Today I’m sharing how I transitioned to farmhouse style and a few tips if you’re looking to do the same. You see, I haven’t always been a decorating ninja. Well, that’s probably up for debate, but I think it’s safe to say I’m a whole lot better than I used to be. And you’ll soon see why because I’m sharing photos of our previous home, how I decorated, and how I would change the space today with farmhouse style in mind. I hope this post will be useful for those of you that would like to transition to farmhouse style in your own home, but not sure how to do it. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it’s just a few simple changes that make a big difference.
Let’s start by dissecting the before photos of our old home. We lived in a track home in your typical suburban neighborhood–every house on the block looked basically the same. Truth be told I really liked our house, but I seriously struggled with figuring out how to decorate since the house had little charm on its own. I apologize in advance for these old grainy iPhone photos.
I feel like we should have a moment of silence for this hot mess…..
OK. I’m ready.
As you can see, there are a variety of issues going on here. I clearly had a love of vintage and antiques and you probably recognize a lot of the same pieces I have in our home today–like my Granny’s old trunk, the old books, and the old screen window on the wall. But there’s a loooooot of distractions. So let’s break it down down and talk about how I would do it differently today with farmhouse style in mind.
1. Neutralize Colors
The biggest thing that sticks out to me about these before photos is the in-your-face use of bright colors. Honestly, at the time I really liked this about our home. I thought it was fun to mix as many colors as I could. And while that’s definitely a happy way to decorate, it’s not the most soothing or peaceful. This just looks busy and kind of stressful, right? Bright orange rug. Dark orange and green pillows. Lime green picture frames. Turquoise table. And those crazy curtains. It’s just too much. And not even close to farmhouse style.
Farmhouse Style Tip: Step away from the brightly colored things. Today I go for whites, creams, and grays in basically everything I put in our home: throw pillows, rugs, curtains, even the painted furniture. In our home now I do have an occasional pop of yellow, but it’s not overbearing. That simple switch makes a BIG difference.
Choosing the right couch is important if you’re going for a cozy, farmhouse vibe in your home. If you’re browsing through Pinterest or Instagram for farmhouse decor ideas, you’ll see a lot of white or cream colored couches and chairs layered up with lots of pillows and blankets. Sometimes you’ll see leather furniture as well, but I don’t notice it as often. The little brown couch in the old living room is not something I would purchase today, I’d definitely opt for a light tan or cream color instead. But if you have one like this in your home it’s definitely possible to make it work.
What I’d do today: Today I’d search for a light colored slipcover to use on this couch. If I couldn’t find one I’d reach for lots of white throw pillows to brighten it up. You can also drape a white blankets over the couch and you’ll have a similar effect as the slipcover.
3. More Vintage & Antiques
You can see in the before photos that I was on the cusp of creating a farmhouse style living room, but I hadn’t fully committed to it yet. I have a few small vintage goodies here and there, but this room definitely needed a lot more to embody that farmhouse feel, which is all about galvanized metal, antiques and vintage charm.
What I’d do today: I would rely on antique or vintage pieces for the majority of the decorating in this room and only supplement in with modern pieces here and there. Maybe an old scale, galvanized bucket, or old dresser painted white to replace that sofa table. I have a whole post about how to decorate with vintage decor, so be sure to check that out for more tips.
4. Chippy Furniture
The old living room had zero chippy furniture or accent pieces. Nada. At the time it wasn’t something I ever reached for. But it’s definitely a big part of farmhouse style. And today I cannot stop myself from decorating with chippy things.
What I’d do today: I’d hang a huge old, chippy window on the wall and maybe add few chippy spindles with a pile of old books on the trunk. Or an old door in the corner. Yes, definitely an old door. Just a few of these pieces will make a big statement.
5. Shiplap. Just do it.
I was also so intimidated by the idea of doing shiplap in our old home. I loved the look, but I never thought we could pull it off. Just think how great the old living room would have looked with shiplap, even just an accent wall. It would have completely changed the feel of the room and brought instant farmhouse charm to a track home. And it’s CHEAP.
What I’d do today: If we still lived in that home I would have done a shiplap accent wall around that big window. It probably would have taken a full day of work, but the payoff would have been totally worth it. I have a full tutorial on how to get the shiplap look here.
So there you have it. A few simple tips and ideas to transition to farmhouse style and what I would do today if we still lived in that home. It’s definitely been a process over last year, but I feel like I’ve finally found my style. And it’s definitely apparent after comparing the photos of our old home to the way I decorate now. While I still love bright, happy colors, I realize using them to decorate is really tricky and mixing too many colors can quickly result in a busy, stressed out room if not done properly. Farmhouse style is all about coziness, soft colors, texture, and vintage goodness. I hope this post shows you it’s completely attainable with a few simple decisions and changes in your home. Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to chat in the comments below or find me on Facebook, Instragram, and Pinterest.
Check out my complete shopping guide for transitioning to farmhouse style: