Farmhouses carry a certain feeling of nostalgia, even for those of us who didn’t grow up in the village or country-side. If you are fortunate to have had first-hand experience staying or living in a farmhouse, you’ll agree that modern farmhouses are such a beauty to behold and something begging to be experienced again. To bring some of that cozy comfort into your own home, try these design tips:
Sliding Barn Doors
What’s a farm without a barn? You may not have space in your home to put in a loft or ladder, but you can certainly add a sliding barn door to make a bold statement. The door can go on any interior doorway if there is enough space to put runners off to the side. Because visible hardware will look totally natural with a barn door, it doesn’t need to be a “pocket” sliding door. This is good news for you, because it makes it much easier to install.
As an alternative to sliding barn doors, you could opt for the Dutch door look. With a top half that swings open, a Dutch door is the perfect choice for a kid’s play room, a kitchen or any other room where you might need to block access while simultaneously keep things light and open. In that respect, Dutch doors are like sophisticated baby gates or pet gates; they are very functional but infinitely more attractive.
Rustic Kitchen Table
The kitchen is the heart of any home, but a farmhouse kitchen is particularly distinct and cozy. Unlike sleek, modern kitchens where everything is hidden away, farm kitchens have utensils and jars and cooking pots all on display. After all, a farm kitchen gets a lot of use, and having everything within easy reach makes it much more practical.
But at the center of the farm kitchen is a heavy and rustic wooden table. Fancy tooling isn’t necessary, but a table that can comfortably seat the whole family (plus whoever happens to have dropped by) and hold a veritable feast is of utmost importance. The kitchen table in a farm house might also have benches instead of chairs.
Although a rustic kitchen table should have a weathered, natural look, it should also be smooth, free of splinters and hard enough to act as a chopping board.
Metal Basin Sink
Another great feature for your faux-farm kitchen, bathroom or laundry room is a metal basin sink. A large metal washtub can easily be rendered into a sink by adding a drain to the bottom. The basin can then sit on top of a sturdy counter or tabletop (rather than hanging below the counter) to act as both a decoration and a functional appliance. Faucets mounted into the wall work well for this kind of set-up and also add to that old-school feel.
Some design ideas for farmhouses can be seen in the photo gallery below.
Pottery and Jar Decorations
Nothing is thrown away on a farm if it can be repurposed or reused. So if a mason jar is no longer suitable for canning, it can become a vase, be turned into a light fixture or used as virtually any kind of decoration.
Pottery is also a staple of the country kitchen, and it is often on display since it is both beautiful and functional. And if, like a mason jar, a clay jug gets a little crack or is just no longer used for food, it can be a great flower vase. Or, clay plates and bowls can be repainted and used as decorations on end tables or even mounted on the wall.
Get the rough-hewn look of a cabin or farmhouse by using exposed wood virtually anywhere you can. Old farm houses were most commonly built using the materials available nearby, meaning they were typically built of wood and stone. These days you can enjoy the rustic look of wood and stone without some of the drawbacks associated with these materials, like wood that rots quickly or is infested with pests.
Hardwood floors, ceiling beams and rafters, furniture, and decorations like picture frames can all be wooden. For a farmhouse look, avoid shiny finishes. Do be sure to seal in the wood to avoid moisture problems, but use a stain that gives the wood a natural or weathered look.
For the centerpiece of your living room, refit your fireplace with stones. Avoid symmetry, and be sure to use stones of different sizes and shades. Remember that farmers in the olden days had to source materials locally, and they may not have had the luxury of choosing from a large variety of stones.
In fact, to get the authentic farmhouse atmosphere, remember this motto when choosing your decorations and materials: “function over form.”
This article was written by Cathy Habas for Hutbay Blog. Cathy is a professional freelancer who loves writing informative and interesting articles on interior design and home renovation.