Here’s Why I’m Leaving Farmhouse Neutral Behind

When I moved into my cottage almost four years ago, I loved being surrounded by neutral, farmhouse decor. If I’m being honest, I also wanted to please the farmhouse community on social media. It seemed every scroll yielded another stunning home filled with lots of woods and whites. But then, my friend Wendy (@chairwhimsy) came up spring of 2019 with her new line of vibrant, colorful chairs and used my home for a photoshoot.  Shortly thereafter, I ordered a new, bright Suzani rug from Ruggable, and it’s like the scales fell off my eyes!

All of the sudden my main living area was bright, joyful and looked so alive, much like the emotions I have in my heart!  And I got to thinking…. Is my design style shifting?  Is color truly calling my name?  But, would social media embrace me for bucking the neutral, farmhouse style décor trend?  It was risky, but I slowly started introducing color into my home and to my community.

The first go around with my new Suzani rug from Ruggable (use code SIMPLYSOUTHERN10 on for a 10% discount off a new rug) was extremely well received.  In fact, Ruggable even used my photo for an advertisement on Facebook and I couldn’t keep up with all the positive comments!  Everyone embraced the change! And then I got to thinking…. Should I take this up a notch?  And well, I did! And here we all are!

Over a year ago, Wendy and I began to plan for new chairs. We actually met at her studio in Round Rock, Texas to review fabric swatches.  I loved everything she presented, but ooooooo I was soooo scared!  Neutral is comfortable and easy.  Mixing fabrics and colors is SUPER hard for me.  Yet, I trusted Wendy’s design eye and ultimately, we picked a vibrant, colorful pattern from Schumacher called Landsdale Bouquet.   It’s filled with red, oranges, greens and pink! The perfect color scheme to match my cottage.

And although I adored my Suzani rug from Ruggable, the patterns would clash.  Wendy and I searched through the Ruggable catalog and ultimately landed on this gorgeous Fruit Punch rug.  It’s whimsical and lively, covered with cross sections of citrus slices.  Definitely a décor risk, but I jumped in with both feet!

The thing I love most about Ruggable is the rugs are machine washable.  If a pet has an oopsie, or I spill my soup (or wine *wink*), I can simply remove the rug from the Velcro pad, and toss it in the wash. UNBELIEVEABLE!  They are so well made.  This aspect alone makes their rugs a great investment!

And then, I couldn’t just leave my living room neutral, so Wendy helped me pick out a new rug for this space. For the last four years, I had a jute rug under my couch, which I absolutely adored. But it didn’t geehaw with the new, vibrant space in my adjacent dining room.  Again, I was terrified to pick the wrong rug, so after seeking Wendy’s advice, I settled on this gorgeous, Floret Sunrise rug. And OH MY GOSH. Once I had it in place, my heart skipped a beat.  It filled my home with lots of deep red, yellow, green and mauve tones!  It almost moved me to tears because I loved it sooooo much.

Then, I needed to add complementing accessories to top off the space. I contacted my friends over at MadCap Cottage (the EPITOME of colorful interior designers) for help with fabric for new couch pillows. I texted Jason over a picture of my new rug, and he used his expert design eye and picked out Georgica Pond in Rhubarb and Blossom Dearie in Celery that were the perfect complement to my new Ruggable.  (MadCap Cottage products are all made in the USA and the fabrics are designed and painted by John!)

Next, I made a trip to At Home Stores in Shreveport and found a MOUNTAIN of clearance deals on new, colorful artwork.  I replaced the existing neutral gallery wall above my couch with lots of energetic, quirky framed art. And again, once I stood back to admire this space, I was seriously in awe.  I’m not an interior designer y’all, like not even in a little way.  So, I constantly surprise myself when I create a cute space.

And so that’s how I transitioned my home into a colorful, vibrant, cheerful abode and left farmhouse neutrals behind.  I honestly don’t think I’ll ever go back to full on neutral. Personally, my design style has evolved over time, as I bet yours has too.  Of course, there are timely trends we all seem to follow. But I think this quote from Shannon Ridings, left as a comment on one of my IG posts, sums up my thoughts exactly.  “I take my que from nature, not quest.”  Let me encourage you to get comfortable in your own skin.  Find what makes your heart happy.  Then go all with both feet!  You do you my friends, and your heart will be content.

Let me know in the comments what you think of my new décor!  If you are still team neutral, that’s A OK!  But if you love color, tell me that too!

Use code SIMPLYSOUTHERN10 on for a 10% discount off a new rug!  Then once you have it in your space, send me a pic and tell me how much you love it too!

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  1. Joann Mize says:

    As always, I love everything you’ve done. It’s all so beautiful!

  2. Karen Zimmerman Chaudoin says:

    It is lovely and exuberant and happy! Go for it, enjoy it for the time you will be given for this adventure, and give yourself grace to change as your pocketbook and heart will desire!

