Myth: you must live in the countryside or suburbs to A) have, and B) want, a country kitchen. Incorrect, wrong. This simply isn’t true. While the popularity of country style kitchens has fallen in recent years among young and hip interior designers, at A Fancy Home we still avidly yearn for the homely style. And, despite a lack of people talking about country kitchens, demand for this style hasn’t fallen.
Another myth: a country kitchen must be drab or boring to fit the bill. Just because they’re historically, (in Britain anyway), one of the first ‘styles’ of a kitchen to develop – with references that hark back to bygone eras – doesn’t mean they can’t still be contemporary.
As we know, kitchens are inherently social places in homes today. They are house-hubs, office spaces, homework stations, craft tables, guest-hosting places as well as the utilitarian room of their intended purpose. For most people, the kitchen is a space which they associate with home, with mothers and with their cooking. With that in mind, what new style kitchens offer (minimalistic, extreme design), country kitchens offer comfort, homeliness and, if carefully curated, understated luxury with just as much technology as a newer style kitchen.
So, how can you achieve a country style kitchen in your home? The best way to understand (and then implement an interior design theme) is to dissect and isolate the defining features. This way it doesn’t seem so daunting to execute.
How to Achieve the Country Kitchen of Your Dreams:
Exposed beams are tell-tale characteristic of a farmhouse style kitchen. The exposure in a country kitchen doesn’t just end there, brick (especially around a chimney or centre-point) is also a common feature.
Having exposed elements, like beams and walls, are reminiscent of old, unadorned kitchens in their raw state. They give the room a charming, rustic feel that relaxes the atmosphere (guests aren’t terrified of accidentally scratching your ornate, marble worktop).
Since we’re talking about worktops, if you’re hoping to install a country style kitchen then you should be considering wooden ones.
Using natural materials in any room softens the vibe so it’ll add perfectly the homely style of your new kitchen. And, like the exposed beams will create a sense of the rustic.
Wooden worktops aren’t as hardwearing as marble or stone, however, so you’ll need to be more diligent about using chopping boards and keeping them clean. Alternatively, you could have them topped with glass or another form of clear, solid material to ensure aesthetic and longevity.
Another common characteristic of a country kitchen is stone flooring, such as a tiled slate. Slate and stone would have been favoured for the kitchens thanks to the durable nature. It’s extremely hard-wearing and easy to clean – making it ideal for working farm families.
Farm-style kitchens most often decorated in pastel colours, such as creams or muted greens, blues, and greys. We approve of pastels.
Large Stoves as Centre Pieces
Back before the technology revolution, kitchens wouldn’t be cluttered with microwaves, dishwashers or countertop appliances. In fact, other than utensils, the only appliance a kitchen would have is a cooker – and so these would be the centrepieces.
The same can’t quite be said for country kitchens these days, but you will still find large, extravagant cookers (or AGA’s) taking pride of place as the focal point of the room.
A contemporary country kitchen tends to have an island; however, this isn’t true to original style. Kitchen islands only became commonplace and fashionable in the 1980’s, but they’re super useful and we recommend them highly.
Kitchen islands are one way to modernise the classic style.
Exposed Cupboards + Utensils on Display
While cabinets and shelving units existed, they weren’t as sophisticated as today. This meant that utensils and crockery were likely to be on constant display as they were kept on basic shelves or open cabinets.
Even today this way of homing kitchen possessions has become a known feature of country kitchens.
Again, this is a modernisation that’s become popular recently but it’s a design feature that suits the theme well.
An undermount sink is a finishing touch on a sleek and seamless design and if you’re working with a small kitchen it will give those extra few inches that could make all the difference.
Another leftover feature from a bygone era. Fixed and snug fit lights weren’t created, pendants were as luxurious as it got – and even that was a luxury.
Nowadays hanging lights are more sophisticated and come in a variety of styles; if anything, we think they’re nicer than a static ceiling fixture.
Think basic, that means as few walls as possible. Lots of walls, therefore, weren’t a thing of the past. Fortunately, the open-plan and free-flowing atmosphere is coming back into fashion.
The normal household wouldn’t have a separate dining room, families would eat where they cooked and cooked where they ate. Having a small dining area within the same realm of your kitchen makes a far more informal setting for everyday meals and hosting casual visits that’ll make your guests feel at ease.
Of course, with any design theme there’s always more than you could add but as long as you have these basic elements down you’ll be halfway there. For daily updates on all things homey, like A Fancy Home on Twitter!