People don't have to live in farmhouses to appreciate the open, airy atmosphere and cottage-style decor that characterize this design style. They may find that combining some rustic elements and simplified country furnishings will give them the look of a farmhouse even if they live in the middle of a city.
The decorating style rests on light dusty colors and soft textures that coordinate well with vintage accessories. Pairing white walls and cabinetry in natural wood tones is typical in contemporary farmhouse design.
Window coverings can range widely. Soft sheer shades bring in a flow of natural light and fit both traditional or contemporary country-style decorating. Light, airy curtains also suit farmhouse design, as do shutters, which can be painted white or stained in wood tones.
Whether they opt for wood, stone or another type of flooring that complements farmhouse design, homeowners may want to enhance rooms with a radiant heating system. Electric in floor heating can be installed under virtually any kind of floors or walls can be outfitted with radiant panels. It's a modern take on traditional farmhouse style with the energy efficiency expected in today's homes.
Furnishings in farmhouse rooms work best when they are an eclectic mix of styles. Fancy chairs with decorative curves are a good contrast to the more austere lines of a farm table. For accessories, attractive pieces that have some function are typical.
According to Country Living magazine, built-in bookshelves, a writing desk next to a window and slip-covered furnishings bring a lived-in atmosphere to a living room. Shelving can be matched to the finish of hardwood floors or painted in creamy off-white. Fans of Swedish-style design may want to incorporate the white and blue patterns made famous by that brand of farmhouse decor.
Combining Old and New
Homeowners who want to decorate their kitchens in classic farmhouse style can meet their contemporary cooking needs with traditional surroundings. With white, cottage-style cabinetry and a selection of collectibles for accent, many of the accessories chosen can also be functional and used for storing food and kitchen tools.
For instance, instead of a kitchen island, an English pine farm table could be placed in the center of the room with a matching chest nearby. It would provide storage for utensils but also have a display surface for attractive mixing bowls or a tureen. In the adjacent dining room, elegant linens and antique silver candleholders offer good contrast to simple painted chairs.