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Trend Spotlight: Meet Victorian Farmhouse

In times of uncertainty, we often look to the past to help define our futures. There’s something comforting about the familiar. So, it makes sense that this desire would show up in our homes. And in 2020, an uncertain year to say the least, traditional and historically-inspired interior designs styles are a trend on the rise. From classic formal to American traditional and even Victorian-inspired design elements, it seems that people are looking for grounding and comforting elements to incorporate into their homes.

In fact, this has created the perfect moment for Victorian style to come back—it’s a trend on the rise! (So much so that we dedicated a whole podcast episode to unpacking Victorian design history and how to shelter in place like a Victorian!) In the Victorian era, much of life was centered around the home. (Sound familiar?)

We’re big fans of Victorian design, so we want to show off some ways to incorporate Victorian design elements into your home. But to bring this style into the 21st century, we’re giving it a farmhouse slant—because who doesn’t want some extra cozy comfort in their highly considered, traditionally inspired space? It’s a rustic country interior design style that we’re calling Victorian Farmhouse.

What is Victorian Farmhouse style?

First things first. What is farmhouse design again? Here’s a quick refresher: it’s a country style that uses actual farmhouses as inspiration, with rustic decorative elements. Farmhouse design is a warm, cozy, and relaxing style that’s full of charm and character.

Victorian Farmhouse style takes all of that, but mixes in the elements and principles foundational to Victorian style—but stays with a definite farmhouse aesthetic. It’s basically Joanna Gaines meets the Victorians—aka the best of both worlds. It takes all of the comfortable, cozy, and approachable parts of farmhouse design, then pulls in some of those antique and classic vibes, with a bit of a collector approach. It’s an elevated country style, with a bit of French country decorating mixed in—and we can’t get enough of it.

Want to see this style come to life and get some key decorating ideas? Keep reading. We designed a living room, dining room, and bedroom, decorated with Victorian Farmhouse style to show off this look.

rustic country interior design styleThe Victorian Farmhouse Living Room

Rustic, classic, and eclectic elements combine in this Victorian Farmhouse living room. It’s full of adorned elements like the classic-inspired floor mirror with its gold frame and that beautifully elegant chandelier. But it’s also very livable, with a major focus on comfort.

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The Key Elements:

Opt for classic shapes with an antique twist. Victorian design featured a lot of what we now consider classic and traditional furniture shapes. Opt for classic forms in your foundational furniture, with details like turned legs or elegant curvatures. This is also a great place to incorporate antique furniture. Layer in vintage-inspired prints in your textiles—whether that’s plaids, stripes, or hints of chintz and florals in your pillows or a washed-out vintage rug. Materials like velvet are also perfect for this style, as they’ll help elevate the overall look of a space.

Focus on comfort. While a Victorian’s definition of comfort was much different than ours today, making their homes comfortable was definitely something they valued. And comfort is most certainly a big part of the farmhouse aesthetic. So, making the living room—the center of the home—a place of warmth and comfort is essential. Make sure your sofa is plush and comfortable; a slipcovered style would be perfect, and you can layer in extra coziness through textiles.

Embrace a rich color palette. Normally Farmhouse style is neutral and high-contrast. But Victorian Farmhouse pulls in a rich palette of colors, celebrating the elegant and sometimes opulent side of Victorian style. Incorporate deeply saturated colors through your textiles and perhaps through an accent chair!

rustic country dining roomThe Victorian Farmhouse Dining Room

This dining room is rooted in the more rustic side of Farmhouse style. The overall look is comfortable and cozy. But the Victorian elements come through in the more ornate details of the room and through the display cabinet, which gives the perfect space to showcase your collections and treasures!

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The Key Elements:

Take a Rustic Farmhouse approach to the furniture. In a Victorian Farmhouse dining room, lean into rustic interior design ideas when picking out foundational furniture. We opted for a farmhouse dining table, though one with a more modern base for a more streamlined look. We paired this with rustic chairs—but in a slipcovered style that is comfortable and adds warmth to the space.

