Nothing seems quite as cozy and homey as that vintage farmhouse look. It’s a natural look for older homes, and you can even warm up modern houses and apartments with a few rustic touches. Whether you’re a DIY kind of decorator, antique shop and vintage store aficionado, or a savvy internet shopper, there are a ton of ways to get this look. Let’s check out a few.


If you’ve got some time on the weekends and a little space to work in, you can create distressed furniture and accent pieces that match up perfectly with your décor color scheme and look. Unfinished pine reproduction furniture or a solid older piece from a thrift store will work great…just make sure the style, knobs and hinges all fit the aesthetic you’re looking for. After a quick wipe down and sanding to clean the surface off, start distressing. Use a sander to round edges and corners. Random gouges and dents can be put in using keys, chains, hammers, or even a fistful of rough gravel thrown hard at the piece (this is the really fun part!); just make sure there’s no patterns or regularity to the marks. Next, choose a few complementary colors (we like soft yellow with light blue, or an antique white over almost anything), and get enough chalk paint in those colors for two coats apiece; chalk paint is ideal, both for its flat patina and its ability to act as primer and coat all at once. Lay down two coats of the accent color, making sure to work it into the dents and gouges, then apply the primary coats over the first two. You can leave a few edges and rear sections a little sparse. Then, using medium grit sandpaper, carefully sand off the top coats to reveal the color underneath, concentrating on edges, corners, and outer edges of the knobs. A nice coat of clear furniture wax will protect your piece and give it a mellow glow.

Reclaimed barn wood is also a great way to give your home that (literal) farmhouse feel. You can use them for accent walls, frames, flooring…only problem is, they’re either very expensive or require you to dig through piles of rough and often faulty wood. Check out this DIY method to make your own barn wood for pennies on the dollar.

Get Thrifty

We all love browsing through old cavernous antique shops and vintage stores, looking for that hidden treasure. And yes, you’ll occasionally find an incredible sideboard, table or armoire to complete a room. For the sake of brevity, though, we’ll focus on accessories here. And it’s a good plan to have an idea of what you’re looking for; we love the idea of wandering aimlessly through the crowded aisles, but there’s not always time for that. So, let’s identify a few items to look for.

  • Vintage tools. These are great for both outdoors and accessorizing indoor spaces. Look for larger items, like plows and yokes, to lean in corners and hang over doors. Smaller hand and kitchen tools look great hanging from a mantle or gathered in an old tin container. Antique ladders make the perfect quirky shelf to put old books, bathroom supplies or plants on, and they are highly sought after, so grab one when you see it!
  • Old milk and produce crates are perfect for end tables or planters, or can be stacked and fastened together, either vertically or horizontally, for a shelf or display cabinet. When the crate has printed dairy or farm logos, you can cut the side off and mount it as its own piece of art.
  • Crockery makes for wonderful decorations or functional containers, both for their durability and their classic aged and chipped appearance. Big points if you find imprinted words or logos, but, if not, find some stencils and make your own labels.
  • Old quilts and needlepoint are the epitome of farmhouse comfort. Aside from the obvious bed covering, quilts can drape over the back of couches or sit neatly folded on that vintage trunk, while needlepoint can be displayed in a funky old frame.

Online and On Point

All of the above methods are great and very rewarding, but definitely take time and space to do your projects in. If you’re a smart Internet shopper, you can find these gems to make your home cozy and beautiful.

  • Vintage signs, hand tools and kitchenware can be found on auction sites, eBay, and Craigslist. Not only are these pieces easily found on these sites, you can use your secret weapon of haggling and bidding to get them for a great price.
  • Plants make the perfect accoutrement to these vintage pieces. Artificial plants give you the ability to choose the perfect size and species for your space, plus they require no watering or maintenance. Look for artificial arrangements or decorative planters and containers that come artfully distressed with cute touches like chalkboards to put messages on. Dried wreathes and inverted bouquets look great on doors and walls.
  • The best part about being online is checking out all the blogs, Pinterest pages, and home improvement sites to get ideas. Keep browsing; you’ll find someone that matches your décor sense almost exactly, and they’ll often have coupons and discounts to use.

The great thing about this type of décor is that you can combine DIY projects with ordinary items, historically beautiful period pieces and some tech savvy to get it done. What ideas do you have for your farmhouse look?


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