As the heart of the home, one needs to be quite careful when selecting furnishings and accessories for the kitchen. But regardless of style or design, the kitchen is meant to make all feel welcome. And if you want your cooking space to be especially open and inviting to friends and family, one style that we can recommend is the farmhouse style.
To ensure you get the look right, let’s see the 9 vital elements that your farmhouse kitchen simply can’t do without…
Even though farmhouse kitchens can come in various palettes, your typical scheme needs to draw from colours and materials that can generally be seen in an actual country / farmhouse setting. Think of examples like brick, stone, and wood paired with soft, welcoming tones.
If you’re looking to include a touch of colour, stay away from ultra-saturated, trendy hues used for modern spaces. Rather stick to heritage tints (i.e. bright blues, warm oranges, rustic reds, forest greens) that can suit that timeless aura you’re looking to recreate in your farmhouse kitchen.
Whereas built-in cabinets are ideal for modern kitchens, free-standing furnishings are recommended for vintage, farmhouse-style designs. Think of elements such as a rustic table instead of a built-in island, a tall pantry cabinet instead of wall-mounted fixtures, or even a charming Smeg fridge for a delightful throwback to yesteryear.
And be sure to avoid the matchy-matchy look at all costs for a casual atmosphere.
You may not be too fond of beadboard, but it’s one of the pieces that help to define a farmhouse kitchen. Originally used as a more cost-effective way to cover parts or entire walls (especially those surfaces that needed restoration), beadboard became one of the must-have pieces for farmhouse cooking spaces.
Use your beadboard on a wall that’s away from your washing area (or even on your backsplash that’s nowhere near your sink), as those wooden panels don’t like water and can be quite tricky to clean (especially with thinner grooves).
Exposed shelving is great for making a room feel more roomy and accessible. Plus, open shelving also allows you to put some of your favourite pieces out on display (such as Granny’s prized tea set or your much-loved pots and pans).
Glass-door cabinets can have a similar effect, yet this puts a more “trophy case” spin on your displayed kitchen accessories.
Farmhouse sinks were once used for their practicality – those wide, deep designs were perfect for back in the day when the kitchen was the hub of activity and a load of washing-up (i.e. huge pots and pans) had to be done.
Today, a farmhouse / butler sink is just as practical as it always was, yet it’s also about its striking look. To make your farmhouse sink stand out even more, ensure it contrasts in colour from the rest of the countertop and add a rustic-style faucet.
Warm and inviting wood ensures friendly and inviting character for a farmhouse-style kitchen, whether on the floor, your cabinetry, or in small doses like with dining stools. For even more detail, knotty, local wood can ensure a more rustic touch. We recommend subtle, slightly red or orange stains to bring out that natural look and feel of the wood.
Speaking of rustic wood, make sure to include other materials that flaunt rustic, old-looking surfaces. Don’t use too much sleek, polished metal – the contrast between the shiny surfaces and detailed wood can be quite nice, but this is not what typical farmhouse kitchens looked like way back when.
We recommend weathered, antiqued metals like galvanized steel, antique brass or blackened bronze. See where in your kitchen you can accommodate these surfaces, although the most popular are always in light fixtures, storage bins, and accessories.
Giving some thought to the style of lighting fixtures you bring into your kitchen can make a world of difference. Generally, old-school farmhouse kitchens had lighting fixtures made from materials like copper, wrought-iron, glass, polished or brushed stainless steel, or galvanized metal.
Whichever materials you opt for, ensure there’s a visual link between them – you don’t want to throw too many different-looking surfaces together in your kitchen, as it can result in visual clutter. But be sure to layer your lighting to make it a top-notch space for working (i.e. cooking, food prepping, socialising) by combining ceiling pendants with wall sconces, having one or two table / floor lamps for added illumination, etc.
The trick is not to let your farmhouse kitchen look like it was designed today – it needs to have a slightly weathered look, and for that we recommend carefully selected pieces that bring in character. Think of examples like colourful chairs with worn paint, an antique light fixture or a well-weathered table that adds a lived-in feeling to your kitchen.
Then up the rustic vibe ever so slightly. As we said earlier, farmhouse kitchens are synonymous with country settings, so think about including antique pieces like gardening and farming equipment for furnishings and accessories, mason jars to hold flour and sugar, and a vintage vase with colourful field flowers.
We also like hanging an apron on one of the free-standing cabinets which adds a sense that your kitchen is a working zone.
Not too fond of a neutral look? Then see these 7 stylish choices for your coloured kitchen.