The neutral tones typical of modern farmhouse style schemes create living rooms that are both calm and cozy. But while they tend to the uncluttered feel of contemporary interiors rather than a busier rustic look, farmhouse living room wall decor remains crucial to bringing individuality and interest to these rooms.
Artwork, mirrors, wall hangings, ceramics and more introduce color, texture and character to farmhouse style living spaces. Set against understated painted or paneled walls, they make a strong style statement and fabulous focal points.
If modern farmhouse ideas are what inspire you, and rustic wall decor is on your agenda, this expert advice from interior designers will bring you beautiful rooms.
Farmhouse living room wall decor ideas
Our favorite farmhouse living room wall decor ideas can be used for feature walls, above the fireplace, or to create a vignette on a shelf. Like our farmhouse living room ideas they can boost the character of both rural properties and city homes where the warmth of a rural vibe is desirable.
1. Use wall decor to take the emphasis off tech
The TV screen is often a major feature of a space, but to avoid its drawing the eye, plan farmhouse living room wall decor that captures attention.
‘It took a village to implement our design concept for the media wall in this living room,’ says Sandy Lucas of Lucas Eilers Design Associates (opens in new tab).
‘Sliding panels of reclaimed wood cover the large screen TV when it is not in use; however, we wanted an interesting focal point around the television when the doors were open. We designed trees and plants which were enlarged and then laser cut from iron. These iron panels were backed with speaker cloth to conceal the speakers and storage around the television. The result is a television that is readily available when needed, but beautifully hidden away when entertaining does not center around a sporting event.’
2. Use a wall shelving display to showcase individual style
Shelving with space for display is ideal as rustic wall decor, and the decorative pieces selected will bring personality to a living room.
‘We love utilizing things that are meaningful to our clients that add elements of relaxation and joy,’ says Nancy Charbonneau of Charbonneau Interiors (opens in new tab). ‘In our Meadow Brook project, this family loves their horses, so we commissioned a local artist to create art for the home in a variety of mediums – paint, watercolor, line drawings. These pieces became focal points throughout the home, showcased our clients’ passions, and supported the incredible artists in our community at the same time.’
3. Hang a mirror to create a fresh view
A mirror over the fireplace is a choice that suits many different interior styles, and it has its place as farmhouse living room wall decor, too. Select the mirror frame to complement the rest of the materials palette: wood is the more rustic, textural option, but sleek metals are an alternative to play up the more contemporary complexion of modern farmhouse style.
Hanging a wall mirror will always multiply the light in a room. However, it can have a further advantage in a living room with exposed beams, reflecting the attractive features and creating a new view of them.
4. Choose neutral shades for a gallery wall
A gallery of pictures is a fabulous wall decor option, but how to make it a complement to the rest of a modern farmhouse scheme? You could follow the example of this interior from Creative Tonic (opens in new tab), and opt for images and frames in the same soothing neutral palette as the rest of the room for the perfect fit.
Creating an arrangement that breaks out from a rectangle suits the relaxed ambience of this room, but pictures should still be hung close to one another, as here, so the group reads as one.
5. Think about propping as well as hanging wall decor
Wall decor doesn’t have to be hung high to be impactful, and the strategy of propping artwork has the contemporary credentials of modern farmhouse style.
Bear in mind that it’s important to choose sizeable pictures if they are going to lean against the wall rather than hang on it, and use the wall opposite the door to make them a focal point.
Images with a natural theme are ideal for farmhouse style, and black and white photographs or simple line drawings can be part of the room’s neutral scheme.
6. Consider textiles as wall decor
Tapestry and other textiles are a wonderful choice as rustic wall decor. ‘We selected a unique mix of furnishings and decor in this living room to reflect the eclectic taste of the homeowners,’ says Lauren Ramirez of Lauren Ramirez Interiors (opens in new tab). ‘They brought the vintage trunk with them from the north east when they moved to Texas as one of their few heirloom pieces and we wanted to incorporate it into the room for a personal layer among mostly new pieces.
‘We commissioned the symbolic handwoven tapestry by Zanny Cox to honor the homeowner’s love of the landscape and cultures found in the American south west. Bold carvings on the console and the graphic pattern on the side chairs complement the lines in the weaving and all of these selections are calmed by the soothing paint color in the room.’
7. Anchor artwork above furniture
Artwork can seem to float on tall, white farmhouse walls, so visually anchor wall decor to a piece of furniture below. That means keeping the distance between a sofa, table or other floorstanding piece minimal enough that it and the pictures above are associated. But do bear in mind that wall decor above seating can’t be positioned where it will interfere with tall sitters.
Work with the dimensions of the furniture below from side to side, too, keeping the wall decor in the area above it as with this pair of paintings.
8. Ensure architectural elements stand out
Make sure you keep the focus on the room’s features when you’re picking wall decor. ‘I specifically kept the room neutral and simple to really show off the architectural elements of the space – the stairs, the fireplace brick, and the beams were the stars of the show,’ explains Elizabeth Krueger of Elizabeth Krueger Design (opens in new tab) of this living room. ‘Adding in decor that doesn’t take away from the elements in the room is a great way to enhance specific details of the space.’
