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Farmhouse design ideas for a warm and welcoming ambiance

  • Farmhouse
Jul 24, 2023

We explore what makes farmhouse design, the different variations and how you can work this traditional aesthetic into your modern homes

Warm, inviting, rustic, unpretentious, sophisticated – all these adjectives are used to describe farmhouse design but it is so much more than just a design aesthetic. It’s about capturing a feeling of home and a lifestyle that encapsulates what truly matters. As with a lot of design styles, farmhouse interior design was born out of necessity and practicality, heavily incorporating elements that are comfortable and functional. Modern farmhouse design holds on to that essence but elevates the classic characteristics to work with our lives today.

What is Farmhouse Interior Design?

As a design aesthetic, farmhouse interiors and farmhouse architecture have become quite popular because they exude a welcoming and cosy vibe with a pleasing and relaxed aesthetic that is not only simple to create but also maintain. Classic farmhouse design relies on more rustic finishes and features. Elements like vintage furniture, materials and patterns as well as traditional craftmanship and intricate detailing play a big role here.  The colour palette is often organic and warm. Modern farmhouse design, as seen in the image, retains the essence of this aesthetic while bringing contemporary elements into the picture. This aesthetic features a more neutral colour palette, simple details and a hint of modernism to the rustic finishes.

Image courtesy, Shutterstock

Defining Characteristics of Farmhouse Design

As with any interior design style, there exists a level of fluidity in the defining characteristics. Over time, as distinct as the style was, it evolved to integrate several characteristics from other styles which resulted in variations. These include classic, modern, coastal, industrial, French, Scandinavian, country or colonial, to name the most popular ones. While each has certain defining characteristics and inspirations, there runs a strong common thread of core elements.

Image courtesy, Azure Interiors

  • The principal use of wood in architectural and interior features like exposed wood rafters and beams, window shutters, flooring, furniture, for instance.

  • The main colour palette is neutral – creamy whites, bright whites, cool greys – with some variations including coloured accents like medium blue in coastal farmhouse interiors or soft contrasts in French farmhouse design.

  • A key feature of the furniture, especially seating, is comfort so pieces are usually larger.
  • Usually farmhouse architecture includes gabled roofs, exposed rafters, large windows, open floor plans, wrap around porches or verandahs, Shaker style cabinetry and shiplap panelling.

  • Farmhouse plans see plants and greenery as accents.

  • Vintage and antique pieces do come into play but the quantity differs depending on the type of farmhouse décor; Colonial farmhouse design sees a lot of period pieces while the Scandinavian variation features just a few vintage details.

  • Natural materials and textiles, rustic textures, stone flooring, metals like galvanised steel and blackened iron also play a role.

Designed by Taliesyn; Image courtesy: Harshan Thomson

Farmhouse Design Plan: How to Style Your Home in a Farmhouse Fashion?

From simple farmhouse design and low budget farmhouse plans to transforming your entire home with this aesthetic, there are a lot of elements you can incorporate into your interior design.

Image courtesy, Azure Interiors

1. Wood and Rustic Finishes: The Signature of Farmhouse Interior Design

A quintessential farmhouse model always brings in the beauty of wood to add a warm and inviting vibe. Light woods left with a natural finish add a touch of rusticity to the vignette. Colonial, traditional and country farmhouse style tend to incorporate darker wood into the design with period pieces and antique accents. Natural wood is not only used for furniture and design elements but also in architectural elements and other features like flooring, rafters, shutters, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, shiplap and wall panelling.

2. The Role of Metals in the Material Palette for Farmhouse Décor

The more industrial style uses metals like blackened iron while rustic, French and country styles include zinc and galvanised metals. Coastal style works with warm-toned metals like brass. Farmhouse design uses metals in detailing and décor accents like decorative wall pieces, furniture framework or legs, hooks and coat racks, handles and knobs, planters, open shelf brackets, etc.

Image courtesy, Shutterstock

Image courtesy, Azure Interiors

3. Farmhouse Design is Defined by a Neutral Colour Scheme

A common design element of any farmhouse style is a base neutral colour scheme. Creamy whites with soft contrasts, bright whites with brass accents, light woods with cool pale greys – all of these form the base colour palette. Rustic style is accentuated with warm green, coastal farmhouse design features blue accents, industrial and modern styles feature black and metal accents while French, country and Scandinavian styles are accentuated by soft contrasts. 

4. Embracing ‘Imperfections and a Play of Textures for the Ideal Farmhouse Décor

Keep in mind that farmhouse design goes back to the basics and necessities. This is not a style of glossy, polished surfaces rather one of rusticity and finding sophistication in comfort. The idea is to bring in texture and organic materials – like jute, bamboo and cane – that play well with each other and exude a natural vibe. There should be a visual tactility to the vignette – almost as if you know what it would feel like before you touch it. Farmhouse décor embraces ‘imperfections’ in design to a certain level. It has it’s roots in actual farmhouses and this style is attribute to those of the 16th and 17th centuries. Even minimal or modern farmhouse design with a fresh and clean aesthetic displays a level of rusticity and references to the past.

Designed by Fawaz Thengilan; Image courtesy: Syam Sreesaylam

Designed by Taliesyn; Image courtesy: Harshan Thomson

5. Farmhouse Design Idea Must Have: Plants and Greenery

Live plants and fresh flowers in ceramic vases, terracotta pots and galvanised metal planters are a staple of farmhouse décor. Bringing that sense of freshness and life into the home is a key part of the décor. Another farmhouse design idea is an emphasis on reuse and repurpose – think jugs used as planters, a very common visual in this aesthetic. Again, if you think about the origins of the style, the idea was to use everything to it’s full potential and repurposing items and materials. Reclaimed wood and repurposed old furniture and décor items are hallmarks of this style.

Simple Farmhouse Plans: What is Farmhouse Architecture?

Meant to house large families and built to be functional above all else, farmhouse architecture includes gabled roofs, large windows, expansive family areas like kitchens and living rooms and wrap-around porches to relax on. Farmhouse layout heavily features open plan spaces for big families and gatherings. Kitchens are usually expansive and flow into the dining and living areas. Open shelves and shaker-style cabinetry with ample storage is another common element. Seating and furniture are large and comfortable like king-size beds, L-shaped sofas, winged lounge chairs or a large dining table with chairs with padding and armrests. 

Designed by Taliesyn, Image courtesy: Harshan Thomson

Traditional farmhouse architecture includes attics, brick fireplaces and large pantries and the bathrooms feature freestanding clawfoot bathtubs. Building materials include locally sourced stone, brick, tiles and wood. Limewash paint on the walls and textured stone flooring add a rustic layer to the aesthetic. Also, layer soft furnishings and home linen to elevate the comfort level. 


How can Beautiful Homes Help You Design Your Home in Farmhouse Design?

Understanding farmhouse layout, architecture and interiors is one thing but you might like the help of design experts to incorporate this style into your home interior design. The Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints can help you with your ideal farmhouse model and design ideas. They offer highly-personalised home interior design and execution, from start to finish. They create spaces tailored to your tastes and lifestyle, combine aesthetics with functionality and comfort as well as work within your budget. You can also peruse the Beautiful Homes online portal or visit the retail stores in various cities for guidance and an exceptional curation of furniture, lighting, home décor, accessories, and wallpapers for home as well as solutions from a family of brands.

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