Country living centers around the kitchen and, as we all know, we perform many tasks in the kitchen. First and foremost, you prepare meals. In many kitchens, you also eat those meals as well as pay bills, do homework, entertain guests, etc. Whether you are building a brand new home or remodeling an existing kitchen there are several new ideas on the market that make it possible for you to design the perfect country kitchen.
- Cabinets. New finishes and door designs that are appropriate for country kitchen decor are available. These include faux finishes that look and feel aged; distressed paint finishes and beautiful wood tones. Molding is available in many different styles as well as special doors inserts that include beadboard, glass panels, etc.
- Appliances. Appliances are the “furniture” of the kitchen. You will want to consider your personal design preferences when it comes time to pick a specific style. You might incorporate a stove that looks like something right out of a mid-century farmhouse in your own rustic kitchen. New or refurbished refrigerators that meet current energy standards but look old-fashioned will fit the decor of any country kitchen including a cottage, farmhouse or rustic design. Cabinet doors can hide modern appliances such as a dishwasher, trash compactor, and microwave oven.
- Room layout. If you have the opportunity to add space to your kitchen, now is the time to consider other tasks that you perform in this room.
- If possible, include a casual dining area that can accommodate the family for breakfast, lunch or weekday meals. Consider a built-in banquette with hidden storage under the seats or a wonderful round table and chairs for great conversation. An old farmhouse table will accommodate several people and add a sense of history to your country kitchen. This space can also act as homework central during the week, making it possible for you to keep an eye on the kids, help them with their homework and just be nearby.
- A small cubby or built-in desk area is the perfect spot to pay bills, check out recipes or work on a laptop. Incorporate plenty of drawers and cubbies to keep the area neat and organized.
- Take into consideration any special hobbies the family has such as wine tasting, specialty cooking, etc and incorporate these into your kitchen design. For example, a counter with plenty of room to pull up a stool and enjoy sushi or set out bottles of wine for the monthly wine tasting party will be appreciated by you and your guests.
- Proper storage is an absolute must in any country kitchen, particularly a small area. Cabinet manufacturers have come up with several unique ways to maximize storage by using every inch of the kitchen. Corner units, rotating shelves, slide-out units, and under-counter storage are just a few ideas for a small kitchen design.
- Decor. The decor of your country kitchen includes furniture styles, fabric choices, paint colors and accessories. These are all determined by your own personal style. Is your country kitchen rustic in design or do you prefer the bright and cheerful look of a cottage kitchen? Maybe the warm woods and colorful fabrics found in a French country kitchen are more to your liking. Or perhaps you are trying to replicate the warm and cozy feel of your grandmother’s farmhouse kitchen with its worn woods, heavy iron pots and pans, and artwork and photos yellowed with age.
- For a rustic kitchen choose cabinetry with a weathered finish of paint or distressed wood. Repurposed or reclaimed barn or fencing is always a fun option for cabinetry and furniture pieces. Open shelving can also be incorporated for your upper cabinets. A simple tile countertop and backsplash would be used. A multi-purpose farmhouse table can act as an island for preparing meals and, when cleared, becomes the dining table. Accessories might include old utensils hung above the stove, vintage oil paintings or magazine ads framed in mismatched wood frames. Fabric for window treatments, chair seat cushions, etc. would be homespun weaves such as linen, cotton, and muslin in friendly patterns like gingham checks, colorful solids or simple floral designs.
- A cottage kitchen will most likely have white or painted cabinets with a simple beadboard door design. Countertops may be simple porcelain tiles or an elegant white marble. Open shelving also works well in a country cottage kitchen as a place to display a pretty collection of teapots, colorful dinnerware or potted plants. If open shelving does not appeal to you, consider glass door inserts for your upper cabinets that, when lit, act as a night light in the evening. Fabrics will be soft and feminine and include plenty of floral patterns and the accessories will continue the floral feel with still life oil paintings of roses, fruit, etc.
- A French country kitchen utilizes the beauty of wood in cabinetry and furniture. A center island might be painted red to look like a piece of furniture as opposed to kitchen cabinetry and feature a distressed butcher block countertop. Fabric patterns are a mix and match collection of stripes, checks, floral and toile all jumbled together on a banquette, dining table bench or in the window treatments. Accessories are fun and colorful and include folk art images, family photos, paintings of farm animals or the scenic countryside. And a rooster, the sign of good luck and bounty, are a must in any French country kitchen.
- It is not necessary to bind yourself to one particular “country kitchen” style. The kitchen, like all rooms in a country home, is functional first and warm and welcoming to family and guests.
When the time comes to design your country kitchen, take time to determine your specific needs and the end result will be a kitchen you will enjoy for years to come.