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How To Make Farmhouse Decor Work

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Okay, I think it’s pretty fair to say that Joanna Gaines is a fantastic designer, and if you’re wondering how to make farmhouse decor work, she’s your girl. For a time, I thought everyone was going to catch farmhouse fever. 

What I appreciate most from her decorating style is she knows when to pull back her designs.

What do I mean?  I’ve walked into far too many spaces where the farmhouse decor has felt forced and out of place. I mean come on, do you really need a distressed sign in every room of the house to remind the visitor which room they’re in? It’s overkill. 

In true Joanna style, she adds her farmhouse touches throughout the decor; not every piece is farmhouse, and some, if not all, of her individual choices, could work in other decor styles. 

When watching the last few episodes of Fixer Upper, I tried to become a student of her interior design style to see how we could tastefully mimic some of her choices when we’re shopping for some rustic decor pieces.

Hopefully, I was a good student, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. 

What Is Farmhouse Style Decorating?

Farmhouse decor is a mix of a few well-chosen character pieces, a neutral color palette and some modern elements to keep the style fresh. Please don’t get this style confused with a rustic and clutter country home as its signature is clean and simple.

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How Do I Decorate My Home Farmhouse Style?

Farmhouse decor ideas

If you have a hobby or interest that you love, try to find ways to incorporate that into your decor.

For example, if you’re a photographer, print some of your images and choose classic black and muted frames as those work well with the farmhouse style.

To add visual interest, maybe find a blueprint of an old camera or a famous photography quote and frame that as well for that little extra personal touch. 

Just a word of caution, resist the urge to cling too heavily on a theme.

Instead of creating the entire space around your hobby, just add enough that people are aware of your interest. That being said, try to use chosen items on a focal point in your space. 

Pro Tip – Try finding a digital print and have it printed on canvas paper. You can age the look of the canvas paper by staining it. You can purchase art stain or use a strong tea brew to stain it.

Color Palette

The color scheme should remain neutral, soft, and muted overall. If you have a favorite color, consider using it in an accent piece.

Cozy farmhouse decor on a window sill

Pro Tip: Instead of purchasing expensive pillows consider buying covers for your cushions.

Click Photo To See On Amazon

Natural Fibers

Farmhouse decor has a very relaxed and cozy vibe to it. Bringing natural elements into your house, such as rugs in sisal, jute, or wool, will add comfort without making a loud statement.  Think of the rug as a background layer and one to help ground the space and create areas.

Jute rug farmhouse decor
farmhouse wood rug

Mixing Wood and Metals Make Farmhouse Decor Look Modern

We love reclaimed wood since it’s a great way to incorporate warmth into a space. In our current home, we opted to build a 10-foot reclaimed wood table which we use as a desk for our home office.   

Since we had a few other home projects going on, we ended up finding some floating shelves instead of making them ourselves. Let’s face it; sometimes it’s just easier and less costly

Lastly, I must admit we do have an unfair advantage of having some pretty fantastic furniture makers as friends.  Since we’ve been sprucing up our backyard, and I ended up sketching out another idea, which was a farmhouse outside dining table and gave my friend Eddie the green light to give it his own twist. 

The result, a beautiful 11’ foot farmhouse table which was stained with a mixture of vinegar and steel wool. It’s made out of cedar to uphold to the outside elements. The black legs inspired me to pair the table with metal black windsor farmhouse chairs which currently are sold out everywhere.  I will update this post if I can find chairs again.

Find Ways To Add Some Architectural Elements

This is can be a fun family project.

Depending on where you live, you may have access to antique shops or flea markets.  If you do, take an afternoon to find a few items to layer into your existing décor. 

Keep an open mind while shopping. Instead of going on the hunt for a particular item like a desk or headboard browse during your shopping trip for materials or a color you want to introduce.

Your goal is to find ways to bring farmhouse into your décor. That could be done in many ways with small, inexpensive items such as with a few old books, vases, or an antique chest.

Lastly, you may hit a home run and score yourself a beautiful antique door that could be used as a tabletop for a desk or as a headboard in the bedroom.

Try Some DIY Farmhouse Projects

Check out my post on DIY Home Projects For Beginners | Wood Project Ideas you’ll find some more inspiration and easy projects you can tackle yourself.

DIY farmhouse bench

How To Make Good Use Of Farmhouse Items

Okay, I’m not one to go after the mass-produced farmhouse décor items. Use a few of these sparingly and with a purpose.  Layering wooden cutting boards on the back of a stove is one of my favorites.  The wear of them will only add to the charm, so don’t be afraid to use them!

How to make farmhouse decor with in your kitchen

Add greenery into your decor by adding some herbs into your kitchen.

Okay, I’m not one to go after the overly mass-produced farmhouse décor items. It’s too copy cat for my taste and lacks individuality. However, that does not mean you can’t jump on a trend – it merely means you should add your own twist to make it unique.


Therefore, when we wanted to have a highland scandi cow in our décor, we made sure ours would stand out. 

We framed it with a thick black wood frame that contains an inner raw wood trim. 

We were able to scout out a manufacture that prints a similar design to what we own and prints it on a canvas paper. 

Our art prints are shipped out unframed which not only allows you a great inexpensive option but also allows you to customize the art further.

Add Texture To Your Wall Or Fireplace

Lastly, if your house is blessed with a brick fireplace, you maybe interested in the German Smear Brick technique. It’s an easy and inexpensive DIY project the instructions can be found here, How To Create The German Schmear Look.

In Conclusion

Once someone understands how to make farmhouse decor work for their home it’s quite simple.

There is no need to scream, “I love Farmhouse Decor,” with every piece purchased, I’ve never been of fan of yelling anyway. Stick to muted colors, natural textures, and all things cozy.

Personally, I have found it impossible to commit to one decor style simply because I appreciate and love so many things. I am a believer that a home should be a collection of things that make you happy and that you genuinely enjoy. Of course, they do need to blend well together and play nicely together. 

If you need a little help, maybe the following two posts will be used Best Modern Farmhouse Decor On Amazon and Seven Ways to Create a Cohesive Home Decor.

For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

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Die-hard DIYer, home enthusiast and sometimes I cook :-)

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