19 Nov All You Need To Know About Country Kitchens
Country Kitchen FAQ
If you’re looking for a new kitchen and you have your eyes set on a country kitchen, this FAQ will provide some useful information before you make your purchase.
What is a country kitchen?
As the name suggests, a country style kitchen is one that’s inspired by elements of country and rural living. Rustic, carefree and lived-in by feel, it offers the appeal of an environment that is homely and comforting based on traditional and timeless values.
Stepping into a country kitchen should transport you back to a simpler time more connected with natural living – regardless as to whether you’re in an open-plan barn in the middle of a moor or a narrow flat in a busy city borough. If you do happen to own a lovely countryside abode, then country style design is a wonderful way of fully embracing the more intimate and personal elements of your home – timber beams, flagstone flooring, Shaker cabinets and wood countertops among these.
What makes a country kitchen special?
While country style kitchens are having a bit of a moment, with many homeowners looking to renovate their kitchens with farmhouse flair, we believe it’s a trend that’s here to stay. There is something very timeless about a country style kitchen.
Unlike more contemporary design trends, which come in and out of style, a country style kitchen is all about capturing a moment in time. In this respect, it won’t go ‘out of style’ as it’s not trying to abide by any fleeting trend, to begin with. Farmhouse kitchens are also being embraced by larger families after a more livable, unpretentious space. Hardwearing floors and countertops that are easy to maintain are perfect for those kitchens with many large and small feet (and paws, for that matter) wandering in and out of the space.
How to design a country style kitchen?
While country kitchens are versatile in that they come in many different styles, these are the major components to consider when countryfying your space.
Country style worktops
Worktops are the unifying element in any kitchen environment. They bring the cabinet tops, walls and flooring together in harmony. They’re an important piece to get right. And, depending on what material you choose to go for, your worktop and kitchen island surface can contribute well to the farmhouse world you’re trying to create.
When it comes to country-style kitchens, wood or stone worktops are the most popular choice. While stone may seem more hardwearing than wood, it’s worth making sure you make the right choice in terms of colour, consistency, etc. Go too bold or glossy and you’ll lose make your space feel too artificial. Try opting for granite that’s a natural brown, red or cream and avoid anything that’s too black. Alternatively, you could try a composite worktop for more longevity. Ensuring the finish is matt will give your kitchen that’s rustic and untouched feel.
If you’re after a truly authentic country finish, then wood is probably the best way to go. Unlike stone worktops, wood worktops will require a little additional maintenance including regular oiling and staying on top of spillages (as these can stain the surface quickly). Periodically sanding and polishing the wood will keep the surface looking fresh and new.
One of the most important considerations when fitting new flooring in your kitchen is how practical it needs to be for your particular lifestyle. The amount of time and care you can devote to its maintenance is likely to influence your final choice. Furthermore, if you’re looking to add underfloor heating to keep your kitchen cosy in the winter, engineered wood flooring or floor tiles are ideal.
Hardwearing flagstone is an authentic choice when it comes to farmhouse and country home kitchens. It offers that ultimate rustic feel while being long-lasting, making it a great choice for larger family kitchens where there’s a lot of daily footfall. Alternatively, a wooden floor can be a more sophisticated, lighter choice. That being said, it requires more care and maintenance over the long-run. Albeit, in the right space, it can look stunning.
Country kitchen sink
One of the best ways of giving your kitchen a more rural feel is by adding in a butler’s sink. These are deep and blend in well with any worktop, offering ample space for vegetable and clothes washing. The classic material to go for here is ceramic. These are a typical fixture in many farmhouse and country style kitchens, though they do require a little care to keep staining at bay. However, more composite options or stainless steel can bring a more contemporary accent to an otherwise traditional space. Stainless steel, in particular, can last a long time and requires little in the way of upkeep.
Undoubtedly, Shaker-style cabinets are the most common choice for country kitchens. Timeless, subtle and rustic in feel they blend seamlessly into both traditional and modern spaces. For a more high-end appeal, opt for solid wood, in-frame doors. That way, if you want to leave the wood exposed with just a wax finish or nice varnish to seal, you’ll be left with natural wood doors that feel intentional in your space.
Painting doors in a solid, matt colour is another popular alternative for Shaker cabinets. Muted or heritage colours make for a stunning choice here (keep reading to find out more about ideal farmhouse colours).
Cabinets not offering enough storage space? Then add some traditional freestanding units to your space. Thrifted items like dressers and wood cabinets will give you additional kitchen space while adding to the farmhouse atmosphere you’re trying to create.
One of the most defining features for a country kitchen situated in a traditional property can be exposed timber beams. These can be wonderful for a country-themed house. If your kitchen already has exposed timber beams one of the best things you can do is to work with them. Respecting their shape within your space will help you bring out more of a country feel in your home in a highly bespoke and personal way.
Instead of cutting into and reshaping them, thus warping the environment, adjust cabinet sizes to fit alongside them. Unusual roof angles and proportions are that little added quirk that can help bring out the natural character that can be so potent to a true country look. So take advantage of this incredible feature.
