If you’ve come into possession of a historic farmhouse, then consider yourself lucky. Old farmhouses take owners and their visitors to times past, when life was simpler and families were closer. Farmhouses are cozy, tight and practical. In fact, the original decor of these homes resembled the practicality of their design. Here are some tips to give your farmhouse that quaint coziness in a century that is digital and modern.
1. Choose Hardy Over Delicate
To get the charming farmhouse feel throughout your home, it’s important to understand any delicate or frivolous items should be kept at a minimum. A farmhouse was a working house. Every member of the household had daily duties, and there was little need for fanciful items that weren’t necessities. Original farmhouses were all about function over style.
Rather than hanging expensive artwork, choose old paned windows that have the original weathered paint, or strip them and apply your own stressed look. This is a great way to display family photos. Using shiplap for your walls is also more true to the farmhouse style than regular drywall. Touches like these will take every person who enters your home back a century or two.
2. Put Your Modern Amenities Away
To keep the simplicity vibe echoing throughout the home, tuck away any modern amenities such as televisions, game systems, stereos, and computers. This gives you an excellent opportunity to shop around for old armoires and storage chests. An old armoire, antique or not, can easily be retrofitted to house a complete entertainment system.
This is more difficult to pull off as far as kitchen appliances go, so while you may not be able to hide the refrigerator or stove, keeping those items simple shouldn’t detract too much from your celebration of pioneer life. However, it should be simple enough to tuck the microwave behind cabinet doors.
3. Mix Up Your Furniture
Don’t try to match your furniture by stain, time period or even color. Choose a few colors to repeat throughout the room to keep it cohesive, but it shouldn’t feel intentional. Think about who lived in a farmhouse. The family would add furniture pieces when they were able. Much of it would have even been handmade.
If you purchase older furniture, you can always purchase slipcovers which will provide the rustic feel for which you’re aiming. Patchwork quilts thrown over the backs of chairs will also lend plenty of charm.
4. Reclaim Old Wood
Avoid shiny and new. Anywhere in the home you’re able to incorporate reclaimed wood, go for it. This includes custom coffee tables, plant stands and bookcases. Reclaimed wood provides lots of warmth and of course, age.
5. Be Practical in the Kitchen
Kitchens of the past didn’t have all the cabinetry as kitchens today do. Instead, you might see shelves on the walls for storing foods and dishes. An ode to the original farmhouse might incorporate shelves over bottom cabinets. This is a great way to display your rustic dishes. Mix in some fun farmhouse kitchen decor on the shelves between different sets and types of dishes.
An expensive granite countertop would look awkward in a farmhouse kitchen. Try something that could have been made from resources provided on the land, such as butcher block. An antique kitchen sink would be a great addition to your kitchen as well as a simple wooden table in the middle to provide a place for quick bites or preparing food.
An old farmhouse will always be fun to decorate, especially during the holidays. Can you imagine an old-time Christmas tree in the entry or the smell of a turkey baking in the oven carrying through all the rooms? Your old farmhouse still has years of charm left in it, so enjoy making memories in your gift from the past.