Farmhouse Style: Furniture & Decor
Farmhouse interior design can be delightfully cozy, rugged and warm or sleek and simple depending on how you style your space. Learning about the characteristics of farmhouse style while picking up a few tips on blending older elements with new designs will help you use this welcoming look in a bedroom, kitchen or any room in between.
Whether you live in a small, rural town or want to bring country life into your city apartment for a homier feel, farmhouse interior design works in all environments. This guide covers the following topics so you can learn more about this style and how to use it in your home:
The original American farmhouses of the 1700s were more functional and less aesthetically pleasing than they are today. Interiors focused on life’s necessities, and decor was an afterthought at best. However, the mix of exposed wood beams and shiplap walls plus the nostalgic concept of families sharing meals around the hearth give this style its current appeal.
Today’s warm and inviting farmhouse style branches from those origins while sharing some key characteristics, making it effortlessly beautiful while retaining its practical roots. Farmhouse interior design involves decorating your space for comfort, function and cleanliness while making sure guests always feel welcome.
Characteristics of Farmhouse Style
By mixing the old with the new, you can achieve a farmhouse-style home that feels timeless. A blended look means few pieces match, giving you the freedom to completely transform your decor or take baby steps while finding farmhouse-inspired treasures you love. When looking for farmhouse furniture and decor, consider these key design elements:
- Natural Materials: Organic materials are central to an authentic farmhouse feel. Natural wood finishes found in dining tables, stools and exposed wood beams are some important features. Leave wood unfinished or stain it to get lighter or darker shades.
- Metal: Black or burnished steel, wrought iron and copper often feature in farmhouse looks, too. These metal accents are common in lighting, stools, serving items, shelving, clocks and wire baskets. Some wood farmhouse tables incorporate metal accent elements as well.
- Color Palettes: Soft, neutral shades like taupe, gray, beige and white feel fresh and clean. Earth tones like steel blue or sage green encourage a serene, natural look, achieving a more subtle aesthetic. For a cheerful, playful space, incorporate pops of color with cornflower blue or barn red.
- Vintage Pieces: From your grandmother’s antique serving dishes to chalk-painted mason jars and hand-woven baskets bought at a local flea market, vintage items serving as farmhouse decor should be useful as well as decorative.
- Weathered Finishes: Most wood items and many other farmhouse-designed materials have an unfinished or distressed appearance. Whether you purchase them like this or sand and paint them as a DIY project, this worn look evokes a comfy, time-honored feeling.
Along with those key elements, the farmhouse interior design style blends well with other types of decor. Therefore, decorating a new home from scratch or redesigning your living room little by little is easier as you obtain furniture and accents to outfit the space. Even coastal homes can have a farmhouse feel when you mix breezy blues with driftwood elements.
If you prefer classic furniture, traditional farmhouse decor might be more to your taste. With nods to the rural life of the past, traditional-style homes feature shaker cabinets in the kitchen, apron front sinks and rich wood finishes throughout. Traditional sofa sets, buffets and dining tables have details like rolled arms and beautifully carved accents.
A rustic farmhouse look emphasizes distressed wood finishes, vintage accents and handcrafted pieces more than any other variation. To bring in some rustic-style elements, try candelabra chandeliers in kitchens and dining spaces to get the perfect look. At the same time, a primary suite might include a rustic bedroom set complete with wood-finished or white nightstands, a dresser and bed frame.
In this type of farmhouse decor, the emphasis is on materials like metal, concrete, stone and wood. Metal lighting with exposed bulbs, bronze or iron bathroom and kitchen fixtures and concrete countertops are some popular industrial-inspired accents. Color palettes might feature gray or matte black hues, giving it an urban feel that’s perfect for apartments, lofts and studios in the city.
Similar to all the other modern style mashups out there, farmhouse interior design gets a distinct look when mixed with sleek, clean lines. Slightly less rustic than a classic country approach, modern farmhouse design incorporates glossy accents like porcelain white tops and backsplashes, open floor plans, modern living room seating and high contrast color schemes.
