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The traditional farmhouse style is both elegant and rustic. Based around comforting natural materials, it transcends both minimalism and eclecticism to create a cozy yet uncluttered interior. These farmhouse décor ideas are achievable across a range of budgets and work well in many different types of homes. Feel free to mix contemporary and older pieces to make your space unique.

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Create a simple backdrop

Classic white-painted walls provide a fresh setting for any pastoral charm you might want to add later. Alternatively, you can take your paint inspiration from nature – think cornflower blue, mustard yellow, or storm grey - then choose a limited palette of neutral or accent hues to complement. Consider adding some areas of shiplap – overlapping panels of wood cladding that create a traditional farmhouse feel and can be painted for a clean, contemporary finish.

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A place to stand

Choosing the right flooring will give your decor a solid foundation. You could go for sanded wooden floors if you already have floorboards in good condition. Add white floor oil or paint for a cool Scandinavian look, or stain them dark for an earthier feel. For more contrast, consider choosing cool, hard-wearing slate or stone. Terracotta tiles are also durable and increasingly popular.

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Table manners

The single most important item you can utilize for an instant farmhouse style is a solid-wood kitchen table. These sturdy pieces provide more than a just place to eat; they’re also a focal point for the room and a great place to connect with family and friends. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry. Chances are you’ll be able to find a good quality table at your local flea market or thrift store for a fraction of what it would cost new. Look for potential — clean, simple lines that can be sanded down to a smooth finish.

Farmhouse kitchen table Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images
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Timeless painted furniture

Once you’ve found your perfect farmhouse table, look for some homely and mismatched wooden chairs to go with it. Aged china hutches, sideboards, and open shelves are also essential for the farmhouse look — especially when it comes to displaying carefully chosen vases, dishes, and mugs. A wall-mounted wooden plate rack in the kitchen can be both functional and beautiful. Look for strength and durability and avoid anything that has signs of woodworm or rot.

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A farmhouse finish

Sand and paint your chosen wooden furniture as desired. To retain a mismatched look, go for different shades of white or pastels. Alternatively, choose deeper, landscape-inspired colors. Create a weathered effect by applying a darker base layer, then allowing it to dry thoroughly before applying the lighter color. Distress with wire wool or sandpaper around the areas that tend to receive more wear and tear. Another method for instant aging is to apply a crackle glaze after the base coat, wait for it to dry, and then apply crackle paint on top. The two top layers will react with one another to give the impression of ancient, flaking paint. Both methods can be sealed with polyurethane for durability.

Arrangement of dry food products, spices and ceramics kitchen equipment hanging on country shelves in rustic home kitchen. ben-bryant / Getty Images

Eclectic crockery

This is where your individuality can start to shine through: Perhaps you like the solidity of classic earthenware or the eclectic charm of mismatched vintage porcelain. Think about choosing items you’ll be proud to have on display, as well as factoring in their practicality for daily living. It’s a good idea to pick out ceramics in your chosen accent colors to add vibrancy and interest to the neutral tones in your home.

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Relax and unwind

Make your space comfortable with soft furnishings in natural fibers — cotton, linen, wool, hemp, or bamboo. Soften living and bedroom areas with seat cushions, pillows, quilts, easy chairs, curtains, and traditional rag or burlap rugs, in a mixture of neutral tones and color accents. Gingham or vintage floral fabrics used sparingly keeps the look homely yet fresh.

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Clean up with a stylish kitchen sink

Choose a ceramic apron-front sink for that quintessential farmhouse look. These traditional basins combine form and function, being a practical size for washing larger pots and pans while also being beautiful to look at. If your sink is going to be near a sunny windowsill, keep things airy with simple, fresh flower arrangements in plain white or glass vases, or herbs growing in terracotta pots.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen King_Louie / Getty Images

Ceilings and lighting

If you’re lucky enough to have exposed beams in your property, let them shine by stripping away any paint and sanding them down before treating them with wax, wood oil, or a stain to help keep them in good condition for the future and make them look their best. You can give their rustic charm a contemporary edge by installing factory-style pendant light fittings close by.

Exposed beams and pendant lighting phototropic / Getty Images

Add some history

Used sparingly, antiques can bring a sense of history to any space. Look for objects that are beautiful, functional or both; for example, a battered copper bucket that can be polished up and used as a plant pot. Neatly framed aged maps can add interest to any area that’s looking a little bare. Old books with leather bindings can help to make a living area cozier.

Copper pots and pans in the kitchen at Lanhydrock a country residence dating from the 1600's in Cornwall, UK. Ashley Cooper / Getty Images

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