For a few years I’ve been writing an annual blog post about the biggest home decor trends of the year and one of the topics I’ve always touched on was whether farmhouse is going out of style. Turns out, about half of the traffic I was getting to that post was from people looking for the answer to that question. So, I thought it deserved its own post.
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So if you’re here because you’re wondering whether farmhouse is out of style in 2024, the answer is yes … and no.
First, let’s talk about the ways in which farmhouse has fallen out of style, then I’ll talk about ways to make the vibe feel fresh.
Farmhouse design started becoming a huge decorating trend back around 2010, thanks in large part to Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper. Its homey vibes, distressed antiques, and neutral-heavy aesthetic felt like a fresh, less-frilly evolution of another super popular style at the time, the shabby chic/French country look, which was characterized by ticking stripes, lots of burlap, ruffles, French antiques and traditional furniture. At the same time, farmhouse style also had a rustic quality about it that tapped into two other super-popular styles from the early 2010s: country and industrial.
I actually remember when I worked at Joss & Main in 2014, and one of our biggest looks was the shabby chic/French Country style, and in one of our meetings someone brought up the farmhouse look and how it was really starting to take off with shoppers. Someone mentioned Joanna Gaines, and was shocked that I had no idea who she was at the time! It didn’t take long before I figured it out though, because we were about to enter the Joanna Gaines heyday.
Basically, farmhouse design appealed to many of the people who liked the shabby chic, country, or industrial looks as a way to freshen up their homes, and it exploded.
Cut to 2024. After 10+ years of signs pointing to the nearest Farmer’s Market, white shiplap walls and iron beds, the farmhouse and modern farmhouse looks, like French Country before them, are tired. Farmhouse decor ended up everywhere, from Walmart and Hobby Lobby, to Wayfair and HomeGoods, even at higher end retailers like Restoration Hardware.
The thing with trends is that people like them because they’re new and fresh, and when they stop feeling new and fresh, they start to feel dated, and we all move on to the next trend.
So what’s next for the farmhouse vibe? Is it over completely?
Is farmhouse style here to stay?
Despite the fact that the mass market farmhouse look is no longer the default decorating style, farmhouse isn’t totally out of style. There will always be people who are attracted to certain styles, as well as certain houses that lend themselves to authentic farmhouse decor (like … farmhouses).
The key to decorating in farmhouse style in 2024 is just to update the look so that it feels original and fresh.
All decorating styles go through evolutions. Even traditional décor has certain prints and colors that trend every decade or two. Heck, white kitchens, which are as basic and timeless as you can get, are now considered a little tired since they’ve just been done so much. They’re still classic, they’ve just become a little boring, so people are looking at other alternatives.
A lot of the farmhouse décor that originally was popular five or six years ago feels cliché at this point (lookin’ at you, “gather” signs), so if you’re worried that your farmhouse style is going out of style, it’s probably time to switch up some of your accessories, or paint a wall, or upcycle some things that aren’t working for you anymore. The style as a whole can still feel relevant and fresh with some tweaks.
Below, I’ve listed out some of the farmhouse details that are probably past their prime, and new ways to adopt farmhouse style in 2024.
What farmhouse décor is out in 2024
This includes anything that says, yep, “Gather,” “live, laugh, love,” “Welcome to the farm,” “blessed,” etc. It started off feeling sweet and original, but now, those signs feel cliche. There are memes about these signs. When that happens, it’s time to move on.
Finding furniture at a flea market that has real, authentic character is one thing. But buying cheap furniture that already looks worn was a rightfully short-lived trend. Pass over anything that’s pre-distressed when you buy it, since it’ll look dated. The real thing is way better, and probably less expensive.
Buffalo check everything
Black-and-white buffalo check was a hallmark of the early farmhouse trend, but it’s another trend that’s become ubiquitous to the point of being cliché. A touch of the print is still just fine, but adding it in everywhere feels too done.
Decor that looks DIY but isn’t
Things like mason jars glued to faux-distress barnboard and hung as wall art. Or faux-antique window panes with chicken wire behind them. If you bought something like this at HomeGoods in the last five years, it’s time to take it down.
What farmhouse furniture to buy in 2024
Essentially, farmhouse decor is moving towards authentic items (so real distressed furniture instead of faux), adding in antiques or modern pieces for balance and depth, and putting a personalized spin on the look so that it isn’t so overdone.
