- Home Improvement
Country Kitchen Ideas
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.
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:
- Burlap and coarse weave fabric
- 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:
- 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.
- Tiles: glass, ceramic, quarry tiles, etc.
- Hammered copper
- Stainless steel
- Butcher block
- Solid surfaces
Backsplashes add personality to your kitchen. They can be made of many different types of materials.
- Antique tin ceiling tiles
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.