10 Ways to Get the Modern Rustic Farmhouse Look
Warm and collected, modern rustic farmhouses brim with casual, lived-in charm
I design interiors and specialize in the rustic and rugged, but you'll usually find a crystal chandelier somewhere in the mix. Before moving back to Minnesota, I lived in some beautiful cities; Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, and Shanghai, absorbing the best of design along the way. For some inspiring design ideas (or at least just to look at cool photos), I hope you'll visit my site www.BeDeDesign.com.
I design interiors and specialize in the rustic and rugged, but you'll... More »
Even if you don't live in the countryside, you've probably been on a road trip that meandered through farms and small towns. Somewhere in the middle, you probably saw a cluster of trees and a simple house sitting at the end of a dirt road. At first glance, a farmstead can seem uncomplicated — there purely for function. However, with a resurgence in farmhouse architecture, more people are discovering the joys of capturing its enduring style. Here are 10 ways to start.
Style 101: Birthplace of Today's Rustic Look
Style 101: Birthplace of Today's Rustic Look
Create a collected look. The look here is fresh yet worn. Use different colors and vary the level of distressing on cabinetry to create a gathered-over-time feeling. If you can, keep windows bare so views of the land are unobstructed. Farmhouse life is centered around the kitchen table, so don't let that be an afterthought.
Bring in the workhorses. Use an open-bottom utility table for the kitchen island and top it with classic Carrara marble. Then opt for a slab of Carrara for an extra-tall backsplash. To make this look work, leave room in the budget for chunky baskets.
See every detail as an opportunity. Use glass uppers to display your white tableware and add a refrigerator panel that has the appearance of an old icebox. A farm sink will pull it all together.
Keep it functional. A butler pantry and open shelving says farmhouse. It’s all about practicality and keeping it functional. Pullout bins that hold produce, topped by the honed soapstone, feel right at home next to the wine cooler. Wood countertops are another good option in these spaces, as it is warm and does not typically have to stand up to constant water.
Tell a story. Find an old utility sink for the bathroom and convert a beat-up piece of furniture into a vanity. By continuing wood flooring into a powder room, it can feel as though a small room or closet was taken over after plumbing hit the scene.
Repurpose and multipurpose. In this home, a mirror was added to an old window to make the medicine cabinet. A sewing table serves as a vanity for the vessel sink, as well as a place to display the antique sewing machine.
Beadboard is a constant in farmhouses and cottages. It's easy to work with and adds instant charm.
Soften with fabrics. Run a simple café curtain instead of cabinet doors to cover up necessities without taking away from the ruggedness of a timber vanity.
Work the new into the old. This modern glass shower disappears into the stone wall. The whitewashed, wide-plank Z door adds softness to this weathered room. Rough wood above is the perfect ceiling choice. Carry the look all the way through every detail with antique hooks and door latches. Keep it honest with exposed plumbing and electrical conduits whenever possible.
Feminize without fuss. The feminine periwinkle on this Dutch door is a fun contrast to the hefty metal hardware and stone walls. To get this look economically, pick a highly visible wall in your home to make the impact. If you’re working toward the raw feeling of a room like this, stick with rough plank ceilings and pull back from detailed trimming on doors and windows. Cabinetry doors should have a flat panel or a simple raised panel.
Celebrate the porch. The farmhouse porch is wide and uncluttered. Go without a railing so the space is undefined and the whole porch will be used. The windows are low to extend the indoor living areas. Lighting is primitive, such as lanterns or goosenecks. Hunt around for ceiling fans with a utilitarian feel to be hung from flat wood ceilings or exposed rafters.
Ideabook updated on May 10, 2012.
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