Using the different types and characteristics of farmhouse styles, you can begin furnishing your home or apartment to achieve a rustic-chic look. Arrange cozy, casual accents in your living room, dining room, bedroom and home office that make friends and family feel as though they’re home sweet home.
Farmhouse Living Room
Want your modern living room to have that charming warmth of a farmhouse-style home? The goal of a farmhouse living room is to bring friends and family together for intimate gatherings, sharing conversation and delving into good entertainment. Some pieces of farmhouse furniture you can use to attain this casual, feel-good atmosphere are:
- Cozy Sectionals and Sofa Sets: Plush sectionals and couches with thick cushions are perfect for cozying up to football games on the flatscreen and presents on birthday mornings. Upholstered sofa sets in white or beige are popular in farmhouse living room decor, while brown leather sectionals add a rustic feel.
- Coffee Tables: Whether you’re hosting a book club or having the in-laws over for dinner, a white or wood-finished farmhouse coffee table is a central gathering point where you can arrange drinks and food or put a bouquet of fresh baby’s breath on display.
- Entertainment Centers: Large entertainment centers impress and welcome guests all at the same time. Set up your sound system for the holidays, or gather the whole family for movie night in front of a beautiful farmhouse TV stand boasting sliding doors or barn-style facades.
- Fireplaces: Bring the flickering glow and ambiance of the hearth to your family room by incorporating a TV stand with a fireplace into your design. Look for fireplace TV consoles with unfinished wooden doors or an all-white paneled design to coordinate with your farmhouse layout.
- Arm Chairs and Recliners: Relaxation and comfort are essential in farmhouse living room decor. A rustic armchair with a plaid pattern has a vintage chic look and makes snug seating for a reading chair. Many modern farmhouse styles feature fabric or leather recliners for updated comfort.
Designing a Farmhouse Bedroom
When decorating a bedroom for yourself or as a guest suite, farmhouse style embodies warmth and familiarity. There are many ways to approach a farmhouse bedroom, and how you choose to furnish it depends on the style variation you prefer. While an iron bed frame is perfect for rustic industrial rooms, light wood beds are a more traditional take.
Other farmhouse bed styles include white finished metal as well as weathered wood frames. In addition to their rugged style, rustic storage beds are perfect for organizing anything from seasonal clothes to extra bedding. Meanwhile, farmhouse dressers with a neutral finish, iron pulls and large rustic mirrors look beautiful in a primary bedroom.
Try to coordinate your bed, dresser and nightstands in similar finishes or add an accent color with a painted chest of drawers for eye-catching interest. To keep things cozy, use layers of bedding, from cotton sheets to hand-knit blankets and chenille throws, all in varying earthy tones.
Farmhouse Dining Room Ideas
As a place dedicated to celebrating togetherness, a dining room is ideal for the charm and warmth of farmhouse style. To capture the look of a farmhouse dining room, you want to create a fresh atmosphere that’s also cozy. Place your dining set in front of a window to take advantage of natural light. Then, invest in stylish furniture that makes hosting dinners or other activities easier:
- Farmhouse Dining Tables: The center of your dining room, a farmhouse dining table has a robust appearance with spacious tops supported by spindle legs or a trestle base. Look for two-tone wood finishes that add depth, weathered surfaces for a rustic look or white tables to brighten your palette.
- Dining Room Seating: Farmhouse dining sets feature various types of seating. Chairs may be wood or metal, while upholstered seats have either soft, solid color fabric or vintage prints. If you’re on the fence about casual vs. formal dining spaces, consider a dining bench on one side of the table as a compromise.
- Sideboards and Buffets: A wood buffet or sideboard is a classic piece of farmhouse dining room furniture for storage. It provides space so you can arrange large dishes and appetizers for dinner parties or display your collection of antiques. Rustic servers with a slightly darker or lighter finish than the dining set blend well with a refinished and reclaimed look.
