How to get the Farmhouse Look

One of the most read blog posts on Connecticut in Style, is “Key Characteristics of Modern Farmhouse Homes.” Not only have I had over 47,000 views for this specific post on my blogsite, it ranks Number 1 on Google’s First Page. When I blogged about it, I had no idea that it would generate this much interest. It got me thinking that I should dive deeper! In this post, I will break it down to each and every essential element needed, room by room to achieve this look.

Before we dive into the details, if you are in love with the farmhouse look, click HERE to read the first post and then come on back for the updated version. You’ll see through the photos below that the farmhouse look can be very rustic or very refined and elegant. Whether you have a small budget or a large one, anyone can pull off this look.

I totally fantasize about ways to convert my own home into a modern farmhouse. Our home actually has good “bones” to be able to pull off the look. I would do white horizontal planks on almost all the exterior and white vertical planks on the addition. The addition consists of our two-car garage with a master suite above it. It has the PERFECT A-frame shape to mimic a barnlike vibe.

If only I could talk the hubby into new siding for our home. And by siding, I mean vinyl. Yes, sir. In my humble opinion, vinyl looks so realistic (like wood) that it doesn’t bother me. A good power washing is all you need and it’s virtually maintenance free. Did I mention no termites?

How to get the Farmhouse Look

Below are some of my favorite farmhouse images from my Pinterest Board, if you want to see all the farmhouse style inspo on my board, click HERE. I often get asked about sources for the materials and products for bringing the farmhouse look into your home. Painting the walls is an easy and important first step. Below is an image of traditional paint colors that you can get at any paint store. As far as accessories, Kirklands and Ballard Designs are both excellent sources! I’ve included links to both places and preselected “farmhouse” so you can immediately see what they offer.

Traditional Farmhouse-style Paint Colors 

Let’s start from the outside and work our way in.

Exterior examples:

First in the lineup are exterior views. But basically, there are basically only 5 things you need to pull off the farmhouse look:

  1. Metal roof
  2. White exterior with all or some vertical siding
  3. Black framed windows (this is absolutely essential)
  4. Covered porch
  5. Carriage-style garage doors

The following examples of modern farmhouses all share the same 5 exterior characteristics that I mentioned above.


Key Characteristics of Modern Farmhouse Homes

Interior examples:

How to get the farmhouse look
To achieve the look of a modern farmhouse interior, you need to adopt the same basic principles as the exterior. What I mean by that is that there are precisely a handful of things that evoke the distinctive “look” of a farmhouse.

Very often, modern farmhouses have an open floor plan. This means that the kitchen, living room and dining room are visible from anywhere. Walls are only used for architectural support and practical purposes. Because all the spaces share a common area, the decor is very similar. You’ll find the same white walls, exposed natural wood, white and grey and other neutral colors, and pops of black.

For the kitchen:

  1. White/neutral walls (this applies throughout the entire home)
  2. Natural wood elements such as wood flooring, butcher block counter in the kitchen, wooden stools, exposed beams, floating shelves and chopping boards.
  3. Stainless steel appliances and of course an apron sink – a MUST!
  4. Metal elements such as black pendant lights, galvanized metal items (counter stools, signage, accessories).
  5. Color can be used sparingly in places like the bottom of the kitchen island (grey or blue), mats/area rugs, tile in the backsplash and greenery (real of faux). I should mention that white subway tile is very popular as the backsplash in kitchens.

How to get the farmhouse look

For the living room:

  1. White/neutral walls (as I stated above, this applies throughout the entire home)
  2. Wooden stairs with a black railing, tables and lamps made from natural wood,
  3. The fireplace is usually very simply decorated with a white or natural wood mantel, a round mirror and vases with greens.
  4. Windows used as room dividers or hung on walls, many windows have an arch and the glass has been replaced with mirror.
  5. Aim for cozy! Modern farmhouse living rooms feature soft furnishings such as oversized furniture, drapes and curtains, lots of pillows, and thick throws. Rugs are either a subdued pattern or a natural weave such as sisal.
  6. Most color palettes are cream, grey, blue or sage green.
  7. Regardless of the time of year, you’ll almost always find that a boxwood wreath has worked its way into the decor!
  8. You will also find signage made from wood or metal with typically a family related quote.
  9. Accessories are usually lanterns, old books, benches, baskets, and vases filled with faux greens, especially eucalyptus,

For the dining room:

  1. Again, white/neutral walls.
  2. A rustic table made from natural wood and wooden chairs with perhaps a plaid seat cushion. I have also seen metal chairs mixed with upholstered chairs. Parsons chairs are also popular!
  3. Round or arched mirrors above a buffet/side table.
  4. Wall decor is often made from a group of plates, or a series of family photos.
  5. The light fixtures I have seen often are beaded chandeliers, or black metal chandeliers.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and that I gave you lots of inspiration and perhaps helped you narrow down the key elements that should be incorporated into your own home. The next farmhouse post I will do will focus on the upstairs: Bedrooms and bathrooms!


sarah o’brien

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