One of the biggest decor challenges is mixing old and new.
Life is a balance. A delicate balance. So, we take that same approach when decorating a farmhouse. A symmetry of the old and the new.
Modernizing without overly stripping the home of its core and most quintessential elements. We’ve broken down how to get a farmhouse style as well as how to modernize. Take a little from each and create your own balance.
This post brings a lot of what we’ve already shared to a central place. Hopefully, it is outlined more simply.
Mixing Old and New to Gain a Vintage, Farmhouse Feel
Neutral colors on the walls. We’ve explained this in a few different posts and it seems to really work when decorating a farmhouse. Avoiding bright colors is a sensible design strategy because when the home was conceived, bright colors weren’t really an option.
What we suggest is bringing the home back to its roots and letting the staple elements shine on their own. Wooden beams, door frames, secret closets, etc. Let it all shine through on its own.
Wire baskets speak to the old world. They were functional then, so incorporate them into a daily routine to make them functional now! Wire baskets can really add character to the house and give a true farmhouse feel. Maybe placing some in the mudroom so the basket can be used for the garden?
Wire baskets seem to everywhere, especially Home Goods, Target, etc. These shouldn’t be challenging to find, so once you snatch some up have fun incorporating them into the home!
Be sure to incorporate wood into the décor. Like stated above, wooden beams, doorways. Be sure not to get hung up on the imperfections, like different flooring.
Remember, it is all about the story of the home. It’s roots. Where it has been and where it is taking the present owner/s.
Painting old furniture can create a sense of that old world. The paint gives the furniture a voice, but in an understated way. It seems that most farmhouses have antiqued looking furniture. Doesn’t it always feel as if those pieces were just meant to be there? So, this is a very easy way to get those farmhouse vibes.
Ways to Gain a Modern Farmhouse Feel
Okay, now on to modernizing farmhouse digs. It is all about appreciating the stunning details from the old world and playing off of those intricacies, quirks and qualities. When trying to gain a more modern vibe in a farmhouse, it is important to keep in mind that any time you add some sort of a new property/element, you look at it through a clean lens.
Trying to match everything will never work. After all, the farmhouse itself already has a lot of different qualities intermixing. For example, if there is a need to add built-ins while renovating, try to think of a style that is streamlined, clean and soft yet still functional. You can add old world details such as arched tops or pretty molding, but with the right eye for design those built-ins can look brand new AND like they’ve always been there all at the same time.
We love a fresh coat of paint and a freshly refinished floor. These two elements will create volumes of modernization in a farmhouse. Farmhouses can easily feel stale and stagnant. Giving a room a fresh coat of light-colored paint will elevate the vibes and have everyone appreciating all of the special features of the farmhouse.
Fresh artwork can also speak volumes in a farmhouse. Entertain artwork aesthetics that would typically take you out of your comfort zone. Abstract may not be your thing, but test out examples and see how it will look in the space before pushing it to the curb. We did this in our dining room and have never looked back.
A lot of times when we look at the artwork in our dining room we remember that our personal aesthetic doesn’t have to be stale and old world just because we live in a farmhouse.
Clean lines are key. Shiplap, symmetry, dimension.
Furniture that has defined shape/s. Add the accent pieces later. Get your ground work done with a more Swedish approach. You will feel lighter and really start to appreciate the farmhouse more, trust us!
Fabrics can really change the design scope of a room. If your room has low ceilings and many original farmhouse characteristics, it is a good idea to think about modern fabric choices so you can bring the modern in. Light florals, funky abstract shapes, color, white backgrounds, popular modern patterns and textures and even mix-and-match patterns are all great categories in the fabric world! Do some research and see what would work best in the space.
Marrying a farmhouse to a modern aesthetic can be challenging and, like we said, it is a delicate balance. However, with just a few swift changes it can be done. You don’t have to go all-in! That’s the best part.
Start small (like a fresh coat of paint) and tip-toe your way toward mixing old and new. It has taken us a few years, but we are slowly defining our home to be both a traditional farmhouse, a modern farmhouse and most importantly, our farmhouse!