Create an Elegant Farmhouse Living Room
Rustic finds give this space enduring charm
The pale neutrals and weathered woods at the heart of farmhouse style are naturally low-key, but they can still be sophisticated. Take this living room, which designer P. Allen Smith put together on a shoestring for his Arkansas guesthouse. The artful bouquet of heirloom tools above the worn mantel creates a central focal point for symmetrically placed armchairs and wood-framed mirrors. Pillows and plant pots in candy-apple red pop against white walls, which Smith covered with painted burlap to look like pricey grasscloth and wainscoted with salvaged cabinet doors. Want an equally unfussy look at your place? Read on.
We painted the wood base of this hard-wearing metal-top coffee table a creamy white, then distressed it with a scraper and dark finishing wax to give it the same lived-in feel as Smith's find.
About $270; Overstock
Smith's distressed find adds a sense of history to the room.
You can track down similar treasures at salvage yards; we spotted this pine one for about $425 at Columbus Architectural Salvage.
Inspired by saber displays he saw on the walls of British manor houses, Smith affixed his ancestors' rusty farm tools with wood screws driven into the studs and secured them with baling wire and an old leather belt.
We found this assortment on Etsy, from about $6 to $24 each.