Modern Farmhouse Decorating Ideas that Go Beyond Rustic

Farmhouse decor is one of the most popular interior design styles. It’s also the trendiest. A recent study revealed that this look, characterized by rusticity and country charm, was one of the most popular decorating styles in the United States. When done well, farmhouse decor is light and easy. It could be a better look when you have many matching weathered wooden furniture, sliding doors, and plaid.

What’s the secret to getting it right, then? Heidi Caillier is a designer known for blending prints, textures, and eras. She says that mixing different design elements are essential. You can’t just use rustic pieces. Mix them with more polished pieces.

There are ways to embrace the rustic spirit even if your home is older than George Washington’s or you can’t tell John Deere from John Derian on a police list. Caillier suggests that, when renovating, you create an “architectural foundation” by using details such as beams, panels, moldings, and built-ins. She says this first layer is essential because it helps tell a complete story when we add furnishings. “I look to the past for inspiration, old farmhouses and homes rather than new versions of them.”

We’ve searched our archives to find some of the most beautiful examples of farmhouse decor. You’ll soon be able to take “raised on a farm” as a compliment.

HANG ANTIQUE Art EVERYWHERE

George Kolasa, Justin Tarquinio, and their family purchased the historic East Hampton, New York farmhouse. They became owners as well as stewards. Alfredo Paredes of ELLE DECOR’s A-List added layers of art to the rooms, preventing them from becoming too farmhouse-y. The original deed of the house is framed above the fireplace. Kolasa says, “It was a gift from the sister of one of our family members.” It’s an extraordinary memory.

PAPER WITH PONIES

Although this house in Provincetown, Massachusetts (technically) didn’t begin life as a farmstead, designer David Cafiero has added many cozy touches. The duck-egg ceiling and floral wallpaper are our favorites in this bathroom.

Use maps as wallcoverings

Play up the history of your area, even if you do not have an older house. This sweet (and inexpensive!) idea is perfect! Decor hack, courtesy Sharone Einhorn. She covered her entryway in nautical charts from Long Island. This design idea is to be noticed, though Skeeter the dog gets a pass.

DISPLAY PERIOD CERAMICS

Alyse Archer-Coite bought a 1790s Georgian gem in Upstate New York. She added her artistic twist to this home’s creaking floors and fireplaces. She painted a mantel blue in the kitchen and displayed her vintage vessel collection by Dudley Waltzer and Gio Ponti.

GRANDEUR ADDED: A Bit of Style

You should embrace period details if you live in an old home. Hendricks Churchill, an A-List ELLE DECOR firm, updated this historic Greek Revival home in Connecticut with a nod to history. The abstract art and bubble Lindsey Adelman ceiling chandelier (not to mention that errant dinosaur toy) prevent the scheme from becoming stuffy.

Throw on a modern quilt

A quilt is the perfect way to make your farmhouse feel cozy. Toasted CEO Suzie De Rohan Willner has a company that makes some of the most beautiful quilts. She threw a stitched beauty at the foot of her Oxfordshire farm guest room in the U.K.

Embrace a surprising hue

The pale pistachio color has a vintage appeal. Chris Benz, a fashion designer and aspiring decorator, painted the kitchen and dining area in his Long Island, New York Victorian with Farrow & Ball’s Teresa’s Green.

LACQUER LAYER

Lacquer is an excellent alternative to weathered wood. Interior designer Thom Filicia has shellacked the butler’s cupboard on a Connecticut farm with a chocolate-colored finish.

LET THE SUNSHINE IN

The farmhouse vibe doesn’t just have to be in the kitchen. Ryan Lawson has renovated this 300-year-old Connecticut colonial to include a small bedroom study with a vintage desk, bentwood chairs, and yellow curtains.

BRING THE LOOK TO THE OUTDOORS

This rustic dining overhang is a perfect example of farmhouse decor in a fresh farm atmosphere. It’s located on the French Estate owned by Patrick and Lorraine Frey. A wrought iron chandelier adds elegance to the outdoor area.

Play with Pattern

Heidi Caillier says the key to a modern farmhouse style is mixing patterns, especially in designs. In a 1790s house in Bedford, New York, she used a variety of floral fabrics to create a cozy, garret-like feel in this snug bedroom. The muted colors keep the look from veering into maximalist territory.

Create a Painterly Gallery Wall

The Sheila Bridges Hudson Valley Escape gallery wall is a masterclass on how to get it right. She covered the walls in robin’s-egg blue with classic paintings of the Hudson River School. The writing desk echoes the blue in the photographs and the walls.

Add an Offbeat Element

A rustic farmhouse table anchors the dining room of the house of English decorator Rita Konig. This theme is continued with a rustic chandelier, antique chairs, and striped curtains. The outsized painting of an artichoke is what makes this look. It adds just the right amount of quirkiness.

Match your WAINSCOTING to Your Walls

The Twin Cities designer Anne McDonald envisioned a lake house with a feminine Scandinavian vibe. In the main bedroom, she painted walls and wainscoting a soft pink color (Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster) and upholstered headboards in a pretty Decors Barbares floral.

Bring in a touch of the ’70s

This old barn had deteriorated so severely that only bats lived there. Hendricks and Churchill, an A-list duo from ELLE DECOR, brought the barn back to life by letting the original beams steal the show. They opted for a 70s feel instead of a cliched farmhouse look with the vintage Togo sectional. Farm fresh is the word!