Farmhouse Style at Dreamy Whites

April 26, 2011

Ah, farmhouse living. It’s both Rachel Ashwell (did you hear that she just opened a B&B?) and Atlanta Bartlett but it’s also online shop Dreamy Whites owned by Californian mother, decorator and blogger, Maria, who lives on a ranch (her husband is a horse trainer!) and has 5 children. I admire how she still manages to maintain her beautifully white home – where all of her product shots for her store were taken and shown below. Amazing, inspiring, OMGosh! How does she do it!? Lots of patience, bleach and a good bar of soap, no doubt.

Farmhouse Style at Dreamy Whites

Let’s talk about farmhouse style for just a bit, okay? To me, farmhouse style can range — it can be loaded with dark reds, navy blues, piled high with geometric quilts in primary colors and topped with plenty of dark brown wood furniture, carved or rustic with clean uncomplicated lines. The farmhouse that Maria at Dreamy Whites promotes though is the more French country style. Farmhouse style can be both country cottage and coastal chic, French and American (or any other country for that matter), white with pastels or whites with blues and reds come to mind when I think of farmhouse colors. The Farmhouse style that fans of Dreamy White love though is the more romantic, faded look that resembles what Rachel Ashwell pioneered with Shabby Chic and later with decorators like Atlanta Bartlett– the palette is mostly white, pale minty green, pinks, blues, in other words lots of unapologetic love for pastels and for all things worn, used, salvageable, repurposed and slightly chipped or with some patina (think old vintage mirrors or wooden tables with a faded old coffee ring here and there.

Farmhouse Style at Dreamy Whites
Farmhouse Style at Dreamy Whites
Farmhouse Style at Dreamy Whites

Also with farmhouse style you can find lots of floral prints (think dainty blooms laying next to larger scale roses for instance) and stripes (like ticking). Linen and canvas lay next to soft brushed or voile cottons that drape beautifully and feel like butter. Enamelware, French bed linens, pillowcases that tie, a slightly battered French wooden chair that folds… Flooring ranges from hardwood floors (the older the better), subway tile in white, penny tiles, old faded Belgium tiles in the entryway, wood floors painted in glossy white or gray. Furniture can include everything from white leather sofas with clean lines and slim legs to overstuffed white cotton canvas (very Shabby Chic). Vintage wooden dressers lined with faded vintage wallpaper, large wooden French cupboards painted in soft blue, benches stacked with blankets and pillows. Lighting runs the gamut as well — everything from ornate crystal chandeliers to clean almost industrial-style lighting and even the occasional punched tin lantern from Morocco — all have their place in the farmhouse these days as farmhouse style has evolved to allow in some elements of Asian decor, few but some — like large white leather or silvered leather pouffes for example.

If any of these things resonate with you, then you have to definitely check out blog and online shop Dreamy Whites. I definitely like some of the things shown above, like the lavender vintage glass bottles (my husband has a collection of them on his windowsill in his office) and I used them in my book to display flowers in Leslie’s studio in the “Attention To Details” section of Decorate. I also like all of the field flowers, so casual and uncomplicated, displayed in various vessels — mostly ones that were not originally created as vases like jars and tea tins… I also love the old French tin shown in the first photo above, it has gorgeous color and pattern, doesn’t it? I could imagine using it on a shelf in my office to hold business cards or extras like tape or staples.

It’s amazing to think about farmhouse style and all that it encompasses, isn’t it? What comes to mind when YOU think of farmhouse style? I often wonder how the perception varies according to where on lives. If you could mention where you live and then highlight some hallmarks of Farmhouse Style in your part of the world, that would be great! :)

(images: dreamy whites)


  • Reply Evelyn P. April 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve never been in a farmhouse, but I would go sooner or later
    it must be beautiful
    I love these beautiful white rooms….

  • Reply Maria Kallin April 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Oh how I love this style, wonderful ideas and full of inspiration!

  • Reply Nicole April 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for turning our attention to Dreamy Whites!!! Beautiful stuff!

  • Reply ruth April 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Beautiful post! I’m a huge fan of white on white so I adore these images. Particularly the fire place image with all of the lovely bits and pieces placed on top.

    Another inspirational post Holly!

    Still excited by your book, I’ve not had it on my bookshelf as of yet as i’ve had it constantly open. The best buy ive made this year!


