Country Chic: 5 Cute—Not Kitschy—Farmhouse Decor Ideas for Your Outdoor Space

Country Chic: 5 Cute—Not Kitschy—Farmhouse Decor Ideas for Your Outdoor Space

By | Feb 26, 2018


Whether your kitchen sports country chic accessories or your entire home is full-on “Fixer Upper,” the buzzword for 2018 decor is “farmhouse.”

And not only is this rustic look hotter than ever for interiors, it’s also a natural fit for your outdoor living spaces. Farmhouse details for your porch or yard can help channel the relaxed, outdoorsy lifestyle we all secretly crave.

But if you’re going to embrace it, use a little restraint (read: Don’t re-create the “Hee Haw” soundstage on your front lawn). And know that the style of your home matters; tricking out your porch with farmhouse details might not be the best idea if you have an ultracontemporary home with sleek lines and glass walls.

But for most styles of home—Craftsman, Colonial, and saltbox—a few accent pieces can transform your outdoor spaces into a pastoral retreat that will make you and your guests want to sit and stay a while.

Ready to go country in a classy way? Check out these outdoor farmhouse looks.

1. An outhouse or potting shed


Who knew these rural-looking (and all too often, dilapidated) structures would be so in right now? If you happen to have one on your property, don’t tear it down. If you don’t own a potting shed or outhouse (like most of us), you can visit flea markets or auctions for good buys.

“Outbuildings give a lot of character to your property, so enhance what you have with painted window boxes for greenery or stacks of pumpkins in cooler weather,” suggests Susan Taylor, owner of Black-Eyed Susan Style in Bucks County, PA.

“Serving both function and design, you can store your gardening tools (inside),” says Rhianna Miller of “A wall of windows can let in light, highlight the potting table, collectible garden tools, and tender plants.”

Denise Palmer of Piper Classics, a farmhouse decor outlet in Colonial Pennsylvania, likes to lean vintage garden tools on a shed wall and display a grapevine wreath on the door.

2. Split-rail fence

Photo by Domain Design Architects

This detail is definitely farmhouse-appropriate, plus it adds an open look to your yard.

“Stone and brick have a way of cutting you off from what’s on the other side,” Palmer explains. “But a split-rail fence has natural artistry and grace, which gives it a warmer, more welcoming appearance.”

And this fence style won’t break the bank: A wood fence will run about $9 to $15 per square foot, while stone is $180 with labor, points out Julie Coraccio, owner of Reawaken Your Brilliance, a home organizing business.

Not a fan of wood? Check out local dealers for old ironwork or gates.

3. Wood and metal accents

Photo by Corynne Pless

The farmhouse look gives you free rein to accessorize your covered porch and front stoop with a “weathered look that can add antique charm,” Miller says. As you shop (or collect), think about design and functionality in these areas, including seating and storage.

“I love a wooden bench, box, or a porch swing, especially one made with metal details,” Coraccio says.

“Natural-looking items such as wicker baskets or the fins of a windmill can be used artistically, too,” adds Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.

Galvanized metal screams “classic farmhouse,” so gather different-sized cans or milk pails and use them to display boxwood rings with candles, lanterns, or unusual branches, Palmer suggests.

“Metal that’s been aged, distressed, or painted white or cream adds an airy feel and updates the farmhouse chic look,” she says.

But too much of it, particularly metal milk cans, can border on kitsch, Taylor warns.

“If you go this route, add some oomph by painting the cans a metallic color (like copper), which makes them fresh and unexpected,” she says.

4. Rustic wreaths

Photo by

A simple wreath or a hanging basket is an easy way to dip your toe into the farmhouse trend—and it’ll never feel out of season.

The perfect rustic wreath will be made of natural materials such as eucalyptus, or it might be twiggy in appearance with pip berries, Palmer says.

“The biggest mistake with wreaths is going too small, so be sure to find a size and color that will show from the road,” Taylor cautions.

And don’t forget to include some motion, she adds—a trailing vine or blossoms or extra-wide burlap ribbon will add a nice finishing touch.

5. Patriotic flair

Photo by Siena Custom Builders, Inc.

Nothing says American country life quite like, well, Americana.

“Buntings across the porch rail and flags waving proudly over the kids playing in the yard bring the vision to life,” Miller says.

But to stay chic, you’ll need to tone down your display of affection for the good ol’ USA: Don’t drown your porch in red, white, and blue.

Instead, choose muted tones such as cream, navy blue, and dark red, Miller suggests, and add baskets of red and white geraniums.

Taylor saves flags and bunting for summer holidays, but agrees that a few Americana details such as oversized metal stars can work well.

“Smaller versions of these were once used as architectural supports, so putting them here is a decorative shoutout to history, especially when painted barn red or a gunmetal gray,” she says.

You can also create a gallery wall on your porch with metal stars or hang or lean a hand-painted flag on a pallet, Palmer suggests. Up the charm and whimsy with a pair of rocking chairs and a half-barrel with flowers spilling out.

“Either way, you’re sure to strike a patriotic look and feel,” Miller says.

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