Wood has always been a key component in traditional farmhouse construction. The organic material represents a deep connection to nature, craftsmanship and homespun style. To connect with wood's intrinsic beauty, simply place your hand on an antique newel post, walk barefoot across wide pine planks, or rest your arm on a rustic mantelpiece. From newly milled lumber to upcycled antiques and reclaimed barnwood, there's no better way to imbue your home with comfort and character than to include a variety of wood finishes.
To bring a touch of woodsy warmth to your space, begin with accessories. Display handcrafted wares steeped in history, such as antique bread boards, dough bowls, trencher trays, and firkins, which offer a textured counterpoint to the smooth white tile, walls and cabinetry in so many farmhouse interiors. If you favor a modern interpretation of such pieces, many craftspeople employ age-old methods and technology to create goods that complement today's farmhouses, such as wooden trays, charcuterie boards, boxes and candleholders.
Ready to tackle an easy DIY project that infuses rooms with hints of wood and offers additional display space? Consider open wall shelving made from pieces of stained lumber supported on brackets. The rustic shelves are a perfect foil for ceramics, glassware, collectibles and more.
Another way to incorporate wood tones is to select new or vintage case goods or other furniture pieces featuring exposed wood. Don't pass up secondhand furnishings with distressed finishes that include wormholes, scrapes or gouges. These details can lend a bit of rustic beauty when mixed in with painted or upholstered pieces. Distinguish hallways with deconstructed chairs or farm benches. Accentuate living rooms with hutches or tables. Lend charm to bedrooms with bedsteads or chests of drawers.
If you prefer new wooden furniture with a farmhouse vibe, seek out eco-conscious woodworkers who transform reclaimed wood into finely crafted modern pieces. For example, Illinois-based What WE Make reuses Midwestern barn boards to build everything from dining tables to bathroom vanities. "The warm wood tones and character marks of reclaimed wood pair well with most decors," owner Dan Quinn explains. "Wood adds organic color and becomes the focal point of the room."
Though painted wood prevails for kitchen cabinetry, it is increasingly being paired with stained finishes. While an antique piece turned island or a rough-hewn range hood is a common choice, wooden countertops offer another option.
Thanks to technological advances, hardwood countertop materials, such as maple, walnut, hickory and cherry, now rival stone and quartz for durability.
Live-edge countertops provide an even more unique touch with their one-of-a-kind edge shapes that follow the natural curves of the original tree. Live-edge wood countertops are more expensive than traditionally sawn ones, so they are often used for focal areas or even made into tabletops.
Wood flooring is a given for imparting a farmhouse look, but other wood products can also lend new dimension to walls and ceilings.
While shiplap is synonymous with farmhouse style, the horizontal boards are typically painted white. Consider creating a focal area behind a bed or above a mantel with rough-hewn natural-finish planks to break things up. Other wall treatments that incorporate wood include board-and-batten and beadboard panels, but peel-and-stick wood planks, pallet boards and reclaimed lumber can also be used to adorn accent walls and even ceilings.
Speaking of ceilings, if you want to make a big impact, enhance their architectural integrity with beams or trusses. Hardwood beams are extremely heavy, and it is wise to consult with an architect before tackling this project. However, you can get a similar look if you select hollow, three-sided decorative beams instead.
This fall, take a cue from the past and the great outdoors and spruce up your home with the warmth of wood.