To start with, let’s break down the term vintage farmhouse decor.
There is no unambiguous answer as to what makes an item vintage. As far as we all know, to be vintage an item must be old. But how old? According to Wikipedia:
In my opinion, if something looks and feels vintage to you, then it probably is.
Now, the term farmhouse doesn’t really need further explanation: it’s a house that’s attached to a farm. In vintage farmhouse decor, rustic elements (think wood beams, stone or tile floors, wooden doors, fireplaces) play the main role, but any added accents should be vintage or vintage-inspired.
In this blog post, I will explore the key elements of vintage farmhouse decor and provide tips on how to incorporate this style into your own home.
Key Elements of Vintage Farmhouse Decor
When considering the key elements of the vintage farmhouse style, first of all, we need to distinguish the use of natural materials such as wood and stone. Distressed wood furniture is a staple of vintage farmhouse design. The natural and worn look of this type of furniture adds to the overall vintage vibe.
Galvanized metal accents, such as tin or metal baskets, are another common element in achieving the vintage farmhouse look. These materials add a touch of raw industrial charm and provide a great contrast to the warm and natural feel of the wood elements.
Another key element in furnishing or decorating farmhouse-style homes is reclaimed wood furniture, and in this case, it should be in the vintage style. This can include anything from old doors (think also antique barn doors) and windows, to vintage furniture (for example, a vintage farmhouse hutch). Simple and functional decor items, such as a vintage washboard or old school clock, are also a great way to decorate vintage farmhouse interiors.
The neutral color palette is another defining feature of vintage farmhouse interior design. This style is all about creating a warm and inviting feeling, so colors like white, beige, and gray are often used to create a sense of calm and tranquility.
Can You Add Vintage Farmhouse Decor To Any Home?
Well, of course, a vintage farmhouse interior will look best in an old home – anything built pre-1950s/1960s. However, not everyone is lucky enough to own a classic farmhouse or a Victorian. A home’s architecture and the time period it comes from shouldn’t come as an obstacle to implementing design elements characteristic of the antique farmhouse style. With some interior design tweaks here and there, a modern home can also slowly transition into a vintage farmhouse, well, at least on the inside.
How To Incorporate Vintage Farmhouse Decor Into Your Home
To incorporate vintage farmhouse decor into their home, homeowners should start by thinking about the key elements of this style. The previously mentioned distressed wood furniture, galvanized metal accents, and reclaimed materials are all great places to start.
Additionally, you can amass items that weren’t intended for use as decor in the first place. Look for old sewing machines, scales, glass bottles, wooden signs, typewriters, and family heirlooms. Also, always be on the lookout for salvaged architectural materials and architectural details like corbels, plaster ceiling medallions, or antique newel posts. You might utilize them in your upcoming refurbishment or as decor.
Add trim to the floors and ceiling, casing around the windows, and wall paneling like shiplap, breadboard, or board and batten.
To achieve a vintage farmhouse style in the bathroom, it would be a good idea to go for a pedestal sink, penny tiles, a vintage bathroom hutch, and a clawfoot bathtub. The walls also play an important role here and it would be best if they featured wainscoting or board and batten.
As for the smaller accents, opt for vintage-style toilet paper holders or stands, soap dispensers, cotton ball jars (for this, you can utilize old glass candle jars), toothbrush holders, and wicker laundry hampers.
As far as the kitchen, explore online marketplaces or flea markets for wooden crates, wire baskets, natural textiles, Mason jars, and vintage-style dinnerware. Go for open shelving and, if possible, copper pans. Exposed wood beams would look wonderful in the kitchen and beyond, but of course, that requires further remodeling. However, if time and resources allow it, then it’s one of the essentials of the vintage rustic farmhouse style.
For the dining room or dining area, it would be ideal to invest in a wooden, early 20th-century dining set. Even if it’s impossible to find a matching set, in vintage farmhouse interiors it’s acceptable to use different chairs, as long as they’re all vintage-style and blend well together. You can scour online marketplaces, like the Facebook marketplace, to find this and other vintage items.
Other rustic farmhouse items to be used in the dining area include vintage candlestick holders, linen tablecloths and runners, and vintage-style light fixtures made of wood or metal. My absolute favorite idea for a vintage farmhouse dining room, however, is setting up a gallery wall made up of antique-style blue and white plates. It will add so much vintage charm to the overall look of the place.
Now, moving on to the living room area, I suggest using neutral-colored vintage or rustic throw pillows made of natural fabrics. Again, light fixtures play a significant role here, so hunt for a chandelier or a hanging lamp that’s really special. Sometimes it may not be possible to find the perfect one right away, but I believe it’s one of those things that’s worth waiting for. When browsing antique stores, flea markets, and local online marketplaces we can come across truly unique pieces.
One of the essentials of antique farmhouse decor is the fireplace. But don’t worry if you don’t have one – look for an old mantel that can be utilized by placing plants, candles, books, an old sewing machine, or vintage items in it. And if there’s a fireplace or a mantel, there should also be paintings – at least one prominent one. When decorating in the antique farmhouse style, look for paintings depicting pastoral scenes or old-style portraits. They will look great when encased in gilded ornate frames.