By Rebecca Bradshaw
Open any home decorating magazine or website, and you’ll find an abundance of farmhouse inspired rooms and furnishings. Both natural and practical, this charming design style adds a comfortable, rustic appeal to every room in the house while still remaining contemporary. With just six creative touches, one of the best places in your home to show off farmhouse flair is in the dining room.
A gathering place for family meals and holiday celebrations, a farmhouse dining room starts with its centerpiece: the dining table. Farmhouse tables are typically both sturdy and rustic, with painted bases and distressed natural wood tops, or are painted entirely white. Create your own table by mounting reclaimed wood panels on a painted base, and finish the look with a mix of flea market finds such as ladder back or Shaker chairs or other antique pieces. Sturdy benches also make a great seating option, evoking the comfortable, homey feeling of the décor style’s inspiration. Furniture such as painted hutches and sideboards will complete the farmhouse look; add a pop of color to hutches by painting the insides in an accent color such as pale blue or green.
2. Wall coverings
Batten and beadboard, salvaged wood planking, or roughly hewn shiplap provide texture to walls, creating the perfect backdrop for a farmhouse inspired dining room. Keep the wood natural for a truly rustic look, or paint them in shades of light gray or blue for a clean, contemporary feel. For a more casual and fun vibe, try hues of sunny yellow or sky blue. Walls and furniture painted solid white are popular choices in current farmhouse design; add visual interest to the white on white look with colorful accessories such as brightly covered cushions or metal accent pieces. With plenty of agrarian and nature inspired patterns now available, wallpaper and ceiling borders are other great options for farmhouse dining rooms, especially when used sparingly, such as to cover an accent wall or highlight an architectural detail.
Pull the look of the dining room together with natural wood floors—reclaimed, wide planks in random widths will give the room an authentic aged look and will make the space appear larger, as well. Woods such as distressed oak, pine, and hickory are great choices to highlight the room’s character; darker patinas will create a formal appearance, while lighter woods fit well in more casual dining rooms. If installing new flooring isn’t an option, get creative and stain, whitewash, or paint your existing floors, or cover them with simple natural fiber area rugs in neutral colors. Rugs with colorful nature or farm life inspired designs are other great ways to complete the look.
The choice of light fixtures can add impact to any dining room, and this is especially true in farmhouse design. For a simple on-theme chandelier, hang a large utilitarian barn light over the dining table, or create a unique pendant fixture by hanging a collection of bulb filled mason jars at different levels. Large circular iron chandeliers topped with electric candlesticks are a popular choice for farmhouse inspired dining rooms, as are fixtures made from repurposed farm implements, antique lanterns, and wrought iron hardware. Aged brass and rusty patinas add an authentic feel to the fixtures.
5. Architectural elements
Architectural details such as painted beadboard ceilings or dark beams add a lot of visual interest to farmhouse inspired rooms; use a dark stain on reclaimed wooden beams to give the space a rustic look. Built-in window seats and banquettes backed with ticking covered throw pillows are another way to bring the homey, comfortable appeal of farmhouse design; they can double as great out of the way storage spaces as well. For big impact, hang a set of floor to ceiling sliding barn doors on the entryway to the dining room; use recycled lumber that is either stained to bring out its natural patina or painted a solid black or white. To complete the barn-inspired look, mount the doors with large-scale wrought iron hardware.
6. Final touches
Accent pieces add the final touch of charm needed to complete your farmhouse inspired dining room. Hang worn and chipped painted pieces such as old shutters or window frames for a unique sculptural display, or group farm ephemera or antique weather vanes to make an eye-catching dining table centerpiece. Show off a collection of stoneware or pure white crockery by hanging them on the wall or displayed in a painted hutch or sideboard. Be creative, and reclaim or repurpose flea market finds like lanterns, chalkboards, painted candlesticks, and other rustic items--the more well-worn the better. Be careful not to over accessorize, however; keep your farmhouse inspired dining room feeling contemporary by following the adage that less is more.
Sources: Houzz, HDTV, Pinterest, Decoist