  • Reply vosgesparis April 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Yes Maria’s farmhouse style is very sweet …. I think I was her first visitor back then LOL;)

  • Reply Ariana April 26, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Farmhouse, to me, has a very nostalgic feeling. I think of simpler times and materials, the feeling of living closer to the land (farming!) and the ideas of practicality (not overly fancy) and warmth. I love that feeling when you walk into a home and it feels kind of familiar and comfortable, like people have been gathering around that table, enjoying wholesome meals together for ages.

  • Reply Liz@VioletPosy April 26, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I love that style it’s so relaxed and easy to achieve. Beautiful!

  • Reply el {what you fancy} April 26, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I LOVE this style… in fact I blogged about Atlanta Bartlett today :) I’m a London girl, so there’s a lot of ‘faux’ farmhouse style going on in the Victorian houses that surround my flat – including plantation shutters – but they’re all too modern. True farmhouse chic for me means flakey white paint, dainty chandeliers, wicker baskets and logs stacked in fireplaces. New furniture and fittings just don’t work with this look! I think it has to be flea market finds and vintage pieces all the way. Rachel and Atlanta are queens of this look, but I do adore the Dreamy Whites blog…

  • Reply Mrs. Maison April 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I too admire her whiteness…with fewer children and a love of white, I had to opt for grey. Seemed to be a much more natural hue for my lot. Thank god the French do grey so well. Never thought I could love the color as much. Dreamy whites your finds are fantastic and give me hope that perhaps someday my house can wear white well!

  • Reply Daniella April 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful. Dreamy whites are definitely my version of farmhouse style. I love the “lightness” to it all! So pretty!

  • Reply Shari April 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I love living in a white on white apartment…. it’s a first for me! (I’m not allowed to paint it without the landlord’s permission.) I’ve come to realize that it’s really a wonderful background for my otherwise “natural” theme… drift wood, lighting made of woven grape vines, rusty letters, etc.

    The images you’ve shown here are lovely… soft and feminine, warm and inviting. Love them.

  • Reply Jen April 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Growing up on an organic farm in Northern KY, I was SOOO fortunate to LIVE that lifestyle. Farmhouse style is a tradition that is renewed with each changing season- washing your “picked fresh from the garden” strawberries in your grandmother’s enamelware colander. And using the same mason jars year after to year to preserve your homemade spaghetti sauce. Utilitarian necessities that were made so well, they withstand time beautifully. You can honor the past and still move it with you towards the future. I could go on & on, but will close with a reminder of one of my favorite KY traditions…The Kentucky Derby is two weekends away- time to break out the beautiful silver mint julep cups!

  • Reply kaitlyn sullivan April 26, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    adore the people glass bottles. love.

  • Reply Tara April 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, I’m near Melbourne, au. I think the white is right for farmhouse but my feel is something slightly more robust. It’s very feminine and I feel farming would have a more sturdy, masculine sense. Strong, reliable, practical. Maybe some chunkier aged oak pieces?

  • Reply Lana April 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    To me, farmhouse style is clean, fresh and simple, but with a bit (or a lot) of history. It would also have working antiques, not old pieces just for looks. They would be utilitarian.

    I love Maria’s style and have enjoyed visiting her blog since she began blogging.

  • Reply Lana April 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’ll add that I sure do admire her for maintaining a lovely white home with children and a husband! :D

  • Reply Nuit April 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    oh I am Atlanta’s biggest fan, & i love, love LOVE this style! <3

  • Reply Shelby@honeysuckle April 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    oh man, i love the farmhouse style. those pretty items would look so great with the farmhouse table we just built in our home:

  • Reply Sarah April 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I love the look and love Maria’s blog as well…living here in New Hampshire, farmhouse style is probably best represented by the early New England settlers and their distinctive style. Old houses built in the 1700’s or 1800’s, authentic furniture from that period, with usually a barn attached to the house. The settlers brought designs with them from Europe, especially England, Holland, France and Germany. Chairs, tables, beds and house designs mimicked that of the ‘old country.’ Farmhouse style to me personally, is definitely the Rachel Ashwell school of thought, though Maria’s is a beautiful ‘tweak’ of that look, adding the French influence.

  • Reply Desha April 27, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I live in Southern Vermont, where there are so many old gorgeous farmhouses. I agree, there’s a wide spectrum in style out there, but the style that is illustrated in this post, is what I like best. It’s the pale colors, the soft feather beds and chairs that you sink into. The views of rolling hills, the smell of pastures, and fresh baked goods.

