BY DAWN CHAPNICK

Farmhouse style is one that incorporates various combinations of natural elements. One doesn’t actually need to live on a farm to achieve the look. It is a style that makes one feel like they may be in a country home – along with the wonderful smell of fresh-baked breads and pies.

It screams simple and soothing but there is nothing simple when talking about creating the modern farmhouse look.

Some of the more common elements to keep in mind when designing the farmhouse style are neutral palettes for paint colours – soft beiges and creams, greys, to set the theme. This creates a sense of calm and consistency and allows for the blending together of all the other items in the home.

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Another element used is the creation of texture and dimension on the walls. This is done with trim, wainscoting, textured wallpapers and shiplap, wood planks as an accent wall or up a staircase, really adding dimension and movement to a room.

Apron sinks and shaker doors, industrial lighting and reclaimed wood all are part of the symphony of parts that need to be incorporated to get to the final look for farmhouse style, by using the clean lines of contemporary design and combining it with rustic accents and industrial finishes, such as light fixtures. It’s a whole lot of nostalgic going on, which makes one think of flannel throws, wicker chairs on a front porch, and Edison bulbs.

If you’re not up for the full deal, with mega farmhouse appeal including mason jars, burlap and refurnished furniture, why not start with the floors to add some character to your existing design style, such as Contemporary, Bohemian, Eclectic or even Scandinavian. It’s a great way to mix old and new.

Farmhouse hardwood flooring typically features wide planks, at around 5-7 inches. The wood is usually muted, with softer shades, and may have a washed-out or weathered look.  The graining is visible as well as any imperfections the wood may have. The flooring can have a reclaimed look as well.

There are many colours and looks to select from and there are darker versions as well. The hardwood can be laid any way that you want. There are squared-tile versions as well as long wood planks, herringbone and chevron patterns available. The use of hardwood flooring gives the look of comfort, and while they may be more expensive to lay than porcelain tiles they will stand the test of time. It’s more forgiving when there is a lot of traffic, kids and pets as well.

Using reclaimed hardwood is popular as well not only for its beauty but for its environmentally conscious appeal. The look can be rich in appearance and tone, which is one reason it is showing up in so many high quality residential and commercial interior design projects. It certainly is a wonderful thing to be able to have reclaimed flooring that has a story to share.  Who doesn’t love a great conversation piece in their home to share with company?

Real hardwood-reclaimed flooring tends to be more stable than new wood as well so it won’t react the same way as new hardwood floors, which are subject to temperature and moisture changes in the air. Reclaimed wood has already been exposed to all kinds of humidity changes so it can be easily used with radiant heating as well.

The farmhouse flooring can definitely be paired with other chic elements in your space. There are features that are created by wire-brushing the floors, giving it an etched look, which adds more contrast in the colour. You can use matte finish so there is no shine at all and is very natural-looking.  Some pre-finished woods have a velvety look as well.  Another option if you don’t want to go with wood is vinyl. This is a great choice if you are looking to save on budget and maintenance. There are lots of options that are textured and look authentic.  There are many plank patterns available and they are waterproof, easy to install and easy to clean.

Hardwood isn’t just for the floor, keep in mind. The ceiling and walls all can be home for these unique beauties, to add character and charm to your home.

Dawn Chapnick is the Principal at Dawn Chapnick Designs. For more information and to book your next project please visit www.dawnchapnick.com

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