By CATHI AYCOCK
Do you covet shiplap? Long for industrial elements as light fixtures for your kitchen? Live in the ‘burbs but dream of country living? Have a girl crush on Joanna Gaines from the hit show HGTV’s Fixer Upper?
Like the rest of the design world, you are embracing urban farmhouse.
The design trend encompasses shiplap, all shades of white and painted furniture, industrial elements repurposed for lighting and farmhouse tools utilized for home decor accents. It evokes a home built in the country. But even if you live in the suburbs, urban farmhouse can add magic to your home.
We asked Marianne DeMeyers, owner of Tin Cottage in Franklin, to explain the trend, and share tips on how to add urban farmhouse touches to your own home.
“I have always loved a farmhouse. I grew up in rural Kentucky so a farmhouse was part of my childhood,” DeMeyers explains.
The design aesthetic resonated with DeMeyers because she equates the casual style with a happy place in her life, and seeing the trend made her realize that the style is exactly the way she lives her life.
“Urban farmhouse is simple. I live two teenage boys, two dogs and one wonderful husband. Simple works for me,” DeMeyers laughs.
While her current house is located in a suburban area, she says adding a touch of farmhouse makes her home feel peaceful. And one of the primary elements to the trend, all shade of white paint, is one of the easiest ways to add a soothing look to your home as well.
“White is the quintessential color of the farmhouse. There are beautiful whites that have a little warmth. I love Whitetail or Dover White from Sherwin Williams. White with a touch of gray works for almost everyone,” DeMeyers explains.
DeMeyers says one of the elements of urban farmhouse is actually historic.
“On the farm, you used whatever was on hand. A Mason jar with flowers instead of a fancy vase. An old table given a coat of paint. Repurposing things was not a trend, it was a way of life,” DeMeyers says.
In her own home, DeMeyers removed the doors from the cabinets in her kitchen. The look is perfect for the urban farmhouse look, but had a practical side as well.
“I took the doors off to avoid the “close the doors” command for my teenagers. I thought, let’s make it easy. Simplify. Our dishes are never dusty. We use them too often,” laughs DeMeyers.
While you can spend thousands on primitive antiques, DeMeyers loves that shopping flea markets and local antique shops for pieces that are less pedigree and more pretty.
“The look is not all country. The urban element is adding industrial touches to the mix. It creates a strong juxtaposition. Think about a metal kitchen scale or weathered buckets used in a simple white kitchen. That is urban farmhouse,” DeMeyers says.
DeMeyers says one of the most beloved elements to urban farmhouse, shiplap, is actually a fairly easy DIY project.
“I built a shiplap wall at Tin Cottage for visual interest. The entire wall took me about four hours. Adding a shiplap wall to a family room would be a great way to add texture to house that doesn’t have personality,” DeMeyers says.
A do-it-yourself shiplap wall
Below are DeMeyers easy directions for creating your own shiplap wall.
Measure the wall you are going to create the shiplap look on.
Two options for supplies: Choose true shiplap boards with notched grooves, or
choose a much thinner (and cheaper) option. Buy plywood underlayment, (sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot) and ask the store to cut the wood into 6 to 8-inch strips.
You will also need a nail gun with brad nails, stud finder, a miter or table saw, spackle, sandpaper and paint.
If you are using true shiplap, remove your baseboards and any crown moulding. For the thinner faux shiplap, this step is not necessary.
Find the studs on the wall and mark with a pencil.
Begin at the top of the wall and nail your first board.
Use pennies as spacers between each board to keep things even.
Stagger planks randomly, using as many full length boards as possible.
Measure where you will need smaller pieces and cut with saw.
Fill in with smaller cut boards to create a finished shiplap wall.
Fill knotholes and nail holes with caulk. Sand holes.
Prime and paint the wall.
DeMeyers says the urban farmhouse trend is about family, comfort and home. Elements that almost everyone can add to their own home, even if the home is smack in the middle of the suburbs.
Want more home decor inspiration? Click here to see how one couple turned a small space into a tranquil master bedroom.