    It’s the feeling of COZY. It’s the most relaxing. I love wondering through these old homes when I get a chance and feeling nostaligic for a time when things were less busy and you could sit on the porch with a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a good book or your best friend.

  • Reply Vicki (simply hue) April 27, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Wow, this has to be one of the most feminine and beautiful home photos I’ve seen! Sigh….I’m in love. lol.

    How are you, Holly? Looking forward to digging through my new Decorate book! xo

    • Reply decor8 April 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      @Vicki – I am doing great, thank you! I’m busy but busy is good. When the phone stops ringing so to speak, then I worry! LOL :)

  • Reply Laura Gaskill April 27, 2011 at 2:49 am

    OMGosh is right! I needed this right now – I have a lot I want to add/change about my home, but basically no budget – and what I love about Maria’s home above is that the sort of farmhouse style she does so well really emphasizes found objects, vintage pieces, and other imperfect finds that are big on charm…and easier on the wallet! Ha ha! Major inspiration. Thank you for finding and sharing her home & shop! xo Laura

  • Reply Tiersa April 27, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I can honestly say that I’ve never really considered Farmhouse Style. Initially I think structure, simplicity and wild flowers. You’ll have to excuse me I’m a city girl located in Los Angeles, CA. So yeah not many farmhouses around these parts but you’ve got me thinking.

    I just want to take a sec and go off topic for a moment. I have never ever commented on any blog post and I read tons of blogs daily. However I just had to take the time to comment here, not because I love farmhouse anything, but because I am such a fan of yours and I just had to tell you that you Rock!! I haven’t been online in a few days so I’m just now catching up on my blog reading and I just read about your book signings and all the goings on and I’m just so excited for you and impressed.

    I think it says a lot that I read your blog daily because I have a completely different eye and not at all into crafting and all that but I come here every day because I know you’re always gonna have a treat for me and you do. Even those occassions when you can’t post you let us know and often times find a way to post anyway. I love that you are so supportive of your fellow bloggers and readers and I just think you are top brass in the blog world. I wish other bloggers had your commitment to their followers as you do and I am thoroughly thrilled that you have written a book which I plan to pick up cause I gotta support and I sincerely believe you have earned every bit of success and I’m crossing my fingers for you that there’s more to come. With so many blogs it’s about what they can get from you but here it doesn’t feel that way at all. Here you get the feeling that you’d blog if no one was reading. And you give I’d say probably more that you get. I guess I’m trying to say that you make me feel welcome and not used.

    Ok now back to business just had to gush for a second.

    • Reply decor8 April 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      @Tiersa – Those words mean so much. And I definitely would blog if no one was reading – in fact, in the early days of decor8 that was exactly what I did in the beginning. I’m happy to have readers though who connect with me and care so deeply about decorating, art, craft, connecting in general with like-minded people online… so I’m honored and pleased to have the amount of readers that I do – it’s motivating and invigorating. So thank you for being one of them, for commenting, and for saying hello to me. It means a lot. :) Also, thank you for your wishes to purchase my brand new book, Decorate. I’m sure you will be happy with it – there is a lot of eye candy and tips in there that I am confident you will enjoy especially if you are already a regular reader of decor8. :) xo

  • Reply monique April 27, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Thanks for sharings those links and blogs…I absolutely love the farmhouse style, especially the french farmhouse.

  • Reply keishua April 27, 2011 at 4:08 am

    I use to be obsessed with shabby chic. It’s just so dreamy but practical…my kind of design.

  • Reply ArticulateArt April 27, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Really like the flower arrangements and those lavender coloured bottles! Lovely clock for the wall as well!

  • Reply Cristina April 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

    That’s my ideal farmhouse!

  • Reply Hella April 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

    The style presented here is quite pretty, but to me, farmhouse style would be more darker, with wood and with bold colours, more practical things that would be used everyday and less fancy decorating items. To me, the word “farmhouse” means a masculine, work dominated area. Comfortable, sure, but in a down-to-earth way.