What are the most popular country style kitchen colours?
The idea of a country or farmhouse style kitchen conjures a certain atmosphere in most people’s minds. A light, airy uncluttered space awash in comforting, muted colours. The palette of a true country style kitchen is just this. To capture that farmhouse feel, start with a warm, creamy neutral as a base. Choose a cream or white tiling or a light coloured wood. Ensure walls are nothing more than a light cream or white (to bring that wonderful light to your space).
Then, brighten things up with a secondary colour as an accent. For those looking to emulate the Shaker style try more pastel tones. Such as dust pink, sky blue or mint green, are most appropriate. After a more comforting, heritage feeling? Then opt for a more natural colour like forest green or cornflower blue. Or, something more cheerful like a bright sunshine-yellow or strawberry red.
How to decorate a country kitchen?
Once you’ve dealt with the design of your kitchen, it’s time to start dressing it in a way that will evoke an overall rural feel. This is what will really set your country kitchen apart – creating a space that is reflective of you and your lifestyle.
Add patterns – The great thing about country-style kitchens is that they allow you to play with a plethora of different patterns. Florals, dots, stripes, farm and woodland animal prints all bring charm and character to an already rustic space.
Invest in vintage appliances – While you may want to keep your appliances up to date and modern for practical reasons, replacing at least one or two of them with a retro alternative can capture the perfect countryside atmosphere. Consider fitting an AGA stove or have a look at Marks Electricals range of traditional appliances.
Incorporate antique pieces – Antique statement pieces can give your country kitchen a more lived-in heritage feel. Old clocks, copper taps and lighting fixtures, watering cans a reclaimed dining table and chairs and small ornaments all bring with them a sense of familiar comfort. Look for pieces in copper, distressed tin or zinc materials.
Display (proudly) – One of the defining character traits of a country kitchen is the way homeowners of these tend to display items throughout. Instead of tucking things away neatly in drawers and cabinets where they can’t be seen, tableware, cookware and statement pieces are often stored out in the open, Try adding open cupboards, shelves and glass cabinet doors to your design for added display space.
Mix things up – Part of the charm of a country kitchen is that it doesn’t need to look overly pristine. In fact, the more ‘imperfect’ it is the more delightful and homelier it will feel. Adding elements that feel more personal and carefree is key to bringing out your kitchen’s country charm. Different door handle, mixed and matched dinner table chairs and more eclectic pieces will give the space that effortless feel.
Common country kitchen themes
As mentioned previously, there are many different styles and interpretations of the ‘country kitchen’. Here are a few more popular design themes to help inspire you.
Country Cottage style – This is possibly the most traditional design for a country-style kitchen. Suited to cottages characterised by low ceilings and wood beams, this theme is all about embracing the cornerstones of the country style. Exposed natural wood beams and doors, vintage freestanding cabinets, Shaker-style cabinet fronts, chairs and tables as well as tiling on floors on floors and walls are all quintessential elements of this look.
Georgian style – For a more polished version of country-style with seamless design lines, opt for a traditional Georgian style kitchen. Perfect for (you guessed it) Georgian style homes, this truly British look can be combined beautifully with more modern elements for contemporary living. Muted cabinet and wall colours add warmth to the space and granite worktops and modern appliances add relevance. Carefully chosen simple statement pieces like glass and porcelain jars to act as subtle decorations.
Scandinavian inspired – For spaces that are very simple and neutral and that could use a little lift, going the Scandinavian route could be the right choice. Wood worktops, jars galore, candles and intimate statement pieces and pared-back gentle design can help you achieve this style. Scandinavian design is all about creating an environment that is comforting, homely and laid back. The more muted and subtle your elements are in this space, the more you’ll be able to evoke this feeling.
Mixed-material style – For a more unusual look, create a country style kitchen with mixed materials. Plaster walls, exposed beams, highly-finished cabinets, granite and wood worktops can all be combined for a truly original environment. Mix in some green plants and farmhouse accessories to give it that final country finish.
Barn conversions – Barn conversions present the perfect opportunity for designing a farmhouse kitchen that already feels a part of the property. By scaling back things that have been added to the space over the years – e.g false ceilings and walls – you’ll revel features that can form the foundation of your country or farmhouse look. Working with elements in the space – like exposed brick, beams and wood cabinets – you can add matt granite worktops, Shaker cabinets and flagstone flooring to truly capture that country essence.
How much does a country kitchen cost?
There is no set price for a standard country kitchen and your investment will depend on several factors, including the materials sourced, quality and craftsmanship of the units themselves and whether you decide to invest in vintage style pieces and appliances to complement the space.
Working with the character of your home (e.g. exposed wood beams or brick), using reclaimed wood, or simply changing a few elements such as swapping out your standard sink for a butler’s sink or adding in a couple of cabinets can all help you to achieve a country-style look for less.
Country style kitchens by Barbury
As a group of expert cabinet makers and time-served joiners, we’ve amassed years of experience designing and building bespoke kitchens for rural country based homes. We can create something tailored to your lifestyle and build it in a way that you’ll be able to appreciate it for years to come.