Like any design trend, Farmhouse Style made its mark and then, when it got overplayed, it started into a slow retreat. We take a look at what made the style so long-lived and also its enormous potential as it evolves and spawns new ideas for living a simple, splendid life.
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Simple. Practical. Homey. Rural. Farmhouse style captured our imaginations about 10 years ago and settled comfortably into our living rooms, kitchens and even our she sheds like it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Farmhouse style got its traction from our collective imagination. We live in the suburbs, fight traffic, purchase prepared food that is covered in plastic and never see the stars because there is too much urban light in the sky. We want to go back to the land. The thirst for simple, natural and handmade created one of the world’s most enduring home styles and even permeated the commercial space: Farmhouse.
Some design trends completely disappear, but farmhouse will not. It will go through filters and the best of it will become classic. Its rich tradition of natural wood, historic silhouettes and unfussy rural living will continue to thrive in comfortable homes, but it will have new friends. We see more color infusing the often-bland palettes, as well as modern takes on old-fashioned lighting, furniture and accessories.
Separating the She Shed from the Farmhouse
A quick note about she sheds and farmhouse style–these two are like peas and carrots. Farmhouse touches, while they can be overdone in the home, can never get tired in a she shed. She sheds tend to be associated with living on a farm or at least in a rural environment.
But are she sheds always synonymous with farmhouse style? They certainly can be, if they want to. She sheds reflect their owners’ personal style so they can be charming, chic, artsy, cozy, crazy or bohemian. The best thing about she sheds is that they adapt to all kinds of looks and uses. Martha Knake’s own she shed below started its life as a playhouse for her girls. While Martha, a DIY maven at Simple Cozy Charm, is introducing new styles into her home, she maintains a soft pastoral feel in her shed.
Five Ways to Update Farmhouse Style
Are you ready to see what’s beyond farmhouse? Do you love it but wonder how you can enhance your rooms and your look? The best way to start is … small. Try changing one element of a room with something that won’t be found in the farmhouse aisle of the local DIY/crafts store. Seek out that amazing, one-of-a-kind piece that captures your eye at a vintage marketplace, a favorite online shop or on Facebook Marketplace. Add color to one (just one) of your walls. Weed out the things you see everywhere, and that don’t hold any special meaning. You’ll see. We’ve put together a few areas of change to get you started.
These floating shelves are made of reclaimed lumber and available in a number of finishes. What keeps them timeless is the hanging mechanism, which is hidden within the slabs, creating a clean look while still emphasizing the natural beauty of the wood.
Signs with phrases, from cute to religious to inspirational, will always be fun means of self expression. For a fresh take on wall signage, however, you should keep an eye out for artsy and colorful “conceptual” signage, which uses shape instead of words to show identity or convey ideas. This quirky coffee cup is a perfect wall adornment in the kitchen or breakfast nook.
Dried Flowers = Fresh Style
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with flowers; transcending all style parameters, flowers add joy and color to any space. And while fresh flowers are a huge decorative element don’t overlook the appeal of dried. Dried floral arrangements have a rural feel, the kind we love from farmhouse. They also add muted color and a hint of modern starkness, which takes the edge off of an overly “cute” farmhouse design.
Wood is Good
A home or she shed filled with warm, rustic wood is classic, and a great canvas on which to layer on some exciting additions. Look for chairs and tables that modernize the typical farmhouse shapes (trestle, French Country, post-Victorian) and finishes. Instead of white or cream everywhere, consider a tone-on-tone palette using light browns, golds or grays.
Old-Fashioned Is New Again
Sometimes all farmhouse needs is a little shaking and fluffing — a “refresh,” as interior designers might say. One really great way to infuse interest into tired decor is to capture the iconic elements in new ways. For farmhouse, it might be butter churns, old tools, a milking stool, lanterns or even a weathervane. These recognizable elements are captured in new materials and forms for dramatic effect while still working within the overall look of a farmhouse-style home. This sculpted brass water pitcher metamorphoses into a stunning vase, an homage to exciting decorative trends that are just around the corner.