First of all, before I write this post, I have to say something.

That bench needs to be scooted two inches to the left.

Seriously.

Was it bugging you, too?

I went to upload the pictures for this post and realized they were all taken with a bench that’s throwing off the entire symmetry of the upstairs middle room.

Sigh.

It’s a little hard for me to concentrate on the task at hand with furniture that won’t cooperate, but just between us? I can identify with that bench.

I’m a little random and off-center, too.

And now to the question I get asked all the time in messages and e-mails from people:

Is farmhouse out of style?

Is farmhouse style on its way out?

And my answer is…..

….maybe.

Here’s the thing.

Styles change all the time.

We change all the time.

What you liked when you were wearing scrunchies in 1995 might not be the same thing you like when you re-wear that scrunchie in 2021.

Farmhouse style is evolving and changing and in its current state, it’s a little less shiplap and a little more cozy.

I think the new term for farmhouse that everyone is using is Country Chic.

(total aside: It’s almost like Shabby Chic went country.)

What are the design elements of Country Chic?

If you want to start dropping the term Country Chic in conversation, here are a few design elements that you can incorporate into farmhouse to help it transition:

It’s just like farmhouse, except a little fancier. Kind of like Laura Ingalls when she moved up from the banks of Plum Creek to the little house on the prairie.

What are some ways to update farmhouse?

I would not be a good friend if I told you that farmhouse needed a little makeover without giving you any ideas. Here are some SUPER simple ways to update your spaces for 2021 without spending a ton of money:

  1. Replace your regular inserts with down inserts. Look at your couch right now. Are your pillows stiff? Do they look like fun? The easiest way to make them feel more comfortable is to add a little down. If you have an IKEA down the road from you they have the BEST down inserts for $6.99. Or I found this set of two on Amazon for under $20.
  2. Spray paint a basket. You can spray paint the entire basket and then lightly sand it to make it look distressed. You can spray paint numbers on the front like this.
  3. And while you are at it? Here are eight other things you can update with spray paint in your home.
  4. Paint something white. I’m not talking about your grandmother’s heirloom cabinet—I’m talking about something you bought 5 years ago at a yard sale and meant to paint, but you never did. Look around your house. There’s probably something that could use a little white paint to make it feel fresher. And if you need a white paint suggestion? Here are some of my favorites.
  5. Treat yourself to one new thing for your space. Maybe it’s a patterned pillow. Or maybe it’s a new basket. I just uploaded some really fun finds to my Amazon Store under the section “Country Chic” at the bottom. You can see the store here.
  6. Make a new wreath for your space. Here’s a fun one I made using an old grapevine wreath.
  7. Cover books. Buy some wrapping paper or craft paper at the dollar store and cover books and then stamp the titles on the spine. Here are some ideas for decorating with books.

You have your own style

Just between us?

I’m still all about a little farmhouse.

I still have shiplap walls. I still have rustic baskets. I still have neutral rugs.

I have been farmhouse for years way before anyone ever even called it that or made it a thing and I’m not about to stop now.

There’s a secret to decorating that most people don’t really mention when they talk about trends.

You do you.

Yep.

Let me say it again so it can sink in.

I know that seems so simple, but the way to create a home that you would take to prom is to EMBRACE all the things that you love.

Sometimes that style that you love doesn’t even have a label.

It’s kind of farmhouse and kind of glam and kind of yardsale chic and kind of I found this in my attic and I’m making it work.

And that is okay.

It’s actually more than okay.

It’s wonderful.

Look around your spaces and look at the things in your room and ask yourself:

Does it make you happy?

Does it make you smile?

Does it make you want to come home to that room?

Then it’s perfect.

Your home is one of a kind. Your home is loved. Your home is a reflection of who you are.

And you my friend are perfect….

