When it comes to decor trends, Farmhouse style has it all—think texture, contrast, and coziness all rolled into one perfect space. It’s a super trendy style that has taken the design world by storm. You’ve likely seen it everywhere from your Pinterest and Instagram feeds to popular TV shows (we’re looking at you Fixer Upper!). But what exactly does “farmhouse” mean when it comes to interior design?? This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of farmhouse style to give you the full scoop on what exactly it is and how to get the look in your own home!
What is Farmhouse Interior Design?
Farmhouse interior design is a decorating style that takes inspiration from the look of an actual farmhouse and uses decorative elements that you’d find in rural or agricultural areas. Farmhouse interiors are warm, cozy, relaxing and full of charm and character. Generally, the style turns up its nose at more contemporary design sensibilities and prefers to hearken back to “simpler” times.
However, to keep the look from veering into too much “country kitsch,” it’s important to maintain a stylish balance of old and new and to make sure the focus is on a natural look. In other words, farmhouse design isn’t code for going overboard with the mason jars, shiplap, and rooster paraphernalia!
Is Farmhouse Going Out of Style in 2020?
Far from it! While the initial farmhouse craze might be dying down, we’re not seeing this style going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, we’re actually seeing the farmhouse style becoming more nuanced and expressed in several different ways. One farmhouse doesn’t suit everybody!
What are these different types of farmhouse style? The main types we’re noticing fall into three distinct buckets—rustic, classic, and modern takes on the farmhouse interior design style. While all of these looks are popular, they have some pretty distinct differences. To help you sort it all out, we’re breaking down the recipe for each farmhouse style in one home designed in three different ways.
Come along for a mini home tour of these three unique farmhouse style designs to find out all you need to know about farmhouse interior design and which version might be right for you!
Rustic Farmhouse Interior Design
The Style DNA: Rustic meets traditional with a vintage twist
The Vibe: Cozy and fresh with lots of countryside character
Rustic farmhouse design is all about celebrating the natural and rough-hewn aspects of the farmhouse aesthetic. Think of this version of the style as a blend between rustic and traditional, that even sports a bit of an industrial flair. The rustic elements bring a heavy focus on rugged materials—think raw and unfinished woods, chunky knits, linens, metals, and leather with patina.
The traditional elements play a supporting role, adding the vintage/antique flair that gives this version of farmhouse style its distinct personality—it’s definitely a look that loves a bit of nostalgia! All in all, the look blends streamlined furniture with traditional design influences and tends toward a sharp, grey-scale and high contrast color palette.
The result is a style that strikes a balance of hard and soft, incorporating both traditional and fresh design elements. We like to think this farmhouse decor scheme would make even Chip and Joanna proud.
The Rustic Farmhouse Living Room
Our rustic farmhouse living room is anchored by comfy foundational furniture. The neutral sofa prioritizes comfort and style with a simple form and sleek tailoring. The accent chairs pull in a traditional spindle detail in a fresh new way, for a stylish take on cozy charm. We love how the natural wood tones of the chair, coffee table, and mantle help warm up the grey-scale palette. Details like the animal art, metal accents (peek the light fixtures and decor) and geometric patterns in the rug and pillows offer a subtle, yet curated approach to farmhouse interior design.Shop This Room
The Rustic Farmhouse Dining Room
As with the living room, our rustic farmhouse dining space is all about function with a stylish edge. The foundational furniture sets a solid and functional foundation, while also bringing in the key elements of the rustic farmhouse style—distressed woods, unfinished metal, all with a slight antique/vintage vibe.
Once you’ve got your foundation, add in some industrial accents like the pendant light fixtures and dining chairs to bring contrast and an elevated look to the space. Notice how the accent furniture has a slightly more industrial vibe, which balances out traditional elements in foundations—a key element in rustic farmhouse style!
Top it all off with fresh, high-contrast artwork. This is where the style most differs from a more traditional approach to farmhouse style. Instead of pastoral scenes or landscape paintings, rustic farmhouse decor prefers non-objective prints and more contemporary black & white landscape photography. Altogether the effect is fresh, inspiring, and will give you room a polished yet cozy look.Shop This Room
The Rustic Farmhouse Bedroom
For the bedroom, we took a similar approach to the other spaces—start with your foundations and build up. Here we chose a wrought-iron bed which brings a traditional/antique vibe, rendered in a contemporary way. Paired with the sleek nightstands and bench (which both perfectly balance rustic materials with a contemporary shape), the look is the perfect balance of old and new.
To keep the look from feeling too cold or industrial, we balanced out all the wood, leather, and metal with plush textiles and lots of layers. The neutral rug grounds the space, and we love its traditional pattern in a washed-out antique fade, which adds to the vintage vibe in a softer way. Then, top off the bed with layers of contrasting pillows and don’t forget to add curtains to further soften the look. A few woven baskets bring another pop of natural texture and are a great bedroom storage solution.
Finally, the art in the bedroom is a bit softer than other places in the house—it is your bedroom, after all. We love these vintage-style bird prints, which have an almost eclectic vibe. Together they bring a very traditional, antique contrast to the more rugged elements in the space and totally seal the deal on the farmhouse vibe.Shop This Room
Modern Farmhouse Interior Design
Style DNA: Modern designs mixed with rustic materials and natural textures
The Vibe: On-trend, a bit dramatic, and effortlessly livable
Modern farmhouse is easily the trendiest version of all three farmhouse looks. It’s comfy, cozy, and full of charm, offering a unique take on comfort and simplicity. If you’re one to shy away from farmhouse interior design because you think it’s outdated, modern farmhouse design will prove you wrong!
