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Farmhouse tradition includes functional ease with cottage style decor

September 10, 2013

Hardwood FloorsStart with an eclectic mix of furniture, a cottage-like color scheme and and open home design. Those are the makings of a modern farmhouse even if you live nowhere near farmland. As with maple hardwood flooring found in Anderson's Northern Maple Plank collection, there's an authenticity about farmhouse decor that gets better with time.

One modern farmhouse featured by HGTV was classic in style but didn't sacrifice the modern conveniences that were important to the homeowners. In the kitchen, the traffic patterns were open and a comfortable cooking area was established. White, cottage-style cabinetry and a selection of collectibles allowed the homeowners to combine contemporary needs with traditional decor.

Functional atmosphere
The accessories used in farmhouse decorating should be in keeping with the functional atmosphere of an older home. Bowls and platters placed on open shelves above kitchen counter tops are in a spot where they can be appreciated as well as used on a daily basis.

Instead of a kitchen island, a pine farm table may be placed in the center of the room with a matching chest underneath to provide storage for utensils. If guests are expected for dinner, a table setting that includes crisp linens, painted chairs and antique silver candle holders for a centerpiece would be right at home in a farmhouse-style dining room.

Taking a page from cottage decor, farmhouse decorating also incorporates a natural theme well by including indoor plants and storage baskets made of willow or wicker.

Similar to cottages
Better Homes and Gardens magazine recommended home decorators choose soft, dusty tones and a wide mix of furnishings if they want to bring farmhouse decor into their homes. While farmhouses are generally bigger, they often have similar furniture to those in country-like cottages. For instance, fancy chairs with decorative curves are a good contrast to the more austere lines of a farm table.

For window coverings, soft curtains such as sheers or lace are a traditional choice, but adding shades will provide more privacy. For instance, woven wood shades come in a variety of wood tones that lend a natural look to their surroundings and can be matched to wood floors.

In the HGTV feature, cornices above the kitchen windows were decorated with the homeowners' collection of old school globes and maps. The treasures that homeowners have collected through the years often reflect the tradition of farmhouse style as well as their own personalities.