Farmhouse decor embraces the old-fashioned — think wood furniture, simple ceramic dishes, straw baskets, and glass jug vases. This is especially true of vintage farmhouse style, which places a little more emphasis on the antique than modern farmhouse does.
"Vintage farmhouse style embodies the true farmhouse from long ago," explains Geneva Ness, founder of Geneva Ness Design. "A vintage farmhouse would have authentic lighting and plumbing fixtures, and a lot of rustic elements, including the furniture, flooring, and walls... Modern farmhouse style utilizes many of the same vintage inspired details, but in smaller doses and with the addition of modern materials, like quartz countertops or streamlined metal railings."
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Adding a touch of vintage farmhouse design to your home doesn't require much. While you could certainly go for an all-out makeover by replacing your sink or turning an antique sideboard into a vanity, you can also make a big impact with small touches. For example, replace fixtures like doorknobs and faucets with vintage-inspired options. Add a still-life painting to your kitchen or a rustic stool to your bathroom. Paint your closet door a pretty pale pink. These simple accents will add a lived-in warmth to your space, no matter how long ago it was built.
Before you head out for the flea market, here are a few inspiring ideas to guide your search for vintage farmhouse decor.
1. Give a beloved item the spotlight.
If there's an item you love — whether it's a family heirloom, a flea market treasure, or a piece of artwork that really speaks to you — place it somewhere in your home where it can be the focal point. Take the vintage basket hanging over the mantel in this living room styled by Ashley of Cherished Bliss, for example. The other objects around it are simple and minimal, letting the basket shine.
Get the look: World Market Natural Banana Bark Woven Disc Wall Decor, $69.99
2. Keep it simple.
Vintage farmhouse decor celebrates the simple and rustic. Think baskets made of straw or wire, natural wood furnishings, and glass vases — all of which come together in this space by Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble. To recreate the vibe, keep an eye out for clean-lined accent pieces in natural materials. Go for vases shaped like jugs or pitchers for a practical, repurposed look.
Get the look: Anthropologie Recycled Glass Vase, from $64.95
3. Turn to old-school colors.
Another way to bring vintage flair to your farmhouse decor ideas is by including colors from a past era. For example, pink used to be commonly seen in homes, and it has made a comeback once again. Add a dash of that old-school color into your space by painting the door and pairing it with a vintage doorknob and other antique accents, something that Jenna Sue achieved in this primary bedroom.
Get the look: Clare Baby Soft Interior Paint, $24 for 1 quart
4. Bring modern and vintage together.
Just because a room is outfitted in farmhouse decor, that doesn't mean it has to be completely dedicated to all things farmhouse. In fact, you can set a totally unique tone for a space by mixing vintage details with contemporary pieces. Leanne Ford nailed the farmhouse-meets-modern approach in this living room by outfitting the rustic space with non-traditional accents like sculptural tables and a giant paper lantern.
Get the look: HAY Rice Paper Shade, $59
5. Create a gallery wall in a muted palette.
Think of your flea market finds as a collection of treasures that deserve to be part of your overall design, not stashed away in the basement, waiting for the perfect occasion. Choose items within the same color family and create a gallery wall, an approach Liz Marie turned to when setting up her antique farmhouse entryway.
6. Curate the space carefully.
It's easy to get caught up in the ambiance of a flea market — that vintage dresser! That oil painting! Oooh, milk glass! But for a space that's clean, refined, and thoughtfully curated, it really is best to avoid purchasing everything in sight and just focus on special pieces that will make your farmhouse space sing. This kitchen designed by Garrett and Cathy of The Grit and Polish is a shining example. With simple artwork, old-fashioned glassware, and wooden utensils in a ceramic crock, they've perfected the vintage aesthetic.
Get the look: Oggi Utensil Crock, $29.49
7. Pay attention to the details.
Changing the little things can make a big difference. Consider updating your doorknobs, cabinet hardware, drawer pulls — even your faucets. This powder room designed by Grand Traditions shows careful attention to detail with its matching gold-colored fixtures. They contrast with the rustic wood vanity for a perfect vintage farmhouse feel.
Get the look: Randolph Morris Deco Widespread Bathroom Sink Faucet, $369
8. Add interest to walls.
This entryway might be in a ranch home in Utah, but it would fit just as well in a big city. Wall paneling elevates this space styled by Studio McGee, making simple decor items look luxurious. A large gold-framed mirror adds extra interest and reflects more light around the room.
Get the look: Andrickson Modern Mirror (31.5", Gold), $184
9. Upgrade your sink.
Apron-front sinks are a staple of farmhouse kitchens. If you want something unexpected, look for non-traditional materials instead of white ceramic. This kitchen designed by Amber Interiors pairs a chiseled stone sink with beautiful wood-paneled walls, gold hardware, and classic farmhouse decor.
