Homes decorated in the farmhouse style—think industrial-sized sinks, cabinetry fronted in chicken wire, and sliding barn doors—are quickly gaining favor with potential buyers and selling for significantly more than properties in other styles. Listings with descriptors such as “barn doors,” “exposed beams,” and “free-standing tubs” tend to fetch prices up to 30 percent higher than other homes, according to research from RealEstate.com. A listing that boasts a “farmhouse sink” in the entry-level and luxury price points could see a 26 percent and 16 percent premium, respectively.
Chip and Joanna Gaines, former hosts of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” are widely credited for making farmhouse decor mainstream. The Wall Street Journal dubs the trend “farmhouse fever.” “‘Urban farmhouse’ is a safe choice that appeals to a wide audience,” Lisa Gabrielson, an interior designer in Johns Creek, Ga., told the Journal. She says 90 percent of her new projects have a farmhouse style.
Homebuilders also are jumping on the trend. Construction company Pulte Group says many of its model homes now reflect a farmhouse look, including one of its Las Vegas-area developments, which offers properties with board-and-batten siding, wood beams, and barn lighting. Imagine Homes, another builder, features shiplap, stone walls, and a desk that looks like a butcher block in its model homes in San Antonio. Toll Brothers has introduced modern farmhouse exteriors in several of its communities in Virginia, as well as an “urban farmhouse”-styled home in a new development just outside Washington, D.C.
However, some designers are concerned that the farmhouse style’s popularity may fade quickly. “I do worry about market saturation. … It’s starting to be commonplace,” Gabrielson says. She predicts that the next big decor trend will be “California cool,” which tends to feature bleached floors and warm, light brown accents.