November 05, 2018 3 min read

If you’re feeling like your home could use a mild facelift, consider the farmhouse look: relaxed yet stylish and chock-full of vintage charm, this is a design concept where a little goes a long way. Just a few thoughtful updates can add a ton of character to a space that’s getting a little dull, and its mix-and-match aesthetic means you can blend new pieces with repurposed antique finds to create a personalized style that’s all your own. Here are a few fabulous ideas from Furniture Fair to get you started.

1. Give your living room a lift. The centerpiece of any living room, of course, is its furniture set. Think overstuffed seating in light neutrals piled high with comfy blankets and pillows. If replacing the couch isn’t in your budget, you can still upgrade it with some tasteful throws in sunny colors. Pair a new throw pillow with a thrifted quilt for the perfect combination of new and old.

2. Consider a daybed. Nothing inspires nostalgia for childhood summer nights spent on your grandma’s screen porch quite like a daybed. And they’re super practical too, functioning doubly as both a daytime lounging and nighttime sleeping spot. Make your guest room easy like Sunday morning with a classic, metal-frame option which provides the added bonus of a trundle for more sleeping capacity without taking up extra space. Pair it with bedding in clean white with quilted textures with its delightfully farmhouse-esque ruffle and pleating details.

3. Show off your (flea market) goods! Great news: you now have permission to spend your weekend scouring antique shops, swap meets and thrift stores for an eclectic mix of unique treasures to add to your trove. Vintage typewriters, old postage scales, milk glass pitchers and patterned breakfast trays are all fair game. Snag a rustic-yet-functional piece so you can proudly display all your cozy country knickknacks in style.

4. Find decorative uses for practical farmhouse items. Old-school farmhouses were all about down-home practicality—no dainty extravagances here. Stack tattered old books and bind them with twine, or place a chipped old door in the corner to add dimension to a cubicle-like room. An old fruit-picking ladder becomes an eye-catching bathroom towel rack; a metal milk storage can becomes a vase for cascading bouquets of fresh-picked wildflowers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to upcycling everyday items of yore.

5. Celebrate flaws and imperfect finishes. Mixed woods, raw finishes and peeling paint are all welcome here, which is part of what makes this style so easy and fun! When shopping for major pieces, go for a more worn look that creates rustic interest with unique yet timeless artistic distressing. Add farmhouse flair and storage space for your antique tableware with a classic whitewash finish, which also doubles as a serving table when you need extra surface area at larger gatherings.

6. Tone down the color. To make sure all that mixing and matching still turns out a cohesive feel, stick to a more washed-out color palette. Decide on a couple of preferred accent colors and weave them throughout, so your house doesn’t end up looking like it is the antique store. Whites and creams do wonders for reflecting natural light and creating an easy, airy vibe. Keep this in mind during your shopping, and you’ll be well on your way to creating the farmhouse of your dreams!