If you’re looking to transition your farmhouse decor to a new look or make a farmhouse-style home uniquely your own, this guide is for you.
First, What Is Farmhouse Decor?
The seemingly contradictory elements of farmhouse decor are comfort and practicality, simplicity and warmth.
Because farmhouse decor traces its origins back to the early settlers in the U.S., it incorporates readily available and natural materials, textures, and colors. For example, the fact that timber was easy to source meant that wooden elements became a staple of farmhouse design.
Farmhouse design is also known for its mixture of old and new, as well as elements that don’t necessarily match perfectly. Vintage and contemporary furniture and accessories, antiques, and knickknacks come together to give farmhouse spaces personality and a sense of history.
In summary, you’ll tend to see a lot of the following in farmhouse decor:
- Functional but comfortable furniture (think clean and cozy)
- Natural elements such as wood or stone
- White tones and earthy neutrals
- Mixture of old and new with mismatched elements
Farmhouse Elements Becoming Decor Staples
While farmhouse is a distinctive interior decor style, certain farmhouse elements are becoming so popular that they’re now staples of modern interior design.
For example, the clean look and brick layout pattern of white subway tile is right at home in farmhouse interiors. Nevertheless, subway tile has become so popular that it has transcended any single decor scheme, lending itself to numerous looks.
Skirted sinks, which we now know as “farmhouse sinks,” are another cornerstone of farmhouse decor that has found its way into kitchens of all styles.
The same goes with typical farmhouse materials: The mixed metals and wood architectural elements typical of farmhouse interiors have been, and continue to be, trending. As a result, farmhouse fixtures as well as elements such as shiplap, barn doors, and ceiling beams fit in well with a variety of decor schemes.
What does this mean for farmhouse decor?
First, that it’s easy to add touches of farmhouse style to your existing decor, if you don’t want to go full-on farmhouse. And second, that you can seamlessly transition from farmhouse decor to another decor style when you so choose.
Transitioning From Farmhouse
If you are looking to refresh your farmhouse decor or are wanting to blend farmhouse elements with another style, we have some tips for using farmhouse decor with other design schemes. Similarities in styles, materials and elements will make for an easy transition without any major changes.
1. Modern Farmhouse
Our first suggestion is likely the most obvious: modern farmhouse.
As you might expect, modern farmhouse design is a modernized version of classic farmhouse style. Think slightly less rustic and more sleek.
For example, to modernize your farmhouse decor, you could add:
- Limited color accents, often incorporating black
- Glossy textures
- Uncluttered surfaces
- Stainless steel appliances
- Marble- or granite-look countertops and other surfaces
- Modern lighting fixtures
Transition to contemporary decor to even further modernize your space. Contemporary decor is characterized by simple but sophisticated of-the-moment style.
This transition is made easy by the fact that both farmhouse and contemporary decor feature neutral color schemes, sleek lines, and architectural elements.
To transition from farmhouse to contemporary decor, consider:
- Adding bright and bold accent colors
- Switching out paneled appliances, which are often used in farmhouse decor to match cabinets, with stainless steel appliances and surfaces tiled to match countertops
- Adding contemporary furniture (look for simple, uncluttered pieces in neutral colors and clean, geometric shapes)
- Replacing worn or outdated vinyl and carpet with modern materials such as ceramic tile (wood-look tiles would fit well)
- Upgrading to modern lighting fixtures
- Swapping in contemporary art
- Featuring architectural details
Farmhouse decor is generally busier than minimalism, but the farmhouse largely white or neutral color scheme provides the right foundation for a simple transition.
To upgrade from farmhouse style to minimalism, find ways to simplify your decor. For example:
- Remove knickknacks as well as excessive accessories or furniture. You want a clean, uncluttered look.
- Implement a monochromatic color scheme. Think whites, beiges, and/or grays.
- Opt for simple, beautiful materials without visual distractions. Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are a favorite for minimalist decor because of their minimal grout lines and sleek styles.
[Related: Ceramic Tile for Universal Design & Minimalist Trends]
4. Biophilic Design
Biophilic design – bringing natural elements into the home – can be incorporated into any existing decor style.
Farmhouse decor already has a number of biophilic elements to begin with, such as wood accents and earthy neutrals. To add even more biophilia to your farmhouse decor:
- Add more earth tones. You don’t have to stick with neutrals, either — shades that evoke the forest, earth, sky, or ocean work well. Green is a popular biophilic color.
- Use natural materials, patterns, shapes, and textures. In addition to wood looks, think stone looks, variegation, florals, and nature motifs. Remember to look for materials that don’t harm the environment, such as ceramic tile.
- Let in lots of natural light and add plants to your space.
[Related: Biophilic Design and Ceramic Tile]
Bohemian style is known for individual expression, with inspiration coming from a wide variety of sources. There’s nothing “matchy-matchy” about boho decor, as it is a collected look with layers of natural and artistic pieces.
Farmhouse decor already has one foot in the door with its mixture of old and new and mismatched elements. To go even further:
- Incorporate bright, saturated colors and/or unique patterns.
- Decorate your walls with wallpaper or wallpaper-look tile, layered with photos, paintings and tapestries from your travels.
- Create a one-of-a-kind ceramic tile layout pattern
- Add unique accents to let your personality shine.
6. Seasonal or Rotating Decor
One of the best things about farmhouse decor is that its neutral color palette is perfect for introducing accent colors that can be cycled.
Who doesn’t enjoy updating their decor for the upcoming season or holiday? Or even just for fun?
Maybe you decorate with bright and energizing colors such as yellow, turquoise, and pink in the summer and autumnal tones such as rust, maroon, and moss in the fall. Or maybe you swap out colors and accents according to your changing mood or trends.
Either way, a farmhouse base decor makes it easy to rotate accents in and out while still maintaining a cohesive style.
Ease Transitions Using Ceramic Tile
When you’re contemplating an upgrade — such as a renovation or change in decor — it’s important to keep budget and maintenance in mind. To understand the full life cycle cost of a material, consider not only the cost to purchase and install your materials, but also the cost of maintaining them and how often you may or may not need to replace them.
Ceramic tile’s easy maintenance means your new decor won’t add extra maintenance steps. Regular sweeping and wiping with water is typically all that’s needed for cleaning ceramic tile. Ceramic tile is scratch-, stain-, and fade-resistant, so you can feel confident changing up your decor — including moving furniture without the fear of exposing discolored areas.
Available in a wide variety of design styles and durable enough to last for decades, ceramic tile will look great in whatever decor scheme you choose to transition to next — and the one after that as well! Considering that, it’s no wonder ceramic tile has the lowest life cycle cost of flooring options.
Whatever style you choose for your home, we hope these tips help you feel prepared to transition your farmhouse decor.