The last few years the prominent design shows and magazines have been flooded with farmhouse style in everything from the shiplap walls to white painted furniture and primitive signs galore. It is a more simplistic and beautiful design and today’s busy lifestyle made it very attractive to all generations. But what if you are tired of your farmhouse style with it’s white walls and rustic vibes but just can’t afford to change out your entire home decor, or even know where to start? How do you make some changes that still feels like the farmhouse style you love but just gives your interiors a freshening up?
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This very thing has been on my mind for some time, especially since the popular show Fixer + Upper has now stopped filming and new designers are showcasing updated styles and concepts. Not that I am bashing Chip and Joanna because I admire their style and work ethic so much. But interior styles evolve and change over time and then always make a come back with a new twist.
My favorite of course is mid-century modern which always re-emerges in new ways every decade or so. But that is not the subject for this post. Go to any magazine stand and you will find at least five or six special publications about the new emerging style – Modern Farmhouse.
The new modern farmhouse style takes the comfort and coziness of the classic farmhouse style that we have all gotten accustomed to and adds a twist or two. The kitchens are more sleek and modern which better serves the busy lives of families these days. Modern farmhouse style also adds more industrial touches in light fixtures and architectural details. But what the modern farmhouse style also has really brought back to the classic farmhouse style is vibrant color to what has become a mostly neutral palette over the years.
The new modern farmhouse style takes the comfort and coziness of the classic farmhouse style that we have all gotten accustomed to and adds a twist or two.
In this post I would love to explore with you five of my own styling tips to update your farmhouse interiors when you are ready to embrace some small changes. Even if you don’t live in a farmhouse, or converted your interiors to a farmhouse looks years ago, you can use these same tips to give your home a new vibe for a new season.
First of all, bring some color back to your home.
What the popularity of the farmhouse style has done for our interiors over the last five years or so is to bring interiors to a foundation of neutrals. White walls, white cabinets, and white everything became the base for the style. Grey colors and wood tones completed the look. It is nice, comfortable, and welcoming and has been hugely popular. But as with most styles, it has to transform and I believe people started craving more color.
So how to you add color back in without overwhelming a space? The easy answer is to use dark tones and not pastels. Pastels will get lost in the sea of white and grey. You need to add bold colors like navy or hunter green to a cabinet, island, or dining chairs. Also consider bright blues and yellows that will create a focal point in the room.
Start with changing out the art and using the colors in it for pillows and accessories. The secret is to add just touches of colors that will liven up the space.
Second, bring in a modern piece of furniture.
I am a firm believer that every interior style can embrace at least one piece of modern furniture. And I certainly don’t mean a piece that doesn’t even resemble a chair or anything else you would consider furniture. Those I consider art pieces for effect and they are not comfortable.
What I am suggesting is the classics like a Tulip Chair by Saarinan or the Wassily Chair by Breur. A mid-century modern credenza with it’s beautiful wood tones and sleek legs can add charm and character to a classic space.
Just add in one piece of furniture that is classic modern and it adds an unexpected vibe to a room.
Why not consider wallpaper?
Yes I just made that suggestion. For someone who has spent more time than I care to relive removing dated wallpaper from interiors and cringe at the concept, the truth is that today the options in wallpaper treatments that are easy to install and remove are worth a consideration.
In fact, I am considering adding a fun pattern to my laundry room walls next year. The idea is to start small and only use it for an accent wall in a room like a powder room or playroom.
The truth is your eyes need a break from shiplap on every wall so shiplap is now becoming more of an accent wall instead of a whole house feature. We installed a wide board modern version of shiplap this year but it is only an accent wall in our family room. I love the look and the texture it adds to the space but it wouldn’t look right on every wall of the room. Wallpaper can do the same thing for a space and adds a more interesting wall to look at.
A great way to update a Farmhouse interior is to change out the light fixtures.
A lot of the light fixtures used in the classic farmhouse style is black iron and milk glass and of course Edison bulbs. They are still pretty and functional and minimalist. But if you go back to that rack of modern farmhouse magazines you will see that the new style for farmhouse style in light fixtures is more modern, fun, and quirky. Modern farmhouse style embraces a more vintage and modern style in light fixtures. They are bigger and bold and more playful in character.
Of course, the obvious update is to change out your accessories to ones that are more colorful and playful.
I think the days of grain sack pillows are now being replaced with quirky colorful pillows with cows smiling at you. Still a farmhouse feel but with more color and life. Colored vases are returning to the shelves and gold accents. Changing out your accessories is a simple way to update a neutral interior.
These are just a few of the simple changes you can make to bring your rustic farmhouse style interiors to a more modern farmhouse style. I still believe that farmhouse style is beautiful and that shiplap walls are classics that can be used in any interior style. So if you have put those up and now worry that you have to tear them out, don’t reach for the sledge hammer just yet. Buy a couple of the magazines I showcased above and see how the now popular and emerging modern farmhouse style works with the shiplap walls and rustic furnishings to create a unique new style.
Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.”