In this style, modern design fuses with a comfortable, relaxed farmhouse aesthetic. It’s an eclectic mix of styles and materials anchored in rustic foundations but shows off a more contemporary approach to shapes and decor. Modern design elements like curved or streamlined forms, unexpected materials, and sleek lighting play a big role in this trendy style.
The Modern Farmhouse Living Room
Our modern farmhouse living room look features a mix of materials that make for a dynamic space. This design features everything from wood to linen, velvet, brass, marble, ceramics, and seagrass! While we incorporated a range of tones to give the room contrast and warmth, the key to mixing these materials (and acing modern farmhouse look) is sticking to a neutral and cohesive color palette.
In this take on the style, our foundational furniture is still comfy but features slightly more modern appeal than traditional farmhouse-style shapes. For example, the sleek sofa with piping detail, the velvet armchairs, and the round coffee table, all play with rustic design elements in a completely modern way.
Overall, the accent furniture and decor take more risks and are the pieces that pull in the texture that makes for a cohesive look. The brass and marble side table is super mod and the velvet club chairs provide a familiar silhouette in an unexpected material. There’s also some fun play with geometry at work, like the sputnik pendant, side table, lamp, vases, and art that nods to a mid-century modern influence.
The secret to keeping this look from straying too modern? The symmetrical layout! This more formal structure to the room anchors in a more rustic/traditional aesthetic and keeps it from straying too far down an eclectic path.Shop This Room
The Modern Farmhouse Dining Room
To get the modern farmhouse look in your dining room, stick with traditional undertones in your furniture but look for pieces updated with a modern edge. For example, here the dining table offers a streamlined take on the antique trestle table and the schoolhouse chairs feel vintage and mod all at once.
Meanwhile, the dark metal accents add an industrial edge that adds much-needed contrast against the natural wood, which works overtime to warm up the design. Then to combat all the modern-ness happening in the furniture, we added an abstracted landscape print to soften up the look and tie in more “traditional” farmhouse vibes. Don’t forget the patterned rug underfoot, which enlivens the space and makes the room a little more fun and playful!Shop This Room
The Modern Farmhouse Bedroom
For the bedroom, we started with traditional shapes and gave them modern updates, like the spindle bed frame and seagrass bench. These pieces are classic and draw on traditional design elements, but here are given sleek modern facelifts with their streamlined forms. The nightstands feel traditional, but the touch of brass hardware warms up the look with a modern edge.
This take on farmhouse decor has a bit more color to it, with the pillows and rug. And the abstract line art is a fresh addition to the space and helps pull the whole design together.Shop This Room
Classic Farmhouse Interior Design
Style DNA: Classic designs mixed with countryside charm
The Vibe: Refined cottage style with a warm and timeless appeal
Classic farmhouse, in contrast to rustic or modern, is the most traditional of the bunch and leans into a more “French provincial” aesthetic. This style would be the closest example of “shabby chic” and is a much softer, more feminine approach to farmhouse design—think classic cottage chic. The look starts with comfy foundational furniture, but pushes more classic than rustic farmhouse, and then layers in accents of washed-out wood or painted decor for a more antique vibe.
Classic farmhouse also depends on a light palette of whites and creams with added pops of green and blue. The overall look skews more pastel and avoids contrast—think light, airy fabrics, and white-washed wood tones! This look should blend seamlessly together for a light, feminine look with few instances of metal or darkness.
The Classic Farmhouse Living Room
At first glance, it’s easy to see how our classic farmhouse living room differs from the previous versions. While the rustic and modern farmhouse looks are all about form and material, classic farmhouse style puts much more emphasis on classic details, like button tufting, nailhead, ornate carvings, and applied ornament. Here the space is grounded by a French country-style rolled arm sofa and armchair duo for a super comfy, classic style. The linen upholstery feels very countryside charming, which is perfect for this look.
Our accent furniture in this design features classic details like flutes and spindles—it all has a carved, ornate decorative quality. Botanical prints warm up the space and bring a natural touch and accents like whitewashed wood, antiqued surfaces, and distressed finishes bring in the charming countryside quality.Shop This Room
The Classic Farmhouse Dining Room
For the dining room, we again started with classic foundational furniture. The substantial and ornate pedestal stable grounds the space and features intricately carved details for a classic touch. The linen slipcovered chairs keep the look comfy but sophisticated, while the smaller scale of the dining table keeps the overall vibe more intimate and cozy.
All of the distressed wood finishes in the space give the room a homey vibe. Nature-themed art, like the bird gallery wall, along with a few curated pops of greenery give the space that classic cottage look. The whole space is tied together by the traditional, yet delicate, patterned rug, which adds a slight pop of texture to the space.Shop This Room
The Classic Farmhouse Bedroom
Nothing says “classic farmhouse” more than an upholstered headboard with tufting—it’s an important detail for classic style. The antique style rug has a washed-out oriental pattern that offers warmth and texture without overpowering the room. The lamps, bench and nightstands all have a classic shape and a serene, neutral color palette keeps the room cohesive and elegant.
We love the traditional art above the headboard! The cottage landscape painting is a purely traditional take on a farmhouse motif that feels right at home in this style. The hanging planters on the wall and the leafy green tree give the room subtle pops of color while bringing a little nature inside.Shop This Room
Work with an interior designer to see farmhouse decor in your home!
Not sure which type of farmhouse style is right for you? With our design services, our designers can help you find your personal design style—whether it’s classic, rustic, or modern farmhouse interior design. Learn more about our design services on our Interior Design 101 page.