The Stars Of Farmhouse Fixer Have Genius Tips For Making Your Farmhouse Style Feel Authentic

When styling in the farmhouse aesthetic, it's easy to mistakenly try to create a space that feels trendy and therefore appears tacky and distasteful. According to Columbus Monthly, while certain farmhouse design choices are classic, others will soon find their fate in the donation bin. For instance, distressed flooring and reclaimed wood features are sure to last much longer in your home than impractical barn doors or cheesy word art. 

In order to create a space that genuinely feels like a farmhouse, you'll need to be extra purposeful about every one of your design choices. To help you be intentional and create the house of your dreams, the hosts of "Farmhouse Fixer" Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin have some advice. Both of them are advocates for using timeless elements over trendy ones; As Knight says, "I hate when people put trendy things in a house and it goes out of style so fast," per CheatSheet. Because of this, they have three tips which, according to Crestin on Realtor, "correctively create that [authentic] feel." 

Focus on the ceiling

The first piece of advice is to focus on designing the ceiling. One of the most popular ways to do this is by adding rustic wooden beams, but there are a number of other choices you could try as well. For instance, WestWind Creative creates a coffered or grid ceiling in pure white, which adds more texture and interest. Other popular options include millwork and beadboard, and Jonathan Knight frequently uses shiplap and wainscoting, per HGTV.

According to Realtor, Kristina Crestin says that "paying attention to ceilings becomes the biggest thing, which also really drives the budget. Because when you think about an older home and you don't want it to look like a brand-new kitchen, the only way to do that is to layer on more detail. If you strip out all that detail, you wouldn't have the feeling of an older home." Therefore, the best materials may be reclaimed wood or other older pieces that actually make the space feel like a real farmhouse.

Use natural materials

In the interview with Realtor, Kristina Crestin continues, saying that "materials matter. If you really look, a lot of [true farmhouses] are always using natural stones like slate and brick and soapstone. We're trying not to use new materials. And plumbing finishes: We use a lot of unlacquered brass or oil-rubbed bronze."

Therefore, their second piece of advice is to use natural materials whenever possible. As Crestin points out, stones and aged metals are always a great choice, and HGTV says that the hosts typically use rustic woods as well. Other options include wooden pieces like beams, wall paneling, cabinetry, and barn doors, per MasterClass. And, when decorating with smaller pieces, you could choose things made out of wicker, jute, metals, or wood. If you're wondering where to find these elements, antique or thrift stores may be your best bet. Another great decoration you could add are plants, as they'll definitely make your space feel more natural.

Favor aged pieces

When choosing the right materials, furniture, and decorations, favor aged pieces over new ones, as this will give your home a more authentic feel. When discussing the metals they typically use in renovations, Kristina Crestin says that "We want those finishes to patina over time, which is completely the reverse of the trend of durability and looking perfect forever. But in a farmhouse, you don't want that. You want things to show age," per Realtor.

Jonathan Knight is a huge fan of using vintage elements. When commenting about how excited Knight gets over finding antique pieces, Crestin says, "To me, he's reacting to what was done well then. He's looking at the original stonework. He seems to be reflecting back to the people who did it and the pride they took in their work," per CheatSheet. Echoing Crestin, Knight says that an aged piece or home "just has meaning," which is something you can't create.