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5 Tips for Stylish Farmhouse Decor

Thursday August 6th, 2020
If you’re looking to transform your tired living room into a beautiful farmhouse living room or refresh your outdated kitchen with farmhouse kitchen décor, you’ve come to the right place.

You might have been tracking this fad over the years through HGTV and interior design magazines, but you’re not sure where to begin or how to make sure you don’t overdo it on farmhouse decor ideas. There’s definitely an art to balancing this gorgeous design.

Here are a few elements to keep in mind as you tackle your farmhouse décor renovations:

5 Tips for Stylish Farmhouse Decor

  • Highlight Natural Wood Colors
  • Choose Natural Fibers and Materials
  • Take Advantage of Natural Light
  • Use Neutral Colors
  • Look for Vintage Furniture
The key is to find the perfect balance between these farmhouse elements so that your decorating attempts communicate a sense of ease that appears carefree and natural. You want your decor to find its rightful place within your modern home, transforming your space into what is known as the modern farmhouse.

What is Modern Farmhouse Decor?

Modern farmhouse decor is the union of classic, country style to the modernity of industrial or contemporary design. There’s a sense of the old and well-used but also a subtle touch of the new and updated. If you’re looking to incorporate this style into your home, think neutral colors, softs textures, and vintage finishes paired with straight, bold lines, geometric patterns, metal furniture, and a sense of simplicity.

Farmhouse decor has experienced a resurgence of popularity within modern design, thanks to popular television shows and key media influencers. The style itself has a long history from its humble beginnings to the ever-growing popularity of its modern transformation. The origin of farmhouse style is unsurprisingly traced back to the actual farmhouse where resources were scarce and homeowners had to make their furniture and homes out of the natural materials available. The compass for home decor at that time was based mainly on practicality, which created an inherent minimalist style. As interior design developed and expanded, this rustic decor was replaced with trends that weren’t exclusively based on necessity.

Eventually farmhouse decor reemerged and transformed into what is known as “shabby chic”, a term coined in the 1980s for a farmhouse style with an emphasis on vintage and worn down pieces of furniture and decor. In the 2000s, modern farmhouse decor became popular once again, taking the practicality of farmhouse decor and the vintage appeal of shabby chic and blending both with straighter lines, neutral color palettes, and sleek metal appliances and accents.

5 Tips for Stylish Farmhouse Decor

There are a few elements to keep in mind If you’re looking to achieve a traditional, rustic farmhouse decor or modern farmhouse decor. The tips below will work together seamlessly to create that perfect farm decor style seen in interior design magazines and shows without looking staged or overtly obvious.

Highlight Natural Wood Colors

Natural wood colors should form the foundation of your home’s interior and furniture. Opt for a softer colored wood, like pine or knotty alder, adding only clear or subtle finishes to show off the beauty of the natural wood grain, just as farmhouses of the past have done. The latter type of wood would make a beautiful and durable choice for floorboards, while pine makes an excellent choice for a dining table and chairs set or a coffee table in a living room or den.

For ceilings that can allow it, naturally finished exposed beams are also a beautiful addition full of farmhouse charm. Another option for adding a touch of “unfinished” wood to your home is to install interior sliding shutters on your windows. These shutters create a clean, country feel, as well as add a creative alternative to formal curtains or blinds.

Choose Natural Fibers and Materials

While sliding shutters can add a more interesting look to your windows, there is definitely a place for curtains and other fabrics and linens in the modern farmhouse.

Modern farmhouse curtains should reflect nature through their natural fibers: think cotton, muslin, or flax. Likewise, everything from a throw pillow to a tea towel should be composed of these natural materials as well, or at least made to look natural when a synthetic blend is either more practical or more affordable.

A door wreath crafted from soft greenery and a wicker or wire basket are also subtle ways to include natural materials and fibers into your home. Any of these rustic accents will fit perfectly in your house without making your decor feel overly kitschy or cliché.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

In early farmhouses, large windows and doors were one of the only daytime sources for air and light. They enabled lots of air flow and brightened up the home.

Modern farmhouse homes can take advantage of natural light by featuring large windows with transoms or doors with sidelights.

Screen doors, Dutch doors, and sliding barn doors all allow for light and air to enter a home and travel throughout a floor plan, brightening and freshening the air from room to room.

This light will only enhance the natural beauty of your farmhouse style furniture and home decor, highlighting the gradient variation of any reclaimed wood and drawing attention to all of the beautiful farmhouse pieces you’ve chosen to showcase.

Use Neutral Colors

Neutrals like beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray, and white reflect not only the natural colors of farmhouse style, but also modern design. These neutrals can be used as wall color or in the fabric of rustic or modern farmhouse furniture, like couches and chairs. You can also carry these neutral colors throughout your traditional or modern country decor, like wooden farmhouse frames, a pillar candle holder, or wall decor, such as a hanging mason jar or potted plant.

One very popular expression of neutral colors comes in the form of shiplap. Shiplap is most often painted white or beige and can be used to line the walls of any room. Many designers choose to use it as a singular accent wall, such as in a seating area in a living room or study.

