The Basics of Farmhouse Design

Farmhouse design is becoming increasingly more popular as a decor theme in homes, mostly due to the fact that it steers away from many of the modern looks and themes that have been added to homes over the years. Farmhouse design is a nod to simpler times and is wonderfully down to earth, paying homage to its homegrown history. However, this doesn’t mean that it needs to be old fashioned.

Country living and farmhouse design have come a long way in recent years, with many elements of modern farmhouse decor and design appearing in many homes, as well as in hotels, pubs and restaurants, as the look and feel helps to blend both rustic and sleek looks together seamlessly.

If you’re looking to add warmth and character to your home, then farmhouse design is the perfect decor scheme. With that in mind, here is a guide to some of the basic when it comes to farmhouse design.

Colour palette, materials and textiles

When it comes to farmhouse design, you want to ensure that there is a blend of comfortable and complementary neutral colours, as these will create a base from which you can build and add. Neutral earth tones such as sage, slate, fawn and grey, white and beige are ideal base colours, as they can be used to complement other, bolder and brighter colours such as navy, green and lavender.

Farmhouse decor and design is primarily a mixture of warmth, form and function. So, in order to complete your farmhouse look, you will want to pair light and natural materials with items that have a more “aged” appearance, such as metals and wood. Lighter woods, such as oak, pine and birch, help to compliment natural colour palettes more evenly and bring in a natural feel to the home, whilst darker woods, such as cherry and walnut, bring depth and tradition, however, should be used around the home sparingly.

Low maintenance and light fabrics, including linen and cotton, make your farmhouse decor appear softer and more welcoming and when used for window dressings, seating and soft furnishings, will make the room feel more relaxed. For a more traditional feel, consider adding chunky throws, cable knits and vintage blankets.


Traditionally, farmhouses were decorated with whatever items were handy and practical – after all, farmhouses tended to be in the middle of the countryside and miles away from stores and shops. Now, more thought is put into style and decorating when it comes to farmhouse style and design, however, practicality needs to be at the forefront.

Decor and accessories should be longlasting and hardwearing, whilst maintaining some form of style and sophistication. A home decorated in farmhouse style is often a mixture of hand-me-down items and bargain finds, mixed with newer, modern pieces. For example, wooden tables and cabinets work well in a kitchen, particularly paired with stainless steel and modern kitchen appliances.

Modern mixtures

If you love the traditional farmhouse design but want to add a modern twist on it, then this is easily achieved. Most aspects of farmhouse design lend themselves to modern living, from the materials used to space required. It is surprising for some people to hear the words “modern” and “farmhouse” together, but when you are looking to create a union of styles, it couldn’t be easier.

For a modern farmhouse vibe in your home, it’s important to mix the old with the new to create a soothing and comforting feeling in your home. Whether you pair a designer sofa with a rustic coffee table or a big wooden farmhouse style bed with soft sheets and furnishings, there is no room in your home where this look can’t be achieved.

Social spaces

The kitchen and dining room are considered the heart of the home in most houses, but this is particularly true when it comes to farmhouses. Farmhouse kitchens, in particular, showcase the most important aspects of a farmhouse – productivity and functionality above everything else. Deep, porcelain sinks, industrial shelving and storage, large butcher-block style chopping boards and breakfast bar seating are icons of farmhouse kitchen design and lend themselves naturally to every home in some way or another.

When it comes to the design of the kitchen, think of white subway tiles, glass-front cabinets showcasing your dish and glassware and rustic wood cabinets. A large wooden table is often the main seating area of the kitchen and dining room, accompanied by mismatched seating, such as benches, stools and highback chairs, to create a warm and welcoming spot for family and friends.

About the Author

Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer and avid decorator and interior designer. She loves scrolling through home renovation blogs and Instagram accounts and spending her free time shopping for quirky home pieces. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.


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