My dear readers….yesterday I posted the pictures of my almost finished Hall/Guest Powder Room that-happens-to-have-a tub and apparently many of you liked it and commented to me along with a few questions! The questions I will talk about at another time because I want to focus on decorating, …my way. My beautiful grand daughter did an oooh and aaah and asked me to help her with her home decor. Of course, I told her I would help and she sent me pictures of her two baths that are needing updating. We will discuss that later also.
In the past, decorating has been corralled into a distinct category, ie; Farmhouse, a mismatch of furnishings and items handed down from various relatives., Early American (remember that with maple wood and plaid chair coverings?) Contemporary, with all the abstract and clean lines, French Provincial, with Edwardian curves, spindles and tapestry type window coverings and chair coverings, Country, with gingham fabrics and galvanized pails…. And the list goes on and on and on and on.
I would call my current decor…Tuscan Farmhouse or Spanish Country, because it definitely has a European farmhouse style underlying decor.
And guess what? Farmhouse style is the “in” decor and red hot! So, you might be asking what IS a farmhouse style and isn’t it reserved for living on a farm or ranch rather than city living…and do I really need any of these elements and must I conform to this trend?
The answer of course is NO…to all. The style is not only for country living and if you don’t prefer the farmhouse decor..than you keep and continue with the decor you love. But before you quit reading, let me show you a bit of farmhouse style. My guess is you already have a few elements of farmhouse style in your home. Believe it or not…flowers and baskets are considered farmhouse style!
In my opinion, farmhouse style is more of a way of life….perhaps an attitude of making your home warm, simple and functional for living the way that is comfortable and not fussy.
As I think back to both of my grandmother’s farmhouse style homes, they had 3 basics: Rural locations even though both lived on the outskirts of town, beautiful porches (I loved sitting on their porches in wooden rocking chairs) and inside their homes, formal living rooms and dining rooms and an informal multi-functional room where every one gathered, which included the kitchen! This kinda describes your home (and mine) doesn’t it?
I love the chippy chair in the garden holding a wire basket of one of my favorite flowers….peonies! Definitely, comfy, cozy farmhouse style!
I love that today’s farmhouse style is all about recycling, up-cycling and renovating rather than tossing out and buying new. We look at garage sales, thrift stores and estate sales as the perfect shopping sites. We see beyond the old table tossed haphazardly to the curb and the possibilities that can bring it new life. A good patina just means the items have had a previous life before they came into yours. I try to imagine about who owned them before and who cherished and took care of them. Then I wonder what happened because obviously someone took them for granted and they ended up out on the street or at Goodwill.
Don’t overlook something because it’s not perfect. And as I said in my bathroom make-over post…shop your home. Check out items in your basement. Perhaps you can group a few things together to create a vignette which can make a powerful statement…if they don’t go together, perfect! That is the simplicity and welcoming of farmhouse style. Unpretentious? You bet! Love it! And farmhouse style marries so well with other decor styles! You see? you can have traditional, modern, southern, cottage and even industrial style and by placing a few practical items (farmhouse style), in your home, it can radiate the warm and cozy and comfy elements of yesteryear!
You certainly don’t have to have all farmhouse elements if that is not your thing…but a few well placed vignettes may be the finishing touches to your decor.
You may ask “What is a vignette”? A vignette is actually French based, but it is a small, love filled, design laden area which showcases your particular style and love for your home. A vignette can incorporate white dishes, herbs or flowers or trays or pitchers…items that can easily be changed and moved around. I have a couple vignettes in my kitchen. I have a coffee vignette which includes cups on hooks (remember those? Yep, a farmhouse element for sure), and a tray for cream/sugar and napkins.
I also love chippy items mixed with traditional. I like to place a stack of dishes on my dining room table with flatware in a small white pitcher and perhaps a cake plate waiting for that special cake to be placed upon it. This is so inviting for guests to pop over when all is set for a wonderful tea/coffee/cake time.
Speaking of white dishes….I LOVE WHITE!!!! Fresh and clean and crisp and Spring-ish! That is not to say that I don’t have lots of dishes with color in my dish pantry…but when I am setting up a vignette…I like to use mostly white.
One of the first things the Captain and I did to our current home was to replace the honey colored kitchen cabinets with white! I love the clean and crisp look and we added black granite counter-tops. If new cabinets are not in your budget…you can purchase just the cabinet doors or if your cabinets are in good shape…grab the paint brush and paint them white. Also, how about removing the inside panel of a couple cabinet doors and replacing with glass?
Or remove the doors, as a friend of mine has done….on one set of cabinets to reveal open shelving where she can showcase pretty casseroles and her favorite dishes? Endless possibilities!
While you are at it….take a look at your bathrooms. Are your bathrooms outdated? Grab a paintbrush and paint your vanity and/or woodwork in a semi-gloss white OR…paint your vanity a soft, pale blue or pick your favorite color! Think of how grandma would repaint a piece of furniture rather than throwing it out and buying new…better yet, if you don’t care for your bathroom cabinets…modify an old wooden dresser. Change out a vanity light! Think outside the box!
To me, farmhouse style means so many things.
- Swinging on a chippy porch swing on a warm sunny day sipping lemonade out of a mason jar!
- Or sitting in mis-matched chairs around the old round table in grandma’s kitchen eating sugar cookies and drinking sweet tea while grandma snapped her fresh green beans from her garden.
- Or picking wild flowers and placing them in an old and chipped enamel pitcher to sit on the sideboard in the dining room.
- Drying the dishes with grain sack tea towels
- or sitting on the screened back porch watching the red breasted robin feed her young in their nest in the crotch of the old Elm tree.
And my friends, if I can incorporate just a little of that rustic/luxe balance into my home decor, than I am pleased as punch! I want my guests to feel relaxed and comfy knowing that they are welcome to come-and-sit-a-spell! No formality here!
OK, so now that you know a little of Decorating….My Way!, A Tuscan farmhouse style….and what it means to me….what decorating style do you prefer?
Blessings and hugs always