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold April 27, 2011 at 11:40 am

    gorgeous images..what beautiful those amethyst bottles! as for farmhouse style in India..their are two distinct categories..the original..which is the style of the real farmhouses in villages..very rustic..hardly any decor though with some good amenities these days..on the other end is the city farmhouses – the abode of the super rich with a battery of maids, servants and guards to keep the show going for them away from the bustle and pollution of the cities..the style here would be as varied as the taste of those that live there..there are some who have modelled theirs on the White less!! lovely post, Holly..have a great day! xx meenal

  • Reply Mrs Bok April 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I adore the dreamy white French farmhouse style! Something so cosy and serene about it.

  • Reply Mrs Bok April 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Argh! Hadn’t finished! … Love the rustic handmade feel, the care someone has put into their home. Also love your posts after all these years Holly! You really give a lot, so much time, effort, advice and care, great to reference back to. I’m starting to pin interests onto pininterest to help me with our house renovations and the images I really want to pin are all from your site from way back living in my memory – I’ll have to go and hunt in your old posts! Lots of love to you.

  • Reply Diana April 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Those lavender bottles on the sea green cabinet are stunning! I’ve always enjoyed looking at farmhouse style homes, especially those that use a lot of white, but it’s not a style I would use in my own home. One thing I do share with farmhouse style is incorporating natural elements and textures.

  • Reply Melissa Mercille April 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Dreamy is exactly how I would describe this home. All the muted tones are absolutely beautiful. I’m 40 and wonder if I always wonder if I’ll ever find my true style. I love the clean lines of modern design, but hate it’s coldness; I love pretty much everything Anthropologie has to offer from a print perspective, but worry about putting that much print in my home. I always love everything you share on your blog, but am not sure if I could live with it in my home everyday. How long did it take you to know what really works for you?

  • Reply Carol Spinski April 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Holly~

    Just had to chime in on how much I adore Maria and her style which is very close to my own farmhouse loving heart. As a matter of fact, I was very honored to have my circa 1865 farmhouse featured in a recent book right along side Maria’s fabulous home.

    Congratulations to you sweet Holly on the success of your wonderful book.
    Keep Shining:)

  • Reply bella jean April 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I love this style of decor! I try do it in my little shop I have and so far it has turned out great! Thanks for giving me some more great ideas!

  • Reply Jenn DiGuglielmo April 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Love farmhouse chic including aged wood framesm barns, cottage gardens. Some of my these things are what makes up my fine art photography prints.

  • Reply Letícia Magalhães April 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I love the little tin box… I’m pretty obsessed with tin boxes, actually, and tend to keep any that I might come across. I’d love to get some ideas about how to make them look nicer, especially newer ones that have brands and product info all over them. Anyone has ideas to share?

    • Reply decor8 April 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

      @Leticia – You can wrap them with fabric or ribbon or decoupage with napkins or favorite wrapping paper…

  • Reply Alyssa April 28, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I would like to make a clock like that for my kitchen. Can anyone tell me where to get clock parts like the ones in the picture above? Thanks!

  • Reply Letícia Magalhães April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I can’t believe I never thought of wrapping them with fabric! This actually gave me a pretty good idea! Thank you, Holly!

  • Reply Christina April 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Oh man! I’ve seen Dreamy Whites on but I didn’t realize they have a shop! Running there now. Thank you!

    Oh and as far as my perception of farmhouse style, the first things that pop into my head are casual uncomplicated pieces, seating built for comfort, lots of wood, re-purposed pieces for both function and decoration (like an old ladder for hanging towels) and plenty of nick-nack accessories. And all of it with the aged, lived-in look. I don’t think most people in my area (Midwest of the USA) would think of the whiter French look of Dreamy Whites, but focus more on natural wood tones and the colors of nature like forest green and deep blue.

  • Reply Vicki K April 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    A farmhouse sink (apron front sink) is what does it for me! Then homespun cotton and linen fabrics – neutral or faded colors, practical jars for storage, a screened pie safe, simple cupboards, white or ironstone pitchers and milk jugs, a long wooden kitchen table, gathered fabric to cover the cupboard under the sink, and a vertical stack of wooden cutting boards…

  • Reply Lori Brechlin January 13, 2013 at 1:05 am

    just found your blog ~ it is truly beautiful…we live in a humble old farmhouse in rural VA, moved here 10 yrs ago from CT to follow our dream of operating a farm & needlework shop on the premises ~ I love everything about farmhouse living ~ how the sun slants through our wavy glass windows to the worn wooden floors…and you can’t beat waking to the sound of rain on an old rusty tin roof! Thank You for sharing with us all.
    Lori from Notforgotten Farm

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