What is a Farm Style House?

Sheri Cyprus

A farm style house is a home originally designed for country life, although today they are found in suburban areas as well as rural countrysides. Today's farm style house plans often feature old-fashioned exteriors with modern interiors. Farm houses are typically two-story homes that have a basic rectangular or square shape. The earliest farmhouses were mainly one story high. The two main types of farm style house are American and European.

American farm style houses usually have covered porches.
American farm style houses usually have covered porches.

European farm house designs are typically more elegant and grand than their American counterparts. European farm home styles often have more varied angles rather than the straighter lines of American farm houses. Although both types of farm style house may feature dormer windows, European versions may have rooftop window designs in many different levels on the roof. Dormer windows are those which are set into part of the roof; they usually have a pointed mini-roof peak above each window.

Farm style houses in semi-tropical locales often feature semi-enclosed back porches and areas for entertaining.
Farm style houses in semi-tropical locales often feature semi-enclosed back porches and areas for entertaining.

American and European farm houses almost always have covered porches. Canadian farm house styles differ from American ones in that they often feature enclosed porches. Whereas the European front exteriors typically feature rounded columns, the American farm house usually has much more informal wooden posts. These posts often have rustic wood spindles between them. Porches are an important part of farmhouse design because of the connection of these types of houses to the land and countryside.

Italian farm style house designs almost always have arched porch details. An American farm style home may have some stone or brick, but European farm house exteriors may feature primarily stones and bricks without any wood. European farm homes may also have a clay roof.

Farm houses tend to have the bedrooms on the upper level and large living spaces on the main floor. The kitchens and living rooms are typically very large so as to accommodate large groups of family or farm workers. Farm style house design often includes more than one fireplace.

English farmhouses may be weekend and vacation homes. In England, it's common for people who can afford it to have one home in the city to stay in for work during the week and a farmhouse in the country for weekends and vacations. Having two homes cuts down on long commutes for work.

Interior furnishings for farm houses are informal with a lot of natural elements. Furniture may be made of wood, metal or a combination. The typically large farmhouse kitchens often have bigger sinks and room for larger dining tables than other types of homes.

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Discussion Comments


@DylanB – My grandparents have a farmhouse style house, and they have farm-related décor inside. It is very fitting, and modern furniture and art just would not go with the design at all.

They have paintings of cattle in fields, and their dish towels have fruit bowl patterns. My grandmother keeps a vase of fresh flowers on the dining room table, and she gets these from her garden.

The cupboard is made from reclaimed wood, and they purposely left it all scratched up so that its authenticity would show through. Everything is either rustic or features farm animals.


My husband and I have decided on a farm house style house plan. Now, I have to come up with an interior design theme.

What sort of décor goes in a farm house? I'm thinking I should probably avoid modern art and sleek furniture.


The farm style houses that I've seen all have big wraparound porches, and most of them do have porch swings. I live out in the country, and most of the nicer houses in the area are built in this style.

We do have a lot of farms out here, so it makes sense that this type of house would be popular. I've been in several farm style houses, and they all had a really comfy, homey feel to them.

I particularly love their large kitchens. I have a cramped kitchen, and it's hard for even one cook at a time to accomplish things in here. In a farmhouse kitchen, several people could easily work together.


Wow, I can't imagine being able to afford a farmhouse in addition to a regular house. I do have a long commute to work, but I could never afford the upkeep on two homes!

It would be nice to have a country home to escape to after a hectic week, though. It would really feel like a mini-vacation, and it would help to get away from the stress of city life.

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