Embrace ornate details. The details and home decor have a more classic and Victorian-inspired vibe. The chandeliers lean into an ornate and classic-formal look, adding some polished refinement to the space. The shapes in the chandeliers echo the mirror’s curves, and the intricate geometric metal detail of the cabinet contrasts with the simplicity of the table and chairs.

Put those collections on display. Victorians loved to amass collections of decorative objects—and loved showing them off even more. (They were basically the original maximalists.) While a cabinet is generally intended to conceal things, the geometric cutouts in this one give you a place to put your objects on display. Showcase your favorite decorative objects, treasures, or collections, both in a cabinet like this and styled on tabletops and shelves.

The Victorian Farmhouse Bedroom

This Victorian Farmhouse bedroom has an old-world feel—but is certainly not without modern sensibilities. A high-contrast black and white color palette grounds it in a Farmhouse aesthetic, but pops of rich colors and gilded, ornate decorative moments gives an air of refinement to the space. It’s all about polished and refined moments being juxtaposed with the casual comfort of Farmhouse style. The use of shiplap on the walls is a great example of this; it’s a casual element that really helps to highlight the more ornate details of the room.

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The Key Elements:

Make a statement with a four-poster bed. In a Victorian Farmhouse bedroom, a classic four-poster bed is the perfect statement piece and grounding element for the space. It gives that old-world feel, but with interesting spindles like the ones pictured above, it definitely has a modern twist.

Layer in Victorian-inspired decor. Victorian homes were often filled with portraits of both past and current residents, along with tons of collected objects. We love the idea of using classically inspired wall art and home decor in a Victorian Farmhouse home, but giving it a more modern twist. Need some Victorian decor ideas? Perhaps a vintage-looking portrait in a modern frame, a classic bust statue with a modern finish, or an eclectic collection of decor that you’ve collected through your travels. This is a great way to bring color and personality into your space.

Incorporate decorative materials. Victorians embraced a sense of “decorated living” where everyday objects and furniture had a little something that made them feel special or considered. To help a Victorian Farmhouse room lean into the Victorian side, incorporate decorative materials in the furniture and decor. The cane chair pictured here combines the high-contrast palette of Farmhouse style with a refined shape and style that features decorative caning. The gold mirror and chandelier elevate the look. And the four-poster bed, with its unique spindles, feels really special.

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minimalist maximalist entryway

Trend Spotlight: Designing The Perfect Minimalist Maximalist Home

Over the past year, we’ve seen people lean into the less-is-more mantra when it comes to their home. Rather than having more things, many people are opting to live with less furniture and decor and choosing pieces that prioritize good design and rooms that are layered but not cluttered. Think highly curated spaces with a few statement pieces and a tight selection of equally bold accents.

Enter the new look that’s trending for 2020—we’re calling “Minimalist Maximalist.” What exactly does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like. On their own, many people find the styles of minimalism too sterile and maximalism too opulent, so this look is the perfect blend of the two. The style plays with the unlikely combo of a minimalist’s design principles and a maximalist’s love of patterns, colors, textures, and all things over-the-top.

We know what you’re thinking: How does all that work in the home? Find out below with a peek inside a Minimalist Maximalist home dreamed up by our expert designers.

minimalist maximalist entrywayIn an Entry

Our Minimalist Maximalist entry establishes the nuanced aesthetic right off the bat: Dramatic interiors with statement pieces and light styling.

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The Key Elements:

Show strong forms. The bolder the design, the fewer things you need. To master the look you’ll want to hone in on one or two sculptural and captivating entryway pieces that will set the stage for your home. Look for pieces like a rounded wood buffet, an angular chair, or a chicly shaped sconce.

Edit your accessories. One of the key elements of the look is minimal styling. Only add decorative accessories that truly evoke the look you want in your space, be it a set of beautiful ceramics or a compelling art piece.

minimalist maximalist living roomIn a Sitting Area

With living area furniture, sculptural upholstery will go a long way when paired with beautifully crafted contemporary pieces. It’s about playing up shapes and materials in the same space.

