I thought it’d be fun to do a series and analyze different decorating styles. To kick it off, we’re starting with European farmhouse style.
What is European Farmhouse Style?
European farmhouse decor can best be described as relaxed, and comfortable with a lived-in feel combined with an old-world touch and European elegance. It leans towards neutrals with earthy tones, lots of textures, and a collection of vintage pieces throughout each space. There’s a charm to it, it’s not fussy or overdone. Rather, simplistic and timeless.
The easiest way to identify European farmhouse is by studying designs that do it well. Let’s take a look at pictures and homes that have the classic look and how they achieved it.
European Farmhouse Kitchens
The heart of the home, you instantly feel the lived-in charm with a twist of elegance the moment you step foot in the kitchen. From the open shelving adorning a collection of antique vases and jars to the apron front farmhouse sink. Little details like the brass hardware and diamond paned windows add the European elegance touch.
We had an apron front farmhouse sink in our first kitchen we remodeled and I absolutely loved it! Not only is it super practical and great for washing large pots and pans, but it really adds to the overall design as well.
Color and Texture
Primarily neutral, muted tones are used throughout the home. As you can see, the walls are all light, kitchen cabinets are white, and there are no bright jarring colors. It’s important to notice that it doesn’t feel white and sterile or too clean, the whites have a depth and warmth to them so they lean more towards creams and beiges and not a harsh white. This is important for creating the comfortable and inviting feel we love so much about European Farmhouse and allowing the antiques and vintage finds stand out.
When color is used, it’s used thoughtfully and not in a dramatic statement kind of way. A piece of furniture painted black adds depth and contrast to an otherwise light color scheme. Adding pillows and rugs incorporate the comfortable vibe and bring in warm hues to brighten it up. Muted corals and pinks to oranges and reds are commonly used, but so are the cooler colors like blues and greens.
With a light color palette, another way to create interest that they do so well with in European farmhouse styles is adding lots of layers of texture in every room. The texture of wicker baskets and accents, marble, brick and stone textures around fireplaces and flooring all add the character and charm. Linen and wool and other natural fibers are common because they again give the feel of relaxed and comfortable.
Rustic wood is a big element that adds so much warmth and character. An old rustic wood dining table and chairs, or in the picture above the rustic coffee table, and of course the wood flooring. Scratches and marks only add to the character and charm of the home. Same with vintage finds that have ding marks that show age, they are much more appealing in this home because European farmhouse appeal to the old lived-in and appreciate the story behind each piece.
European Farmhouse Furniture and Accessories
Vintage and antique pieces are key to get the European farmhouse style. The more rustic or worn, the better! Combining antique pieces of furniture with newer upholstered sofas and chairs gives a balanced look as well as comfort.
Painted portraits and landscapes are another key element to the European farmhouse look that tie in a little color along with the old traditional feel.
More vintage or antique accessories will pull the entire look together. Remember, simple is best so don’t feel the need to clutter up every surface. A few hand-selected pieces are all you need.
Greenery is an element that adds a little life and color. I’m on the side where I think greenery should be in every room (faux or real) because it just adds a pop of texture. Olive trees are a common staple for European Farmhouse, but even a few branches in a vase like the picture below gives some added texture. You can find some really nice looking faux trees these days if you don’t have a green thumb. The amazing reviews speak for themselves! This tree is a favorite on Amazon and one I have myself.
How to Get the European Farmhouse Style Look
Now that you know what European farmhouse is and what it looks like, how do you create the same feel in your own home? I have shared a couple of my favorite pieces below that are true European farmhouse.