Updated farmhouse style has become wildly popular in the home design world, thanks in part to Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines. Her immaculate sense of design consists chiefly of blending the old with the new and the natural with the industrial, which are all big parts of this vintage-turned-modern style. Farmhouse style isn’t just a popular trend in home design; it’s now being called a great marketing trend, too. According to research conducted by the website RealEstate.com, farmhouse design elements like barn doors, exposed beams, and farmhouse sinks can actually fetch higher prices. In fact, homes with these features “tend to fetch prices up to 30 percent higher than other homes,” says Realtor Magazine. Whether you’re interested in using this design trend to simply enjoy in your home or to attract more buyers, we have a few key guidelines for you.

Everything Old Is New Again

Farmhouse style is largely about repurposing. The perfect farmhouse decor is sourced from antique shops, flea markets, and local crafters and artisans. Items handed down from older family members are also perfect for this endeavor. Use items in unexpected ways. For example, a beautiful old bar cart might be the perfect place to store books or other collections; a vintage armoire can be used as a linen closet or coat storage; and antique watering cans make adorable planters.

Farmhouse Design Calls for Practicality

Farmhouse design is about no-frills, hardy decor and furnishings that are also sophisticated and charming. Nothing should look too “planned” or matchy-matchy, and pretty much everything should serve a purpose yet should add some character to the room.

Stick with Clean Lines and Natural Materials

Some of the key elements in modern farmhouse design are exposed wood beams, repurposed barn board, butcher block, farm sinks (also called apron front sinks), shaker-style cabinets, vintage furniture (often given updates like a new coat of paint or fresh, modern upholstery), wicker and rattan, and weathered finishes like rough wood, natural linen, peeling paint, worn-in leather, and metals with gorgeous patinas.

Keep Away from “Country Kitsch”

Kitschy country design had its day in the sun a few decades back, but it’s a far cry from today’s more modern, elegant farmhouse design. Farmhouse style isn’t about ceramic roosters and cows, dried sunflowers, paintings of fruit, and gingham print curtains. It’s about clean, warm style influenced by both nature and industry. It strikes the perfect balance between old and new. Think basin sinks and harvest tables mixed with industrial touches like stainless steel appliances.

Take It Slowly

The genuine charm and character that are the hallmarks of modern farmhouse style can’t be sourced in a single day. Take some time to browse places antique shops, flea markets, and relatives’ attics. Enjoy it. Become a collector, and have fun with it.


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