  3. love your “new” color…I have always loved color..and this is very fresh…A little more pink than I care for….but very feminine. (I don’t think my husband would be comfortable with it, so I won’t go I did check out the Schumacher fabric you used on your dining chairs…a little more than pricey!…OUt of range for the average person. They need to get real. Beautiful..but not that beautiful. I enjoy your post very much. take care, stay warm.

  4. Claire says:

    I love the changes that you have made. The fabric on your chairs is just awesome. Florals have always been my favorites. It’s like bringing your garden inside and enjoying it – even when you have 6 beautiful inches of snow on the ground! It is definitely a winter wonderland here in Heber Springs, Arkansas! Loving every minute of it but praying for everyone without power.

  5. Jean says:

    So happy to see the changes to your home. I have been following chair whimsey and hope to take a class or two when I have time. Love your new color scheme. Thank you for sharing your home and hope your life is happy and as cheerful as your new decor.

  6. Treba Valkery says:

    Love your move toward more happy colorful surroundings

    Love your move to more colorful happy decor!
    Think the neutral farm house trend has been so popular because it was a step back from all the color and busyness that has been prevalent for many years! So having taken a rest from that for a time perhaps it is time to add color to homes ! Nature makes us happy with all its colors so adding it indoors can be uplifting too! Enjoy your happy place and space !❤️

  7. Pam says:

    I have always been on team color. God created color and I embrace it. I am so tired of seeing everyone’s house look the same. White, on white on white. I think your house looks alive and fresh.

  8. Connie says:

    It made me happy to see your beautiful color! I could never live in dreary gray…..our outer world has enough dreary. It’s fabulous!

  9. Susan says:

    Your changes are beautiful. I am so glad to see someone be brave enough to add color back. Black and white decor has run its course. Color is going to be the new trend.

  10. Tammie Price says:

    It’s all just gorgeous, Sara! I love that quote! I believe that, too.

  11. Marilyn says:

    I just absolutely love it! The colors are so HAPPY! ❤️

  12. Debbie says:

    I love it! It’s fresh, happy, and welcoming.

  13. Becky Peterson says:

    I love the colours/design. I think I already sent you a message and said your room glows in the beautiful light. Magical. I think the day of pure neutrals is on the wane.

  14. Gina says:

    I love the change! It seems to match your personality. 😊 Even though my home is pretty neutral I can still be inspired by lots of other design styles. And yours makes me happy. 😁

  15. Lang Ros Fleming says:

    I love, love, love your new colorful decor! I’m a true believer in decorating how you want. We all want to love where we live. I tend to pick traditional or antique things with jewel tones or traditional prints even though I fully embrace others’ decorating choices. My tendency comes from my mother and being born & raised in Natchez, MS. I think your home reflects your sweet, loving spirit!

  16. Janet says:


  17. Marla Paul says:

    I have always been a color girl in my own home. While I loved your neutral decor, I am really loving the color. It truly makes your space say “cottage” which is my personal favorite. I’m so proud of you for taking the big step. You did you awesome girl!

  18. Kim Waldorf says:

    I am a girl who loves color! The new decor in your home is beautiful and all flows together so well! You have such a beautiful home, Sara! I love your story and God has definitely honored you. So worth the wait! 🙌🏻💖

  19. Ginna says:

    Color, color, color!!! I’ve never been on trend, so the neutral didn’t interest me. LOVE all the changes you’ve made!!

  20. Bethany Widmer says:

    I LOVE the pops of color! I do love houses that have a farmhouse neutral style and if one was given to me all decorated, I certainly wouldn’t complain, but pops of fun color is what makes my heart happy! Beautiful job on your make over!

  21. Patti says:

    I absolutely love neutrals, but I ASAP love color! I have been a farmhouse prim girl forever! Two years after being married I found me, my style and I’ve never looked back or followed trends. Colonial decor and farmhouse remind me of simpler times and I will always have color in my braided rugs and vintage quilts and vintage paintings and pillows, oh my 🥰
    I’m happy you followed your heart…. I’m pretty sure we all love who you are, not just your beautiful IG squares… 💞

  22. Janine Bell says:

    I love it all!!!💕💕💕. As much as I love the look of complete neutral as I peruse IG, I’ve never decorated without some color, which I’m sure is why I’m loving the new direction in which you are going!👏🏻😁

  23. Tana says:

    Love your change to Colorful Farm House! I have always been team color and honestly sometimes it has been hard seeing all the neutral and wondering if I should change. I have done some decor in neutrals, fireplace mantel, etc. Now I’m glad I haven’t changed my style after seeing your change, color makes me happy! I’m not in anyway an interior decorator either. Keep doing you!

  24. Bonnie says:

    I have always been a “color girl”! And it brings me so much joy! Your living room with the pink and green pillows and the art wall… made my heart sing! Life is too short and too fun to be neutral about anything. Haha that’s my MO. I absolutely love the colors!

