live way out in the country to bring a farmhouse style into your home. Since modern farmhouse decor is fairly neutral, it’s a timeless look that will see you through all manner of interior-design trends.
It might not be the most innovative style, but that’s what makes it suit a wide range of homes and retain its popularity over the years. Read on to learn more about farmhouse style and how to make it work for you:
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Consider your color palette
When choosing furnishings and accessories for a farmhouse-style home, it’s important to choose your color palette carefully. It’s fine to have some color in the mix, but stick to muted tones rather than anything too bright or bold.
You might choose to add pops of color here and there to brighten things up. For instance, you could add a couple of ochre or deep-mustard throw pillows to a gray sofa to add some interest. The Rizzy Home Self Flange Throw Pillow is a nice choice and comes in a handful of colors that would work with farmhouse decor.
Use reclaimed wood
Reclaimed wood is a big part of rustic farmhouse style. Or if you can’t find any pieces you like made from genuine reclaimed wood, you could opt for furniture that looks as though it’s made from reclaimed wood. We love the UMBUZÖ Reclaimed Wood Dining Table, made from solid reclaimed pine and fir lumber.
If you’re looking for smaller reclaimed-wood accents, a reclaimed picture frame is perfect for displaying photos or prints.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match
The farmhouse style is all about your decor looking natural and organic. It should look like you gradually accumulated all the pieces in your home over the years and it’s a happy accident that they work together rather than appearing as though you intentionally cultivated a farmhouse style. This is easier said than done, but the key is to mix and match.
You don’t want to buy matching coffee and end tables or buy a full matching bedroom set; rather, you should choose pieces that complement or contrast one another in interesting ways. You might choose a vintage chest as a coffee table a reclaimed wood side table and then buy a sofa from a big-box store. You can also go mix and match with plates, bowls, mugs and other tableware if you choose. Either buy a few different sets or buy mix-and-match dinnerware sets with pieces that look similar but don’t match exactly. For example, the Noritake Hammock 12-Piece Dinnerware Set features bowls, salad plates and dinner plates in the same color but different patterns.
On one hand, rustic painted wood looks at home in farmhouse decor. But on the other hand, painted wood furniture is also a feature of farmhouse style. So try to balance the two. If you have any wooden furniture that has an unfashionably dark stain or that you just don’t like the look of as it is now, consider painting it. Chalk paint, such as The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint, is excellent to get started with if you’ve never painted furniture before.
You can paint it over anything without prepping the wood, and brushstrokes don’t show, so you don’t need to have a good technique.
If you have wooden kitchen cabinets and you’re looking to revamp them, try painting them in a suitable shade, such as French gray, country blue or antique green. Those who prefer their farmhouse style on the rustic side can also try distressing painted furniture by taking sandpaper to some of the corners and edges and rubbing the paint away until the wood beneath shows through.
Painting your own furniture isn’t for you? Buy it already painted or distressed, such as the Southern Enterprises Jacinto Distressed Farmhouse Coffee Table, which has an attractive distressed white finish.
Stick to neutral walls
When decorating your home in the farmhouse style, stay away from bright colors on the walls or accent walls with bold statement wallpaper. It’s best to stick to calm neutrals that can let the rest of your decor shine. That doesn’t mean you must paint every wall stark white — you have a wide palette of neutrals that you could choose to work with.
In addition to a wide selection of off-white hues, you could choose a cool gray, warm taupe, pale buttery yellow or fresh sage green. It’s up to you whether you want to paint all the rooms in your home the same shade or if you’d rather have some variety.
Choose prints carefully
Prints can certainly be a part of farmhouse decor, but you must be careful which ones you choose. Any bold geometric prints or modern statement florals are out, while more traditional prints are in. Gingham, plaids and Buffalo check all work well when decorating your home in the farmhouse style, as does most other check and patchwork. You might opt for something like these Blair Farmhouse Plaid Semi-Sheer Curtain Panels in the living room or perhaps the patchwork quilt set for your bedroom.
Ticking fabric and other stripes are also a mainstay of farmhouse decor. A striped accent chair can make a lovely addition to any living room. Some polka-dot prints also work, especially in muted tones with small to medium dots, plus some more traditional florals.
Rural prints — such as those featuring farm animals, bushels of wheat and ears of corn — can make a nice touch in moderation, but you risk your decor looking cheesy rather than refined.
A book, a magazine and a TV show that can guide your farmhouse-style journey:
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product-review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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