Originating in Germany and Scandinavia, farmhouse architecture began as a need for homes built on farms with the purpose of housing farmhands. In the 1700s, the simple yet solid construction of farmhouses make its way to the US. In modern times, the American Farmhouse is iconic and celebrated as an important piece of US culture and sustainability. Farmhouse museums exist across the country to educate visitors about farm life across the country.
The American Farmhouse
The modern home is much more aesthetically focused than the original US farmhouse. Today we emphasize interior design, style, and flow. During the colonial days, homes functioned as protection from the elements and storage for the functional items needed for daily living. Every object served a distinct purpose. Farmhouses were built from wood because wood is a material that was readily available and did not require a deep knowledge of construction to build structures. Settlers would identify a piece of land conveniently located near water and other resources and construct a basic but sturdy farmhouse.
Classic Farmhouse vs Modern Farmhouse
Recently, farmhouse design is venturing away from the countryside and making appearances in urban settings, restaurants, and even in luxury condos. Two distinct farmhouse styles have emerged and the subtle differences are worth exploring.
Classic Farmhouse Design
Rustic wood elements, chipped paned windows, a distressed water pitcher- these are examples of essential classic farmhouse decor. True to its heritage, classic farmhouse design includes shiplap with visible wood grain and imperfect lines.
Classic farmhouse design typically includes large porches that extend the length of the home. Expansive porches were originally used to store fire wood and gather after a hard day of labor. Today, rocking chairs neatly lined up provide the ideal spot for sipping lemonade and watching sunsets.
Spacious kitchens are a hallmark of the classic farmhouse. Minimalist wood shelving stored food and kitchen essentials. Large families and farm hands gathered for meals and relaxation in the large, open kitchens. Today's classic farmhouses incorporate rustic open wooden shelving as a nod to the simplicity of yesteryears.
Modern Farmhouse Design
Less about function and more focused on entertainment and aesthetics, modern farmhouse design contrasts smooth, clean lines and materials with the rustic charm of historic farms. A wooden bench on the front porch or some barn lighting is all it takes to add the warmth of farmhouse.
Authentic farmhouse kitchens in colonial days centered around a large wooden table. Modern farmhouse design incorporates the farmhouse butcher block table in large kitchens with vaulted ceilings and wooden accent beams.
Modern farmhouse design utilizes a few strong farmhouse pieces to make a statement, whereas classic farmhouse is more inclusive of farmhouse influence throughout.
If you plan to redecorate your home with an American farmhouse influence, consider whether you lean towards classic farmhouse influence or whether your style is more in line with modern farmhouse style. Looking towards history for everyday design inspiration is at the heart of farmhouse style, so decide which suits you best and start designing.
Are you looking for inspiration for your farmhouse decor? Check out the Pink Pig Pinterest page.