Billy Pearson and Carolyn Wilbrink, the brother-sister duo that host HGTV Canada’s new series, Farmhouse Facelift, grew up on their family’s farm and have plenty of stories about befriending cows, fun hay rides and other experiences that only farm families have. They also developed a unique design and renovation aesthetic that draws upon the best of old country homes while also incorporating the conveniences of the modern world. Check out their top tips for bringing farmhouse chic to your own home.
Farmhouse Facelift airs Wednesdays at 10PM e/p on HGTV Canada, streams Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels. HGTV Canada is available through all major TV service providers.
Billy: Add a Barn Door
“Add a barn door. These days you can easily find barn door hardware kits at your local hardware store, big box store, or even online. Some kits even include the door! You can also make your own door from reclaimed barn board or find a vintage door from an antiques shop. An old farmhouse front door with frosted or stained glass would be beautiful. A barn door is a great way to add separation in a small space without sacrificing floor space for a swinging hinged door.” – Billy Pearson
Carolyn: Incorporate Antique and Upcycled Pieces
“Create a unique focal point in any room by incorporating antique or upcycled pieces that speak to you, or family heirlooms that hold a place in your heart. I especially love pieces that aren’t intended to be hung on the wall or used as art.” – Carolyn Wilbrink
Billy: Install Applied Moulding
“You can capture the charm of ornate trim and woodwork that is seen in older farmhouses by adding applied moulding. Try a checker board pattern on a feature wall in a living room to add texture and depth to an otherwise bland wall. Or a 3/4 high craftsman wainscotting in the bathroom to add some sophistication to the loo! The options are endless and really only limited by your imagination.” – Billy Pearson
Carolyn: Reclaimed Wood
“I love incorporating reclaimed wood flooring or beams because each piece tells a story and connects us to the past. Their rustic texture also adds character and warmth to the overall space.” – Carolyn Wilbrink
Billy: A Hint of Timelessness
“You don’t need to raid your local antique store and turn your home into a film set from the silent era or a pioneer village museum. You can add a hint of timeless beauty with just a few cool antique or vintage pieces. This could include an antique commercial sign used as wall art or a vintage mid-century radio placed in the living room. This is a great way to add a unique touch to your space. Just remember to keep it subtle and simple.” – Billy Pearson
Carolyn: Mixed Metals
“Adding mixed metals (especially with patina) into features such as light fixtures, hardware, and architectural details is another way to add an aged feel and plenty of charm.” – Carolyn Wilbrink
Billy: Install Wide Plank Flooring
“Wide plank flooring is nothing new, however it is now more widely available in many different formats. For example, luxury vinyl flooring installs over any hard level surface and is a ‘floating floor’, meaning it doesn’t require glue or nails to hold it in place. This makes it easy to install for the weekend DIY’ers, and since it’s not permanently installed it’s also a great choice for anyone who likes to regularly change up their decor. Luxury vinyl wide plank flooring with rustic or weathered appearances can help convey that ‘lived in’ feel that so many farmhouses embrace.” – Billy Pearson
Carolyn: Open Shelving
“This popular farmhouse characteristic is an easy way to infuse loads of personality into your home. Not only is open shelving practical, but it makes your space feel airier and allows you to display a mix of curated pieces, plenty of dishes, and, my favourite – vintage artwork.” – Carolyn Wilbrink
Billy: Upgrade Your Door Hardware
“Swap out the standard off-the-shelf builder’s door hardware for something with a little more farmhouse charm and nostalgia. There are many timeless vintage replica options that can replace modern tubular locksets, such as a skeleton key lockset that fits in a door drilled for a modern-day handle. Personally, I’m addicted to vintage door hardware. There’s something almost romantic about a skeleton key lock that evokes memories of simpler times.” – Billy Pearson
Carolyn: Exposed Brick
An exposed brick wall, or accent wall done in simple millwork like vertical tongue and groove, immediately adds texture and dimension to achieve that authentic farmhouse feel.