Farmhouse decor was catapulted into the spotlight several years ago thanks to one of my personal favorite HGTV couples, Chip and Joanna Gaines, but like all good things, this interior design trend seems to have run its course. As sad as it makes me to see barnwood accents and distressed furniture disappearing from the shelves of home stores, I know in my heart the decline of this style will make way for new and exciting home trends. That alleviates the sadness a little bit.
However, I’m not completely ready to let go of farmhouse style—not all of it, anyway. It’s been an abiding aesthetic for so long (you could almost call it an era) that while we’re all tiring of shiplap and exposed beams, there are other features of the farmhouse style I wouldn’t mind sticking with.
1. Bright, Airy Spaces
When you picture a farmhouse interior in your head, what color is it? Probably white, right? One of the staples of farmhouse design is light, bright spaces, and while you might be sick of cleaning up an all-white kitchen—they’re pretty, but honestly impractical—there’s still something to be said for maintaining this upbeat, airy feel throughout your home.
Even as you paint your walls fresh colors and bring in non-rustic finishes, you can keep the bright, welcoming ambiance by embracing natural light, and if you’re going for a full reno, channel your inner Joanna and take down walls to create a more open, spacious floor plan. It will keep your home feeling light and welcoming, even on dreary days.
2. Open Shelves
Speaking of opening up living spaces, I’m not ready to part with open shelving in the kitchen just yet! Sure, it’s helpful to have closed cabinets where you can store mismatched storage containers and your overflowing snacks, but personally, I love the look of a few minimalistic open shelves where you can artfully display stacks of dinnerware, colorful cookware, and a few plants—all the things in your kitchen that are both useful and beautiful!
Even if you’re over bare wooden shelving, you can easily update this decor concept to match other aesthetics. Sleek black shelving would be beautiful in a modern kitchen, or you can get a timeless traditional look with white crown molding shelves. Hint, hint: This is also an easy and affordable way to update your kitchen.
3. Embracing Imperfections
Farmhouse decor is full of imperfections, whether it’s weathered wood, distressed paint, or antique finishes. While you might be ready to leave these purposeful imperfections in the rear view mirror, I think there’s something to be said for holding onto the spirit of being OK with decor imperfections.
In the age of Instagram interiors, where everything is just so, I think a lot of people feel our own decor needs to be just as pristine and polished—I know I fall into this trap often. However, “perfect” interiors are so unrealistic for those of us who, you know, actually live in our living spaces.
Furniture doesn’t have to have an immaculate finish, blankets don’t need to be perfectly draped, and artwork doesn’t have to be exactly on center. (Can someone please, please tell my partner this?) In fact, there’s something welcoming and homey about a space that doesn’t take itself too seriously and makes the most of imperfections.
4. Cozy, Welcoming Living Spaces
No one has ever felt too intimidated to plop down in a farmhouse-style living room, but can you say the same about your great-aunt’s Victorian-style couch? Farmhouse decor is remarkably unfussy, and every room is designed to be practical, functional, and welcoming.
No matter what interior design style you move onto next, keep this farmhouse tenet in mind. Look for furniture that’s comfortable, durable, and low maintenance—otherwise, you’ll spend more time fussing over your sofa than lounging on it!
5. Repurposed Decor
Because farmhouse decor is all about a distressed, vintage vibe, a lot of people used second-hand or repurposed furniture to achieve the look. There was lots of upcycling that took place at the peak of the farmhouse trend, and the environmentalist in me would love to see this approach persevere.
There’s so much amazing secondhand furniture to be found in thrift shops, flea markets, and on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. With a fresh coat of paint or a little sanding and polishing, and good-looking hardware, you can give unwanted furniture new life, helping cut down on waste. Plus, when you get thrifty instead of buying new furniture, you’re also going to save money—so there’s really no downside!
What do you love/hate about the farmhouse style? Tell us in the comments below!