The popularity of HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines may have heightened demand for farmhouse-style home features, but batten walls, barn doors and wide-planked hardwood floors actually started cropping up in some Midwestern markets before Fixer Uppers hit the airwaves.
Chris Jeffries, owner of Lee’s Summit-based JFE Construction Inc., said he noticed homebuyers requesting farmhouse-style features in other markets as early 2011 and 2012, but he acknowledges Chip and Joanna took the trend to a whole new level of popularity.
“All of these things have been around for a long time, but Chip and Joanna have added to the inspiration of it for sure and made it much more well known,” Jeffries said.
But when it comes to shiplap, Jeffries gives credit where credit is due.
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“That’s their big thing and everybody seems to want it now. It definitely has trended from Fixer Uppers,” Jeffries said.
Kansas City area homebuyers will have no problem spotting the farmhouse phenomenon during the 2016 Spring Parade of Homes, which features 347 homes and runs through May 8. Homeowners of all ages are requesting farmhouse style features these days, and homebuilders are now incorporating the earthy elements into all price points, from homes priced in the $300,000s to homes over $1 million.
“We are incorporating it into every style we build, although it’s not continuous throughout the whole home,” Jeffries said. “We’re mixing it up and blending farmhouse style in with other styles as well. We may do a lot of wood wall features up staircases, mixing in barn doors here and there, adding ceiling features and shiplap to some of the walls.”
Other farmhouse design elements in high demand include white subway tile backsplashes and farm-style light fixtures, as well as white or muted wall colors, according to Brenda Sanders, vice president of Overland Park-based Rodrock Development Inc.
“The furniture that homeowners are choosing seems to have a more rustic feel than in the past,” Sanders said. “When you combine all of these features, it showcases a beautiful home. It is certainly continuing to grow in popularity, and many of the homes featured on the Parade this year are reflecting this.”
Chris Ragland, owner of Liberty, Mo.-based Homes by Chris LLC, said she has enjoyed watching the Chip and Joanna design influence take the entire country by storm, because for the first time ever trends are moving from the center of the U.S. and spreading to the coasts, not vice verse.
“It is refreshing that the center of the country is having a huge influence on home design and style,” Ragland said. ”Barn doors, shiplap, barn siding, painted and exposed brick is all the rage with home design. It’s so exciting and fresh.”
Spring Parade of Homes
Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City
Dates: Runs from April 23 – May 8.
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Program: Pick up your Parade Guide at the Home Builders Association (I-435 and Holmes Rd.) or at any of the 347 Parade homes in the metro area.