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February 08, 2022 5 min read

The modern farmhouse style has become increasingly trendy in the past few years. If you’re wondering how to achieve this relaxed, comfortable look that combines rustic charm with modern touches, look no further. In this comprehensive guide, we tell you everything you need to know about farmhouse furniture and décor. 

What Is Farmhouse Style?

Farmhouse style is an interior design style that focuses on rustic charm, simplicity, and practicality. While the traditional farmhouse decor incorporates predominantly classic, vintage, and rustic elements, the modern farmhouse style introduces minimalist touches to achieve a fresh, stylish, and welcoming look. 

Farmhouse style can be divided into several different sub-styles, such as:

  • French farmhouse style based on classy and romantic décor inspired by the French provincial design. It introduces ornate furniture shapes and luxurious upholsteries into the traditional farmhouse décor.
  • Scandinavian farmhouse style, a modern and minimalist take on the classic farmhouse décor, with a touch of signature rustic elements.
  • Boho farmhouse style, a look that uses bright and spirited bohemian accents to freshen up the traditional farmhouse décor.
  • Coastal farmhouse style that combines the laid-back beachside cottage feel with the rustic farmhouse look.
  • Industrial farmhouse style, a more masculine take on farmhouse décor that gives warmth and texture to a modern interior.

What Is Farmhouse Style Furniture?

Modern farmhouse style furniture typically has a weathered, worn look and warm, neutral colors. You can expect to see plenty of natural materials and textures, distressed paint, and raw wood accents.

Farmhouse furniture usually includes one or more of the following features:

  • It is often made of distressed wood that contributes to the rustic look. 
  • It is typically made of reclaimed wood, such as pine or oak, with visible holes or cuts from old saw blades.
  • It has warm earthy colors and tones, for example, beige, cream, or ivory.
  • It has a timeless look that works well with a variety of other home decor styles.
  • It has a solid build that will last for years.

History of Farmhouse Style

The modern farmhouse style has its roots in the early 18th-century American farmhouses. These simple homes were built with whatever natural materials were easily accessible, especially wood and stone and every object served a distinct purpose. The main function of the first farmhouses was to protect its inhabitants from the elements and provide storage for the items needed for daily living. 

The farmhouse style evolved and became more aesthetic with the industrial revolution. In the mid-19th century, manufactured materials could be transported by railroads, providing easier access to materials such as bricks, milled lumber, and quarried stone. Many farmhouses started introducing elements of other styles, such as Greek columns or stained glass windows for a Gothic look.

By the 1930s many farmhouses had running water and electricity. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, farmhouse style was used to decorate homes that were not part of functioning farms. The décor has become above all warm, cozy, and relaxed, with plenty of character. 

So what is the best way to incorporate this style into your home decor? Here are the key elements to keep in mind when creating the modern farmhouse style look. 

Elements of Farmhouse Style Furniture

Practicality in form and function

Unlike traditional pieces that feature plenty of ornate details, farmhouse furniture tends to be simple and practical, focusing on functionality rather than decorative elements. For example, furniture pieces often have hidden storage, and organizing items like weaved baskets, wooden crates, and vintage jars are commonly used to decorate farmhouse-style spaces.

Farmhouse furnishings are comfortable and welcoming, yet they are not too precious to be used regularly. Soft furnishings are often made of low-maintenance fabrics such as linen and cotton that provide softness and a relaxed feel. Sofas can have slipcovers for easy care. 

Natural color palettes

The tone for a farmhouse look is typically set by light wall colors. While traditional farmhouses use warmer tones, the modern farmhouse style is more about whites, creams, and pale shades of gray. These colors work well together and will balance other natural elements in your farmhouse style home. 

The neutral color palette used throughout the house will make your farmhouse-inspired space appear open and fresh. You can also use different neutral tones from the same color family to achieve a seamless transition from room to room for a coherent look. 

Cushions, throws, and other textiles, as well as plants will bring in accents of color, but make sure to use them sparingly to avoid distractions from the overall soft look of your home.

Variety of textures

When decorating in a style that uses neutral colors such as farmhouse décor, introducing a variety of textures is essential. Textures will provide visual interest, contrast, and depth to your space and prevent it from appearing boring. 

Some of the most popular textures used in the modern farmhouse style are chunky knits, tumbled linens, grain sacks, natural jute, sisal, burlap, and low-pile synthetic fiber rugs. What’s more, different wood finishes like rough-hewn flooring or raw-edge open shelves can also add texture to your farmhouse-styled home. 

Regardless of what texture you choose, be sure to keep patterns simple and contemporary. For example, striped cotton quilts and vintage knits draped across armchairs or beds will add casual, cozy details without appearing overwhelming.

Mix & match furniture

Farmhouse style doesn’t require a coordinated look, but is rather based on mixing and matching rustic and modern elements. Farmhouse furniture is meant to be eclectic. Instead of buying matching furniture, you can use your favorite pieces and combine them in unique and interesting ways. 

To create a balance, blend vintage and new furniture pieces and accessories, or traditional natural elements such as wood and newer ones like stainless steel. Just keep in mind that the contrast will work best when kept simple. 

Warm minimalism

Modern farmhouse decor relies on minimalism to convey the typical farmhouse style charm. But simple doesn’t mean plain. Rather, this look consists of creating a warm, comfortable, and relaxed space full of character that is not typical of some other minimalist styles. 

The best way to achieve it is to combine vintage accessories with modern elements such as smooth lines and a neutral color scheme. 

While modern homes rely on clean lines and sleek surfaces, the modern farmhouse look blends contemporary elements with natural, weathered finishes like raw woods, exposed brickwork, leather, and tiles with a patina. It is important to keep accessories to a minimum to create an uncluttered and cozy space. 

Embrace imperfection

One of the main characteristics of the modern farmhouse style is embracing the beauty of imperfections. This is a family-friendly, approachable style that retains all the authenticity of the worn and lived-in look.

When choosing farmhouse furniture for your home, look for wooden furniture with scratches, knots, and distressed finishes. Likewise, weathered metal furniture pieces such as vintage lockers and repurposed metal tubs that serve as sinks are perfect industrial accents for a farmhouse-style home.

Big, comfortable furniture

Traditional farmhouses were large, comfortable spaces and the modern farmhouse style furniture tends to reflect that. To replicate this look, opt for cozy sofas, sumptuous chairs, large tables, and heavy desks instead of sleeker furniture. Solid, sturdy pieces will also be able to withstand the test of time and last for generations.

Mixed metal accents 

To make the farmhouse style current, you should introduce some industrial elements through metal accents. These can be anything from oversized metal light fixtures to weathered metal wall clocks, rustic metal planters, sleek cabinet hardware, and stainless-steel apron sinks and appliances. 

You can create visual interest and depth by combining different metal types and finishes—for example, matte black, polished chrome, and brushed brass—or have all the metal elements in your home match for a more cohesive feel.

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