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Design & Inspiration

Farmhouse Design with Emily Starr Alfano

By Kali

Farmhouse Design with Emily Starr Alfano

Meet Farmhouse expert Emily Starr Alfano. She'll be sharing all her tips bringing farmhouse style home! Emily is the Starr behind Boston-based lifestyle studio mStarr Design. Getting its start designing weddings and events, mStarr quickly expanded into the world of interior design. With a knack for blending the artisan with the mainstream, Emily makes layered, approachable interiors that reflect her clients’ personalities and lifestyles. Follow @mstarrevdesign on Instagram and see how Emily does farmhouse style in her 1830s home #farmhousedialfano.

A fresh farmhouse retreat starts with the perfect base layers. Our Farmhouse Design Sample Pack, curated by Emily,  is the perfect place to start.

Our farmhouse sample pack features soft neutrals that are a timeless choice.

Our Farmhouse Style Sample Pack features Brick color samples in Klamath, Olympic, Sierra Nevada, Front Range; and Ceramic Tile color samples in Cardamom, Driftwood, Sandstone, and Skipping Stone

What made you choose these colors? 
I love earthy colors for a fresh farmhouse feel and love that these 8 are a nice mix of warm and cooler tones. I know a lot of people have a tough time deciding on colors. And I certainly get tripped up sometimes {especially when looking at 50 different shades of a particular color}. But I tend to know what I like {or what my clients will like} and more often than not, I simply put together the colors that are inspiring me for a project and they work well together. Sometimes it's best to just go with what you like and you'll be surprised at how nicely they end up looking together. 

Glazed Thin Brick in Klamath is the perfect accent for this farmhouse kitchen.

Brick Shown: Klamath // Design + Image: Emily Starr Alfano

Where do you find inspiration? 
It's so wide ranging! Instagram, blogs, nature, magazines, friends' homes etc. 

Three words to describe your design style? 
Organic. Layered. Approachable. 

Brick Shown: Klamath // Design + Image: Emily Starr Alfano

What does Farmhouse style mean to you? 
Farmhouse style to me is not the more traditionally thought of Farmhouse style. It means incorporating elements that resonate with a farmhouse but mixing in other styles too. So maybe it's shiplap but installed vertically vs. horizontally for a more contemporary look. Maybe it's reclaimed wood floors but installed in a herringbone pattern. I strive to honor certain aspects of our nearly 200-year-old-home but focus on blending styles...Cottage, Farmhouse, Organic, California Cool. 

Design + Image: Emily Starr Alfano

What are your top 6 Design Tips to creating a modern farmhouse kitchen or bathroom? 

1. Stay away from too much color. I think the farmhouse style is appealing because it's so inviting. Too much color or too many bold colors, and it starts to get away from that. 

The farmhouse style is appealing because it's so inviting. Too much color or too many bold colors, and it starts to get away from that.

Tile Shown: 2x6 Driftwood with Glazed Thin Brick in Big Horn // Design: High Street Homes // Image: Jen Morley Burner

Offering a retreat from her luxe floral design studio, Tinge Floral, Ashley Beyer's fresh and chic kitchen offers the perfect backdrop for her organic-inspired style.

Brick Shown: Olympic // Design: Tinge Floral // Image: Kate Osborne

2. Incorporate some type of open shelving and/or rail with hooks.
Some may say this is trendy but I think they're timeless and a beautiful way to display both everyday and decorative items that you {and your guests} want to look at! If you're worried about storage or dust, just do a small section. 

With subtle nods to the nautical, this farmhouse kitchen's artisan subway tile backsplash beautifully showcases our signature handmade color variation.

Tile Shown: 4x8 tiles in Mist // Design: EJ Interior Design // Image: Brad Knipstein

3. Herringbone
So maybe this screams more Parisian apartment but it's got historical roots and is the loveliest addition to a home, whether on the floors or the walls. 

A herringbone is the perfect pattern for a floor or wall in Farmhouse Design.

Tile Shown:2x6 tiles in Driftwood with Glazed Thin Brick in Big Horn // Design: High Street Homes // Image: Jen Morley Burner

Brick Shown: Klamath // Design + Image: Emily Starr Alfano

4. Mix and match metals and woods.
You want to keep things fresh and a little unexpected. There's nothing wrong with matching your faucet, lighting and/or hardware but it's that much nicer to do a mix of metals. 

Discover soulful details in this historical master bath featuring 3x6 subway tile and a sweet wallpaper to create the feeling of balance.

Tile Shown: 3x6 tiles in Mist // Design + Image: Benita Cooper Design

Brick Shown: Olympic // Design: Heidi LaChapelle Interiors // Image: Erin Little

5. Make sure to layer textures. 
This will add visual interest and build depth throughout your home.

Working on a farmhouse style kitchen? Layer textures to add visual interest and build depth throughout your home.

Tile Shown: Pickets in Frost // Design: Rudy Winston Design // Image: Janis Nicolay

Glazed Thin Brick in Front Range

Brick Shown: Front Range // Design: Jon De La Cruz // Image: House Beautiful

6. Incorporate vintage {or vintage-inspired} elements.
Adding vintage is a must in any home but especially in a farmhouse. Vintage items have stories to tell and can set your design apart. Sure sometimes vintage can be pricey {and a worthy investment} but there are so many beautiful accents you can find on places like Etsy and Ebay that are more affordable than mainstream items, and certainly more unique!

Color blocked in a pair of neutral hues, this stacked tile tub surround adds a modern touch to a charming farmhouse-inspired bathroom.

Tile Shown: 3x12 tiles in Sand Dune and Tusk // Image + Design: Danielle & Ely Franko

Arranged in alternating vertical and horizontal patterns, this glazed thin brick floor adds a timelessly classic quality to a warm and rustic bathroom.

Brick Shown: Elk // Image + Design: Danielle & Ely Franko

Want to go Farmhouse? Order your sample pack now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. 

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