Authentic Farmhouse Design
I feel like I’ve been bringing up this point a lot lately but I have had so many people appreciate this so I wanted to do a post for all of you. I think we all appreciate Farmhouse design, but lately farmhouse has become…cliche! We are seeing every store catch on to the trend and now promote pieces that feel farmhouse so we feel in order to achieve a farmhouse look we should buy every “clay mug that has words on it” signs that say “gather”, “farmhouse”, “antiques”, and then of course the overly done white slip-covered sofa, the shiplap walls, the black and white to the excess, you name it we’ve done it. Now, I can’t say I don’t see a home like this scrolling IG that doesn’t still stop in me in my tracks but I’ve started removing accounts and stopped relating to them because there’s just too many. All these IG and pinterest looks not to mention stores have gave us the perception all of our homes need to look this way. So, now the “trend” has become too trendy…or so yesterday! I hate to admit that and believe me I love Farmhouse, I love all things Joanna Gaines, and I really do love neutrals and slipcovered sofas. So, my goal for my new house was to break the chain and try something refreshing. Incorporate what I love about Farmhouse design like painted furniture, neutrals, and even as of this past weekend some shiplap. Though I still relate to all those finds, I wanted to do my own spin. Incorporate what feels farmhouse and what feels traditional, timeless, and authentic!
I think authentic has been the word I’ve been leaning toward more then anything lately. Does it feel real? I don’t mind still shopping products that are store bought but does it feel real? Can I mix it with some items that maybe are truly farmhouse, truly vintage, and truly heirloom. I can’t afford true real antiques in my life yet and honestly having a young family I’m not sure I want them in my house. I mean all I can see is some ball being thrown in the house and breaking something that’s worth thousands and I may have one less child…so no that’s not right for me now with my still frugal mind and my family of four (plus Mr. Luca). I can add elements that do feel timeless and refined and casual but incorporating pieces that feel authentic and not cliche!
Now, this may not be easy for everyone and it certainly took a disciplined mine for me too. There are plenty of signs I come across and think oh that’s really cute but I have to put in my mind will it feel authentic Farmhouse design or will it feel like I’ve thrown-up farmhouse in my home. I’m sorry friends if I’m being blunt, I’m trying to be honest and raw here and the fact is maybe you’re feeling the same way. I’ve had so many people say they felt that way and I don’t want me being the only one breaking the chains of trend. Let’s do authentic and still do farmhouse! Let’s love chippy furniture but maybe skip the rustic frames we found at the craft store for an antique one instead.
So how do we accomplish this? What makes authentic farmhouse? Top 10 Authentic Farmhouse Steps…
- Vintage- We all know vintage has always been something that feels farmhouse. It’s true patina, chippy, and one of a kind. So, let’s find pieces that are vintage! If you can’t afford a vintage dining table then grab a vintage urn instead. Vintage lighting is another great way to add that vintage look to a room. You can mix this with your furniture store finds but make its more eclectic and gathered by incorporating those vintage pieces.
- Try to make each room have something that speaks something to you. What I mean about that is make sure each piece or at least most pieces are something that you truly find joy in. Don’t buy just to buy! I talk about this a lot because anytime you buy something for your home to just hang a photo but it does nothing to you…it’s not something that’s going to make an impact. I talked with my mom about this, this past weekend. She was shopping for picture frames for her bathroom and just grabbed some from the store we were in because one was a sink and one was a tub print and thought this would be perfect for her bathroom since it’s for the bathroom. I asked if she liked them…and she really didn’t know. Don’t buy just to buy…wait for the photo that moves you or even if it’s a piece you can’t stop staring at at the store has the right price tag but you have no place for it. Buy it! You’ll make the space!
- Let’s avoid 90% of the “Farmhouse” collection furniture and home decor stores are selling. When I say 90 it’s because you can still incorporate a chair that may feel farmhouse and has been mass produced. It could be fabulous but when you have the chair, the sofa, the coffee table, the picture frames, and the book case now you’ve gone from authentic farmhouse to cliche farmhouse. Nothing is original it’s all too matchy-matchy and you did not take the time to gather your pieces. True Farmhouse design is about gathering products. It can take years before you find the perfect accent table or chair but let it! It should be something you hunted for not just bought because the store was having a deal if you bought all 3 pieces. Also add those heirloom pieces…grandma’s great trunk she had that smells like moth balls, and your great aunt’s black and white high school photo. This will make for a story and for pieces you can have conversations around too.