….just the way you are. 🙂

PS That bench still needs to be moved. 🙂

PPS These pictures were taken by the amazing Kenna Lynn Photography.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

Comments

  1. Image for Libbie@alifeunfolding Libbie@alifeunfolding

    LOL, Karianne you always bring a smile to my face! That bench would drive me as crazy as the oh so slightly off-kilter framed print I've been staring at for days but haven't moved. :)

  2. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Could you please tell me the brand and style of your couch? I have been looking for a new one, it needs to have removable backs and zippers so they can have more stuffing added if needed. I just hate it when my cushions go flat 😝

  3. Image for Myra Freshwater Myra Freshwater

    KariAnne ~ Your off-centered bench brought back a funny memory. Hosting a small group in our living room (a few years back) I noticed someone’s chair inching precariously close to our barrister bookcase with its glass front. I interrupted my husband (I was hyper focused on the bookcase) & blurted out, “sorry, um, would you please scoot your chair over a couple inches so I won’t keep worrying about the glass.” So embarrassing but necessary. Haha. Love your posts! 💖

  4. Image for Jan Jan

    I think we should always decorate in ways that are US. I have been country before Farm House. I am oak antiques, a white kitchen, wood floors, and blue and white chins pieces. I have evolved to cleaner lines with window treatments and now have leather coaches, very nice western paintings SO the hill country rancher married the Southern Living lady. A little Ralph Lauren. I have had these oak pieces, quilts, and lots of dishes for a long time. I’m me. So no “only neutrals” for me. Thank you for showing us that we still go with who we are!

    1. Image for Kymberly Kymberly

      I think Farmhouse will someday be looked at the way we look at "mid century modern" or 1970's harvest gold and avocado green, shag, etc. Yes, really, people once loved their "wood" paneling (and swore it would be timeless) just as we do shiplap today. When it finally phases out (gently, over time) we will look back with the same mix of fondness and "what were we thinking?" that we always have. Then it will eventually come around again! Those bold (garish) patterned 1970's sofas with the retina searing colors are already back "in" with young Millenials and Gen Z.

  5. Image for Maria Maria

    I liked reading this post so much because I personally think farmhouse will always be in style BUT it will transition with time. It will always be a great base for all of the treasures we love!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great day:)

  6. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    My beloved grandparents lived in South Georgia on a dirt road. Their very small farmhouse (6 rooms) was a place of joy for me. They were actually farmers! 🙂 I’ve been trying to get back to that house for most of my life. When the talented Jojo came around I was so excited - she spoke my love language!! But everyone else loved it too. And now, as it always does, styles are changing. I will remain on that dirt road in a house (with a few additional rooms) that still brings me joy. Karianne is 100% correct. You do you. Find your joy and forget about everyone else. It’s YOUR joy, after all.

  7. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I find it hard to label my style--it is me!!! I love what I love and that's what will be. So I don't copy the new styles, but I do incorporate some of the things I see in blogs, as I don't have time for Pinterest! Lol

  8. Image for Anna Anna

    I’ve never one of those who want to turn my house house upside down just because everyone else does. Personally I think your home has to “feel” like the house itself and what you as an individual likes. I currently live in a beautiful log cabin and I personally think it would definitely look out of place if I decorated it totally farmhouse, cottage cozy or Victorian for example. That’s not to say I don’t love cottage cozy but it’s not for my style of home with logs everywhere with a loft, windows from floor to ceiling and living in the woods although cottage would be closer in style than say Mid-century modern. No, I do not have dead animal heads above my fireplace but I do have lots of rustic decor. I love reading your blog and I do incorporate some of your ideas and will continue to do so...I love changing things up a bit now and then! I love your home and all of your insights. Who know my next home may be a lake cottage!

  9. Image for Betsy Cornell Betsy Cornell

    I've only followed you for about 6 months.. but am loving that journey with style and friendship. I love what you said about "you do you," but you have some concrete examples on how to elevate and freshen. Well done! 😊

  10. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    I’m just wondering about the pillow inserts you suggested. Do the feathers come out of them? I had down bed pillows years ago and they were terrible. Feathers all over.

  11. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Farmhouse Style was a thing even before Joanna Gaines. Some parts of the us already had shiplap in their farmhouses. I have to laugh at people calling shiplap "Vertical" shiplap. To me it looks like paneling painted white. I agree with any style it evolves. I believe why people do gravitate towards this look is what you indicated "cozy home". I am all about a cozy beautiful home. I want people to come in and the home feels warm and inviting. Not where people are afraid to sit down.