9. Work groupings
Layers of subtle detail are important for neutral room schemes, and farmhouse living room wall decor can be part of these. Grouping ceramics on a shelf can be eye-catching without deviating from the subtle palette.
Pick different shapes, textures and heights and opt for the classic stylist’s pyramid shape for the arrangement. Opt for vases and bottles and you can add foliage to the arrangement to maximize the room’s natural credentials.
10. Plan on harmony between the old and new
Modern farmhouse style celebrates the traditional, but blends it with the modern, and wall decor should reflect this.
‘For the shelf décor in this modern farmhouse living room we wanted a curated feel,’ says Michelle Lisac, founder and principal designer of Michelle Lisac Interior Design (opens in new tab). ‘We included some of the client’s own items and mixed in other pieces that had either a nice patina or great texture. We used a lot of ceramics that we purchased new but that had a very timeworn look. We also utilized some antique pieces such as brass candlesticks, pottery, and old trinket boxes that we picked up at Elsie Green in Concord, California.’
11. Bring the outside in with botanical prints
Capturing the beauty of nature, botanical prints are a lovely way to connect a farmhouse with its rural surroundings. In addition to the artwork you choose, how it is arranged on the wall can also impact the look and feel of the room. Grouped in sets of six, the botanical prints in this living room design by Susan Deliss help to bring a formal and elegant feeling to the space.
'The client loved plants and flowers both in her garden and in artworks in her home. She also liked decorating with antiques, so these 19th-century prints fitted the bill,' explains interior designer Susan Deliss (opens in new tab).
'I used green mounts to tie into the overall decorative scheme for the room. Placed either side of the windows at the end of the room, they tied the outdoors with the indoors, which made it all feel very cohesive,' she adds.
12. Add a hint of summer color
Changing up your farmhouse living room wall decor throughout the year is a wonderful way to keep your interiors feeling fresh from season to season. For a lovely summer decor idea guaranteed to bring a holiday feel why not hang a series of prints in sunshine shades alongside a beautiful seascape?
‘I love to bring a touch of summer to my home in the warmer months, and Mediterranean colors and materials are a great way to do so,' says Sue Jones, creative director and co-founder of Oka (opens in new tab). 'It’s all about mixing natural tones with accents of citrusy yellows, calming blues and warming terracotta.'
13. Showcase architectural features
Exposed stone walls or wooden paneling are all prized features of farmhouse decor, so if you're lucky enough to have them in your home be sure to make the most of them by choosing simple living room ideas for walls.
In this farmhouse a beautiful stone chimney breast commands attention – rather than conceal or distract from it with a large artwork, interior designer, Jessica Bennett, owner and design principal of Alice Lane Interior Design (opens in new tab), has chosen a simple round mirror to let the stonework take the lead.
14. Light your wall decor
If you're thinking of hanging wall art in the living room, don't forget to consider lighting explains interior designer Julia Dempster (opens in new tab).
'One of my key recommendations for art installations is lighting. Try highlighting artwork with a picture light or sconces either side and make sure any ceiling lights do not obstruct the lines of sight of the artwork,' advises the interior designer.
In this scheme Dempster has chosen discreet and slender living room wall lighting which illuminates the artworks and brings atmosphere after dark without impacting the airy and minimalist feel of the space.
15. Take a cue from the architecture
When decorating with art, the architecture of the room is often a great place to start. If you're lucky enough to have beautiful features such as alcoves, choose artwork or wall decor which will draw attention to them, as Julia Dempster has done here.
'For this farmhouse living room I selected textural pieces such as a 3D Juju hat made of feathers from St. Frank and vintage tribal hand-woven baskets from Fragments of Identity,' says the interior designer. 'The architectural features were curved, and I wanted the artwork to emphasize these elements. The three pieces were selected to reflect both the wall and the colors and textures within the sisal rug and the cushions on the living room sofa.'
How do you decorate a farmhouse style wall?
Farmhouse style walls are generally painted in subtle neutrals such as white, off white and pale neutrals with farmhouse living room wall decor an appealing addition to this backdrop for some of a room’s walls.
Hang artwork as either striking single pieces, or perhaps unsymmetrical pairs that reflect the look’s drawing on contemporary style. Alternatively, use single images hung in a group that reads as one.
As in other living spaces, mirrors are a pleasing alternative to a painting or other image and wooden frames can continue the natural materials palette typical of the look.
Don’t forget that open shelving with books or decorative accessories can be an appealing way to decorate a farmhouse style wall, and provides an opportunity to introduce sleeker materials that contrast with more rustic finishes. Shelf displays can also allow you to bring in personal themes that make the space homely and welcoming.
How do I decorate my farmhouse style living room?
Think both rustic and modern elements for a farmhouse style living room. Natural materials are key, and pieces that show the patina of age can mix with newer ones. Mix fabrics, too, showcasing different textures.
When it comes to color, layer neutrals for a light-filled room that has a calm ambience, but is rich in interest. And celebrate architectural features such as exposed stone or brick, which look fabulous alongside painted walls.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.
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