You don’t have to live on a farm to have a farmhouse kitchen. In fact, you don’t even have to live in the country. All you need is a kitchen. The bigger the kitchen, the better. But other than a tiny studio apartment galley kitchen, it is possible to achieve an authentic down on the farm look in any kitchen – even yours.
Creating The Look of a Farmhouse Kitchen
A farmhouse kitchen is not so much a place as it is a state of mind. It’s comforting, it’s welcoming, it’s a place that says welcome home – even if you only left the house to run down to the corner bodega to pick up a loaf of bread. If you’re not familiar with bodegas, the name originally referred to “combination convenience” store/grocery store/ deli shops found in urban neighborhoods in New York. However, these days they can be found in any urban neighborhood in the city. In this sense, they’re just like farmhouse kitchens which you can find in apartment houses and townhouses as well as the suburbs, and, of course, the country.
Taking an “Easy Does It” Farmhouse Kitchen Approach
Renovating a kitchen is a project that can disrupt your life for months. Recreating the past, which is actually what you do when you take on a back to the farm country kitchen, can be done one step at a time,
You don’t have to tear out all your cabinets. You can leave some in place and replace others with roughhewn open shelves to hold your wooden mixing bowls, pottery, stoneware crocks as well as any utensils or containers that project nostalgia.
As for those cabinets you leave in place, take a paintbrush to them for now, but keep your eye out for distressed wood to replace them for a truly rustic look. Reclaimed barn wood makes wonderful weathered gray cabinet doors, plus it’s fun to shop for it at salvage stores and country flea markets. Until you find them, the choice of colors you paint your existing cabinets is yours to do. You can choose to go bold with bright sky blues, eye-popping reds, or even glossy black. Don’t be afraid of overwhelming your guests, it’s just a few doors. If on the other hand, you prefer a muted look, mossy greens, or foggy grays will suggest a place to relax.
Don’t forget the walls between these shelves and cabinets. Nothing says farmhouse kitchen like white shiplap siding. It would be great for the whole space, but if you’re not sure, you can start with one or two walls, or maybe backsplashes of shiplap around the sink or behind the stove.
Farmhouse Kitchen Furnishings
Farm wives didn’t have the luxury of working at spacious quartz or marble-top counters. They had to do their chopping, peeling, mixing, and mashing whatever furnishings they had in their kitchen. You, on the other hand, can scout around for farmhouse furniture like a rustic wooden farmhouse island or a utilitarian but rustic wood table to work on.
Speaking of tables, you may not have room for a table, but if you do, make it a weathered wooded one where you and your family can breakfast or dine farmhouse style. Whether you choose a round or rectangular table will depend on your taste as well as the space available, but either way, do surround it with mixed and match vintage ladder-backed or spindle farmhouse chairs. The more rustic, the better.
And while you’re shopping for these, keep an eye out for sturdy wood cabinets you can fit in the corner to store those things that wouldn’t fit on your shelves. If you can find one that’s gaily painted and stenciled – all the better. But if it’s plain, grab it anyway. You can paint and stencil it yourself, farmhouse-wife style!