What sets these boards apart from others is the rabbet cut into each horizontal edge. These grooves allow for the boards to interlock one on top of the other. Thanks to popular television, more and more homeowners have installed shiplap in every room imaginable, from the modern farmhouse bedroom to the modern farmhouse kitchen or bathroom.

Look for Vintage Furniture

Vintage furniture has many meanings. Many choose to search for legitimate antiques or used furniture to achieve that classic vintage farmhouse look. But you can also purchase new, modern furniture that has been distressed to appear antique.

Distressed wood tables, hutches, and chairs are easy to find or craft at home for DIY farmhouse home decor. Usually, all you need is paint, sand paper, and some elbow grease. Though if the price tag allows it, there is something to be said about the romantic, rustic charm of authentic vintage furniture. Either works within a farmhouse or modern farmhouse design.

Keep in mind that for modern farmhouse design, a homeowner should pair these antique pieces with more modern items. This could mean pairing a geometric patterned rug in a farmhouse style living room with a country style hutch or chair, or mixing a vintage, worn table top with sleek, slim metal legs. In a white farmhouse kitchen, imagine pairing butcher block countertops with the shine of a stainless steel farmhouse sink.

Farmhouse Doors

If you’re looking to make more permanent changes within your home in an effort to create a contemporary farmhouse, you’ll want to consider replacing old doors with new farmhouse doors.

An interior sliding barn door is an easy way to incorporate this style, and Rustica offers many options for your design preference. Not only do these doors mimic the traditional use of farmhouse doors, but they also run on an innovative track system that can be incorporated into any space within your house.

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate a barn door into your contemporary or rustic farmhouse.

Living Space Separation

Open-concept rooms are extremely popular, but they’re not always practical. At times, you might want to momentarily create separation within your living area when hosting parties or to create privacy while someone is watching TV in another room.

A beautiful barn door like the Farmhouse French Full Glass Barn Door or Farmhouse French Half Glass Barn Door is the perfect solution. The union of both French and Farmhouse style puts a modern twist on the traditional barn door. Light and movement can still transition between your living spaces while allowing for a private retreat from noise and chaos.

Kitchen Pantry

It’s hard to ignore disorganization within a kitchen. From dishes in the sink to cabinets stuffed with snacks and appliances, a chaotic kitchen can be a real eye sore.

Enclosing a pantry is one way to make the space feel more organized, and installing a sliding barn door adds that farmhouse feel while also maximizing the square footage within your kitchen.

Rustica’s Lewiston Barn Door and Two Panel Barn Door are perfect for adding a touch of farmhouse simplicity to your kitchen. Their emphasis on natural wood grain and minimalist design will complement your modern farmhouse kitchen.


Whether you own a large or small farm house, there are creative, aesthetic ways to incorporate barns doors into your home that don't sacrifice space.

Maybe you have a gallery wall featuring farmhouse wall décor or exposed shelving that highlights your prized heirlooms. These all add to the farmhouse aesthetic of your house, but there may be moments where you want to put the space to other use, like using it for extra seating while hosting family and friends.

Rustica’s Chevron Barn Door is a modern, artistic approach to the barn door. By installing a door that slides along a track, a homeowner can easily cover up and transform spaces even within the smallest of rooms.

Why Is Farmhouse Style So Popular?

Though design fads come and go throughout the decades, the farmhouse style seems to have a particularly enduring quality. Yes, of course, famous interior designers might have something to do with its resurgence and continued popularity, but there are certainly a few other reasons why farmhouse and modern farmhouse styles are still trending today.

It’s Approachable 

Modern farmhouse style is inviting and comforting. Straddling between vintage and modern, the contemporary farmhouse flair is cozy, yet relatable. In other words, rustic modern decor is familiar and gentle instead of looking staged or cold. Guests will feel invited back to a more simplistic and restful time by seeing a rustic, exposed wood elements while still staying grounded in the 21st century with touches of modern house decor.

It’s Adaptable

Perhaps farmhouse décor’s intuitive familiarity is also the reason that farmhouse decorating is so versatile.

Though its elements are unique to the specific style, the colors, patterns, and materials can be incorporated into virtually any space, depending on the level of farmhouse living you wish to reflect. The emphasis on the natural and neutral makes this style somewhat of a chameleon: it can take center stage or play a supporting role in any room of your home.

It’s Durable

Modern farmhouse interior design is meant to appear worn and distressed, making it compatible for larger families, a couple who loves to host parties, or an individual who doesn’t want to switch and swap furniture time and time again as it wears down over the years. The inclusion of sturdy, modern metals on table legs and chairs will also withstand the test of time if you choose to opt for the modern farmhouse interior design.

From Farm to Your Modern Home

Modern farmhouse or traditional farmhouse style is truly one of the most versatile design genres that features endless decor ideas.

Farmhouse decor has endured decades of moving in and out of style, but it seems that its modern transformation is here to stay for a long time.

The best way to start incorporating these elements into your space is to think of natural wood and fabrics, neutral colors, natural light, and vintage pieces with a touch of modernity. Choosing to subtly place these elements throughout your space will help you achieve an effortless, carefree farmhouse style.
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