5 Tips on How to Capture the Farmhouse Aesthetic

5 Tips on How to Capture the Farmhouse Aesthetic

Posted By: Savannah Published: 01/09/2018 Times Read: 544 Comments: 0

Soft white cabinetry, gleaming pottery, the artful roughness of galvanized metal and worn wood: these are the tell-tale signs of a home slowly giving in to rising tide of the farmhouse aesthetic. This return-to-roots movement—which goes hand in hand with the growing interest in DIY homemaking—is the current darling of Pinterest personalities and HGTV gurus, but how can you achieve this popular look on your own? Here are five core tenets to keep in mind when transforming your home into a country escape.  

The Importance of the Porch

When the farmhouse architectural style was first emerging, its iconic features were all born out of practicality, including the essential front porch. Although the transitional space may no longer be used to prevent the grime of daily fieldwork from making its way into the home, it’s still vital to capturing that farmhouse feeling. Here in the desert, porches aren’t especially common, so if you already have one, you’re one step ahead of the rest! If you don’t have the time or the extra money to dedicate to adding one, or if it simply wouldn’t make architectural sense with the rest of your house, don’t worry. You can still recall the welcoming feeling of a porch by adding a few reminiscent touches, such as a rocking chair or bench and a rustic sign. It’s important to make the right first impression, and a porch/front area can do just that, before your guests even enter the house!

Formal and Informal Space

So, you’ve decked your porch and front door with vintage trimmings—what next? From the moment your visitors step over the threshold, it should be evident that they are in a living space designed to welcome them. In a traditional farmhouse, the front room or rooms were for family gatherings and receiving guests; it was a public space, as opposed to the kitchen, which would have been at the back of the house, and the bedrooms, which would usually be on the second story. If you’re looking for an excuse to re-organize and make your home feel fresh again, here it is! Turn your front rooms into an open, social space: a central sitting area with a large couch or antique-style armchairs, accented with handmade and vintage goods. 

Rethinking Storage

When the farmhouse style emerged in the 1700s, the average American accumulated far less material goods than we do today, and dedicated storage spaces such as closets would have seemed unnecessary. Furniture pieces such as trunks and dressers would have been much more practical back then—today, you can use those same pieces for their aesthetic value. A weathered antique trunk for linens or quilts adds a homey touch to any room, and rescuing and distressing a drab dresser can be the perfect project for your spare time! For areas where storage is more of a necessity, like the kitchen, think about making use of open cabinetry and hooks so that your assortment of rustic-style cookware and crockery can be on proud display—and easier to grab when you’re making dinner!

White Ironstone China

Speaking of crockery, perhaps the real mark of someone dedicated to the farmhouse aesthetic is your very own collection of white ironstone chinaware. This distinctive style of pottery emerged around the same time as farmhouse architecture, so they tend to go aesthetically hand in hand, especially the later pieces which frequently incorporate agricultural motifs. Genuine white ironstone can span a wide range of prices, dependent upon what kind of piece you’re hunting for—cake stands are rare and worth at least a couple hundred, but more common pieces like handless teacups usually sit around $30. Individual plates can be found for under ten, if you want to engage in some tasteful mismatching, or between $30 and $60 for complete sets.

Some helpful guides for what to look for when you’re getting started can be found here and here.

Wood Paneling

Photo by Lincoln Barbour, as featured on Country Living

One of the best ways to achieve the farmhouse look is to incorporate elements of wood paneling where you can. Traditionally these elements would have been whitewashed, but you can also change things up a bit by choosing a darker color in order to make other white accents stand out. Shiplap is in the forefront of many home designer’s minds, thanks to shows such as HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and can be a great way to instantly add texture and a feeling of history to a room. You can also consider incorporating beadboard wainscoting for a subtler and less labor-intensive approach.


Header photo credit