Hey friends! Let’s play a game. I’m going to give you a word, and you take 30 seconds and write down all the words or feelings that immediately come to mind. Ready? Here we go.
Here’s my 30-second list:
homey, comfortable, family, friends, land, white, shiplap, chickens, horses, work, hay, kitchen, porch, swing, relax.
Did any of your words match my words? I asked Cheyenne and Brittany to do the same, and here are their lists:
white, tall, farmland, high ceilings, brick, front porch
countryside, shiplap, hardwood floors, charming, brick, barn, big porch, gravel drive
This little exercise tells me that people have a positive association with the farmhouse. Classic farmhouse style is never going out of style. I do believe that modern farmhouse and industrial farmhouse styles could eventually hit the wall, but until then, they are still wildly popular. When we imagine a farmhouse we might think of words like “work”, “horse” and “cow”, but we likely also think of comforting words like “home”, “porch” or “family”. Today’s farmhouse has evolved from a simple utilitarian structure into a welcoming place to relax after a hard day at work, surrounded by family and friends.
What is Classic Farmhouse Architecture?
According to HGTV, early American farmhouses were built for function rather than style. Typically made from wood and constructed by the layperson, farmhouses were solidly built with no wasted space. As immigrants found their way to America, especially masons from Germany, stone and brick became commonly used materials. Fast forward to today. While farmhouse style has evolved, many people are still drawn to the basic architecture, classic simplicity, and the desire to just slow down a little and be comfortable at home.
Common Questions When Choosing Brick or Stone for Your Farmhouse
If you are remodeling or building a farmhouse you may be wondering how to pull it all together. What is the best brick or stone for farmhouses? What color brick or stone should you use? What are some popular brick colors? What about mortar? How does mortar change the look of your brick? These are all essential questions to consider before jumping in. Let’s take a look.
Best Brick or Stone for a Farmhouse
While there are many farmhouse style influences such as Cape Cod, colonial, country, French country, Scandinavian, modern, rustic, coastal, and industrial, we will focus on classic exteriors in white or light neutrals, and simple brick and stone colors.
Selecting brick and stone isn’t as easy as eeny, meeny, miny, mo. You need to consider many factors like location, setting, roof color, porch material and color, siding color, etc. The most classic American farmhouse exterior is, of course, white. You might be thinking, “well white goes with everything”. No, it doesn’t. White isn’t fabulous with earthy colors. Earthy colors aren’t fabulous with fresh colors. The following list is in no way complete or exhaustive. These are basic suggestions for a timeless look. For more information on how to achieve classic and timeless looks, take a look at Maria Killam’s blog. She has fantastic information.
Brick Colors for a White or Neutral Farmhouse Exterior*
Whitewashed red brick with white mortar
- Choose a silver metal roof or shingles in a color like Silver Birch for a soft look.
Red brick with white mortar
- Wood front door, wood posts, weathered wood-look roof (exterior will look best in a soft white, off-white, or light cream)
- Red front door, black roof, black shutters
White brick with white mortar or white painted brick
- Same as above. Brighter white exteriors look beautiful with washed bricks or with black. Weathered wood looks best with off-white, soft white or cream.
Taupe brick or stone with soft white mortar
- Weathered wood roof; cream exterior; may consider taupe trim
Darker gray brick with white mortar and whitewash
- Consider Old Carolina Brick in Savannah Gray. Exterior should be soft white, off-white, cream, or taupe. Trim should be the same, depending on what other elements you have selected.
Stone Colors for a White or Neutral Farmhouse Exterior*
- Creamy light colored stone or simple light-gray stone. Period. End of story. Yes, there are a hundred lovely stone colors for a farmhouse, but for a white farmhouse, choose a simple light cream stone or pale gray and be done with it. Just like brick, use it on skirting, walkways, chimneys and fireplaces. It’s simple and gorgeous. Take a look at Cherry Hill Cottage’s Instagram page for inspiration.
- There is no second bullet, ha ha. We’re finished with stone.
*Note: A word of caution about brick and stone.
I’ll say it again: keep it simple and use these materials only on skirting, chimneys, fireplaces and walkways (unless you’re doing the whole house in brick or stone, in which case you need to be careful that it is appropriate for the particular farmhouse you are building). If you have an old-fashioned red brick farmhouse, keep your trim a clean white. Avoid mixing too many materials or putting brick or stone in different places, like on half the house or only one one side. It just looks awkward. Do consider using brick pavers or full bricks on walkways or porches, and remember to repeat your elements several times for cohesion. A herringbone porch is beautiful and timeless! For a little extra pizazz, and especially if you have a silver roof, consider adding bluestone accents to break up your brick walkways, like we did.
Mortar for Your Farmhouse Brick or Stone
Unless you have an old farmhouse where the mortar matches the brick, you’re better off using a white or pale beige mortar that coordinates with the brick or stone. Coordination is an absolute must! Take a look at the way mortar dramatically changes the same brick! It will have a cleaner, fresher look overall if you stick with white for a white farmhouse. If you want to make your handmade bricks look older, consider having your mortar applied heavily and imperfectly, like we did at HartLand. We’re not talking about full-on German Smear, but a“sloppy” mortar application really “ages” the brick. We absolutely love ours! Thank you LegaCY Masonry for all of the beautiful brick work.
Need More Guidance?
To reiterate, this post is certainly not all-encompassing, but rather, a guide to help you select brick and stone that you won’t regret. If you need help making your brick or stone selection, contact From the HartLand and we can help! Until next time…