Essential Elements of Farmhouse Style

Photography by @lizmariegalvan on Instagram

Text by Hannah Jones

Farmhouse style is not new, but it has surged in popularity thanks to hit shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper. It can be found throughout the countryside and in every city, from a condo in downtown Los Angeles to a cottage in rural Tennessee. It’s transitional and flexible, and the elements blend well with other designs. Below, we’ve listed a few key elements of classic farmhouse style, but don’t be afraid to put your spin on this desirable style and make it totally your own.

Bright, airy whites

Photography by @lizmariegalvan on Instagram

Even if they’re not covered in shiplap, white walls create a clean palette that’s classic to this style. From there, it’s a personal choice on the level of color you want to incorporate. Many homeowners stick to black and white, creating a more modern farmhouse look, while others add in pops of blue, green, red, and even yellow for a traditional country cottage style.

Light linens

Photography by @thecuratedfarmhouse on Instagram

Lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen are standard elements in almost any farmhouse-style abode thanks to their durability and ability to transition easily from season to season.

Industrial touches

Photography by @vintagepickin on Instagram

Brick walls, rustic lighting, galvanized metal accents—pops of these more rustic, industrial finishes make a home feel authentic and bring warmth and comfort to a space.

Vintage elements

Photography by @lifeontheshadygrove on Instagram

We believe every home should have vintage, heirloom pieces, but this is especially important for farmhouse-style homes. Chipped paint and cracked surfaces pose no problems—the older the better! Vintage pieces bring in the character that’s so notable in farmhouse style.

Reclaimed or exposed wood

Photography by @yellowprairieinteriors on Instagram

It’s common to find exposed wood in a traditional, historic farmhouse, but this is a key element that’s often left out of modern farmhouses. Exposed wood softens a room and grounds the décor, especially in an all-white space. Just one wood element can make a world of difference.

Open shelving

Photography by @our1880farmhouse on Instagram

From the kitchen to the living room and every room between, open shelving is characteristic of farmhouse style. Easy to create and fun to style, open shelving is where many farmhouse owners show off their creative collections.

Pops of pattern

Photography by @jodi.thedesigntwins on Instagram

Pattern is where you can add a little bit of extra interest to a farmhouse without going overboard. Pick unique black-and-white floor tiles or swap out bottom cabinet doors for a gingham fabric cover—the options are endless and can join seamlessly no matter what style you’re looking for.

Focus on practicality

Photography by @debanddanelle on Instagram

Ultimately, the essence of farmhouse style is exactly what it’s always been: practicality. In the past, these homes were made for working families that spent almost every day in and out of their homes. These buildings had to act as both a workspace and a retreat. Practical choices were of the upmost importance back then, and that’s often why farmhouse style is so appealing to homeowners today.

Shop our latest issues for more inspiration!