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The Key Elements:

Go for big curves. Rounded and curved sofas and chairs were also a big trend in the past year and they’re the perfect showpieces for a Minimalist Maximalist sitting area. Limit your pieces and don’t worry about colors too much. It’s all about the silhouettes here.

Add simple, luxe accents. By that we mean bringing in tables, lighting, and other small objects that highlight gorgeous materials and designs. Case in point: the black metal pendant and the marble and slate coffee table have a streamlined look that’s unobtrusive but still striking.

In a Breakfast Corner

Perhaps the best example of the Minimalist Maximalist look is a space with high-contrast shades—be it in a corner dining space or a vignette. Think light meets dark, but layered.

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The Key Elements:

Layer up with black and white. Find distinct furniture pieces and go full-on black and white. It will set a modern yet maximalist foundation for you to dress your space up and down as needed. The idea here is that you want a bold backdrop to work off of.

Keep to clean-lined materials. Black and white can easily feel sparse and stark but you also don’t want to add in too much. A great way to balance the high-contrast palette is to work in warm metals, like brass and copper. Just make sure those designs have contemporary and streamlined silhouettes that add drama but still feel airy.

In a Display Area

By now, you already know that this look is about adding statement piece after statement piece. You can take that approach with any room or corner, like this curated showcase of artful designs and objects.

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The Key Elements:

Bring in statement pieces. When we say statement pieces, keep in mind that we’re referring to pieces that have presence. So choose a piece that resonates with your style, be it one that has strong sculptural appeal or is painted in an unexpected color. When it doubt, consider if your furniture piece has a shape that holds your attention.

Have fewer but more impactful art. There’s no gallery wall when it comes to this look! Instead of arranging art and objects en masse, pick larger scale art and sculptures that have a minimal look. Think abstract, modern geometric art, and simple sculptures and bowls. They’re the perfect balance to big statement furniture pieces.

In a Dining Space

An attractive way to bring the look into your home is in the dining room, which is always a great place to experiment with mixing shapes and colors. Here, start bold and end with subtlety.

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The Key Elements:

Contrast sharp shapes. You already know that curvy, rounded designs play a big role in the Minimalist Maximalist room, but the key to making them work is to offset them with furniture that has sharp angles—rectilinear tables and cabinets, clean-lined rugs. It’s a push-pull tension of the bold and the soft lines that adds major intrigue.

Embrace neutrals with a pop. With sculptural forms and furniture, a neutral palette will help tone down the visual linearity. But all neutral can feel too minimal, so make sure to add in a pop of color, whether you go big with bright-painted walls or with simple small accents that add pops of vibrant colors. Think black, white, neutral, plus a pop!

minimalist maximalist officeIn an Office

Another element of the Minimalist Maximalist style is the focus on furniture and accents that add visual interest. With a workspace, you can do that by mixing stunning furniture and accessories in warm neutrals.

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The Key Elements:

Work in classic designs and finishes. One approach to maximalism is to go with classic furnishings with traditional finishes, like burled wood and mottled surfaces, along with classic forms, like trestle bases and arched lighting. These have a way of adding impact with a formal bent, so don’t rule them out when you’re looking for statement pieces.

Balance with pared-down patterns. To take the edge off of traditional furnishings, you can tone it down with modernized patterns. We’re talking about designs, like a chevron or geometric rug that’s rendered in warm neutrals. Here, less color is definitely more, and you can mix in contemporary and abstract art in similar hues to create additional focal points.

minimalist maximalist bedroomIn a Bedroom

Contrary to the super-crisp and soothing bedroom, this look calls for a daring approach with opulent designs and oversized furniture. Go for substantial pieces that are anything but boring.

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The Key Elements:

Focus on opulent designs. From a stately upholstered bed to a meticulously carved dresser, you’re going for big style and intrigue in the bedroom. Keep this approach to just the furniture pieces and scale back on your accents, which is in keeping with the overall look and vibe of your rooms.

Soften with crisp textiles. In the bedroom, you’ll want to pull in some key neutral pieces that provide light contrast. The easiest way to achieve that is to lay down a rug in soft hues and keep to simple white bedding. Unfussy, geometric art will also help bring attention to the bright, crispness of your textiles.

