Whip Up a Rustic Space With This Farmhouse Room Recipe

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on February 17, 2021

Do the new episodes of Fixer Upper have you craving farmhouse decor ideas? Are you itching to bring to life the magic of Magnolia style? You’re in luck. 

The recipe for farmhouse aesthetic is as straightforward as chicken soup, and the result is twice as comforting.

“Farmhouse style is really approachable, family-friendly and cozy,” says Havenly designer Kelsey Fischer. “Most people want their space to feel finished and welcoming, and the farmhouse look evokes a sense of relaxed hospitality.”

At Havenly, we’ve dubbed a more current and fresh take on farmhouse decor “Modern Pastoral,” one of three design trends you can expect to see everywhere this year. 

So, what exactly does farmhouse decor entail and how can you incorporate to create a warm and cozy homestead? 

Rustic and homey, farmhouse decor is noteworthy for its authenticity, and the way it taps into the tranquility of the simple life. There’s a relaxed, yet refined, quality to modern farmhouse decor. We’re talking a more soulful interpretation than the shabby chic style of the early 2000s.

By nature, it’s also highly customizable, Kelsey says: “There are a lot of ways to personalize the farmhouse look — family photo walls, the blending of antique pieces, etc. — which makes it very adaptable to lots of different spaces and people.” 

We’re sharing a classic recipe for farmhouse decor, but feel free to (and by that we mean please do!) adapt it to your own taste. Here are the key design elements to consider:

An Open Floor Plan

As a modern take on a traditional look, today’s farmhouse design aligns nicely with open-concept layouts that offer a cohesive flow between living, kitchen and dining areas. 

“That gives a real sense of community and connection in the space,” Kelsey says. Bonus, the smell of fresh baked bread (because let’s face it, we’ve all joined the sourdough trend) can more easily drift through the home. An immediate cue to slow and sweet country-inspired living.

See how the open floor plan with rustic influences comes to life in this modern farmhouse in Denver.

P.S. While one often sees open living spaces in farmhouse design, you can certainly still create areas of the home to “get-away-from-it-all,” like this sanctuary of a bedroom.

Traditional Materials

If your home features exposed beams, shiplap walls, wide plank flooring or French doors, you’re already ahead of the curve in your quest for farmhouse vibes. And if it doesn’t, why not take on a DIY reno project to infuse some raw character in your space? In particular, installing shiplap is a fairly straightforward project you can tackle on your own for a stimulating weekend project (just channel your inner Chip Gaines).

Those design features “ground the look in that rustic feel,” Kelsey says, “while furnishings and accents can play with more modern lines to balance those features.”

A Neutral Palette

Thanks to its authentic pastoral roots, farmhouse decor is grounded in a neutral color palette — one that is often built on organic shades of ivory, greens, and browns. Add in a bit of minimalist black and white for that modern flair we all know and love.

Check out the elements of farmhouse decor in this cozy Denver bungalow, which layers deep emerald accents alongside a timeless high contrast palette.

Wood Furniture

Whether reclaimed and raw, or featuring a well-loved and weathered paint texture, wood furniture pieces add the dimension and authenticity you want to see layered in a farmhouse design. While we love a statement sideboard, cabinet to show off your cooking wares, or the quintessential farmhouse dining table, you can always incorporate smaller accent pieces, infusing subtle touches of warmth that wooden elements bring to the scene.

Need some inspiration? We’ve got your back.

modern farmhouse dining room

Textured Spotlights

Decor elements that include leather, stone, iron, linen and rattan can all be used to help create that layered depth to make your space feel modern and fresh, while still holding to that farmhouse feel, Kelsey says.

Here are some of Kelsey’s go-to pieces:

A Sense of Community

Many farmhouse designs are centered around creating a feeling of community. “Living rooms are orientated to facilitate conversation and gathering, with maximized seating,” Kelsey says. “Nothing in the space feels too precious.”

Get more community-building inspiration from these farmhouse-inspired living rooms.

Comforting Textures

And don’t forget, this design style is all about the cozy vibes. There’s a bit of hygge that flows through the farmhouse home. Cable-knit textiles, woven wool pillows and luxuriously thick jute rugs help create a space that is warm and welcoming — which I think we could all agree we need a little more of.

Layer one of these pieces into your space for a touch of farmhouse flair:

Take Havenly’s style quiz, choose the rooms that make you swoon, and we’ll pinpoint your perfect interior design style — farmhouse or otherwise.

Words by Staci Sturrock