Inspiration No. 004: Farmhouse Reboot

“Our State Fair is a great state fair, don’t miss it, don’t even be late.  It’s dollars to donuts at our state fair, it the greatest state fair in our state!”  So sing the main characters in the opening scene of the Broadway musical State Fair. If you don’t know the story, its about an Iowa family and their annual pilgrimage to the 1946 granddaddy of them all. Dad shows his prize pig while mom tries to clean up with her mincemeat, laced with her “special” ingredient, and the kids find love adventure on the midway.

I remember going to the state fair as a kid, but as an adult it has become a yearly ritual. The one thing I love about the state fair, in addition to all of the food on a stick, is how relevant it is. The heart remains, but the fairgrounds are state-of-the-art.

I love the composition of this week’s image. The plaid and denim juxtaposed with the rustic barn and field of hay serve as the jumping of point to what I am calling Farmhouse Reboot. 

I spent a good amount of time thinking about how I could create something that is hip and forward.

I decided to use a mixture of unfinished, stained, and painted woods for my design.  Starting with the large cabinet at the top right, this is very on trend today. If I were working in new construction, I would incorporate a series of these into the floor plan instead of building in custom cabinetry. I would love to see them tumbled with a barrage of cream dishes and glassware.


The table features a uniquely carved base and a hammered galvanized tin top. It is the perfect mix of rustic and refined. Note how the unfinished pedestal ties into the side table I paired with the leather chair. The side table also ties nicely to the rustic painted finish on the buffet.

I choose a grey upholstered chair for the table. I actually did this in the store earlier this year. I took the same style of chair, in an oatmeal color, and paired it with a large pine harvest table. I love the way that each element made the other rise up when they were placed together.


The vintage vinyl floor cloth grounds the table and chairs and adds a pop of color.  A runner, in the same pattern but different color, would be placed in front of a copper farm sink. The sink’s finish then makes a connection to the fixture above the table.

EOD-LightThe lighting fixture brings another element of cool to the design. It introduces another metal to the mix and its shape repeats the rolled back of the chair, the round in the stool, and the detail on the buffet doors.

Although old farmhouses were traditionally comprised of small rooms, my design is geared more towards new construction. I envision a pair of leather chairs flanking a stack-stone fireplace a hearth room.


I have chosen three Ralph Lauren fabrics for the space. The first swatch (1) would be fabricated into toss pillows for the leather chairs, the second (2) would be fabricated into a hobbled roman shade for the kitchen window, and the last (3) would be used to upholster benches for the kitchen’s island.

I also chose two different styles of art to complete this week’s design. Just like mixing unfinished, stained, and painted woods, mixing different styles of art can be another fun way to create interest. The silhouettes are a blast from the past whereas the unframed canvas of the cow is just pure fun.

Regardless of where you call home, let your surroundings rise up and Live in the Picture. 

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