Farmhouse On A Budget

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Thanks to a certain DIY couple we all know, the Farmhouse look is sweeping the nation.

Ship lap, wicker, white on white, distressed chippy furniture, galvanized steel, and all the rustic wood accents are hard to resist.  If you take a trip to Target or Walmart, you will quickly be greeted by many home lines that are dedicated to this home décor phenomenon.  It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to its light, casual, down to earth esthetic.  One of the amazing perks of the Farmhouse style is how neutral the pallet is. Many of your favorite decorations and accessories will fit right in. However, transforming your entire home into something that would make Joanna Gaines proud can be very costly. We have taken the time to compile a cost effective way to transform your home one room at a time.

Paint pallet

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One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to transform your home is with a fresh coat of paint.  Pick a pallet of neutral colors such as shades of white, cream, or light greys.  Be sure to pick a different color for the trim and ceilings that complement each other. By doing so you will add some interest. Many paint companies have farmhouse color schemes already compiled for you and available at your local hardware store.  If you are feeling really adventurous, you can try adding an accent wall.  It looks great if you are going for more of a modern/industrial farmhouse look.  Dark Forest Green, Chalk Board Black, and Deep grey are all great color choices



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Using what you already have is a great way to achieve the farmhouse look and stay within a budget.  Gather the things that you still love, and shop the rest of your home for pieces that would better suit a farmhouse feel or that you wouldn’t mind lending to another room. Antique or vintage mirrors, paintings, and picture frames can often be used, as is.  Silver plated serving trays and serving pieces can be added to your room too. You can easily repurpose  picture frames, lamps, metal wall hangings, and wicker baskets.  With spray paint and a little imagination you can transform all of these items into the perfect accessories for you room.  If you have oil rubbed bronze, silver or gold metal accessories, a coat of matte black spray paint can easily transform them into “wrought iron”. Wicker can be painted white and aged with an antique wax rub or if it’s natural wood, use it as it is.  By using the same treatment on picture frames and mirrors, you can reuse almost everything you currently have.  You can add depth and interest by using varying shades of white, cream, and grey spray paint.  Even metal or ceramic lamps can be revamped with a little paint. Change out the old lamp shades with updated neutral colors and more natural fabrics like linen or burlap. Or DIY it and recover your existing one with new fabric, adhesive spray and a complimentary trim that can be found at any fabric or Hobby store.

Furniture Redux

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Solid wood furniture can be easily incorporated into a farmhouse design.  A few pieces can help warm up a room. To add interest into your room try adding some painted pieces.   With a little chalk paint, some sanding, and furniture wax, you can create some pieces that look like authentic farmhouse pieces that have been passed down for 100 years.  Laminate furniture can also be painted, there are many DIY instructions to be found on Pinterest. You can paint dining room chairs and tables as well, and most kitchen and dining room chairs are easily recoverable with some fabric and a staple gun.  If you aren’t a fan of painted wood, but would rather stay away from the traditional yellowish toned wood of the 90’s and early 2000’s, you can strip, sand, and re-stain your furniture to match your farmhouse room better.


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Revamping your windows is another great layer to add to your farmhouse style.  Replacing heavy curtains with breezy white sheers, or canvas curtains is very inexpensive.  If you have mini blinds, replacing them with bamboo or wicker blinds can add warmth and texture.  If you prefer blinds, but like a light and airy feel, a plain white roman shade combined with some cotton curtains is another way to update your windows. If you want to reuse your existing curtain rods but the finish doesn’t match, you can spray paint them and reuse them.


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For many of us replacing our furniture is not really in our budget and just not an option. If you’re in this boat, then I have good news for you! You can use your current furniture and still achieve the farmhouse esthetic.  Here are some really good options.

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You could make fitted slip covers (sewing required) but this achieves a really gorgeous result that looks more tailored, and you can use canvas or drop cloth which is rather inexpensive. Or even easier, buy premade slipcovers. There are so many out there.  Just take good measurements and spend some time shopping online. Lastly you can always try reupholstering yourself.  This takes a lot of time and patience, but there are some amazing tutorials out there, and when you are done the finished product is way less fussy than a slipcover. However, slipcovers are removable and can be thrown in the laundry with bleach to remove stains easily. Just something to consider.


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A great area rug can really anchor a space and bring everything all together. Even if you already have a carpeted room you can layer an area rug over the top. It can help to define an area as well as add the farmhouse feel you are trying to achieve. You can also go all out and replace your existing flooring.  Some terrific options are hardwood, ceramic tile, or laminate flooring.

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When you are accessorizing it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Think old and worn. Found objects are the best. Thrift stores, salvage stores, even your garage may contain items that will bring that Farmhouse vibe into your home. Do you have some of your Grandmothers Depression glass, milk glass, or jadeite?  Now is the perfect time to bring it out of the China Cabinet and put it to use!

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You could consider putting up open shelving using lumber you have laying around, or that you found on Craigslist, to display your items .Another option is to simply use any existing bookshelves and end tables to create vignettes.  Do you have vintage books that would look great stacked on a table or books that are old that you don’t care about? You can rip the covers off and tie up with twine.  Also try stacking books paper edges out and bindings in to give the room a more cohesive look.  If you’ve picked an accent color for your room such as mint green, look around your home for any books, or Knick knacks that have that same color.  Old metal kitchen tools such as a sifter can always be repurposed to hold a bouquet of flowers or twigs from your yard.  Metal buckets, tin cans with flowers, wooden crates, found metal objects, grapevine wreaths, cotton stems, magnolia leaves, mason jars with candles, skeleton keys, twine, dried flowers from your garden (hydrangeas are the best), an old chest or trunk, even suitcases stacked for a makeshift end table, can all be found by shopping your home or by thrift store browsing.


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This is probably the most important and most neglected part of decorating.

Adding some green plants adds warmth and life to a space.  If you have a green thumb you can use real plants, otherwise use some convincing fakes. Ferns do well with neglect and have a lot of volume.  They can be purchased at almost all of your local discount department stores or nurseries.

With a little creativity, an eye for vintage things that can be repurposed, and a lot of elbow grease, you can easily create a home that exudes Farmhouse charm and neutrality.

Happy Creating!

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