Farmhouse design has swept the nation from coast to coast. You can find people in high-rise apartments and the outskirts of suburbs near Madison WI surrounded by “country living” décor. When it comes to the farmhouse decorating trend there is more than one definition. And, it doesn’t work with every lifestyle.
Begin with an accepted definition: Farmhouse decorating is warm, cozy, relaxing and full of charm and character. It shifts the home back to a simpler time. Unpretentious is another word often associated with it. As is “all-American.”
The basic elements of the farmhouse theme trend include:
- Sturdy furnishings – often hand-crafted (or created to look that way). Heavy emphasis on rich wood and metal.
- Family-style – large, inviting family-friendly furniture and accessories.
- Openness – from the open concept blending spaces to open shelves in the kitchen.
- Classic color palette – bold colors give way to white, gray, sage and cream. Often accented with dark green, blue or black.
- Features wood – from unfinished woods like birch, oak and pine to distressed, reclaimed wooden features.
- Welcomes nature – displays of cut flower and houseplants link the home to the outdoor world.
While style and appearances count, the farmhouse style puts function ahead of everything else. Small touches lie deep apron sinks and overhead task lighting with large kitchen island work spaces set the stage. Convenient seating and open space in the kitchen create a functioning gathering space. A no-nonsense country kitchen lends itself to modern hectic lifestyles.
Selecting A Farmhouse Design Approach
In Madison the range of home styles spans ultra-modern reflections of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairies style, Tudor period architecture, 1960s ranch homes and everything in between. Only your personal taste dictates whether or not your home is ready for a country-look renovation.
When you decide a farmhouse look is what you want, there are at least 5 different styles considered to be “farmhouse.” They include:
- Traditional Farmhouse
- Modern Farmhouse
- Rustic, Western Farmhouse
- Vintage, Cottage Farmhouse
- European Farmhouse
These different variations on the same theme reflect designer’s desire to create a farmhouse theme for almost any architectural concept.
The Traditional Farmhouse
The design and décor of what has come to be called the “traditional farmhouse” is the most sought after concept for kitchen and whole home remodels. For many, this is THE farmhouse. It is popularized in agazines, videos and TV programming. This version of the farmhouse includes design features like:
- Comfortable furniture with plenty of cushions and accent pillows.
- Heavy emphasis on natural materials
- Heavy, functional furnishings
- Using unusual accent elements like tools, Mason jars and baskets
- Weathered wood and wood-look flooring
- Aprons sinks
- “Shiplap” walls – note, shiplap has become a misused generic term for any time narrow boards are fastened to the wall and it is going out of fashion.
A More Modern Approach
One New York interior designer says the modern farmhouse style takes the traditional version and “shines it up.” It’s refined. The hallmark of a more modern farmhouse is using fewer furnishings and less all-white décor. In the modern approach you’ll see more dark blue, dark green and even black. The modern look includes:
- Using more metal – lighting fixtures, larger faucets, range hoods.
- An industrial vibe – using more metal for shelving, heavy-duty pendant lights, etc.
- Subway tile – more common in a modern approach, especially when accented with dark colors.
- Refined finishes – more polished wood and stone.
- Hammered metal sinks
Out To The Ranch
There’s a rustic, western farmhouse theme, too. It allows you to bring in a western flare – including more southwestern colors and designs. The western farmhouse or ranch style includes:
- Heavy beamed ceilings and reclaimed barn wood.
- Open, slab-sided wooden shelves
- Differs from traditional farmhouse by using more weathered, raw natural elements
- Colors are usually darker
Because its definition easily blurs between traditional and modern this is the “anything goes” form.
Country Cottage Meets Farmhouse
A rustic, cottage style is another variation on the farmhouse theme. While it leans toward traditional there is more room for frills and personal touches. Ruffled curtains, tea towel accents and decorative dishware are common. Feature setting the cottage style apart include:
- Fabric skirts beneath white cast-iron sinks.
- Architectural trim like chair rails and dish rails to spotlight collectables.
- Lighter colors but not all white.
- Open and glass-front cabinets.
There Are Farmhouses In Europe, Too
Popular design trends brought many European styles to the United States. The French country house is one of them. A French or European design might include:
- Cool colors – grays, pastels, whitewash.
- Warm woods – scrolled edges, lightly painted.
- Verdigris metal and distressed gold fixtures.
- Casual, comfortable natural furnishings and finishes.
Let Your Imagination Guide You
There is no one absolute Farmhouse decorating or design style. The concept is many things to many people. That’s one reason it is so popular – your imagination and personal lifestyle dictates what it does and does not include. The farmhouse recreated in your home need not fit into any preconceived mold.
Whatever your personal preference may be, bringing your dreams to life is a challenge. Interior designers keep tabs on the latest style trends and resources. In addition, A professional Design-Build team working hand-in-hand with skilled craftsmen insures your ideas translate to a perfect result.
Elegant, functional spaces do not materialize without teamwork. DC Interiors & Renovation brings its award-winning dedication and skill to every project. Call, email or visit our Madison showroom and see for yourself what we have to offer. Team with our design professionals for a farmhouse design customized to fit your Madison WI home.