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7 Ways to Achieve the Farmhouse Look on a Budget

Updated on March 1, 2016
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I am a Master DIYer, Fixer Upper and Craftsman. I love making ideas come to life.

What is the Farmhouse Style

The Farmhouse style is found throughout much of the country. The foundations are rectangles usually with one or more additions; rooflines are also simple. Farmhouses follow many 19th century designs, including tall, narrow windows laid out for cross breeze, large porches, wood siding, and may even include a metal roof. These homes are becoming more and more popular to new home-builders and much of that is due to a popular TV show.

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HGTV’s Fixer Upper hosting Bill and Joanna Gaines has helped put the farmhouse style in the spotlight and on the map. Before the popularity of the hit TV show the farmhouse style was considered old or outdated by many in the design world. It had little to no movement for several decades but now it has seen resurgence. A huge part of that is due to one persona Joanna Gaines. Her amazing decorating talents have been able to show people what the farmhouse style is all about. The core of the farmhouse style is bringing families together and making the home a place of sanctuary and peace. I believe this is what our society is looking for and wanting more now than ever. Here are several ways that you can achieve this style without hiring Joanna Gaines.

Farmhouse Porch

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1 - The Wraparound Porch

The porch was traditionally used as a mudroom or a place for getting rest from the outdoor heat. Now it has become a place for joying the outdoors and moments with friends and family.

  • Get this look on a budget: Not all of us have a wraparound porch and that is ok, you can still get the farmhouse look. Adding large rocks and country flowers are classic, but if you're short on space, you can purchase a rustic planter filled with wildflowers. This will achieve the look you want with minimal impact to your wallet.

2 - Classic Lighting

Farmhouses most often used lantern lighting. This is a nod back to colonial American lighting and this style is here to stay. It is simple and clean and is perfect for either interior or exterior lighting

  • Get this look on a budget: Consider replacing your outdoor lighting with classic lantern light fixture. Adding larger pendants work really well when they are hung above a dining room table.

Warm Furnishings

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3 - Warm Furnishings

Lots of natural wood was often used in farmhouse because of its abundance and accessibility to the farmer. It is important to embrace the scuffs and scrapes that naturally happen to wood. The more rustic the finish, the more nostalgic it will feel. Installing hardwood floors are one of the best ways to get this look, but not all of us can afford to install hardwood floors in every room.

  • Get this look on a budget: Install hardwood floors in the most trafficked rooms like the living room and or kitchen. Make an investment in real solid wood furniture. Install shiplap on your walls and add accessories can also help you create that farmhouse warmth without renovating your entire home.

4 - Keep It Light

The interior walls of a farmhouse were often light in color to help reflect candle lit lanterns or homes with limited electrical lighting. Wallpaper was often used in special places to bring color and style into the home. Over the past years simple light walls have become an identifiably classic characteristic of farmhouse interiors. These light walls provide a wonderful contrast against keepsakes and family treasured heirlooms.

  • Get this look on a budget: Paint your walls, trim, doors and baseboards in a light color. Keep light warm wood unpainted, as this will brighten your space. Add wallpaper, yes I said it. Adding wallpaper in the right spot can really transform a space, just don’t go crazy.

Farmhouse Sink

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5 - Heart of The Home

Kitchens are the heart of any home. White sinks, wood counter tops and solid built cabinets have defined the farmhouse kitchen. These elements were made to last and take a lot of abuse. The kitchen is a place where friends and family gather to make supper and hold long conversations. Having a farmhouse style apron front sink is the best way to achieve this look but not all budgets can allow for this expense.

  • Get this look on a budget: Add ceramic accessories, like utensil holders or dishware to your kitchen. A few well-placed handmade things like a cutting board can substitute for farmhouse-style butcher-block counter. You can also use mason jars as holding containers for pasta, utensil or flowers. Displaying clear glass containers on your counter tops will bring warmth to a kitchen. Paint your cabinets white, this will make your kitchen feel larger and warmer.

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6 - Dining Table

One of the most important parts of a home is where everyone eats and shares memories and that is often around the family dinning or kitchen table. If you have to invest in anything it should be in the classic farmhouse dining table but if your budget doesn't allow for this expense there are other options.

  • Get this look on a budget: Check with family members if they have any heirloom tables they would pass down to you. Add a large wood cutting board that can sit out as centerpiece in your kitchen. You can also add rustic chairs or mix and match different types of chairs to your table.

7 - The Bathroom

The claw-foot tub has been an icon for the farmhouse style for many years. They were originally made out of cast iron and lined with porcelain. The sloped end allows users to recline, unlike today’s modern European styled tubs.

  • Get this look on a budget: Fiberglass replicas of this original beauty can be purchased from just under $1,000. If you don’t have a $1,000 try adding some farmhouse styled accessories. Hang hooks on walls to hold towels. Include a wooden chair for dressing or to use as a side table. Add some fresh flowers or greenery.

The Modern Farmhouse Look is Possible

This look can be achieved by making small tweaks to your homes décor and you don’t have to break the bank. Just remember that the farmhouse look points to how things used to be and that tugs at people emotions. It’s a reflection of times past, how things were made by hand, how they looked and even felt. It is about practicality and quality. Try finding things around your home that you can repurpose and put on display, this will make your home more inviting and natural. Bringing these elements into a space is a great example of how to best merge the farmhouse style into our modern homes and way of life.

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