If you’re looking to update your farmhouse style, try:
Color and pattern
Embracing color and pattern is the easiest way to make farmhouse style feel fresh.
Landscape prints, especially vintage or antique ones, are a fresh addition to farmhouse décor. In general, landscape prints have become popular in home décor overall, from modern spaces to traditional ones, but they’re especially suited to farmhouse décor and will make a natural complement to what you already own if you currently decorate with farmhouse style.
Real vintage landscapes can be pricey, but Etsy has lots of great print options on a budget.
Plaids, not checks.
One quick way to update your farmhouse decor is to swap out your buffalo check items for simple plaids, a la this tablecloth I spotted on the Magnolia Home blog. Plaids of all kinds are having a big moment in interior design, and the fact that there are so many types of plaid allows you choose something that’s based more on your style and less on what a trend dictates (like when buffalo plaid was the only acceptable check pattern).
Besides landscape, botanical prints, like images of ferns or eucalyptus, or sketch drawings of flower bouquets, for example, are a big farmhouse wall art trend. This one risks becoming overdone in the next few years, but wall art is easy enough to change that it’s worth the risk.
Pale, lime-washed woods.
Barnboard and distressed woods have been traded in for light, stripped woods, often with a subtle lime-wash (or white wash).
Rustic planters and pottery.
Pottery that feels weathered or handmade, like it was pulled right from the kiln or perhaps found in an old barn somewhere is having a major moment, and is an easy way to update your farmhouse decor.
These Terrain pots are a great example.
What farmhouse decor is timeless?
Certain farmhouse piece will stand the test of time because they’re classic. Things like:
Authentic farmhouse dining tables.
These are well made and beautiful, and if you can get your hands on a solid wood or antique farmhouse table, you’ll be able to keep it for years.
Authentic shiplap or shiplap that suits your home’s architecture.
Wondering if shiplap is out of style? It’s not, so long as it’s an original part if your home’s architecture, or it looks like it could be an original part of the architecture. It’s well-suited to older homes.
These spindle-backed chairs have been around for centuries, and were adopted as a signature farmhouse look. But, that doesn’t mean they’re a trend. These classic chairs might not always be so on-trend, but the look will still stand the test of time.
Farmhouse sinks are beautiful, and a classic.
Vintage Turkish, Oriental and Persian-style rugs are currently a big farmhouse style. If you get your hands on an original version (I’ve found some great ones on eBay), you’ll likely be able to find a spot for it in your home for years to come.
Etsy has tons of great vintage rug options:
Long story short, if you’re wondering if your farmhouse decor is out of style, it’s probably time to give it a refresh. Keep the key pieces, and swap out your decorations, pillows, etc, for something a little more now.
Is shiplap out of style?
If you love a farmhouse vibe, you might be wondering if you should take the leap and add shiplap to your home, or if shiplap and farmhouse is going out of style and you should choose a different wall detail instead. It’s a valid question, because shiplap has been everywhere over the last ten years, and eventually, even the biggest home decor trends start to feel a bit … done.
The answer is: shiplap is starting to go out of style and feel a little cliché, but only in certain applications.
Like a lot of the details in the farmhouse decorating craze, shiplap has roots as an authentic architectural element, and it was around for centuries before it was thrust into the spotlight on HGTV. Shiplap was a building technique that added an extra layer of insulation and structure between the interior and exterior walls of a house. It was usually covered up by plaster or, later, sheetrock. Eventually, homeowners (and Joanna Gaines) discovered the charm of exposing shiplap walls, and a trend was born.
In that way, shiplap is like subway tile or unlacquered brass cabinet hardware: it’s been trendier than usual over the last decade, but at it’s core, it’s a classic material, and it will never really be “out of style.” i.e. If your home was originally built with shiplap walls, exposing them will never be out of style.
Even if you add in shiplap paneling to a wall where there was none, you’re still adding architectural detail, which, in my mind, is always better than no architectural detail.
All that said, though, I think we’ve passed peak shiplap craze, but especially in a few instances, which are:
All white painted shiplap was pretty much installed in every new construction home built between 2013-2021. Take a quick gander on Redfin for proof. Pair this with the amount of times we all saw it on Instagram and on HGTV, and it’s no wonder it’s starting to seem a little less cutting edge and trendy than it might have ten years ago.
What still does feel original and modern, though, is painted shiplap, especially in moody shades of green, dark blue, or deep gray.