  12. Image for Linda Johnston Linda Johnston

    my home is a little of this and a little of that. i live in a real live historical farmhouse that has had many changes including ours. with many moves including international ones over the years, our home isnt any style but linda's.

  13. Image for Cindy@CountyRoad407 Cindy@CountyRoad407

    You know me, I'm all about repurposing, mixing old with new and farmhouse. But finally at my ripe youngish age, I realized my style is my style and because I love it, it's more of a lifestyle than a decor style, I couldn't ever put my finger on what to call it. The farmhouse is definitely more of an authentic farmhouse style but our home in Highland Village didn't have an identity. I suppose now I'll call it Country Chic. I like that! Love all of your ideas sweet friend. Big hug.

  14. Image for Scarlett Scarlett

    Totally agree with “you do you”! I tell clients all the time to try not to chase trends. Trends are trends for a reason....they come & go. If you want to bring in a bit of a trend, choose items that don’t cost too much. That way, when you’re tired of that trend...it’s not too painful to get rid of. Go with what you love. Go with what suites your home & your lifestyle best. KariAnne is spot on as always!!! Our homes should tell a story. OUR story. If that story is Farmhouse...go with it, I say.

  15. Image for alda ellis alda ellis

    You know I love your sense of detail in moving the bench two inches! But yes, farmhouse is tired, and you have shared ways to evolve and keep our homes fresh without becoming stale. In my wedding industry with all the young brides just starting a home, neutral burlap is so over. English country, French County or Ralph Lauren US country is what seems to be making a comeback . I call mine "Sentimental Country" for so many of my furniture pieces are hand me downs from family with memories attached. Love your perspective KariAnne!

    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      Love your response! Sentimental Country would probably be my style too heavy on the sentimental and light on the country!

  16. Image for PJ PJ

    You've got lots of great tips here as usual. As I've gotten older I ask myself, "is this item going to turn up at yard sales in 5 years?" If I think it is, I don't get it. Can't tell you how many geese, ducks, and country items I've seen over the years at a thrift store or yard sale. I keep thinking word art and boho will be the same. By the way, you're looking so good. I know yo've mentioned the program you're doing, but have you mixed in exercise also? Congratulations on your weight loss.

  17. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love how you discussed this. I have always called my style eclectic, as we mix what we like and do what we do. It all seems to mesh.

    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      Oh I agree about lampshade seams! I have realized in the last few years if you want to see how something looks take a picture of it. It can be a room or an outfit. I can’t explain why standing & looking at it isn’t the same as looking at a photo but the little things jump out at you in a photo. And yes, I would have had to take a new pic after moving the table.

  18. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Thanks, this was a great blog for people like me who just decorate with what they love. Bloggers do help me with decorating and placing my favorites. I love white, blue, and architectural salvage to decorate with.

  19. Image for Toni Toni

    Favorite line in in this post......"you do you".!!! Honestly the most inviting homes are ones curated over time! A home that reflects your interests, hobbies, and people you love is one far more personal and cozy than one done by a decorator with everything brand new! I'm just an arm chair decorator but I'm constantly amazed (and disappointed) by decorators that strip a home of "personalness" (is that even a word?). Don't allow yourself to feel that just because your home isn't sporting the latest this or that....that it is not meaningful and beautiful to YOU! After all, you are the one who lives there. My goal is to keep my home a reflection of ME and the life lived in the place I call home first and then add updates when needed that still retains that personal feeling.

  20. Image for Kim Kim

    My home is definitely eclectic. I like so many different pieces. I love a down pillow abs has no idea IKEA had them that cheap! Whether your bench needs to be moved two inches or not, your home always looks beautiful!!

  21. Image for YVonne Shafer YVonne Shafer

    I love this column because you stress that your style is “you.” I call mine coastal country. I love the East Coast and spend summer vacations on Nantucket so I have blue/white with touches of yellow or red, Nantucket baskets, hydrangeas, herbs, and a few nautical antiques. The “take it or leave it” tables at the dump are a shopper’s delight and free!