Home Offices in Farmhouse Style
Because farmhouse interior design embraces functional living spaces, those who work from home can find plenty of home office decorating ideas in this style. Farmhouse office desks have distressed wood finishes with metal fixtures that pair well with metal, wood or leather office chairs. Shabby chic office furniture like white desks and colorful upholstered seats delivers a softer country feel.
You might already have some rural accents in your countryside home, or maybe you’re decorating your first apartment on a budget. To achieve a well-furnished and accessorized farmhouse home, consider decor items that make the place feel welcoming to you. Whether it’s your grandmother’s quilt, a painted sign or new lighting, the key is combining the old, the new and the handmade.
Farmhouse Wall Decor
Farmhouse wall art and decor offer the same design elements as the furniture. Repurposed or refinished artwork like weathered wood frames around family photos or handcrafted signs evokes a homey vibe. Greenery such as wreaths above a mantel or silk vines along an accent wall in your dining room make the room feel fresh and inviting as well.
Another popular piece of farmhouse wall decor, large wooden clocks with distressed accents and metal hands offer an antique appearance. Use wire-brushed wood-framed mirrors in your bathroom or opt for hanging metal baskets that can hold spices and flavored syrups for your kitchen coffee bar.
Most farmhouse-inspired lighting has a stripped-down look that highlights metal accents, wood finishes and exposed vintage-style lightbulbs. Simple metal fixtures in steel, wrought iron and copper with warm lighting have a clean, understated appearance that fits modern styles as well as the rugged look of traditional farmhouses.
A black wrought iron chandelier topped with candle-style bulbs above your dining room table sets an elegant yet rustic tone. Matte black and bronze sconces make unique bedside lighting that exude warmth and coziness. Meanwhile, vintage lanterns and caged light fixtures evoke the authentic oil lamps and lanterns of historic farmhouses.
- Rugs: A rug introduces texture and warmth to wood or tiled floors. Neutral colors like beige, off-white and gray rugs lift up the look of your living room set or dining table. A distressed pattern has that hint of vintage quality you’re looking for, too.
- Throws and Pillows: Budget-friendly accent pillows with plaid patterns or earthy green or blue hues let you bring this cozy style to your sofa or bed. Knit and flannel throws draped over a blanket ladder in your living room also offer a warm, layered look.
- Plants: Adding greenery enhances the natural, welcoming effect of farmhouse interior design. Fresh potted herbs in the kitchen play into the cozy, homespun aesthetic, while a lavender bouquet in a vase on the dining table offers a dose of sweetness and charm.
- Cabinets: From entryway storage to wine racks in the dining room, farmhouse accent cabinets are smart, fashionable accessories. The distressed wood finishes, iron accents, vintage designs and many drawers and shelves give rooms an instant boost of practical style.
- Accent Seating: Simple seating solutions in undecorated corners boost any room’s homespun appeal. A wooden farmhouse bench topped with a thick cushion and a few toss pillows becomes an instant focal point in your foyer or mudroom.
- Woven Basketry: Large baskets in a plain, square weave can add countryside flair or serve as a handy storage solution. Hang them with the bottom of the basket on the wall as a frame for smaller pieces of decor or use the baskets to organize napkins and tableware.
- Farmhouse Kitsch: Overuse of country kitsch decor such as barnyard animal figurines, milk cans, doilies and pitchers can make a farmhouse home feel dated and cluttered. It’s best to use one or two pieces tastefully, like repurposing a milk can as an outdoor planter.
Whether you prefer a modern farmhouse look with sleek furniture and a moody color palette or bright and airy white countryside themes, this style is something you can build over time or create all at once. Using the guiding characteristics of this popular design in each room and adding farmhouse decor throughout your space helps you achieve a timeless farmhouse style home.