Farmhouse Chic Decor Style: A Complete Guide

Written by Laura W

Rustic, Refined

Buffalo check? Time to uncheck. Faux distressed furniture? Let’s get real. Even if a few traditional Farmhouse Chic elements are wearing out their welcome, this warm and cozy interior design style is still on the scene in a fresh, modern way. 

Where Did Farmhouse Chic Decor Originate?

Farmhouse architecture emerged from Germany and Scandinavia. The simple, hardy construction migrated to the U.S. in the 1700s and is associated with America’s early pioneers, who often settled in unforgiving environments. Building on these hardy beginnings, Farmhouse Chic decor took flight around 2010 on the wings of Joanna Gaines — the Waco, Texas, star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. A welcome shift from its fussier predecessor, Shabby Chic/French Country, Farmhouse Chic is similar to Modern Rustic Decor, which blends traditional farmhouse elements with graphic shapes and sleek finishes to instill a contemporary vibe.   

Who Does Farmhouse Chic Decor Appeal To?

If you appreciate a casual farmhouse feel and natural elements with a splash of modern elegance, Farmhouse Chic ambiance should be right up your alley. 

Dining room table and patio

Renewing the Farmhouse Chic Look

Some designers are wondering whether Farmhouse Chic is falling out of style. True, we’re all slightly over the “Live, Laugh, Love” signs and black-and-white buffalo check. However, other basics are enduring beautifully. Let’s look at which Farmhouse Chic features are wearing out their welcome, which ones are still in, and how to breathe new life into the look. 

Living on Borrowed Time:

  • Faux-distressed furniture
  • Shelves stuffed with rustic knick-knacks
  • Wood overload
  • Shabby-chic slipcovers
  • Chicken wire and burlap
  • Typography signs like “Blessed” and “Gather”

Still Timeless:

  • Neutral color palettes 
  • White walls
  • Mixing wood tones
  • Exposed beams
  • Open kitchen shelves
  • Art featuring landscapes and botanicals

Refreshing the Trend:

  • High-end fabrics like velvet
  • Plaids rather than checks
  • Tailored furniture
  • Contemporary light fixtures
  • In-tact wood antiques, not distressed
  • Burled wood picture frames in a satin finish
  • Polished brass
  • Smooth marble 
  • Clean lines and clutter-free

Farmhouse Chic, Room by Room

Like other interior decors, Farmhouse Chic grants you full permission to personalize the aesthetic based on your taste. Which components you want to keep rustic and which more contemporary are up to you. Let’s look at some examples. 

white farmhouse living room

In Your Living Room

Often the largest room in the house, the living room is an excellent place to mix authentically distressed wood (i.e., furniture or mantel) with contemporary pieces for visual depth. Ditch the slipcovers and opt for a velvet sofa with modern lines and an accent chair in a rich, warm shade. Wood coffee tables are still classic, but try sleek or painted rather than rough. Mix and match cozy throw pillows in solids and soft prints, skipping the buffalo plaid. Vintage rugs are still having a moment, so feel free to seize it or opt for a simple pattern instead. Resist the urge to pile up collections of rustic trinkets. Living plants always add life to a space by bringing the outdoors in, and landscapes — especially vintage ones — make great art for the walls of an updated Farmhouse Chic living room. 

farmhouse chic kitchen

In Your Kitchen

Light oak cabinets and open shelving add breathing room to a Farmhouse Chic kitchen. Exposed wood beams draw the eye upward, lending a more spacious feel. To avoid wood overload, skip the butcher block countertops and choose marble or quartz. We’re happy to report that beautiful, classic farmhouse sinks are still in vogue and available in materials like copper and stainless steel. (Double-basin versions add even more functionality.) A glossy tile backsplash and glass light fixtures lend shimmer and contrast to rustic elements like a vintage jug with obvious signs of wear. After all, we’re not going for an overly polished vibe. In the example above, we might swap the cool-hued pillows for a smoky green to add warmth. 

warm wood tones in bedroom

In Your Bedroom

Since faux-distressed wood furniture is trending toward the exit, we’re seeing more finished woods, as in our photo example. Offset dark wood tones with white walls and clean lines for a cozy yet sophisticated Farmhouse Chic bedroom. Elegant touches appear in the accent chairs and antique side tables. A thick striped rug, plush bedding, and long drapes — all in natural materials — bring texture. Lighting is warm and soft. The overall ambiance is soothing and inviting.  

white shiplap bathroom

In Your Bathroom

Although shiplap is beginning to feel a bit cliché, you can refresh the look in several ways: by taking it all the way around the room, installing it three-quarters of the way up a wall, or painting it pale taupe or a deep hue that feels on trend. Consider modern elements like a contemporary vanity in deep navy blue and brushed metal fixtures. A mix of botanical and rustic artwork balances the scene. If there were a freestanding bathtub with claw feet in the room, it would absolutely fit the Farmhouse Chic mood.

Go Get the Look

All interior decor styles evolve. And while the Farmhouse Chic of yesterday may not fit your home today, you can easily drop some accessories, do some painting, and add pieces that feel fresh and relevant. Trust your eye and enjoy this inviting, serene, beautiful aura throughout your home!

Last Updated February 20, 2024