What is Country Farmhouse Style?

April 25, 2016

You may have noticed that farmhouse style decor is all the rage right now. You see those words everywhere. So what exactly is farmhouse style?

Farmhouse style is an updated take on traditional country decorating. It lies somewhere between the eternally cheerful look of country cottage decor and the stark and dark look of primitive country style. Blending elements of both, farmhouse style is simple, clean and bright. It's a distilled version of country style, with a touch of winsome nostalgia.

Farmhouse style incorporates a peacefully neutral color palette with a few well chosen vintage (or faux vintage) accessory pieces. Here are a few common elements of farmhouse decor, and ways to bring this popular look into your home.


The Farmhouse Bedroom

The Farmhouse Bedroom

A farmhouse style bedroom usually begins with a sturdy antique bed. A simple iron bed or a wooden spindle design provides a subtle backdrop to anchor the room. Painted or stained wood furniture comes next. No need for matching here- the more distressed and mismatched the better. Just keep everything as simple and paired down as possible.

Bedding choices are generally neutral colors for a sedate and restful look. Wholecloth quilts are frequently used for this. The lovely quilt shown above is from the Abigail Cream Matelasse Collection by Taylor Linens. Farmhouse decor avoids the temptation to add a ton of accessories and favors a "less is more" philosophy.

Barnyard Accents

Barnyard Accent Pillows

With farmhouse style decor you'll see a subtle sprinkling of decorative accessories with a pastoral, barnyard, or agricultural theme. With such an abundance of opportunities, it's easy give your neutral background that rustic farm look. We've just received these adorable Farmhouse Silhouette Pillows that would be a perfect focal point for any room. Just a couple of well placed items will do the job without going whole hog...

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen

No country kitchen would be complete without a sparkly white porcelain farmhouse sink. This classic fixture has become the norm in so many modern homes due to it's distinctly vintage style and practicality. Other farmhouse elements to add to your kitchen would include Mason jars for storage, splatterware, yellow ware bowls, pie birds, open shelving, painted cabinets and vintage style kitchen towels and table linens.

Farmhouse Dining

Farmhouse Dining

Farmhouse dining centers around the generously sized rough-hewn table. This classic element of country decor provides straight forward charm and school house simplicity. Table linens are equality utilitarian and generally consist of neutral colors and interesting textures.

Burlap is huge in farmhouse style decor. It goes anywhere and everywhere. Tabletop, windows, pillows- you name it. It provides a rustic earthy touch and timeworn elegance. Natural burlap shines the brightest when paired with pure white or creamy shades, like in this lovely but simple tablescape.

Vintage Accents Pieces

Vintage Farmhouse Accessories

Distressed finds of every kind are welcome in farmhouse decor. The older the better. Rugged wood pieces and primitives take center stage when placed against light neutral backgrounds, like this faux vintage grain sack runner. Old bottles, jars, grain scoops, even old rusty farm implements will find their place of honor.

The Return of Handmade

Handmade Farmhouse Decor

This back to basics approach to decorating provides the perfect showcase for all things handmade. The appeal of handmade needle crafts and woodworking has never been stronger. Accent your home with hand lettered signs, hand crocheted linens and hand painted artwork for a timeless look.

Repurposed Feed Sacks

Vintage Grain Sack Reproductions

Vintage feed sacks and old burlap bags of any kind are really hot right now. You'll find them repurposed into toss pillows, table runners, wall hangings and a bunch of other creative uses. True vintage grain sacks can be hard to find, but thankfully realistic repros are everywhere. Check out these cute Seed Label Placemats by Heritage Lace.

Fresh Wildflowers 

Fresh Wildflowers in White Enamelware

You can never go wrong with fresh flowers. More specifically- plain old ordinary wildflowers. (Also known as glorified weeds!) Nothing too fancy or perfect. Just a handful of stray blooms stuffed into an interesting pitcher or jar. Pure country bliss...

Want to see more examples of Farmhouse Style? Check out our handpicked collection at https://retrobarn.com/collections/farmhouse-style-decor

Also, visit our Farmhouse Decor Pinterest Board to see a ton of inspiring photos and ideas!

A Final Thought

"Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."

~ William Morris



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