Farmhouse Style 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Farmhouse Style 101: Everything You Need to Know

According to Becky Shea, an interior designer and founder of Becky Shea Design, farmhouse style is as much a lifestyle as it is a design aesthetic. “It’s really about a lifestyle and bringing that simpler, clean aesthetic to a home, and really focusing on what’s most important,” she says. Often defined as chic, comfortable, cozy or warm, it’s a look that’s been particularly popular over the past decade or so. And while you may recognize it when you see it, understanding the core design elements and principles can help anyone bring this welcoming and homely style into their space. below, A.D chat with Shea and interior designer Kirsten Krason of House of Jade about farmhouse design and bringing this style to life.

What is farmhouse style?

Although there can be some fluidity in forms, farmhouse style is generally separated into two distinct design aesthetics: traditional farmhouses and modern farmhouses. The classic farmhouse look – also known as a traditional farmhouse – is often defined by a more rustic country style, often using vintage furniture or familiar patterns such as plaid. “Traditional farmhouses definitely take more of that craftsmanship from the Craftsman movement,” says Shea. “It’s simpler, cut down; [it] features unvarnished copper, for example, and [it’s] a bit more traditionalist.” Deeper colors such as burgundy, green or blue are also common in a more rustic farmhouse style.

A farmhouse kitchen designed by House of Jade.

Photo: Courtesy of House of Jade.

What is modern farmhouse style?

Modern farmhouse style, as the name suggests, brings more contemporary elements into the aesthetic. “The term modern farmhouse originated when the farmhouse style first became popular with the masses,” says Krason. “Over the years we have seen this style evolve into different variations such as a traditional farmhouse, coastal farmhouse, French farmhouse or modern farmhouse.” Modern farmhouses tend to feel more early American, with less intricate trim and decor. Often homes with modern farmhouse interiors will use clean lines, a more neutral color scheme and modern finishes. “Modern farmhouses lean a little more toward a Scandinavian shape,” adds Shea.

History of Farmhouse Style Homes

True to its name, the farmhouse design style has its roots in actual farmhouses or shelters built specifically for farmers. Although farmhouses have been around as long as farmers, many credit the traditional farmhouses of 16th and 17th century Europe as the inspiration for this particular aesthetic. “Over the years, the simple farmhouse has evolved into a distinct design style,” says Krason.

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