  22. Image for Mary Mary

    You make the transition sound incredibly easy with just a few tweaks. Thanks Love your couch, I am looking for a new one do you mind sharing the brand?

  23. Image for Rory Rory

    The fact that Magnolia Home and the Gaines, who did so much to popularize farmhouse, seem to be veering away from it kind of shows it's less stylish. But normal people don't have the money to redecorate every 5 or so years. Also, farmhouse is comfortable and family friendly, so I don't think it will disappear at all. That said, I like the look that combines casual farmhouse with a few modern or even fancy antique pieces.

  24. Image for Katharine Katharine

    A kindred spirit. I was farmhouse before it was a thing. It made me a little sad when it became so popular because I knew sooner or later it would no longer be hip and I would be outdated instead of unique as I had been in the past. Oh well. I love your Little House analogy. I'll still be me, but I definitely think I'll try a little fancy.

  25. Image for Cassie Adolphson Cassie Adolphson

    Great post, my daughter just mentioned the other day "did you notice farmhouse is already out of style". I love "you do you" and you do you very well!

  26. Image for Crystal Brown Crystal Brown

    Interesting post. I've been country all my life.... some version of country, which came to be called farmhouse, then modern farmhouse. Since the 70's when I became a Mom and made decisions on my own. Prior to that I lived with my beloved Grandmother, in the country, with running water. but no inside bathroom! Yikes!! So country is me, also farmhouse is me. Country farmhouse is really me! I don't do trends, because, as you pointed out, trends change, they come and go. Instagram is overflowing with gobs of homes that all look the same, they shop at Kirklands, and Hobby Lobby, Dollar General, etc. I shop at flea markets, thrift and antique stores and yard sales. I'm not better, just prefer authentic or handmade over big bog and mass market cute things. That said, I have been inspired to take a second look at collectables I passed up in the 70's and finally made the leap to a neutral color palette a few years ago. But I don't consider myself trendy at all. I guess what I'm trying to say, using far too many words, is I agree with you. Find a style that makes your heart sing, tweak it to suit the times and your home and your tastes. Make your home personal, tell your own story, not the story of someone else. and thank you for always being an inspiration! BTW, what I've been hearing? English Country is a thing. Who knew?

  27. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Oh my goodness. My decorating style runs the gamut from Art Deco to vintage to country chic. I enjoy blending all the styles, but my husband thinks I'm nuts when I bring another thrifted piece home to repurpose or redo. As far as your off center bench, I totally get it. I'm a picture straightener. I may be off kilter, but my home decor better not be. Thank you for sharing your sense of humor and sense of style. Cheryl

  28. Image for Jo Jo

    Loved this post! As usual you give options along with point of view. As a side note, I am still enjoying the scissor and tape set that I purchased from Anthropologie after you loved yours. Your way of connecting buyers with products is always fun and appropriate and eye-opening. Thanks!

  29. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Perfect post in a hundred different ways, KA. And a similar idea that is over 500 years old? "To thine own self be true," Amen to that.

  30. Image for Sonya Sonya

    There are so many different design elements I love and my home is certainly a mix. I agree with you that we have do decorate our homes for us. If we decorate our homes solely on trends I believe we will never truly feel at home.

  31. Image for Kris Kris

    I think "farmhouse" is an evolution in style. I remember "country" well (that was hot when I was a young adult decorating my own space for the first time). In recent years, farmhouse and its cousins, industrial farmhouse, modern farmhouse, and so on, have been big. For awhile this past year I was reading a lot about "cottagecore" and "cabincore". The thing I noticed was that many similar elements are present in all of them--and they all evoke a warm, homey atmosphere. My style is definitely eclectic but the unifying element in decorating that has spoken to me for years is a feeling of coziness and what the British would call homely (not to be confused with the American version of homely, which means unattractive). If when you enter my house you want to sit and chat or cozy up with a throw, a cup of tea, and a book, then I have achieved what I wanted to achieve.