10. Repurpose furniture.
The bathroom may not seem like the place for antique furniture, but that doesn't have to be the case. Installing sinks in a gorgeous wood sideboard, as Sklar Design did in this California home, turns the room from basic to high-end. Vintage dressers, cabinets, and even library card catalogs can all be transformed into one-of-a-kind vanities.
Get the look: Curated Haven Designs Custom Sideboard Vanity, $2,150
11. Don't forget the porch.
A pair of rocking chairs on the front porch is a quintessential part of a farmhouse home, and it makes the perfect spot for sipping lemonade on summer evenings. Add chairs in pairs for a friendly, inviting atmosphere. For an updated look, go for more contemporary rocking chairs, like the black stick-back ones Chango & Co. chose for this farmhouse porch.
Get the look: Mainstays Outdoor Wood Porch Rocking Chair, $97
12. Add rustic details.
A worn, wooden bench in an otherwise modern farmhouse bathroom adds character (and a little farmhouse charm). While these pieces are best found at antique stores, don't be afraid to buy new. Add fresh flowers — as seen in this Chango & Co.-styled room — to liven up the space.
Get the look: Lulu and George Arlene Stool, $298
13. Choose lighting carefully.
The right lighting can change the mood of a room instantly. In this farmhouse bedroom, Dichotomy Interiors chose antique-style sconces to serve as bedside lamps. Their gold-colored finish fits perfectly with the pink walls and wooden headboard, creating a warm, romantic atmosphere.
Get the look: Pathson Industrial Wall Sconce, $55
14. Try a farmhouse table.
The dining table is an important part of any home — and that's especially true with farmhouse style, which emphasizes gathering with those you love. A large, rustic wooden table (like this one in a dining room styled by House Seven Design) will go a long way toward setting the tone of your space. Paired with stylish black chairs and pendant lights, it takes on a modern farmhouse look.
Get the look: Pottery Barn Rustic Farmhouse Dining Table, $1,699
15. Bring nature inside.
Just one plant can make a space feel friendlier and more alive, whether it's a bouquet of wildflowers and greenery, a pot of herbs, or a dried floral arrangement. The yellow blooms beside the sink in this farmhouse bathroom styled by Kristina Steinmetz bring a burst of color to an otherwise neutral palette. Choose a ceramic vase for a timeless look.
Get the look: Target 11" x 8" Crock Stoneware Vase Beige, $35
16. Highlight traditional decor.
Sleek design, open floor plans, and all-white walls may be popular, but don't forget to stop and take notice of the beauty already present in your space. Especially if you've purchased an old house, keep an eye out for details you can save and incorporate into your farmhouse decor — like this dark wood staircase in a home designed by Christine Zeiler Interiors. To complete the look, add vintage-style fixtures like switch plates and doorknobs.
Get the look: Callan Carlyle Passage Door Knob Set, $18
17. Add barn doors.
Barn doors are a chic way to create privacy between rooms. While many of these sliding doors look heavy and rustic, you can choose a narrower version made with lighter wood for more of a modern vintage feel. Take this pair selected by Kate Lester Interiors for the closet pictured above. The slats allow air and light to flow between rooms, even when the doors are closed.
18. Source the right artwork.
This minimalist kitchen styled by Hibou Design Co. is almost entirely composed of neutral colors — except for the tiny still-life painting of lemons propped up on the counter. This subtle touch adds warmth, personality, and a bit of a lived-in feel. Find similarly vintage-looking wall art at antique stores and thrift shops, or online through an auction site or Etsy.
Get the look: Etsy Clementine #2 Art Print, $45
19. Lay down rugs.
Rugs provide warmth and color, along with other benefits like dampening sound and protecting hardwood floors. Look for patterns and colors that complement the room decor, but you'll rarely go wrong pairing rustic farmhouse decor with classically patterned rugs, like the one shown here in a kitchen designed by Jaclyn Peters. Choose a low-pile rug for high-traffic areas — not only are they less of a tripping hazard, but they require less maintenance as well.
Get the look: Rugs.com 2' x 4' Timeless Runner Rug, $98
20. Use warm lighting
Farmhouse is a cozy style, and using warm lighting makes any room feel more intimate. Just take a look at the welcoming glow coming from the windows of this house by Robert Elliott Custom Homes. Look for lightbulbs with a low Kelvin number, around 4000k to 2000k, or any lightbulb described as "soft white" or "warm light." The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer and more yellow the light will be.