What is farmhouse style? If you love yard sale furniture and painted signs and milk glass and shiplap then this is the post for you and your farmhouse style self.
Welcome to Style Week day 3
Today is all about farmhouse style and the people who love it.
You may or may not have read the papers and listened to the town crier and heard the news. Apparently, they say farmhouse isn’t a thing anymore.
Stop the presses.
Farmhouse? One of my favorite styles on the planet is a has-been? Washed up. Over and done. Yesterday’s news. So 2018.
I get it. I understand. I know that trends come and trends go and the farmhouse of yesterday might be a little overdone.
I was farmhouse before it was ever a thing and I’ll always have a little farmhouse in my decor. I can’t help it. Because to me, farmhouse is more than just hay bales and corn stalks and vintage tables and dough bowls.
Farmhouse is family.
Farmhouse is creativity and repurposing and rethinking and turning the ordinary into something extraordinary.
And as for me and my house?
I think farmhouse is here to stay.
How about you?
If this is your first day with us, I wrote a book all about style and how to find it called The DIY Style Finder. We traveled all over the country photographing different houses with different styles—like this amazing living room space from my friend Bre at Rooms for Rent. I thought it might be fun if we took a style a day and talked about it and how to create it and what you can buy to get it and how it looks in pictures.
I wanted to feature some of the pictures from her home that we took.
Especially all the photos that didn’t make the book.
Are you ready to talk farmhouse?
Elements of farmhouse style
Instead of looking at the current, trendy elements of farmhouse style, I want to go back to my roots. I want to celebrate the timeless elements of farmhouse style that have endured through all the decades that have gone before.
This isn’t your farmhouse that’s imported from China. This is true, blue American farmhouse in all it’s chippy glory.
Here are a few of my favorite elements of farmhouse style:
- yard sale tables
- painted signs
- wood frames without the glass
- boxwood wreaths
- seagrass rugs
- reclaimed wood anything
- white yard sale dishes
- oversized baskets
- cutting boards
- slipcovered chairs
Farmhouse style is all about authenticity
(total aside: aren’t these pictures beautiful? These are some of the ones that we didn’t include in the book)
Farmhouse style is all about screen doors that open with a smile and celebrating family with overflowing dishes and platters of corn and antique floors and blue and white aprons and vintage tea towels turned into pillows and board and batten walls and walls of vintage mirrors.
Farmhouse style is all about keeping it real.
Here are a few repurposing projects you can introduce into your home to bring in authentic farmhouse style:
- turn a ladder into a blanket displayer
- transform a chicken coop into a coffee table
- make a drop cloth into a roman shade
- spray paint a basket with farmhouse numbers
- layer rugs to save your budget
- turn a dough bowl into a centerpiece
- frame something ordinary like a book page or a map or leaves from the yard and turn it into something extraordinary
- make a plate rack into a recipe wall
- add twigs to a vase
- turn a drop cloth into a curtain
Farmhouse style is all about painted furniture
If you take nothing else away from this intense discussion on farmhouse and all its style, remember this. Farmhouse style isn’t expensive pieces that you buy in the store. Farmhouse style is all about repurposing and transforming and making that screen door or fence post or chair seat or newel post or barn door that your found at the thrift store or (even better) on the side of the road into something amazing.
See what I mean?
No four-syllable vocabulary words.
Just creativity and ingenuity and taking a second look at something and seeing all the potential.
Here are a few of my favorite furniture makeovers:
- This painted armoire
- This paint stick table top
- This pallet desk
- This yard sale hutch
- This white distressed hutch
- This yard stick stool
Types of textiles that work well with traditional style
Farmhouse is all about layering in the textiles. You know. The rugs and the curtains and the pillows and the tea towels and the slipcovers. The key to getting the farmhouse look is keeping those textiles authentic. You don’t want to spend a lot of money. Instead, you can find your textiles wherever the yard sale sign takes you.
Here are a few ideas for farmhouse textiles
- Make curtains out of drop cloths
- Transform a dish towel into a curtain
- Create your own one-of-a-kind dishtowels by stamping the coordinates of your favorite place on them
- Design a linen scrap pillow of your house
- Make your own simple dining room slipcovers by adding ribbons to dish towels
- Stack vintage monogrammed linens
- Frame an apron or other vintage textiles
Add a traditional paint color
One of the easiest ways to add a little farmhouse to a space is with paint. You can transform a room in a weekend with a new coat of paint in a farmhouse color. When choosing a paint color for your space, think of adding neutrals with depth and layering in grays, whites, khakis and creams to your wall.
Here are some of my favorite farmhouse paint colors:
- SW Agreeable Gray (slight greige tone)
- SW Extra White (perfect for trim)
- SW Repose Gray (just a hint of khaki with the gray)
- SW Dover White (the perfect cream)
- SW Sandbar (the perfect khaki)
- SW Tricorn Black (the perfect front door color)
What to look for at yard sales to create the farmhouse look
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it over and over and over again. Yard sales are your best friend. They are one of the easiest ways to bring a little farmhouse into your space.
Here are a few things to keep your eye out for at yard sales this summer:
- Architectural remnants That is just a super fancy way of saying parts of things that used to be something else. You know. Like the back of some sort of antique or random pieces of molding or the top of a chair or part of a hutch. You can usually find them by the trash or free section. When you see them sitting there DO NOT GET EXCITED. Do not. I repeat DO NOT under any circumstances tell your yard sale friends what you are going to do with their trash. Because here is a yard sale truth: ideas make trash MUCH MORE valuable. Take the trash and run.
- Baskets One of the most underestimated and overlooked item at a yard sale is the basket with the wired ribbon hot glued to it with a dusty faux flower arrangement inside. Most of the times you can get it for $1.00. Take it home and go all Hollywood makeover on it. Shed the ribbon. Shed the flower arrangement. Paint the basket an entirely different color or make a liner from dropcloth or spray paint numbers on it. The world is your basket oyster.
- Mason jars These are a dime a dozen at yard sales. Literally. Decorate your mantel with them. Add them to your back porch. Fill them with flowers at your next summer party. Simple. Inexpensive. Utilitarian. I never met a mason jar I didn’t like.
- Shutters If you are looking for a little inexpensive wall art—let me introduce you to my friend shutter. Their superpower is that they visually fill up a space and then you can hang ANYTHING on to the front of them. Like a wreath. Or a chalkboard. Or plates. Or a calendar. And if that’s not enough, you can transform them into an architectural element by covering an entire wall with them.
- Whiteware Oh, whiteware how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I almost didn’t put this on the list because it’s so Captain Obvious. If you’ve read my blog for more than 10 minutes you know how all about a white plate I am. And yet? I never seem to have enough.Maybe I need an intervention.
Here are a few farmhouse style accessories to help you get the look
Click on the links to shop
If you are all about farmhouse I celebrate you and your wonderful style.
You are family.
You are a screen door opener.
You are chippy tables and green grass and lazy summer days on porch swings with a really good conversation and laughter and sweet tea.
I love your style.
Let’s be friends. 🙂
PS Be sure and check out the rest of the styles and how to get them in my new book, The DIY Style Finder.