- 4. Mix your metals! How many times do I see photos where the kitchen or every photo has black pulls. Don’t get me wrong, I love black pulls…but mix it maybe with an antique brass pot filler, or a chandelier with texture. You don’t even have to do the typical, brass, oil rubbed bronze, and polished nickel. Add a white fixture or a gray fixture or like I said something with texture like wicker and linen.
- De-clutter! Today’s farmhouse look has encouraged, a lot of stuff! Add a drying rack with every post filled with a mug, utensil holder, shelves filled to the max, and not one empty wall in the house. Give your home breathing room. I love decor and “things” I sometimes think I have a problem because I love home items so much, I can’t help myself! Definitely give your home breathing room! When decorating your shelves have purpose for them but also don’t over crowd them. Then of course kitchen is sometimes hard because I too especially in our last house did not have enough room to store items so everything ended up on the counter. Just be mindful of clutter and create some open space and maybe instead of a gallery wall add one large painting or tapestry or something simple.
- Texture! So, I think something that we all could incorporate in our homes is texture! That means grab some vintage rugs, some wicker, and some clay and terracotta pots. Finding pieces that feel like they give a room warmth is important for your farmhouse style. Thinking about adding treasures with texture to your space and you’ll be pleased with how it makes your home special.
- Eliminate faux greenery! OMGosh I can’t believe I said that! I love faux greenery and I’ve been using it for years. Especially since I don’t have much of a green thumb. I predict as of 2020 faux greenery is going to start spiraling on the trends scale. Maybe not 2019 but def by 2020 we should see a decline of faux greenery. I think when something get’s too popular it’s bound to happen. Black thumbers, try like me to get a few real indoor plants. Maybe if you can’t do the real thing go for dried flowers and stems or some fresh flowers. I don’t think you have to totally eliminate your faux greenery but maybe just not in every room or on every shelf.
8.Add other character and accent walls with items like wallpaper, picture frame molding, board and batten, and stone. So keeping with a character themed home you still want those pretty details but maybe less shiplap. Shiplap has been making it’s way out of design but I think if you choose wisely like a bedroom or a fireplace wall it should be fine. Just maybe choose to have your hallways done with some pretty wallpaper or choose some other texture like board and batten or picture frame molding will certainly feel refreshing but timeless.
- Wall color besides “white-white”. Okay, confession I love white white so I’m not going to totally talk you out of this, but maybe choose some rooms to be slightly different like an office in a dark charcoal, or a bathroom with some powder blue cabinets. Neutrals are always farmhouse and something I am always going to love but maybe test out a few different neutrals for your home. We just recently incorporated ballet white (a true linen or putty color) and wrought iron a dark charcoal to my house. Two colors that are timeless and create a different farmhouse look then the typical bright white.
Some great “neutral” color options for Farmhouse: green, blue, gray, pink
10.Don’t be afraid to add something that’s not “farmhouse” So, I’ve decided my style is not just one style. I like a little bit of traditional, Tudor, European, and even modern. With all of that I have added some touches of maybe more traditional lighting, European flooring, and farmhouse furniture. It’s okay to mix! Just keep the colors the same, a good balance, and be okay with failing and tinkering with your decor. You all know I have commitment issues too and can be super indecisive but when it finally feels right you’ll know it!
Okay, so I hope that was helpful along with some of these inspirational photos that feel farmhouse but feel authentic. That create great organic rooms without that cliche look that we either have fallen victim of or are tired of seeing. If you still love it, you do you! I don’t ever want someone to change gears because something isn’t “trendy” or I told you too. This is a post for those that are feeling like we need a change and just don’t know how to go back to why we fell in love with farmhouse in the first place. It’s okay to sell some items and it’s okay to incorporate one room or a little at a time to create that authentic farmhouse look that you are craving again. If you have any advice or something I should add to this post let me know! I’d love to hear your feedback : )