  25. Bette Mathews says:

    I love what you’ve done with the place! I am a happy color user. Cobalt blue is MY happy color. I fell in love with cobalt glass in high school (over 55 years ago) and we have lived happily together all these years. It’s a gorgeous color on a couch or chair, pretty on my dining table, on my walls and in a cabinets! Do what makes you happy, don’t worry about the rest of us.

  26. Vicki says:

    I LOVE your home, especially the color! It’s beautiful!

  27. Shelley O says:

    I love love love the color!!! I never had a 100% neutral palette in my home. I love the woods and textures of neutral farmhouse and have a lot of it but have always had color everywhere with it. The only change is the colors with the season 🙂 your home, style and ideas are always amazing and inspirational!! So glad I stumbled across your IG…it helps that you’re also an amazing person and always take the time to interact with us!

  28. Virginia McDaniel says:

    Sara, you have done an excellent job! I love your color scheme. Can’t wait to see more.

  29. I love to see how you’re evolving with your vibrant use of color in your decor. I love a colorful environment and went that way for years in my home. But several years back I started introducing neutrals and slowly embraced that trend. I kind of did what you did only in reverse! I found that my neutral decor calmed my scattered mind and I loved the peaceful natural feeling I had in my home. I still love colorful decor , especially when done so expertly as you have done. But I enjoy it in others homes. My decor is light and serene and keeps my ADD in check. Like you, I’m evolving too in the opposite direction, but that’s what makes the world so fascinating and fun. Keep up the wonderful job, I enjoy it all.

  30. Dawn Beaver says:

    I’m so excited you’ve added COLOR! I don’t have a white/cream room in my house! Although neutral is nice, it gets to be a bit boring for me (I know, I know… there’s texture too 😊). It seems there are not a lot of influencers who like color… one page seems to be like the rest. Color makes me feel happy. And colorful fabric and patterns… yum!!! Your home is beautiful ❤️

  31. Kathy says:

    I love color! Always have! Your home is beautiful and reflects your precious personality!

  32. Patty @thefoothillsfarmhouse says:

    I love all the color you added. I’ve always added a touch of color to my farmhouse. Lately, I find myself wanting more color, florals and patterns. I find it cozy and charming. I think we will see more make that move.

  33. Isabel says:

    I love your new look. I recently tried white farmhouse but I’m not happy. Color is coming back into our new space. Color is cheerful and welcoming to me.

  34. Sonia says:

    Those chairs are amazing!!! I enjoy neutral colors but pops of color are always fun. My playroom for the grandbabies is one of my favorite rooms and I have fun with using bold red accents.
    I also brought in color to my office. It’s nice to work in a happy colorful place. 😊

  35. Dorothey Criswell says:

    I love neutral colors for 2 reasons: 1) they are refreshing and can be very calming and 2) it allows one to incorporate color and change colors as your mood dictates . BUT, there definitely is a place for color! A neutral backdrop is perfect to incorporate color, as much color as you wish without being overwhelmed. When your color tastes change, you can change out the look easily. I love what you’ve done with the rooms! Just the right mix of color and neutral. I also adore the Chair Whimsy chairs! They are out of my price range but I still love them. Well done!!!

  36. Kristi says:

    I started embracing color a couple years ago when I stopped doing what I thought IG a wanted me to do and not what I wanted to do. Beat decision ever. You know I’m loving all the changes you’re making!!

  37. Robin says:

    I love it and am so happy to see a new post! To me, “color” says COTTAGE! BTW, I live in Tennessee but my family lives in Ruston, Louisiana!

  38. Vivian says:

    I love your color choices. Excellent, Sara! I actually am a lover of color and think it brings a level of warmth to any style. Your home is so inviting and I’m sure a joy to you and your friends who have the opportunity to visit.

  39. Tracie says:

    My beef with farmhouse neutral is my favorite color is red. ;). I never took part in farmhouse because I don’t live in a farmhouse, and never did neutral because I love red. The theme-y, corny elements of farmhouse I don’t like, too. I think it can get too theme-y and inauthentic looking and feeling. I have white walls and would not have that any other way, but I like color in the accents. I don’t want to not see my favorite color, and then at Christmas I want to see it MORE. So I do……

  40. Tracie says:

    I wrote a comment a couple years ago about using red in my color scheme and never doing neutral. Even now two years later, I couldn’t do the “all neutrals” look that has been so in style. Right now– this moment–I have 50 green houseplants and am doing a deep rich green and other light to medium greens in other accents, and a white and tan backdrop for the greens in the house. I went crazy plant lady! No apologies! ;). I am a southerner. I feel like lively colors are in our DNA! In a farmhouse, I think neutral does not always even go with how people had their homes historically. My family has a cousin who owns an 1800s cabin that is so wonderful, and I grew up loving the reds and whites in the kitchen and a chippy pale green porch swing. Nobody In the rural countryside in our area did all beige or all neutrals in our history, and older relatives all seemed to love color. My great aunt creates vivid quilts to display and for beds and is 93, I believe. She has been since a teenager. Your house is so pretty color wise with the pinks and mauves. I think your home would be so fun to visit and meet you!

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