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Farmhouse Kitchen

Updated on February 14, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

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

A farmhouse kitchen brings back nostalgic memories to nearly everyone, even if they never experienced warm, homemade bread straight from the wood burning oven.  A farm kitchen is a symbol of family, good food, simpler times, and a lifestyle that is almost extinct.   Exuding warmth and charm, the farmhouse style kitchen can accommodate every activity from baking to a Monopoly game.  Everyone is welcome, everyone is comfortable, and it is a low maintenance decorating choice. 

While there is a lot of flexibility in creating a farmhouse kitchen style, there are some basic design elements that should be in place.  Once these are honored there is no limit to what you can do to make your country kitchen unique.

Vintage touches add to the ambiance of the farmhouse kitchen Image:sxc
Vintage touches add to the ambiance of the farmhouse kitchen Image:sxc

Color Scheme for a Farmhouse Kitchen

The classic farm kitchen is warm and inviting. Colors to consider are:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Cream
  • Mocha

Colors that mimic the colors of spices work especially well with this style. The country kitchen is also a good place to experiment with special painting techniques like ragging, stenciling and sponging. You can find numerous books on the subject of faux finishes. One thing you should consider when deciding on a faux finish is the look you are going for. After all, every country in the world has its own version of the farmhouse kitchen. Some color combinations are:

  • Americana- Red, white and blue
  • Country French-Blue and white
  • Mediterranean- Mustard yellow and rust
  • American Country- Yellow and white, or red and white

The kitchen is a great place to add a country style wallpaper border or stencil embellishments.


Consider a rustic look for the kitchen backsplash but keep it easy to clean. Vintage tin ceiling tiles can be found on eBay. These make an interesting and unique backsplash for your kitchen. Other ideas are:

Bead board-Stain and seal it or paint it for best results.

Chalkboard paint- Especially if you are doing a red and white kitchen, blackboard or chalkboard paint can be a great backsplash. You can even paint under the chalkboard paint with magnetic paint. When you want to follow a recipe you can simply attach it to the backsplash with a magnet. Notes to yourself and family members can be written on the chalkboard.

Brick veneer- can give a country farmhouse look that many people like. It comes in several colors and styles and goes with almost any country decorating scheme.

Glass tiles-Glass tiles add a country contemporary look to the classic farmhouse kitchen.


The Farmhouse kitchen looks perfect with aged and worn antiques scattered around. Old advertising memorabilia, vintage cooking utensils, or prints of farm animals are a perfect way to embellish the walls. If there are large areas of wall then consider old farm tools to fill the space.

The kitchen walls are a good place to display your vintage apron collection, or hang a shelf with antique cookbooks arranged on it.

Using bead board to create a tall wainscoting around the wall gives your farmhouse kitchen vintage style. Just like in the late 1800s, this treatment is easy to clean and protects the walls from scuffs, sticky fingers, and other natural kitchen disasters. When it is well painted or well sealed just a swipe with a damp rag solves almost every problem. Bead board can also be installed on the ceiling for a rustic country farmhouse look.

The farmhouse sink is almost a requirement, whether you use an antique one or buy a new one. Set it into counters of slate, tile, wood, or almost any solid surface you desire and it will immediately infuse your kitchen with farmhouse style.

Flooring Choices

Wood floors are a classic choice for the farm kitchen but they are not the only choice. Wood floors can be beautiful but in a kitchen situation, especially if you do a lot of cooking or have kids helping you cook, they are difficult to clean. Consider the following materials:


Tile- especially red and white squares or black and white squares.

Good quality vinyl flooring that mimics a natural substance like stone.

Plan on adding a few accent rugs for warmth and charm. Braided or hand hooked rugs are perfect to complete the country look. If you find some at a thrift shop that are a little worn they are perfect.


What would a farmhouse kitchen be without a farmhouse table?  Choose a table with removable leaves for the most use.  You can even get unfinished tables and stain or paint them yourself.   This is a perfect way to get an antique look without the expense of an antique table.  With some practice you can add a distressed look to your table that will complete the look in your home.

Depending on how large your kitchen is you may have room for a Hoosier cabinet or some other vintage piece.  Since this will be a focal point of your room choose carefully.  A Hoosier is a great place to display vintage collectibles, china, and antiques.  Open one of the doors and hang a lightweight quilt or vintage tablecloth over it.

Curtains and Fabrics

Classic window treatments include:

  • Red gingham
  • White eyelet
  • Calico
  • Toile

However, there are many other fabrics that can give you the look you want. Fabric that looks like vintage feed sacks can be charming. Vintage tea towels or pillowcases can be made into valences and curtains easily. Quilts that are too worn to be salvaged also make good curtain material.

Old quilts are also good to use to recover the seats of worn chairs, make placemats, and create many different kinds of décor.

Be Unique

Create your own farmhouse style. Consider your needs, how much you cook, and what your family is like and then create the farmhouse kitchen of your dreams.


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    • profile image

      Kevin Warhus 7 years ago

      Thanks for the wonderful article. Ive always wanted a farmhouse kitchen!

    • scanzin profile image

      scanzin 8 years ago from Not Spcified

      great HUB Love all of the ideas! You are a wealth of information.

    • relica profile image

      relica 8 years ago from California

      I love the farmhouse kitchen with a trace of shabby chic. Great Hub!

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      Ilove your hub, nothing like a beautiful country kitchen, Cheers.

    • calfcreek profile image

      calfcreek 8 years ago from Republic of Texas

      What a wonderful read! Thank you for writing. My grandma's kitchen was my favorite place to be. Always a snack hiding around somewhere in a bin or tin! Canning season was always fun, lots goin' on in the kitchen and garden!

      As an architect I appreciate your design talent. I look forward to reading more of your work.


    • caitlinlea profile image

      caitlinlea 8 years ago from Texas

      This is a fabulous hub!! A farmhouse kitchen sounds delightful...when I have a home of my own (that is not a rented apartment!!) I will want to keep these suggestions in mind. :-)

      Thanks for writing a terrific hub!!

    • abinavis profile image

      abinavis 8 years ago from Bat Island

      Even though this type of kitchen is almost ignored and overlooked recently by modern people that used to choose modern kitchen design, but farmhouse kitchen model is a good idea for back to conventional home design ideas. By keeping a consistent style and classic furniture it would bring a kitchen more natural and classic.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This just brought back memories of some of my great aunts and uncles who had farmhouse kitchens. Those kitchens were truly the heart of the home.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      How nice it would be to have this type of kitchen.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      love a farmhouse kitchen, love the funk, love the fact that everything isn't all shiny and perfect...a kitchen needs to be lived in...what the heck is marmoleum...will follow link

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I would love to have a farmhouse kitchen -- and your descriptions are invigorating! Several ideas for changing the look of my kitchen are coming to mind as I write... I think I will be off to make some new curtains and reorganize my open cupboard. Glass tiles would make the perfect backsplash! I'll have to look for those second hand.

      Thank you for the lovely suggestions.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joy At Home 8 years ago from United States

      I love the blackboard backsplash idea. That would have taken me a while to come up with, so I'm glad you did it. I'll remember that when I get to redo my own kitchen.

    • Andromeda10 profile image

      Andromeda10 8 years ago from Chicago

      I love the country look. In my mind, that includes a lot of lace. It is so difficult to keep clean but I love it. Great hub!