Today we’re going to change things up a bit! For a change, I didn’t write this farmhouse decor post. I’m thrilled to welcome my daughter, Jamie Goveia, as a contributor to my blog! Jamie is a wonderful mother, talented writer and artist, and likes to tackle the occasional DIY project. Welcome Jamie!
Farmhouse decor is undeniably one of the most popular design styles we see and hear about these days, though I would say is far from a trendy fad that will soon be outdated. This is because farmhouse style–with its use of rustic and re-purposed materials and timeless, simple fixtures– has deep roots in American culture. Even for those of us who have never lived on working farms (which is probably most of us!), this style draws on feelings of nostalgia, warmth, and comfort.
While there are so many beautiful “Farmhouse Style Standards” like the apron-front sink, the sturdy farmhouse dining table, or (Dare I say it?) shiplap, there are many farmhouse-inspired décor elements that don’t require so much investment and perhaps are even more effective at communication those ideas of simplicity, usefulness, and family life. One trend I’ve noticed in many stores, magazines, and online retailers, is the use of actual words in decorating. From huge, metal signs, to wooden initials, there seems to be quite an appeal in using text to decorate our homes, and this seems to go particularly well with the farmhouse style.
I started to wonder, “Why do we see this trend so much in “farmhouse” decor? What makes words so appealing?” I think the answer might be two-fold since they capture two important facets of farm life: practicality and character.
Today I’m going to highlight some of my favorite, very affordable, word-based design elements that use the printed text to exude that comfortable farmhouse feel.
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Many of the signs, pillows, etcetera are made from (or are inspired by) real-life practical products, such as advertisements, re-purposed containers, or burlap sacks harkening back to a time when people used what they had on hand. They show a no-fuss, resourceful attitude. The sugar canister says “sugar” because that’s what it is! And if it looks pretty, too, that’s a nice bonus. These Mason jar-inspired canisters come with food-grade seal-able lids, so they stay true to the farmhouse motif of working hard in the kitchen, while also looking stylish.
This simple crate, available on Etsy, is exactly the kind of décor I love because it looks attractive all on its own with its unique faded advertising, but I can also envision holding towels or books or anything that might be cluttering up my counter. It’s a perfect blend of function and charm. I think it’s likely this no-frills, everyday beauty is what inspires the vintage containers and script-covered wall pieces so popular in farmhouse design. Maybe it reminds people of a simpler time.
Words of Value
Another reason these words are so appealing is they make a very clear statement, usually about the values and priorities of the decorator. What are some of the most popular words found in farmhouse design? Home. Family. Love. Together. That paints a pretty clear picture! This sign with wreath by Little Box Signs on Etsy is substantial in size and makes a clear statement about the importance of home. While the largest size is over our $40 affordability mark, there are smaller sizes available that would fit the farmhouse look and a modest budget.
Sometimes the farmhouse design takes it one step further and we see all-out commands like, Gather, Eat, or Relax. Well, I don’t mind if I do! What I love about this sign by Hogg Barn Antiques on Etsy is that the two layers of text. “Choose Joy” is at the forefront while a vintage dictionary page serves as background. This speaks to resourcefulness and heart values at the same time.
Some décor items are even more elaborate and include favorite Bible verses, literary quotes, or the sheet music to a special song, again reinforcing the decorator’s values. This pillow, available in a variety of styles on Etsy, speaks to being comfy and comforting.
And often these words are tailored to the individual. The simplicity of farmhouse style fonts– from classic block type to scrawling handwriting– lends itself well to do-it-yourself or ordering a custom print. My mom has made several signs for her home that are specific to her and our family, one is the blessing we grew up saying before meals, and the other is a reminder of all the many places we have called “home”. For those of us who would rather leave the writing to the professionals, there are many customizable options on Amazon and Etsy. We often see family names with an “established” date, which adds a comforting sense of history and permanence, like this wooden pallet sign available on Amazon, which you can personalize for your family, even down to the finish color of the wood.
Signs aren’t the only way to personalize your space with farmhouse charm, though. These tea towels would make a sweet present for a newly-married couple or as an anniversary gift.
Lastly, this blank slate might seem like an odd choice for a post all about text, but never forget the simple chalkboard. This cute vintage slate kitchen chalkboard is 14” x 9.5” in size, so perfect for a counter-top reminder of the daily to-do list or a daily inspirational quote.
A quick word of caution…pun intended… it is easy to take this trend a bit too far. Picking one or two favorite statement pieces for each space in your home is a good bet. That should help punch up your decor and relate the atmosphere you want without being too overwhelming and distracting from the feeling of simple comfort that you want your home to communicate.