  32. Image for marilyn ackerman marilyn ackerman

    2 inches, or less, one way or the other makes all the difference. You should see how long it takes me to style a table top so that it balances with a picture on the wall or how it looks from different locations in a room. I love decorating, but I think my daughter thinks I am quirky and fussy. Love your posts, They are like a visit with a friend

  33. Image for Carol Karl Carol Karl

    Personally, I don't think farmhouse style will ever be 'out'. It may evolve and become something a little different but it will always be farmhouse. Why do we have to rename things to make them trendy? Farmhouse is classic, it's like an old friend, it's comfortable and luxurious all at once. I see stark modern homes and I wonder how people ever feel comfortable in that environment. My home is a mix of farmhouse and coastal and I'm happy with that - it's what I love and I'm sticking with it. I'm not saying that I won't change with the times, I just think my home will always be rooted in this style.

  34. Image for Donna Donna

    Karianne, you knock it out of the park every day! Your home looks comfy, classy, and beautiful! Keep up what you are doing. I love your blog and all your wonderful ideas. Oh, to be able to start all over again .....

  35. Image for Roxanne Cardoso Garmon Roxanne Cardoso Garmon

    As long as there are farmhouses.. there will be farm decor. Decorate with furniture, throws, pillows, art, and accessories that make your heart feel happy. 💜

  36. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Yep. I have always done me...more color...a bit eclectic...a little traditional and classic in the mix. I love it when I have decorated and then the world follows suit. Just a bit more confirmation that I was hearing my style right and yet staying true to myself. Personally, I was over my grandmother’s crocheted colored Afghan long before they arrived on the scene in 2021!

  37. Image for Sherry Duff Sherry Duff

    Great blog post!! I have been Farmhouse before it was cool!! I used gray paint in my house 23 years ago and people thought I was crazy! ( only about 5 different shades of Gray back then!) At one time I transformed my living room using the reds and golds with heavy fabrics and decor......but it wasn’t me! When farmhouse became the thing I was very happy because I could find decor a little easier. I think farmhouse is cozy, light, and more simple. It makes me feel at home. But I totally agree that “you need to be you!”

  38. Image for Ellen Collins Ellen Collins

    Loved this blog (as I always do). I had to laugh at myself as at one point I realized I had 6 different tabs open as I had jumped from link to link to link! :) Keep those blogs coming and making me laugh and feel good about my space and choices!

  39. Image for Jennifer Cain Jennifer Cain

    I really like how you incorporate newer styles. I believe you should have a home that reflects your style and your history with also a dash of present trends to keep current. Always a joy to open your mail in the morning.

  40. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Well that's a first.... based on your description as well as my current pillow situation I'm right on track for the current design trend. In fact, like you pre Farmhouse trend, I might be the originator of Country Chic - like Barbara Mandrell I guess I was country when country wasn't cool. Gotta get me a shiny chandelier though to solidify my position as a trend setter.

  41. Image for Mary Smart Mary Smart

    Hi! Karianne, Thank you for saying that if you love it then it's fine. I think people put too much time and money into following trends. None of us can afford to change everything every year. New trending paint colors come out every year as well as new furniture trends. Different neutrals whether it's white, black or Gray. I never thought that Granny Chic would ever come back and I have already done that era and don't intend to go back, but I can see millennials doing it. My friend worries that she is not in trend and her house is beautiful. I tell her all the time, "Just do what you love and stop worrying about trends."

  42. Image for Marie Marie

    I totally love your Laura Ingalls On The Banks Of Plum Creek reference! I'm all about doing what you like! My style is all over & I'm okay with it :)

  43. Image for CATHERINE J OLARE CATHERINE J OLARE

    Can you include the link for the Monogramed/ Personalized pillow covers, please?? I have been searching and can't find any!! Thank you

  44. Image for Heidi Baader Heidi Baader

    Farmhouse, or whatever you call a similar version of it, will always be in style. It is founded on great neutral colors and a comfortable, relaxed feeling. All things people love. And don't want to give up. So for those who keep trying to say it is going out of style I would challenge them to look around.

  45. Image for Cara Cara

    I think people should decorate their homes with what they love, and their homes should reflect their personality... I just covered a book this weekend with wallpaper so I thought it was funny you mentioned this... We enjoy making our house our home with our stamp on it...

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