How to Give Your Home the Look of a Rustic Farmhouse

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Country Farmhouses are usually comfortable, down to earth and cozy. They aren't flashy, over the top, and extravagant - but embrace simple design and sensible materials. Anyone can bring a bit of rustic farmhouse decor into their home - even if it is not a stone-built building in a meadow, and here are some ideas on how to do so.

The Farmhouse Kitchen

When most people envision a farmhouse, they think of the kitchen. A farmhouse kitchen is the heart of the home where rich, wholesome stews cook on the sizeable oil-fired range, waiting to be wolfed down by hungry farmworkers fresh from plowing the fields. The kitchen's main focal point is a large farmhouse dining table - the bigger and more bashed and scratched, the better. Once you have a vast distressed oak or pine table, you have the basis of the whole look.

The cupboards and cabinets in a rustic kitchen are never high gloss and futuristic. Farmhouse kitchen units should always be made from wood in a shaker style, plain or intricately carved. They need not be "fitted' and can be a mismatch of different sized and colored cupboards, larders, and drawers units.

Big cast iron or copper pots and pans hanging from the ceiling are a must, as are bunches of dried flowers, herbs, and onions strings draped from shelves. Another focal point in a farmhouse kitchen is a Welsh dresser adorned with vintage shabby chic plates, cups, and saucers.

Farmhouse Floors and Walls

Authentic farmhouse floors are usually wood or stone. You can get the look in your home by laying reclaimed wooden floorboards or laminate which has been artificially distressed. Natural farmhouse floors need to be hard-wearing because farmworkers come into the house for their lunch wearing heavy, dirty boots, so it doesn't matter if your floors look shabby. It all adds to the aesthetic. The hard floors can be warmed up with rugs. Sheepskin or cowhide rugs will give your home an authentic country look.

Many farmhouses are constructed from beautiful stone - often sandstone and have exposed brick walls inside. Exposed brick walls on one or two walls in a room can create an honest rustic look and add an element of interest - especially around a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Plastered walls should be painted in simple colors such as white or cream. If you want a warmer look, paint the walls in a rich dark red and team with dark stained floors, architraves, and skirting boards.

Farmhouse Furniture

The furniture in a farmhouse is simple and made from simple organic materials such as wood, cotton, and wicker. Seats and sofas are big and squishy and upholstered in thick cotton. They can be adorned with faux fur throws to keep a napping farmworker warm or stop the sheepdogs' hair from sticking to the seat! A farmhouse lounge will be a cozy haven dominated by a roaring wood fire or a potbelly stove. When furnishing your lounge, look for rustic wooden furniture and comfortable chairs. Nothing needs to match, and you should never think about using furniture that looks ultra-modern and sleek. Chunky wooden furniture in a simple and classic design is the way to go.

Bedrooms are basic yet cozy. A wrought iron bed is the star of the show, and it is usually dressed with floral bedding or a patchwork quilt. Wooden nightstands provide support for pretty table lamps, and a large wooden wardrobe and dresser completes the look.

Country Collectibles

Visit antique stores to find furniture that will look great in your faux rustic farmhouse. You may even find some authentic farmhouse furniture, such as an antique hall stand to hold coats and walking sticks. Perhaps you will find a walking stick once used by a shepherd with a ram's horn fashioned into a handle. Look for novelties such as brass boot scrapers, cowbells, copper pans, clay bottles, bedpans, and porcelain jugs to add some character to your home. A porcelain washbowl and pitcher would look great positioned on top of a dresser or antique wooden washstand.

Add interest to the walls in your home with some framed prints of farm animals, horses, or hunting scenes. Adorn surfaces with ornaments of cows and gun dogs or a stuffed stag head hung above the fireplace. You could decorate kitchen walls with old metal dairy signs featuring images of cows or find vintage advertising posters for farm produce such as butter, milk, cheese, meat, and eggs.