Decorating can be overwhelming. It is especially difficult to decide on a palette. Unless you are a person defined by color (I have a lot of friends that just love blue – or green or pink or yellow – and their homes have those tones throughout), a neutral base may be the smartest way to begin. Wanting to go bold can be intimidating. Of course, it can also be fun. When modernizing a farmhouse, it is important to recognize when design may be taken too far creatively in one direction. We’ve come to realize that sticking to a natural color palette reigns everything in while grasping the true core of the farmhouse. And many times, the true core of the farmhouse is the main attraction anyway! A neutral palette still requires a bit of planning, but nothing too immense. Hang on for the low-down…
Designing a neutral color palette for a farmhouse makes sense. There are so many neutral tones and elements to jump start from, like flooring or exposed beams or brick. Distressed wood, natural fibers and natural stone. Play off of any of these components and expand from them to complete your room’s decor. We went through some of our favorite farmhouse decorating elements to pick what would work best for a modern farmhouse setting. Take a look below.
1. Distressed wood is one of the most iconic features to a farmhouse. Exposed beams and defined trims that differentiate themselves from a white background. These can be preexisting or something added. It can be in architectural fixtures or an added piece of furniture. Break down the components of the room and decide what can be enhanced as well as what the space is lacking.
2. Sisal. We find this mostly in rugs, sometimes in wallpaper. This material is natural in texture and tone and can really keep things stable in the set-up of a room (especially in a farmhouse). Sisal comes in many different weaves and patterns. Consider stepping it up (a bit) with a thicker weave/texture rather than the simple, flat sisal style. We love a good sisal on the walls as an accent, as well.
3. Natural fibers, such as cotton. This brings us back to our Shabby Chic post. Cotton is known to add a comfort and softness to any room. It embodies ease and sustainability. Farmhouses have been around, so why not keep it soft and easy so the comfort of the farmhouse really shines through. Don’t let the decorating overtake the coolness of the space.
4. Rattan and wicker have made a come-back, which is a yay(!) for those decorating a farmhouse. Growing up there always seemed to be wicker in somebody’s porch or kitchen. Then it was gone – poof! Now, we’re seeing it comeback in a strong way and we are embracing the re-trend. It is another texture that brings the natural outdoors inside, but styles a room in an odd glamourous and classic undertone.
5. Natural Stone. Some folks get hung up on keeping stone (countertops, backsplashes) perfect. No dings, no stains. We’ve hammered this thought, but we love a good memory stain. If a farmhouse is your dwelling, then it is best to accept from the early stages that there will really never be any perfect room. Either the floors show the character and age of the house, or the moldings or the cabinets or a million other fixtures. Embrace them and work off of them. So, when choosing the countertop or backsplash or even the bathroom flooring, remember to keep it real.
If the space has a lot of natural light, incorporating deeper neutral tones will work well. Even a mix-and-match of dark and light would flow. If the space is a bit dark from the beginning, we suggest keeping the neutral palette on the lighter end of things. Nicest part of going neutral? Any time you change your mind or feel you need to spruce up your space, you can easily add a pop of funky, a pop of color or a pop of pattern. The whole purpose of a neutral palette is to not feel constricted or married to one look. Easy and breezy. Staying neutral also adds a relaxing ingredient to the room’s overall recipe, which definitely cannot be beat!