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A Vintage Inspired Farmhouse in Chicago

A Vintage Inspired Farmhouse in Chicago


neutral living room with vintage windows and signs

This 1970s home received updates with simple, economical ways to create a unique, vintage inspired farmhouse.

With its white and natural wood exterior, this bi-level home stands out among its brown-brick neighbors in the suburbs of Chicago. The inside of the home is no different, and boasts airy whites with pops of natural wood for a vintage inspired farmhouse vibe.

vintage inspired farmhouse family room
When decorating your home in a vintage style keep an eye out for old furniture that can be restored or repurposed—like this table in Cynthia’s family room. “This was originally an old workbench,” she says, “I restored it, painted it and added more natural wood to it to fit the room.”

The home wasn’t always this way—it has seen a lot of touch-ups since homeowner Cynthia and her husband bought it in 2017. As soon as they purchased the home, Cynthia began her journey of slowly refurbishing and updating the 1970s space to suit her style.

entryway with vintage window and vintage sign
You don’t need a lot of space to create the entryway of your dreams. Cynthia added a small, distressed white bench for guests and family to use when they enter the home. She added a shelf with hooks to hang personal belongings; then topped it off in her signature flair with old window frames and an antique sign that brings interest and character to this twist on the classic mudroom.

Cynthia documents her home décor journey on her blog, Vintage Grace and Living, where she writes about many of her DIY projects and reveals helpful tips and tricks for decorating on a budget. Driven by her desire to create the home of her dreams without breaking the bank, she found simple and creative ways to bring her vintage inspired farmhouse to life.

white kitchen with vintage chandelier and wood edged oven hood
Cynthia got creative with her smaller kitchen by adding an island to the center of the room. The island doesn’t take up too much space, and it provides needed countertop space and storage. Its wooden top and X-style frame add a rustic farmhouse touch. 

Going Neutral

Cynthia’s style starts with a white or neutral palette, which gives her the freedom to build upon the base in any way she wants. “I wanted to have a blank canvas to work with,” she says. This blank canvas is then filled with pops of color and textures that add character and warmth to each room.

dining area with exposed shelves and vintage sign
Cynthia uses old architectural pieces throughout her home décor in new and interesting ways. This dining area boasts a window frame from an old Pennsylvania home that really draws the eye to the area’s open shelving, antique sign and faux fireplace.

A common thread throughout the vintage inspired farmhouse includes natural wood accents—in furniture, such as vintage coffee tables or chairs, or in more subtle ways with a rustic basket or natural wood trim. No matter which piece she chooses, Cynthia has an expert eye for adding warm, rustic touches. “I love to use wood and golden hardware for my contrasts,” she says. 

neutral gallery wall of mirrors and vintage signs
A gallery wall is a great way to add character to a space and showcase your unique style. Cynthia displays many of her favorite signs on this wall and can easily switch them out for seasonal décor. “I like to hang these pieces together to make it feel like one big art piece,” she says.

Vintage Touches

One of her favorite accent pieces includes vintage signs. “I like that they are not mass produced,” she says. “They are a unique piece of art that most likely won’t be found in someone else’s home.” Cynthia will often frequent local flea markets and antique shops for signs. She loves to hang them on walls, place them on mantels, and mount them to old architectural pieces for her vintage inspired farmhouse. “I like to showcase signs in ways that they weren’t originally intended,” Cynthia says.

repurposed lockers entryway storage
A smaller space can often lead to the most creative storage solutions. Cynthia repurposed old lockers to hold many of her children’s school things. “I love these because they are pretty and unique but also provide much needed extra storage space for the kids,” she says.

Her love of vintage signs adds a unique flair to her décor. You can find a variety of pieces in almost every room—including an antique sign gallery in the living room, which Cynthia likens to an art installment. “I like to showcase signs in ways that they weren’t originally intended,” she says.

See Also
The remodeled exterior of the Farmhouse is warm and welcoming with white board and batten walls, a standing seam black metal roof, wooden ornamental trim including oversized exterior corbels and pillars and a gorgeous stained Dutch door.

Cynthia’s neutral palette is the ideal foundation on which she builds her distinctive style.

bedroom with vintage style floral wallpaper and metal bedframe
“I wanted it to feel like an old cottage room,” Cynthia says of her primary bedroom. Warm beiges and touches of brown bring in that cozy feel, while antique accents such as the iron bed, vintage wallpaper and hanging chandelier add the historic ambience that Cynthia loves.

The home’s vintage inspired farmhouse design strikes a perfect balance between stark white bases and warm, natural accents. Each room feels clean and airy, whereas Cynthia’s artistic flair for vintage signs and architectural accents brings interest and character to every space. 

homeowner Cynthia in her farmhouse inspired Chicago home

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