By Kate De Palma
Modern farmhouse décor is all about taking traditionally rustic elements like distressed wood or canning jars and giving them a contemporary update. The resulting shabby-chic look seems to be everywhere, and with good reason. It’s charming, welcoming, and easy to acquire in your space even without a big budget or time-consuming remodel. By knowing what key design elements to use and how to mix them together, you can quickly figure out how to decorate farmhouse in your space.
At the heart of modern farmhouse are stylistic elements able to capture a down-home country feel. Not too many of us actually live in a farmhouse anymore, so to get a farmhouse look, think rustic, weathered, distressed, galvanized. Go ahead and inject your home with a cozy farmhouse feel with the help of these 7 essential elements of farmhouse decor.
#1 Galvanized Metal
You can probably recognize galvanized metal by its speckled pattern (officially called ‘spangle’) even if you don’t know what ‘galvanized’ technically is. Galvanized just means the metal has been treated with zinc to prevent rust, so it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use—and almost required for a farmhouse look. Bring it indoors for use as vases, storage bins, or lamps. Or, dress up your outdoor space with galvanized metal planters, ice buckets, and other entertaining must-haves like tiered serving trays and flatware caddies. With all the different ways you can incorporate this farmhouse element into your décor, it’s still just as useful as it was down on the farm.
#2 Simple Patterns
It’s hard to imagine a home without textiles, especially when you’re going for the cozy and comfy look of rustic country home decor. When it comes to fabric, the best ones for creating a farmhouse feel are ones that are simple and cheery. Think pretty gingham or plaid, and feel free to bring these fabrics anywhere in need of a farmhouse touch – bathroom curtains, kitchen valances, throw pillows, lampshades, table runners, accent chairs, bedding, and more. To stay true to what farmhouse is all about, it’s also not a bad idea to stay away from synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon, and modal and to instead stick with natural, plant-based textiles like muslin, linen, and burlap.
#3 Mason Jars
Mason jars aren’t just for jams anymore (though major kudos if you do your own canning). Don’t underestimate the power of glass mason jars to inject a space with a farmhouse feel. There’s just something about their simplicity and rustic country roots that make them ideal choices for today’s farmhouse style. Plus, they’re affordable pieces of décor with a whole array of functions. Find them in a variety of sizes from the tiny quarter-pint all the way up to a gallon, and use them throughout your home as vases, planters, makeup storage, countertop canisters, and pendant lighting. You can also find plenty of mason jar diys to put together in an afternoon or weekend.
#4 Distressed Pieces
Mix and match distressed, rustic pieces in your home décor to bring a relaxed country feel to any room. True farmhouse décor was all about gathering pieces together over time, so no matched sets here, folks! For the perfect farmhouse style furniture, pair up a distressed wood nightstand with a tufted bedframe or a distressed end table with a natural fiber sofa for an easy farmhouse look.
#5 Farm-Fresh Accents
Yes, it’s possible to overdo it on the roosters, but the right balance of farm-themed accents can go a long way towards turning your space into a cozy countryside abode. Think wooden signs, old egg crates, empty milk bottles, vintage glass pieces, white ceramic pitchers, or oversized metal lanterns. There really are so many options, so play around with what works in your space, both in terms of aesthetics and function. Stay true to the farmhouse legacy of gathering pieces over time with occasional trips to thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets. Who knows what kind of treasures you might find.
#6 White-Painted Wood
If you’re ready to go beyond the knick-knacks with your farmhouse décor, consider taking on a painting project. Whether done on a large- or small-scale, white paint is a surefire way to introduce a fresh farmhouse update to any room. Whitewashing pieces of vintage furniture picked up at an estate sale is one great option if you’re up for a little DIY. Painted wood floors or walls are also great ways to bring this farmhouse element into your interior design, whether in the kitchen, dining room, or bathroom
#7 A Soft Color Palette
If white paint isn’t really your thing, you can still achieve a farmhouse look with a little bit more color. The biggest rule of thumb is to think calming paint colors—soft neutrals and tones that aren’t too bright or saturated. For the perfect farmhouse living room colors, go for light shades of grey or ‘greige.’ Lovely and easy to work with, greys will also work wonders in your kitchen, bedroom, or dining room. Accent your neutral of choice with soft tones like stormy blues, dusty reds, and sage greens, perfect for a modern farmhouse interior. Or, use one of these hues as a backdrop perfect for the white ceramics and simple fabrics of your new farmhouse look.
For more help achieving the farmhouse of your dreams, check out House Tipster’s Virtual Rooms.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kate De Palma and www.shutterstock.com