How to Transition Away from Farmhouse Style

8 steps to transition your decorating style from farmhouse (or any other trend) to a new decorating style without breaking the budget.

8 steps to transition your decorating style from farmhouse (or any other trend) to a new decorating style without breaking the budget.

This blog post title definitely needs to be qualified first with this statement:

You do not need anyone’s permission to be anything other than yourself in your home. Do not ever apologize for loving farmhouse style or mid-century modern furniture or boho decor or any other style that feels like home in your heart. Trends come and go but remaining true to yourself is FOREVER!

Whew! Okay, we got that out of the way but I had to say it. You do you, boo. There’s nothing wrong with craving change and wanting a fresh start, if that’s what you feel.

Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of the same question in my inbox: “How do I transition out of farmhouse style in my home?”

classically decorated foyer with gallery wall on staircase

If you feel like you’re ready for a new style, you can definitely change up the decor in your home without killing your budget…

How to Transition Away from Farmhouse Style (or any style)

1. Identify your new decorating style first.

You have to know where you’re transitioning to first or else you’ll have absolutely no idea where you’re going. You’ll end up buying decor or furniture to play “trial and error” while wasting money making costly mistakes when really all it takes is a little time to sit down and reflect.

Follow these 6 Steps to Find Your Decorating Style before making any changes.

winter living room

2. Take inventory of your farmhouse decor.

Walk around your home and make a list of items that no longer “speak” to you. Maybe it’s distressed furniture, rusted galvanized pieces, wooden word signs, chippy decor, reclaimed architecture pieces, rugs, graphic throw pillows, etc. Go with your gut.

Remember our kitchen from our first house? I was ALL IN with the farmhouse decor.

modern farmhouse kitchen

When we moved into our new-to-us house and I decorated with farmhouse items for about a year, I wasn’t feeling the wooden signs, industrial metal, and reclaimed wood. I swapped farmhouse decor for more classic pieces and ended up painting our lower cabinets green for a quick kitchen refresh to get a more classic-meets-modern look.

classic modern kitchen

3. Decide what pieces of your farmhouse decor you can repurpose to transform into a new look.

Look over your reject list and ask yourself…

  • Can that distressed piece of furniture just be updated with a coat of paint?

If you’ve never painted furniture before, here’s a beginner’s guide.

white painted buffet and antique mirror gallery wall

  • Can that word art be transformed into updated art?

Maybe just Mod Podge a vintage art print on that wood sign or on that canvas. Or swap out farmhouse art in your frames with antique oil painting prints. (You can use several in my printable library or search “vintage art printable” on Pinterest or Etsy.)

farmhouse word sign

winter landscape printable and DIY art

modern brass shaded chandelier

  • Can you recycle your throw pillows by just putting them inside of newer pillow covers?

Here’s extra help to mix and match pillows.

throw pillows on a guest bed

Try your best to work with what you have and you might end up loving it!

4. Sell items you don’t love that can’t be repurposed.

Plan a yard sale and use these tips to have the most success. Or post photos of items on Facebook Marketplace.

You’ll be able to use that money selling your old decor to buy new decor that works with your updated style (but hold off on that until step 7).

yard sale tips

5. Allow your house to “breathe” for a few days and try for minimalism.

Your house might feel a bit empty for a few days or weeks, but that’s okay. Allowing your house to “breathe” a little bit can help give you clarity.

A few bare walls and empty shelves allow you to envision new ideas and take inventory of what items you do need to fill the gaps. Minimalism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since farmhouse style is notorious for filling every nook and cranny of a home with “stuff”.

6. Dedicate a Pinterest board for each room of your house to save ideas with your new style inspirations.

This way, you can further visualize your new direction and have a loose plan for your rooms. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, make a mood board! (You can follow me on Pinterest here as an extra resource.)

home office work table

7. When starting to buy new items in your new style you identified in Step 1, begin with just 1 or 2 larger pieces to inspire your direction.

Large items will make the biggest impact in a room (rather than 10 small things). Start with a new rug in the new style of your choosing. Or a large piece of art. Or a light fixture.

That alone will help guide you in the rest of the space. (When planning a room, many pro interior designers use a piece of art or rug as a jumping off point, so it’s the perfect way for anyone of all skill levels to start designing a space.)

fall living room

guest bedroom with green velvet curtains and off centered window trick

Place that large item in a room and then see how you feel.

Does that item make you feel like you’re going in the right direction toward a new look you love? Then you’re on the right track.

8. Make a conscious effort to stick to classics.

These items are always in my “decor capsule”, never go off-trend, and are versatile in all styles of decorating.

  • Solid curtain panels (perk: they make windows appear larger)

  • Natural woven baskets

  • Black painted furniture

  • Marble elements

  • Stripe patterns

  • Navy blue anything (like the perfect pair of jeans that go with everything)

  • Oriental/Persian style rugs (vintage ones are even better than new)

  • Venetian and brass mirrors

  • Bentwood and Windsor chairs

  • Clean, white bedding (bonus points: it makes a bedroom feel like a spa hotel)

  • Furniture with clean lines

  • Real houseplants

Got any other tips you’d add to the list? Did this help at all?

I’ve been venturing away from farmhouse style for nearly 4 years now, and while it was certainly a challenge in the beginning, the journey has made me so much more aware of making smarter decorating decisions to span time and not just because something is “on trend”.

The result is timeless, but being yourself is always in style anyway, right? No one ever made their mark on the world by trying to look like everyone else.

And in the end, it’s your house where you will live every single day. Your rooms should inspire you and your household more than anyone.

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

how to change your decorating style

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28 Comments

  1. Very relevant theme for me. Thank you. I was never farmhouse, but for my current decorating efforts, I’ve made a deliberate effort to stay away from anything Ive seen on TV or popular items online. Absolutely no trends. I want rooms that I could keep for 10 years, so I looked to timeless spaces for inspiration. My theme: tidy comfort. It’s taken weeks to collect images of my choices and place them together in a montage to see how they fit. Now, I’m executing my vision. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

    1. That’s wonderful, Bridget! I couldn’t agree more. Sounds like you have a great plan coming together!

  2. This is great advice and info. We are moving from in town to a home in the mountains that has more of a cabin feel. I can’t wait to use this advice to blend my current style with a new twist for a new home. Thanks!

  3. Great post!!! I’m sure that’s helpful to a lot of people that are stuck and don’t know where to start 👍

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