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Country Kitchen Ideas

Updated on February 27, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

The kitchen may well be the heart of the home but the country kitchen is the lifeblood of all kitchens.  In this room massive amounts of vegetables were canned, gallons of soup bubbled in enamelware pots, and tons of coffee beans were brewed into fragrant pots of comfort and warmth.

Many people love the country kitchen for the memories it invokes.  Whether you chose a contemporary version, a Victorian version, or farmhouse style the country kitchen is not just a place to prepare food but a place to gather, to share, to talk, and to strengthen family ties.

Creating the kitchen of your dreams does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be difficult.  With a few changes, the addition of a few items and a coat of paint you can create that kitchen right in your present home.

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Red and white are a classic combination for a country kitchen.  image:sxcCountry can take on a contemporary look with the right accessories.  imagesxcA country kitchen can have a modern look with sleek, natural textures. image:sxcGlass cupboards are a great way to add a vintage look.image:sxcMason jars make good storage containers.  image:sxcIntricate tile designs make interesting backsplashes.image:sxcCrocks and other old collectibles create instant charm. image:(c)maryeaudet 2009 all rights resrved
Red and white are a classic combination for a country kitchen.  image:sxc
Red and white are a classic combination for a country kitchen. image:sxc
Country can take on a contemporary look with the right accessories.  imagesxc
Country can take on a contemporary look with the right accessories. imagesxc
A country kitchen can have a modern look with sleek, natural textures. image:sxc
A country kitchen can have a modern look with sleek, natural textures. image:sxc
Glass cupboards are a great way to add a vintage look.image:sxc
Glass cupboards are a great way to add a vintage look.image:sxc
Mason jars make good storage containers.  image:sxc
Mason jars make good storage containers. image:sxc
Intricate tile designs make interesting backsplashes.image:sxc
Intricate tile designs make interesting backsplashes.image:sxc
Crocks and other old collectibles create instant charm. image:(c)maryeaudet 2009 all rights resrved
Crocks and other old collectibles create instant charm. image:(c)maryeaudet 2009 all rights resrved

Using Color and Texture

A coat of paint is probably one of the least expensive ways to change the look of your kitchen.  Some color combinations that express your country style might be:

  • Red and white
  • Chocolate brown and cream
  • Yellow and white
  • Blue and white
  • White and sand

Depending on the era the colors of a country style kitchen might be bright and crisp or earthy and soothing. 

Normally there will be wood and other natural materials in abundance.  It isn’t just color that makes the look of this kitchen but it is texture as well. Some materials to consider are:

  • Copper
  • Granite
  • Wood
  • Burlap and coarse weave fabric
  • Enamel
  • Oil rubbed bronze

 

Flooring for the Country Kitchen

Whether you are lucky enough to have vintage heart pine or you decide to go with marmoleum, the floor in a country kitchen is a big part of the style. The floor should be easy to care for. For this reason if you will be putting in a new floor think carefully about your cooking habits and the type of traffic you will get in the kitchen. A white, vinyl tile floor, for example, will more than likely be terminally gray if you have small (sticky) children and lots of back yard activity. The varnish on a wood floor will not hold up well to silt and trails of sand from the sandbox.

Marmoleum is the closest modern flooring to the old fashioned linoleum that Grandma had. It is very eco friendly and wears well. Another eco friendly choice would be bamboo flooring, although this wood does not wear as well as some of the other types.

A fantastic way to get flooring is to check with architectural salvage and eBay. This old flooring is pulled out of buildings that are going to be torn down and then sold. If you like the scuffs, scratches, and nicks that are characteristic of old floors, reclaimed flooring is a great choice. It keeps the wood out of the landfills, and truly, you can’t get the beautiful look created by this old growth heartwood.

Quarry tile, glazed or unglazed is a popular look but not a very good choice for a busy kitchen. The first time a dish slips out of your hands on the floor it will shatter. The floor is cold, can be slippery when wet, and the design benefits and negatives should be weighed carefully before deciding on this floor.

Add a few rag or braided rugs by the doors and you have a great country look.