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living room

Style Spotlight: How to Get the Rustic Minimalist Look

You heard it here first: Rustic minimalism is a trend on the rise. What is rustic minimalism? Well, as its name indicates, this look combines elements of both rustic and minimal design styles and merges them into one space. What results are cool, spare rooms warmed up with bold but neutral colors and natural materials. You’ll also notice this look has a touch of rustic charm and a hint of industrial flair. Ultimately, this style combines pared-down vintage elements in a calm, monochromatic palette for a look that’s gender-neutral and inviting.

Ready to move in? We’ve got you covered! Read on to get the scoop on our stylists’ seven best tips to help you get the look in your own home.

rustic minimalist bedroom1. Go With Natural Materials

To really nail the rustic side of rustic minimalism, opt for furniture and decor accents that show off what they’re made of. Natural materials like unfinished wood, ceramics, metals, stone, jute, and linen are all great places to start.

Art that showcases the natural world is another way to pull the rustic vibe into your space – like this photograph of the Icelandic landscape.

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rustic minimalist living room2. Prioritize Comfort

Rustic minimalism is a style that’s meant to be lived in. That means it should be full of cozy, comfortable elements that make your room an inviting gathering space. For your base furniture, pick pieces that put comfort front and center – like this oversized sectional sofa. But don’t snooze on the fact that this sofa still has clean lines, which plays into the minimal side of this style. Layers of plush textiles and pillows will help up the comfort factor.

But to keep your room from feeling too weighty, you’ll want to balance out heavy and airy furniture, striking the right balance and contrast. For example, you can balance out the more substantial sofa with a minimal coffee table. Or, consider this accent chair: while still comfortable, it has a more modern frame that keeps the look lighter.

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office3. Add Warmth with Wood and Leather

We love the way that textiles can transform and warm up a whole space. Without the leather of the chairs, this office would feel very cool and industrial. But the addition of these chairs – along with the wicker baskets on the bookshelf and the palm leaf plant basket in the corner – changes the vibe in the best possible way.

Natural wood and leather tones add warmth throughout a room and will keep your rustic minimalist space from feeling cold or sterile, but they also won’t detract from the overall style! (Curtains and rugs are another great way to add warmth and texture.) And speaking of warmth, we love the way plants warm up a room and add a pop of color.

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office4. Stick to Frill-Free Furniture

To get this look, you’ll want to stay away from ornate decor and more traditionally shaped pieces, instead favoring sleek, clean lines. What results is a look that feels both current and gender-neutral. We love the wood and upholstery in this room, which together strikes the perfect balance of minimal and warm.

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dining room5. Go High-Contrast With Wall Color

Rustic minimalist design can feel spare. To keep it minimal but add a bold note, try painting a wall in a dark neutral. This could be an accent wall or the whole space. Either way, it will add a cozy vibe that’s right at home in rustic spaces but also strikes a bold note. It also creates the perfect backdrop for your art and decor to do the talking!

Bonus: a dark wall also makes wood and brass elements pop! Afraid of the room feeling too dark? You can add some life and color with a bright patterned rug.

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rustic minimalist living room6. Add Pops of Pattern and Eclectic Art

Rustic styles tend to feel more traditional – but to achieve the modern side of rustic minimalism, mix in fresh and contemporary elements to make it of-the-moment. We love an eclectic mix of organic patterns and playful art! A gallery wall is a great way to push your look more modern and trendy, and it gives you the opportunity to mix and match art styles to create a look that is all your own.

But don’t stop at wall art! Use textiles like throw pillows and blankets – but opt for patterns in the same color scheme to keep with the minimal vibe. We brought this to life in this room through using pops of black, white, and grey in the pillows, rug, and art.

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rustic minimalist bedroom7. Go Industrial With Your Lighting Fixtures

Remember how we said the rustic minimalist style has a slight industrial element to it? Well, you can usually spot this in the light fixtures.

Pieces made of metal, with a factory vibe, are key to this style. These matte black sconces are the perfect mix of rustic and industrial chic – but with a modern shape, they also add to the minimal vibe.

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