What is Farmhouse Style and How to Get It

So what exactly does decorating with Farmhouse Style mean?  Do you know the difference’s between  Modern Farmhouse, Coastal Farmhouse, or Industrial Farmhouse?

Did you even know there were so many styles that fit within the Farmhouse Style?

I’m going to help you break this down a little bit and talk about where this popular style originates and what you can expect to find in it for decor.

Since I’m in Central Texas this is a style that’s very common around here and we’ve embraced many parts of it in our decor.  We’re also a pretty short drive to Waco so we’ve done our fair share of checking out Magnolia and keeping up with all the Fixer Upper episodes.

The Prettiest Farmhouse
house by Lauren Crouch featured on Country Living

Country Living is calling this the prettiest farmhouse they’ve ever seen and I have to admit that it is a beautiful exterior.  The interior doesn’t disappoint either, so click on the photo and be sure to check it out.

Where Does Farmhouse Style Come From?

Well as you might have suspected from the name, farmhouse style is based off of….

Wait for it….

A farmhouse.


I know it’s shocking right?

If you think about what running a farm was like, or is like, you’ll see that the styles are very simple and practical.  In an older farmhouse you might find that much of the furniture was built right there on the farm, or it was handed down from other relatives.

Farmhouse style is warm and comfortable.  It uses a simple style that includes antiques and lot’s of creamy white’s.  Shiplap is seen in many examples of farmhouse decor and chalk paint covers many of the furniture pieces that are found.

Farmhouse style is one of the more popular decorating styles right now largely because of the popular show Fixer Upper.  It spread from it’s small town roots all around the country and there are lots of great reasons that it’s such a popular style.

Which now means that farmhouse style isn’t just living on a farm anymore.  You can find examples of it in lots of cities and neighborhoods now.  Not to mention all over Pinterest and Instagram.

A farmhouse kitchen via realtor.com

What You’ll Find in Farmhouse Style Decor

Farmhouse style incorporates well used and loved items.  Antique’s are included because they have a certain patina and glow about them.  Furniture pieces that have been repaired can easily be painted over with chalk paint.

Chalk paint is another one of the reasons that farmhouse style is popular – it’s embraces imperfection and chippy, worn finishes.  If you’ve got kids, or dogs, or let’s face it – a busy life of any kind you can see the appeal of embracing imperfection.

Farmhouses have always been decorated with what’s available and practical.  Large tables with lots of seating, simple shaker style furniture and burlap and muslin fabrics.  These styles have been carried into a newer generation because of their comfort and simplicity.

A home featuring farmhouse style will look like it’s developed over time.  Nothing in this style is going to be matchy-matchy.  You can certainly use modern pieces, but the idea is for them to look similar and not like they all came from the same showroom.  Antiques add character and style to this space.

Common Farmhouse Features:

There are some common themes that you can expect to find in farmhouse style.

Exposed wood – beams, furniture, and butcher block are just a few of the places that you might expect to find exposed wood.  When homes have been built the beams have been left exposed instead of covering them with drywall or plaster.

Butcher block is another useful element considering that on a farm you’re raising your animals for meat.  It fits in with the useful style.

Now I don’t raise animals, but I still love my butcher block counters in my kitchen.  They are a great surface that we find is easy to keep up with.

An apron front sink is a classic element of Farmhouse Style MySimpaticoLife.com

Apron Front Sinks – An apron front sink is a classic farmhouse style.  In the past they were white porcelain but there are many more styles and options to be found now.

These sinks are generally a single bowl that is quite deep and can be used for just about anything – all the way from bathing your kids to small loads of laundry.

It’s been awhile since I bathed a baby in a sink, but these deep sinks are about the perfect size.  They’re also much easier than bending or kneeling around an actual bathtub.

Shiplap – Shiplap is a form of wood panelling that was original to older farmhouses.  Now you’ll find examples of it on walls and  furniture as a decorative element.

Natural Elements and Materials – Wood was an abundant resource on early farms and most furnishings were built on site.  Farmhouses usually include exposed wood beams, wide plank floors and paneled walls.

Cotton, linen and burlap are natural materials that you’ll find in this style and you can expect any of the upholstered furniture to be slipcovered because it makes them easier to care for.

Porches – You’ll find that most farmhouses include porches that either extend all the way around a house or across the front and back.  These long deep porches help provide shade to home interiors in the summer and the porches extend the living area to the outdoors.

I think we’ve all seen a front porch swing that gives us a little nostalgia right?

Other Farmhouse Style Accessories

A few more things that you’ll find are:

Neutral Colors – Expect colors to be faded from multiple washings.  You’ll find subdued colors such as creams, whites and grays with some natural colors sprinkled throughout.

Wicker or rattan – Think about adding a few baskets throughout your decor, or wicker furniture on your covered porch.

I love using my galvanized steel buckets as planters, but they work great for gardening and they're virtually indestructible MySimpaticoLife.com

Galvanized Metal – I especially love the buckets to use for planters or decor but you can expect to find metal used in a variety of ways.  Metal Roofing, gates, buildings and as decor on walls.

Wire Baskets – also great for decor, or holding fruit on your kitchen counter.

Grain Sacks – when your grain comes in a sack you’re going to find a way to reuse that material.  These are commonly made of burlap.

Weathered Wood – repurposed barn wood is a popular building material for furniture and accessories.

Mason Jars – These are great for canning veggies and jelly, but equally useful to put a drink in and serve up a glass of tea or lemonade.

Barn Doors – of course you know these were originally found on a barn….they’re now a popular door in many homes.  They’re a great option for covering larger openings and not taking up floor space.  Many of the interior barn doors that you find are also incorporated into the decor and are unique to the home.

Where to Find Farmhouse Style Decor

You don’t have to search very far to find places that sell farmhouse decor right now.  It is definitely one of the top categories of home decor and it’s starting to become a little more updated and refined.

Popular Places that You can Search:
Target – specifically the Magnolia Home Line
Magnolia Market
World Market
At Home
Hobby Lobby
HomeGoods & Marshall’s
Also be sure to check out any farm supply stores in your area – they’ll have some unique pieces!  (Tractor Supply even has an online version for you!)

Other Versions of Farmhouse Style

Modern Farmhouse –

This style includes modern updates like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and sinks, and more streamlined lighting.  It retains all the hallmarks of farmhouse style but updates them with finishes that are more commonly found in home decor right now.

Industrial Farmhouse

A modern farmhouse look may include sleeker lines and more industrial touches – such as pipes for shelving and table bases.

This style embraces darker wood accents, more geometric shapes and contrast.

Coastal Farmhouse

You can expect to find more whitewashed finishes and grey shades of wood, basically more natural and lighter woods since these were more commonly found in areas along the coast.

Since the style is based on natural and found items you’ll see more seashells, blues and greens in the decor.  You’ll still find lots of slipcovers and natural rugs.

What’s Your Farmhouse Style?

Do you embrace true farmhouse style or do you mix parts of it in with other styles of decor?

I love that this style is about being simple and practical with our decorating.  It embraces using elements that are found in nature around you and reusing and recycling whatever you bring into your space.

I love shiplap on my walls and my butcher block in my kitchen.  Those are my nods to farmhouse style but I also love a bright pop of color so my style contains lots of other elements.

What about you?

How to add farmhouse style to your decor MySimpaticoLife.com

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