5 Rules for Bringing Farmhouse Design to Your Home

You’re five steps away from living with the farmhouse decor of your dreams.

Farmhouse decor ideas - farmhouse design rules and tips in living room
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It's no secret that farmhouse design and the iconic farmhouse kitchen has been all the rage these days, but incorporating the look into your own space is easier said than done. For 2019, 2020, and beyond, we're ditching the dreary color palette and rooster motifs of yesteryear and adopting a modernized version of farmhouse design. Sure, renovation royalty Chip and Joanna Gaines might have put farmhouse decor back on the map with their shiplap-clad remodels and perfectly rustic accoutrements, but mastering this beloved aesthetic doesn't happen overnight.

The key? Balance. One false design decision—or too much farmhouse decor—and your space can appear, well, cheesy. Don't worry, we're here to help! Not only do the five farmhouse abodes below offer plenty of inspiration, but they're also packed with design lessons you can integrate into your apartment and home. Follow the five simple rules below and you'll have a beautiful, farmhouse-inspired space of your own in no time—adding a farmhouse sink or barn door is optional.

Farmhouse decor ideas and rules

01 of 05

Keep color to a minimum

Sure, bright pops of color may fit right in with boho decor, but they rarely have a place in your farmhouse-styled space. When it comes to farmhouse design, less is more. Take a cue from @DreamingofHomemaking and spring for muted pops of color. The crimson throw blanket and marigold lumbar pillow breathe some life into this space, but don't take the attention away from the rest of the room.

02 of 05

Design in distress

Let's be honest: Whoever originally said "one man's trash is another man's treasure" was clearly referring to farmhouse design. While some design styles—think mid-century modernism and minimalism—call for items in new or like-new condition, farmhouse decor welcomes a little wear and tear. Strategically chipped paint and distressed elements—as seen on @OurFarmhouseDream's feed—only add to the farmhouse charm, making a space feel all the more cozy. While vintage and thrift stores are great places to pick up some farmhouse decor, you'll also notice that larger stores such as Target and IKEA have new pieces that are specifically designed to appear distressed. (Fake it 'til you make it and all that.)

03 of 05

Add a natural element

Just because you don't live on a full-fledged farm or in some remote cabin doesn't mean you shouldn't give Mother Nature a little love. Nowadays, wooden accents are integral to farmhouse design because they instantaneously bring a rustic, charming flair to any space. When it comes to incorporating this trick into your very own home decor, the sky's the limit. Between the wooden shelves, kitchen counter, and thoughtful coaster, @SimpliciteDecor proves there's more than one way to bring the outdoors in.

04 of 05

Embrace the small details

A house is not a home without some thoughtful touches—and farmhouse design is no exception. Whether we're poring over the glossy pages of a magazine or scrolling through our never-ending Instagram feeds, we can't help but notice the most covetable farmhouse spaces are decked out in sweet accessories that give a room its personalized edge. Best of all? There's not just one way to approach accessories. This living room from @TheHappyHousie nails this look with a healthy blend of bud vases, lanterns, garland, and the ever-so-popular dried pampas leaves.

05 of 05

Create contrast

What's black, white, and chic all over? Farmhouse decor, of course. While it's no secret that farmhouse design favors muted hues, many modern farmhouses are whittling down their color palette to black and white. This contrast makes a statement, but is versatile enough to withstand the test of time. Want to spice up your black and white decor? Take a cue from @Magnolia and pepper your home with soft neutrals such as tans, grays, and the occasional navy striped rug.

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