How to Get a Farmhouse Look On a Budget

Photo: HGTV

Farmhouse Chic, made popular by Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, is ALL the rage right now.

But unless you live in the country where it’ll never go out of style, you may not want to invest those HGTV budgets to adding the rustic look to your own home.

So, let’s explore some ways to get the light, bright, Fixer Upper look on a budget.

Photo: HGTV

Think in Shades of Black and White

A staple of the modern ranch is the sunny feeling and high contrast.  White or off-white walls with some stark black touches form the basis of any good farmhouse design.

White on walls can be tricky.  It can read yellowish and dated if the wrong hue is chosen.

Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is a staple that we’ve used in all of our homes.  It’s a crisp white with a slight grey undertone that never reads yellow.

When it comes to paint sheen, a matte finish is ideal for the natural feeling we’re going for.  But, if you’re weary of fingerprints mucking up your walls, opt for a super high-quality paint that will wash better like Sherwin Williams Duration.  It’s a bit more of an investment, but holds up well to wear and washes like a dream.

Photo: HGTV

Slipcover Dated Furniture

If investing in new light-coloured or leather furniture is out of the question, a budget friendly alternative is to use slipcovers.

Slipcovers are fantastic nowadays.  They fit snug. They’re washable (so you don’t have to fear muddy paws or crayons).  And, when you pick one up in a sturdy linen, they’ll look crisp and natural.

Bring in Branches

Farmhouse style is pretty neutral and relies on branches and wildflowers to bring in pops of pigment.  Without florals your space may wind up looking a bit sterile and more contemporary than ranch.

If you’re thumb is more black than green, pick faux florals.  Many of them look as good as the real thing and they won’t leave behind dropped leaves.

Style branches in inexpensive vases (Ikea has a great assortment from just a couple dollars).  Spread your arrangements on mantles, coffee tables, and your dining table.

Add a vase to your entry and a smaller bunch to the kitchen and bathroom counters.

Try bringing in at least one floral or branch arrangement (like lavender, magnolia, or peonies) to every room in the house.  It’s an inexpensive way to add a big style punch.

Use Wood and Metal as Art

Take a trip to your local architectural salvage yard and you’ll find plenty of modestly priced pieces that could be statement artwork in your home.

Think about adding old cornices to wide openings between rooms.

Or hanging an old wood window on the wall in place of a painting.

Iron and metal pieces can be sprayed in a flat black to add contrast and that bit of industrial feel that will differentiate your style from the old country design.

Grab a Can

There are likely many pieces in your home that can be updated with a simple can of spray paint.

Decorative accessories can be given new life in hues of ivory, black, and antique bronze.

No need to buy new.  Reuse what you have and go salvaging on Craigslist or garage sales!