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The Modern Farmhouse: Décor for your Living Room

The Modern Farmhouse: Décor for your Living Room

By Stephanie Jarrett, Everything Arlington 

Modern Farmhouse décor is all the rage in living spaces right now. From distressed furniture pieces to wood accents and bright white walls, to wire décor – the modern farmhouse is trending everywhere these days. And it’s easy to understand why. It’s simple, it’s chic, and its unfussy furniture and accent pieces lend themselves easily to other styles, should you tire of the trend sooner than expected. So how, exactly, do you update your living space to reflect this modern farmhouse trend? 

Brighten and Lighten your Room with Fresh Paint

First and foremost, the modern farmhouse is all about open spaces and bright light. If you’re thinking of repainting walls, go for something light and airy. If white walls aren’t quite your thing, Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams is a popular neutral that looks bright and pale on walls, for an easy update. It works well with both beiges and whites and compliments classic dark wood pieces well. 

Update your Furniture to Farmhouse Chic with Some Chalk Paint and Sandpaper

After you’ve redone your walls, take a look at your furniture. No need to buy new! Refinishing furniture – especially if it’s wood – is low-cost and low-effort. A great way to update coffee and end tables to meet the current trend is to paint the legs and the underside of the table white and then stain the top a dark wood tone. Chalk paint from a local DIY or hardware store is a fool-proof way to inexpensively update your tables. Once you’ve repainted them to your liking, grab some sandpaper and add your own distressing! If painting isn’t your thing and you need a little more color, consider re-staining your wood tables or entertainment centers with a color stain. Teal is a funky stain color that pairs well with neutrals, for example.  

Use Blankets and Pillows to Inexpensively Update Your Sofa

If a new couch isn’t in the budget, add some throw pillows and blankets for a quick update. Think pale blue, white and/or gray. Pillows with quirky sayings are popular for those who like modern farmhouse décor. Grab some cable-knit blankets to throw over your couch that are both fashionable as accent pieces and functional, keeping you warm during chilly winter nights.  

If you’re handy with a hammer, consider making a leaning ladder to display your nicer cozy blankets! It’s both very trendy and utilitarian, often showing up in farmhouse living rooms styled for popular décor magazines. And it’s super easy and inexpensive to DIY and customize however you want it, in terms of height and color.  

Get Expressive and Creative with Modern Farmhouse Wall Accents

Walls are an area where you can really get creative. There is no shortage of ways to personalize the modern farmhouse chic aesthetic to your liking.  

  • Iron latticework décor is inexpensive and as easy to find brand-new (but made to look rustic!) as it is to find at flea markets and thrift stores.  
  • Purchase a few inexpensive frames and refinish/distress them. Pick a few accent colors and paint and distress each of the frames for a uniform but unique-to-you ‘flavor’.  
  • Buy a few large prints with sayings on them. Or make one of those yourself! It’s easy to do with a blank canvas, stencils and spray paint. If you have a large space to fill, why not try personalizing a mirror with an ornate frame? Update it to match the rest of your living room décor with paint and sandpaper. 
  • Large clocks with metal and rustic accents are also great against a large wall space or over the fireplace mantle or on a prominent shelf. Look for one that has wood and metal combined for a more rustic feel.  
  • Incorporate a few rustic farm tools and furnishings into your update. Try hanging haybale hooks on the walls to hold planters or even paper towels. You can even create simple frames or shelves out of barnwood or weathered fencing. And don’t forget those old-fashioned weather-worn barn signs you might find at flea markets that you can hang as focal pieces. 

Vintage Knickknacks Add Authenticity to Your Modern Farmhouse Living Space

No need to go out and buy knickknacks that are new but made to look vintage. Feel free to actually buy vintage pieces for this! DIY your own serving tray to keep on your coffee table or side table by getting an old cabinet door and painting and then distressing it. Attach decorative handles to each side to make it easy to carry.  

You can buy labels inexpensively at a craft store and affix them to mason jars (the ultimate farmhouse must-have!), carry caddies and more. Then label and relabel as needed. Wire baskets are great to put on bookshelves or tables, filled with decorative globes or other knickknacks.  

One of my favorites projects I’ve DIY-ed was displaying stacks of books artfully as décor. I bought three books from a thrift shop and removed the jackets and binding. Then, I spray painted them all white, stacked them together, wrapped twine around them and tied the twine into a bow. I added simple white fake flowers on top for a bit of flair. I constantly get compliments on this cute Pinterest craft!  

Add Plants and Succulents to Breathe Some Life into Your Living Space

Succulents are all the rage right now. They’re a sweet, low-maintenance and sweet-looking addition placed on bookshelves, tabletops… just anywhere, really! Buy a few in different pots. Place them on windowsills or wherever you need a little something to look at.  

farmhouse update: hang three potted plants evenly spaced on a curtain rod above the window. The fuller the plant or fern is inside the pot, the better. They can all hang uniformly or rest at different heights. A friend devised this in her living room. I think it’s truly stunning against her white walls and large bay window. It’s such an unexpected but simple update to her room. 

Modern farmhouse décor is a gorgeous look to recreate in your own home, and it’s easier than expected. Just remember these basics and you can’t go wrong:  

  • Less is more.  
  • Think bright and open.  
  • Update the old with paint and distress with sandpaper.  
  • Natural wood is in again.  
  • No need to buy new accent pieces – vintage will work well. 
  • Have fun with it!  

Modern farmhouse décor is simple and elegant and fits anyone’s home and personal taste. 

About The Author

Stephanie Jarrett

"Stephanie Jarrett is passionate about all things: family, parenting, travel, and budget-friendly tips. As a Texas-transplant and girl mom of three, she’s a resident expert for, Pearachute Kids, Hawaiian Falls, OKC Tourism Board, Livie & Luca, Mox Shoes, Arlington CVB, many more. When she isn’t on a road trip with her three girls, exploring museums, parks and more, she’s probably curled up on the couch with the latest NYT bestseller and a glass of red wine. Follow her adventures in Dallas/Fort Worth and beyond at


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