Cabinetry, Counters, and Backsplashes…Oh My

If your cabinets are essentially in good shape you may be able to get another decade out of them by painting them. Painting kitchen cabinets is not difficult and it is a great look for a country kitchen. For a real vintage look paint one color over another and then use sand paper to peel off layers of paint and reveal the color underneath. Another great look for cabinets is a crackle painted finish, again using one color under another.

Colors to consider painting your cabinets are:

  • White
  • Black
  • Red
  • Sage or jadite green
  • Butter yellow


Another way to change the look without spending the money for all new cabinets is to have the cabinets refaced. Companies can do this or you can do it yourself with materials from home improvement stores like Home Depot.

If your cabinets really need to be replaced then do so with the best quality cabinets that you can afford. This will be a major investment so choose wisely. There are many kitchen cabinet discount shops on the Internet that carry quality cabinets for less money that they would be in the stores.

While your grandmother may have had only one or two materials to choose from, today’s country kitchen can contain many types of countertop materials. Each type has different benefits. It is important to do your research in order to make the best decision for your family. Consider the amount and type of cooking you do and the time that you have to clean.

  • Cement
  • Marmoleum
  • Tiles: glass, ceramic, quarry tiles, etc.
  • Hammered copper
  • Stainless steel
  • Butcher block
  • Laminate
  • Solid surfaces
  • Quartz
  • Soapstone
  • Marble

Backsplashes add personality to your kitchen. They can be made of many different types of materials.

  • Tile
  • Beadboard
  • Mirrors
  • Marmoleum
  • Antique tin ceiling tiles


Country Furniture

There are certain types of furniture that are associated with country style kitchens.  You can get antiques and vintage items to give your kitchen an authentic look or you can use furniture created in an antique style.  Some of the items that are sure to give your kitchen that country look are:

  • Long, pine farm tables were used for years to knead loaves of homemade bread.
  • Hoosier cabinets
  • Ladder-back chairs
  • Even old enamel stoves can be used for both decoration and as storage. 
  • Enamel topped work tables

Crocks and Canisters

Of course a country kitchen is full of containers of all kinds. Vintage crocks hold old cookie cutters; while old mason jars and pantry jars hold flour, coffee or sugar. You can even pick up vintage canister sets to add authenticity to your country look.

Kitchen collectibles like the red handled potato mashers from the 1930s and 1940s look great hanging up on walls. Old advertising labels add color and charm while vintage cookie jars add nostalgic ambiance.


Use what you have and add a few things here and there to create a look in your country kitchen that is uniquely you.

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    • profile image

      Gerrit Von Holt 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I am thinking about redoing a kitchen in this style. The biggest thing for me is locating the fixtures that fit in with the style. Are there any brands that anyone recommends?

    • dwaynehood profile image

      dwaynehood 

      7 years ago from 9535 Stoney Ridge Lane, JENKINTOWN, PA-19046,USA

      that is really useful and like the way your writing the article it show every info in order..

    • AuntySa profile image

      AuntySa 

      7 years ago from Austalia

      I am loving your blog. There are a lot to learn in here. I especially love the idea of using texture and color for kitchens. Brilliant!

    • angelaglancy profile image

      angelaglancy 

      8 years ago from Seattle

      Hi Marye --- I think that I've been spelling your name wrong, so sorry for that! Anyway, my favorite kitchens are a white base with a splash of bold color. White is the easiest color to keep clean, and if the color is in your accessories, you can give you kitchen a whole, new look very cheaply. Nice hub.

    • relica profile image

      relica 

      8 years ago from California

      Great idea to use marmoleum for and authentic looking floor. Nice job.

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 

      8 years ago from UK

      You're right on that point. The country kitchen does invoke warmth and home. Good stuff. I'm into home improvement myself.

    • KitchenRenovation profile image

      KitchenRenovation 

      9 years ago

      This is great information. A country kitchen just gives you a down to earth feeling of love and caring. I am a huge fan of HGTV and the DIY Network.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      9 years ago

      Country kitchens are so nice, I watch home and garden decorating shows on television and they have some of the best kitchen designs, the ones that are small and cozy to me are the best.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice hub and good information on country kitchen. thansk for sharing

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