Thursday, February 4, 2016

10 Things I've Learned From Decorating The Farmhouse

Since we bought the farm four years ago, I've learned some important lessons about my style and what makes me happy.

It was pretty much a blank slate when we bought it (lots of brown paneling) that needed some love (and lots of cleaning!). 

I was so excited to put our stamp on it and started gathering ideas right away. There were so many looks calling my name; I was hard pressed to choose a single direction. But I finally decided I wanted a "rustic farm" look so I started using lots of burlap and other rustic elements.

But over time, it started to not feel right, so slowly I've been changing things up. Here's what I learned in the process:

1. It's ok to change your mind. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in a trend and suddenly you
    realize that's not who you are. It's ok to switch directions.

2. Don't do something just because someone else thinks that's the way you should do it. I was really
    leaning toward painting my mom's bedroom furniture white but I let my sister influence me to do
    blue (it was my mom's favorite color and it helped me not feel guilty about painting it as Mom
    didn't like painted wood.) Guess what? I'm tired of the blue and want to paint it white. BTW, no
    offense Sis.

3. I don't like primitive country. I'm more of a cottagey farmhouse, with a side of what I call abbey
    style (simple, neutral and sort of European look) kind of person- with Mercury glass. I love me
    some Mercury glass!
Rustic cross with a frame around it

4. I like neutral colors - a lot! There's something peaceful in white (or neutral) walls and furniture. A
    little bit of color goes a long way and if you only use it for accent colors, it's easy to change. 
Walls better painted all white but there's still a lot of color going on in here

5. I love my chalkboard wall. I knew it would be a cool feature, but I didn't realize how much I'd
    really dig it. I love everything about it - from being able to write on it to the color. Who knew a
    black wall would look so good?

6. I don't want clutter. I'm tired of opening closets, cabinets, etc. and seeing stuff I don't use or love
    anymore plus we have less space to store stuff. And, all that clutter tends to spill out onto any flat
    surface in the house.

7. Less is more. The living room furniture isn't quite right. It's a fairly small room and some of the
    pieces are too big/bulky for the space. I will need to really edit this space when we move up here.

8. Better made items pay off in the long run. Don't buy cheap, you'll just have to replace it in a couple
    of years. It's better to save up and get quality. This is especially true on big purchases like furniture.
    Inexpensive however, is acceptable if it's made well.

9. It's good to have fun with your decor. I love a touch of whimsy; it adds character to your space.
   (see number 5).
While I love the lamp, I don't love the shade.

10. It's ok to say no. People have been very generous in offering us things to use at the farmhouse.
     We've gotten quite a bit of things to use (lamps, furniture, kitchenware, etc). While that's great,
      don't let  your space become someone else's dumping ground. It's ok to politely refuse. If they
      insist and it's not your style, gift it to someone else or take it to your local charity. Again, this goes
      back to numbers 6 & 7.

That all said and done, I still have plenty of rustic style going on that I love:

My laundry room door, wall, and shutter:

My sliding barn door:

before painting

after painting

And my light fixtures in the kitchen:

love the barn light pendants over the bar!
And my barbed wire wreath:

The two spaces I got right are the master bedroom:

and bathroom:

Both of those spaces make me smile when I walk into them.

I'll continue to tweak and change the other spaces until they are where I want them. Some will wait until we move there full-time but others like the guest room (paint furniture white, maybe repaint the walls), kitchen, and laundry room (I want to get rid of some of the primitive decor on the walls) can be done before.

In the end, it comes down to decorating with what you love and discovering what makes you happy.


  1. Cecilia, I couldn't agree more with each of your points. Whether it's changing when something isn't working anymore or setting your own design pace rather than following a trend, in the end our homes should reflect what makes US happy and tell our story ;) Great post ~ I am so looking forward to watching your farm house blossom!

  2. Hi Cecilia,
    You are so right...sometimes it is hard to stick with our own gut instinct when we are bombarded by magazine photos, Pinterest and Blogs that all seem to be doing the same thing. I love your bedroom and bathroom too and love what you have done with your kitchen too! And I think what you said about walking into a room and smiling is spot on with how a room should make you feel if it is right.
    I can't wait to follow along with all of your transformations as you move exciting!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Hugs, Kimberley

    1. Thank you, Kimberely. My problem is I see so much I love but not all works for us. I just have to not get sidetracked by all the pretties out there, lol.
      Hope your weekend is great also.
      Hugs back,
      You are showing up as a no reply blogger.

  3. Love your barn lights. I would love one for my kitchen. Your bathroom looks great with the dark floor. Is it porcelain tile? We are redoing our rental house and I considered the wood-look plank tiles for the kitchen but finally decided on 12" x 12" light color porcelain tiles because of all the other wood in that room. Thanks ... finding useful inspiration here.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

    1. The barn light is from McCoy's Building Supply. They are outside lights but they work fine inside. The bathroom floor is porcelain tile - it looks so much like real wood! We got it from Home Depot. Glad to be of help. Hope you have a good weekend!

  4. I love the stars you sprinkled thru-out your decor. :) And that coffee cup lamp is amazing! Two of my favorite things. Your home is so comfy looking.

  5. Cecilia, what I love about your home is that it looks comfortable and homey...a place I could walk into and feel completely at home, not worrying about where I should put my coffee cup, or afraid to sit on the furniture. That being said.... I'll see you next weekend ! ;-)

  6. That's all great advice Cecilia. I agree with everything you've said. It's definitely OK to change your mind... especially if it means finding your way to a style that you love. I'm working on my house too, starting with my craft room, decluttering and donating what I don't love as I go. It's very cathartic to get rid of things you don't love.

  7. Cecilia, your home looks so comfy and warm like anyone would feel right at home, a look I admire and strive to achieve. I love your barbed wire wreath with the star.

  8. Love this post and I totally agree with #2. There are so many different types of farmhouse! I think ours is the best. :)

    Happy day!

    1. I agree!! Be true to yourself. My spaces will never look like yours or someone else's and that's ok (although I wouldn't mind some similarities lol). I think in some ways I'm just now figuring out my style.

      Have a good week, my friend!

  9. Well since I change my mind sometimes HALF way through a project - I totally agree that it's ok to change !!!
    I love everything you've done - especially that gorgeous bathroom ( that vanity - oh my gosh that vanity )


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