Your Tiny Apartment Will Feel Like a Rustic Farmhouse With These 13 Decorating Hacks
Don't get me wrong, I love sleek lines and ultra-modern designs, but there's something innately comforting and intriguing about a curated interior where furniture is pulled together from varying decades, textures are bountiful, and warm tones make it feel like an autumn dream all year long. We've been lucky enough to travel to a few of our favourite rustic farmhouses around the country, from Lynda Gardener's earthy boutique hotel to photographer Marnie Hawson's picture-perfect place in the Macedon Ranges. We've analysed the ways in which they've decorated their interior spaces to create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere and have come up with thirteen easy ways to replicate the look at your own place.
1. Vintage furniture
Furniture from past decades and that has been pre-loved by its previous owner(s) always converts a cold room into something more magical. We're talking weathered leather armchairs, handcrafted rattan chairs and substantial wooden tables that have been carefully crafted with passion.
2. Wood tones
Nothing says rustic like wood. The versatile and downright beautiful material is responsible for some of our favourite furniture designs, new and old. If you're aiming for an eclectic look and feel, combine a couple of different wood tones to avoid things feeling too matchy-matchy.
Slipcovers are both practical and chic. The linen slipcover sofa has been on the rise for the past few years and still prevails as a superior seating option. Not only can you easily wash any accidental stains out of your fabric, but you can completely change the look of your furniture piece by buying a couple of different colours to switch between. Genius.
4. Wicker and rattan
You'd be forgiven for thinking that wicker and rattan were new styles given their immense popularity recently, with everyone from Kmart to IKEA hopping on the trend. Original designers like Thonet have been working with the material for centuries, and if you happen to find yourself in front of a set of dining chairs in a vintage store, don't hesitate to grab them. Rattan and wicker will continue to remain a popular style due to the tactile finish and warm aesthetic that just makes you feel good.
5. Gallery wall
Art is really important in nailing the rustic look at your place. Early century portraits and landscape oil paintings are abundant in your local op shop and are the perfect pieces for creating a gallery wall at home. You can even incorporate personal photographs and important letters by framing them in decorative frames that you can pick up as cheap as chips and combining them on a wall. Always plan your gallery wall on the floor first to work out your heights and distances.
The slight rust of a metal lampshade or a crackling paint finish, the natural process of materials aging is a beautiful statement that adds an element of history and character to any home. In rustic farmhouses, these processes are embraced rather than covered up to let things develop naturally over time.
While a lot of the curated homes we lust over have steered towards a warmer palette, there's something to be said for monochrome rooms as well. A space filled only with white, grey and black can be just as eye-catching and cosy as long as you keep in mind different textures, shapes, and a mix of old and new.
8. Cosy homewares
From feather-filled cushions to chunky throws for the end of your bed, rustic farmhouses know that the finishing touches are what makes a home feel comfortable and calming. Once you have all your major pieces in place, don't forget to add in accessories and homewares that will make you and your guests feel great.
9. Dried flowers
Dried flowers are like an investment—they'll last you forever once you've bought them. If you want to add some arrangements to your place, rise early one morning and make your way to the flower markets where you'll get real bang for your buck and blooms that a) don't require water and b) can be re-used over and over again.
Rugs, always. We always recommend rugs when decorating to add a layer of comfort and facility, but rustic farmhouses go one step further by using them in the kitchen, hallway, dining room, and basically any other room to separate areas and provide you with a soft place to land. Texture is really important in turning your apartment into a haven.
No farmhouse-style apartment is complete without some wall panelling. Yours might not be entirely original, but it's a simple and affordable way of completely changing the overall vibe of your place. Take inspiration from your fave images on Pinterest and don't be afraid to have fun with it (like installing it on the ceiling).
You might look at some of your favourite homes that have implemented a farmhouse aesthetic and wonder where they found a certain cushion or piece of art, and often it will be a combination of a vintage find a bit of creative ingenuity. For example, swap your bedside pendant's cord for a rope for an instantly more rustic look. Pinterest's brimming DIY boards are the place to turn when you're feeling crafty.
13. Object vignettes
Interesting sculptures and collected treasures are part of what makes your home meaningful to you, so have some fun creating shelves and putting together groups of objects to display to show off your personality, your travels and anything that sparks joy for you. The best rustic farmhouses are those that pique your interest at every turn.
For more rustic inspo, check out these 11 jaw-dropping rustic farmhouses you have to follow on Instagram.