Join me as we take a tour of Deb Foglia’s modern farmhouse home to learn how to recreate her infamous European style. Basically, she gravitates toward authentic finishes, true patina, beautiful weathered wood, antiques and pottery!
One of my favorite looks is layered with pottery, moody oil paintings and 19th century antiques that my mother had found trawling flea markets and church yard sales. When I first encountered Deb’s style on her blog, Seeking Lavender Lane, I was immediately drawn to her embrace of these familiar old world elements, delivered in a thoroughly modern fashion. Deb is passionate about sharing everything about home design, delivered through the lens of her stunning pastoral home located in Farmingdale, New Jersey.
Deb: Our current home buying process and renovation was truly an act of faith. We knew that we wanted to eventually buy a bigger home. However, after selling our last house and then backing out of our contract, we thought it would be years before we would go through the process again. We never truly felt financially ready, but still wanted to find something that met more of our design aesthetic and home needs.
Our impulsiveness, as a couple, brought us to this ranch foreclosure home that had zero potential. The one thing that got our attention was that it sat on almost an acre of property which is hard to find in New Jersey. Plus, it had a basement which is also hard to find in our town. Most of the homes in our area were built in the 1980’s. So, many of them were built on slabs without options to grow or renovate.
We took a major leap of faith, prayed hard, and soon this foreclosure house became an unexpected dream. We endured one long, hard renovation process during the rainiest summer and fall season on record in New Jersey. An architect and contractor brought our vision to life. It truly was an exciting time to watch this run-down house turn into what we had imagined. It wasn’t easy and truly this was not the perfect home on paper to renovate the way we wanted to. Consequently, it has become our dream home!
However, we felt the tug, went all-in and never looked back. The most amazing part is we have a very long list of how many times God came through and delivered in that journey. Therefore, I think it was the journey and trust that made it the dream. You can make any house a home with some paint and vision, but the journey of faith and how much we relied on God in those months were truly special. It molded our trust in the Lord more than anything up until that point.
Deb: During the process of designing this house, I knew I wanted it to truly reflect “me” and not look like other typically styled homes. I wanted it to have a unique Old World feel and every part of this house to feature something unique that would make it different from other homes we had seen. So, I started a Pinterest board to save ALL the ideas that I loved. Then, I saw a pattern and sensed my style had much more of a European look than a “farmhouse” look as I originally thought.
When pulling a room together, I usually start with inspiration and what makes me excited about those design ideas. Sometimes it could be just one item that I want to work on. If I am not just designing impulsively (because sometimes I do that and that’s fun too), I will create a design board to gather my ideas to really feel how I want that room to look.
I think much of it has to do with being influenced by other designers. Then, the lifestyle part has been something that truly has hooked me in. Not only do I love the look and feel of European homes, but I also love the European lifestyle. So, that’s something I truly try to do every day here. I call it “experiencing your home” and it’s something about the way Europeans live. I have a lot of experience with this coming from an Italian family.
Deb: I usually shop locally at our Allaire State Flea Market, just five minutes from my house. So, I’ve filled my home with tons of $5 treasures that brought my style to life. Recently, I visited the antique market in Brimfield , MA and loved it. I can’t wait to be back. In addition, I have done some thrifting when visiting Nashville, Roundtop, and of course local antique shops. Being so close to the shore, we have some great antique shops at the local towns, but those can be pricey. After spoiling myself for the last few years with cheap finds, it’s hard to go to normal “antique” shops to purchase. So, I go more for inspiration. Occasionally, I find something online and love browsing Etsy for great vintage finds too.
Soak in the beauty of time worn antiques from baskets and breadboards to handmade pottery. Then, admire the contrast of whites with warm wood tones, black furniture and gold finishes. It’s stunning!
We truly live in our home.Deb Foglia
Deb: One of the beliefs that my husband and I have is to use what you have. Have a porch? Sit on it. Have a great dining space? Entertain with it. A pool? Swim in it. An open concept home? Be present with your family.
I truly feel designing is something I work on daily. I love to challenge myself to be better. It’s something desirable. So, playing around with my home and making changes is something I thrive on. I’m also not afraid of a little paint. I call it ‘impulsive paint disorder.’ I just love the feeling of flipping through paint swatches and an afternoon with a brush in my hand.
Definitely dig into your style to truly find what makes your style feel like “you”. From there, start with the room that you spend the most time in. Then, either choose a new paint color, or start decorating with an area rug and work your way up. Remember that good textures, items that feel unique and “so you” will make your space become what you want it to be. When all else fails, a new light fixture and paint will always make a room feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Shop The European Farmhouse Collection, inspired by Deb Foglia of Seeking Lavender Lane, at From: Susie. For example, here are a few pieces from the collection that I love, as pictured above.
Want to see more European modern farmhouse inspiration from Deb? Check out her blog, here. Then, find her on Instagram and Pinterest. Finally, be sure to come back to the blog next week for a look at Deb’s candle company fleur & flame.