Farmhouse Style: Only a Little Bit Country

Shiplap and rich woods are central to this home style, but don’t overdo the design scheme with too much kitsch.
various lamps

© and Getty Images

In a farmhouse motif, interiors have a lived-in, homey look that is full of charm. HGTV’s former hit show “Fixer Upper” is largely credited for making this style mainstream in recent years. Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines popularized the use of shiplap, white distressed kitchens, and unique antiques—all elements that have become distinct to farmhouse chic décor.

room staged in farmhouse style

© Sanctuary Staging / JPG Media

Common features: Timeless hardwoods and shiplaps are signatures of this look, as well as reclaimed barn board on the floors, walls, or shelving. Antique accessories are the crux of this interior style’s charm, including treasured family heirlooms, jewelry boxes, and old clocks displayed on open shelves. Light and neutral colors are most commonly used, including light grays, creams, and whites. In a nod to the country feel, burlap also is often found in farmhouse décor.

What to watch out for: Don’t get too kitschy with accessories. An overabundance of word signage, fake florals, or farm animal decorative items can take away from the sleekness of other farmhouse style elements. Also, avoid too many matching sets of furniture. You want to showcase the uniqueness of the accessories you’ve chosen but don’t want them to look out of place.

Professional staging tip: When creating a farmhouse design, it’s all about layering different and unexpected textures, like placing rough hewn wood accessories against clean white subway tile, or using rustic milk jugs with varying patinas as a side table against a classic refined sofa. The mix prevents the style from becoming too predictable and helps the design appeal to a variety of buyers. —Michelle Zarlengo, Sanctuary Staging and Styling LLC, Sunbury, Ohio

farmhouse style decorative items - see product descriptions at left

© Photos Courtesy of: (top to bottom) Target, Serene Spaces Living, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Houzz, Houzz

Accessories to Consider

Trinkets: The Gaineses launched a home décor line at Target called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, which features several of their signature farmhouse-style accessories. Products range from eucalyptus wreaths to stoneware place settings, cake stands, and other items. Accessories start at $2

White distressed lanterns: These lanterns, which feature clear glass panels, can be used as a standalone item on a table top or grouped for a larger centerpiece. Starting at $28

Shiplap wall clock: Hang a vintage white wall clock made from weathered barn wood. It features black metal antique-style hands and stenciled numerals. $39.99

Cotton wreath: Mount a wreath to the front door or within the interior. This farmhouse cotton pod wreath can complement a farmhouse chic décor style. $79.99

Mason jar canister set: Complete a farmhouse-designed kitchen with this four-piece mason jar ceramic canister set. It’s labeled for flour, sugar, coffee, and tea. $124.99




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