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European Farmhouse in America

European Farmhouse in America

Wood countertops are paired with white cabinets beside large black bar stools
Written by Laura Shimko
Photography by Ryan Liu
Styling by Deb Foglia

Whether you’re new to farmhouse style or a seasoned devotee, combining elements from other design styles can give your home the fresh take you’re looking for. For blogger and Instagrammer Deb Foglia of Seeking Lavender Lane, the timeless feel of European style mixed with the simplicity of the American farmhouse brings about the perfect blend of elegance and lived-in comfort. Drawing heavily from French and Italian inspiration, she renovated her home from 1980s suburban to European countryside.

For Deb, design is more than simply blending colors, textures and accents. Instead, it represents a way of life. “I love the dreamy, laid-back feel of the French lifestyle,” she says. Her signature color combination of neutrals with a pop of black is the perfect canvas on which to paint this vision.

The exterior of this beautiful European farmhouse in America embraces the neutral tones inside.

The Renovation

While Deb had done some DIY renovating in her previous home, it was mainly painting and aesthetic changes. Starting from scratch presented new challenges and exciting opportunities. The whole process took eight months, and involved gutting the original house and hiring contractors to construct an addition that nearly doubled the size of the home. “The whole house is totally different,” she says.

Once the overall house layout was decided, Deb went to work on the design. “I went with a blank canvas of white walls and warm, wide-plank floors,” she says. From there, she chose the cabinets, tiles and other key components of each room, using a design board to map out the space. “I wanted everything to flow, but I wanted each room to have its own take,” she says.

warm wood floors pair with the neutral tones of the room's walls with pops of black color in the furniture
“When designing or decorating, always make the room look taller. Challenge your design by creating vertical design and lines to make the eyes go up,” Deb says.
A black bench rests under an antique map on the wall
The home’s entryway is subtle and yet conveys the home’s overall vibe. “I wanted things to feel fresh when you enter the house,” Deb says. “Keeping with my neutral tones and a pop of black is always my favorite combo.”

European Influence

Growing up in an Italian family, Deb had an affinity for the timeless feel of European architecture and art. “I didn’t want the cliché farmhouse feature of an all-white kitchen and all shiplap walls,” she says. Instead, her home features warm, neutral tones, Old World features like arched doorways and pieces such as vintage portraits and copper light fixtures.

“I wanted a rich, timeless feel, but I also wanted the character and casual vibe that farmhouse style offers,” she says. When choosing pieces for her home, Deb opted for a mix of new and vintage flea-market finds, giving a fresh take on old pieces with a coat of paint or refinish. “If you buy everything brand new, you can see it,” she says. Instead, it’s that mix of Old World and new that brings about the fresh yet still timeless feel of her design.

In the living room, Deb paired a white base with gray accents in the sofas, fireplace surround and area rug.
Deb’s use of neutrals and textures is highlighted in this welcoming living room. “I wanted the space to feel elegant and family friendly all at the same time,” she says. “I just adore the matching sofas and the furniture placement.”

The Heart of the Home

As in many homes, Deb’s kitchen serves as the primary place of gathering and activity. This room also showcases her blend of European and farmhouse styles. The renovation allowed her to carefully craft exactly what she wanted. “It is definitely my dream kitchen,” she says. Her inspiration was a French countryside kitchen, with warm tones and the use of metals evoking an Old World feel, but with the open concept borrowed from American farmhouse style. “I wanted an all-lower-cabinet kitchen that was open to feeling more furniture-like in the space,” she says.

See Also
The exterior of this Texas farmhouse has a broad triangular archway over a table ready for guests!

The kitchen is farmhouse meets European style
Deb’s kitchen exemplifies Old World elegance.
Soft gray sofas with glass coffee tables with a black wire frame. All of the furniture sits on top of an old-fashioned rug.
In the living room, Deb paired a white base with gray accents in the sofas, fireplace surround and area rug.

European Farmhouse

These elements produce a welcoming and timeless feel, allowing Deb to continue to reinvent or add to the space as she desires. “My taste and ideas change almost daily around here, so for such a big budget project I wanted to make sure I chose something that would stand up against my impulsive design changes,” she says.

With its warm tones and classic pieces, Deb’s European farmhouse design is both relaxed and elegant, providing the comfort and beauty that epitomizes the meaning of “home.”

A white bookcase gives a built-in look. The bottom shelves have provincial wicker baskets
Arches are a staple in Deb’s home and a signature of European farmhouse style. “The bookcase was the closest to getting the built-in look for a fraction of the price,” she says. “The arches made the piece look as if it was made for our house.”
The room has neutral colors and the furniture sports unlacquered brass finishes
Deb’s French countryside kitchen is another showcase of European farmhouse style. “The neutral colors and unlacquered brass finishes felt very Old World,” she says. “Some of my favorite details are the counter-length cabinets with glass doors and the all-drawer island storage.”
White cabinets under butcher block countertops. The cabinet doorknobs are made of wood to complement the butcherblock counters.
An oversized kitchen sink ties in the farmhouse vibe of this European farmhouse in America.
The home's mudroom incorporates grey and white checkered floor
A farmhouse staple, the mudroom brings practicality with hints of European charm, like the diamond-grid windows and a checkered floor.
The home's mudroom incorporates grey and white checkered floor
The kitchen leads to the home’s mudroom.
The dining room has a yellow and white rug in intricate small details and patterns, adding a neutral motif to the bookshelf full of cups, teapots and plates.
“I’m a believer in a really great light fixture!” Deb says. “My favorite detail in this space is the oversized lantern. It’s one of those details I always wanted.” Along with the rustic table and diamond-backed chairs, the light makes the seating arrangement the focus of the room.
The deck has wood floor and black iron-based furniture.
The back deck is the perfect outdoor living space. “I fell in love with French culture, especially the dreaminess of it,” Deb says. “I love that my home feels laid back.”
A faded rug rests under the Old World inspired wood table. An oversized painting rests on the floor behind the table and reaches the ceiling. The picture is of a gorgeous grey and white provincial scene in rolling hills
“I love a good moody room, and since this is one of the only rooms that is separated from the rest of the house, I felt I could pull that off here,” Deb says. “It also gets really good light, and I kind of love the feel of a masculine-style office. Once I found the mural wallpaper, I knew dark walls and ceiling would be perfect in the space.”
Deb's daughter's room is primarily white and black. Over the headboard is a collection of straw hats with dark ribbons tied around the bases.
Deb’s daughter’s room is a sweet picture of black and white. “I just had a vision for a black-and-white room,” she says. “I wanted something a little sweet but also not too babyish. Adding straw hats as a gallery wall is great temporary artwork and very affordable.”
Gray tile pairs well with the mostly white marble counter of this bathroom sink with dusty yellow faucets and knobs
The master bathroom vanity is a portrait in contrasts, from the white walls to the slate cabinets and gold fixtures. “I really wanted to select finishes that were timeless, so I chose Carrara marble tiles and brass fixtures,” Deb says.
The faucet jets out from the wall in an old-fashioned Italian style
This powder room exudes a European vintage feel. “Besides the kitchen, this room is on the top of my list,” Deb says. “I feel like the style here most exemplifies my taste. Vintage, rustic, simple, neutral and texture.”
An oversized tub rests below a wood framed window
In her master bathroom, Deb continued the elegant yet practical feel. “I wanted to add a little texture in here, so I selected a white-brick veneer to give the space that French farmhouse feel,” she says.

Want your own European farmhouse style home? Discover the style with our Design Glossary Series. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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