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.
Color Scheme for a Farmhouse Kitchen
The classic farm kitchen is warm and inviting. Colors to consider are:
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.
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
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.
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.