Shiplap accent walls.
It’s not necessarily shiplap accent walls that are going out of style, but accent walls in general. After showing up as a quick way to revamp a room about 10 years ago, the design powers that be have realized the look a little unfinished.
Plus, the maximalist aesthetic is replacing minimalism and midcentury styles, and when more is more, an accent wall doesn’t quite cut it. If you don’t want your shiplap wall to look like low-budget farmhouse decor, go for floor-to-ceiling, all four walls shiplap. It’ll make a much bigger impact and feel more current.
If you wan to update a shiplap accent wall, take a cue from the bathroom above: Paint the accent wall, and the rest of the walls in the room, a single shade.
Is shiplap timeless or trendy?
Because shiplap is an authentic building material, it will never truly be out of style so long as it’s part of the original architecture of a home. It also won’t feel out of style in certain home, like a coastal beach house, where the clapboard look has been synonymous with the style for centuries.
At the same time, it’s definitely a trendy look when it’s added to new construction in order to give it some character, or when it’s done as an accent wall in a master bedroom, for example. My bet is, in five years, these looks will feel dated and you’ll probably want to swap them out for something else.
How to do shiplap in 2024
To recap, there are still instances where shiplap can look stylish and unexpected, and really add to a room.
Colored shiplap: The easiest way to update shiplap walls is to paint them in a color that feels of the moment. Very pale shades of taupe or beige can be just enough contrast to make the look feel more authentic and unique. Prefer dark hues? Try colors like deep sage green, steely dark blue (I like Benjamin Moore Hale Navy), or almost-black charcoal.
Original shiplap: If you live in a historic home with original shiplap, it’ll never be out of style! In this case, it’s an architectural detail worth celebrating.
Allover shiplap: Instead of an accent wall, take the shiplap all the way around the room.
3/4 wall shiplap: Another way to use shiplap so it looks fresh? Install it 3/4 of the way up the wall, then paint it in a color that’s not white, and add a coordinating wallpaper to the top 1/4 of the wall.
Painting Wood: Is it still in style?
Along with shiplap, painted wood furniture has been a top farmhouse decorating trend. Painting wood has always been an easy way to update old furniture, flea market finds, and hand-me-downs. But, the farmhouse decorating craze took painted furniture to a whole new level. No piece of furniture was safe from chalk paint and a light distressing.
Painting wood furniture is still in style. It’s kind of like asking if painting the walls is still in style. It’s a method of decorating, not a trend in and of itself. It’s just that the style, type of paint, and colors change a bit from time to time (just like they do with walls).
The shabby-looking, faux-distressed painted wood furniture is definitely on its way out. In its place is rich, finished-looking, or high-gloss paint jobs.
What’s the trend after farmhouse decor?
Now that the traditional farmhouse look is starting to feel tired, what’s the next big home decor trend? We’re actually already seeing it.
The farmhouse look has morphed into the new style of decorating that many are still considering ‘farmhouse’ but is actually a new look entirely.
The look is a fresh-traditional style with lots of neutrals and modern touches, the type of style that’s been popularized by designers like Studio McGee, Amber Interiors, and even Joanna Gaines. It has some of the hallmark farmhouse looks, like pale wood tones mixed with lots of white shades, and there’s a mix of antiques and modern silhouettes. But the new “classic modern rustic” or “transitional modern” look is a lot more clean and polished than the farmhouse style. It’s sort of like farmhouse without the shabby chic or kitschy elements and with polished traditional pieces in their place.
What you won’t find in a classic modern rustic home:
- Faux-distressed furniture
- Typography signs (think “Gather”)
- Chicken-wire or burlap anything
- All-black black cabinet and door hardware
- Shabby chic slipcovers and details
- Lantern-style light fixtures
What you will find in a classic modern rustic home (that you won’t find in a classic farmhouse space)
- Rich velvets
- Tailored furniture
- Smooth wooden antiques (not distressed)
- Polished brass and honed marble
- Modern light fixtures
The reason some people think minimal traditional style is just a continuation of the farmhouse look is because they do share some similarities, including:
- -Lots of white walls and neutral colors
- -Mixed wood tones
- -Exposed wood beams
- -Open kitchen shelving
- -Oil paintings and landscape art
But, the two styles are definitely separate. Farmhouse isn’t farmhouse without the rustic elements that tie it back to its country roots.