Unfussy and unpretentious, casual but still very sophisticated, farmhouse style answers a desire for calm, comfortable surroundings and furnishings that are more functional than simply decorative.
As distinct as this style is, farmhouse is not one style. There are several types. While most of the core farmhouse elements remain the same, the characteristics of each element and the inspirations behind them are slightly different. And while there are no hard rules or clear definitions between each type, below are some of their most common characteristics.
1. Scandinavian Farmhouse
Scandinavian farmhouse is well-edited, with a “place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place” attitude. There’s also a focus on organic minimalism in form and color palette, with little adornment or decoration. The harmony and balance of proportions of the interior elements, each complimenting the others, IS the beauty of these spaces.
- Softer contrasts, understated light fixtures, and light wood flooring complemented by black or grey accents and soft, muted shades of color
- Simple door and window trims, simple cabinetry fronts and built-ins, and wood or stone countertops
- Well-made and clean-lined—but softly shaped—furniture pieces made of natural materials (you can almost imagine the hand of the maker working their craft)
2. French or Country Farmhouse
Provincial-inspired French farmhouse style bridges the appreciation for simplicity and the desire for decoration. This makes it one of the most popular farmhouse styles.
- Cool greys and cream-to-white palettes, warm hardwood flooring with rustic texture, and antique accents with well-earned patinas
- Marble countertops, backsplashes, and table tops are a welcome splurge
- Zinc and galvanized metals and ironwork further define the genre, as well as thick, woven, and off-white cotton fabrics and cotton ticking stripe
3. Rustic Farmhouse
Rustic farmhouse features handcrafted elements and a ruggedness that sets it apart from other farmhouse styles. Repurposing and reinvention define this genre, so quaint finds from flea markets are a great way to curate this look.
- Neutral palette with red accents
- Subway tile backsplashes, open shelving, and vintage accents in tin, galvanized metal, and warm-to-grey rustic woods
- Larger scaled rustic wood elements, industrial materials, and blackened steel add weight to this look
4. Modern Farmhouse
Modern farmhouse is all about having a super-limited palette—very fresh, very new, very clean, and very edited. This is one of the more sophisticated types of farmhouse styles. This is typically best achieved in new construction or a complete remodel. Modern lighting that references the past is also a counterpoint.
- Spare use of antiques or rusticity
- Predominately a bright white interior with minimal black accents and a touch of well-worn wood
- Wood and stone floors, bright white walls, and windows trimmed in black on the exterior
- Use of statement furniture pieces as the focal point
5. Coastal Farmhouse
Coastal farmhouse is very similar to a modern farmhouse, but with more traditional references in the architecture and built-ins. It’s still bright and edited, with a bit more decoration and nautical and oceanic references in the decor.
- Classic details in millwork (doors, molding, and wall paneling)
- A bright white and cool medium blue palette
- Gold-toned metals and woods, as well as polished nickel or chrome hardware
- Organic elements in the decor and artwork referencing sea life
6. Colonial Farmhouse
Colonial farmhouse is a more literal take on the genre, with more authentic historical references, such as wood siding and stone on exteriors and references to barn architecture.
- More traditional millwork detailing and authentic period pieces
- Creamy white paint on walls and trims, as well as rich color on painted wood-paneled walls
- American antiques and textiles used in lighting, furniture, and decor
7. Industrial Farmhouse
The industrial farmhouse has a more masculine vibe with references to heavy machinery used on the farm. This typically features industrial lighting and hardware, oversized and DIY elements, and exposed beams.
- A warm palette that comes from rustic stained woods, with lots of black accents set against off-whites
- Furnishings of blackened iron structures, with wood, galvanized metals, and thick and heavy rustic wood, and industrial furniture styles
READERS: Found a farmhouse style you like? Read How to Decorate Your Space in the Farmhouse Style to get more farmhouse decor tips.