Itchin’ for a Farmhouse Kitchen
If you envision a farmhouse, you may think of a full-on sprawling ranch with acres upon acres of land and loads of animals to care for. If you are fortunate enough to live that sort of lifestyle, kudos. For others, it’s possible that this may be too much to handle. However, if you enjoy the history and charm that the farmhouse style emits, why not try the style in one room? No need to go full house just yet. If you like the style, you can go from there. Let’s see how the farmhouse style works in the heart of all homes – the kitchen.
The best aspect of farmhouses is that they were built to take a beating. They were not meant to be pristine. They were not frou-frou or dainty in any way. On working farms, families had as many children as possible so they could have more hands to work the fields. When the sun went down, the work day was complete, and everyone piled into the kitchen for the evening meal.
The first rule of farmhouse is to have a big, solid wood rectangular table to welcome and seat all your dinner guests.
The table can be fairly plain, beat up even, or just look that way through modern day distressing. This particular table looks sturdy and stylish with its plank top. Mismatched chairs and a bench are all highly appropriate for seating. When thinking about farmhouse style furniture, think about a big burly farm worker and furniture sturdy enough to hold his bulk. That’s what you want. No apologetic rickety thin legged, dainty chairs here. They won’t last until dessert.
Next up is the requisite farmhouse sink. Bigger and better than a regular kitchen sink, it has two sections that are much deeper and this style of sink has an apron in the front.
Also if you can have a butcher block countertop and beadboard door fronts on the lower cabinets. These extra elements add more hints to the bygone era of true farmhouse style.
Shelve the Idea
Open shelving is standard fare for the farmhouse kitchen. Wall mounted shelves or cabinets without doors make it easy to grab whatever is needed for each meal. If you cringe at the idea of open air shelving, try cabinet doors with glass fronts to create a similar effect.
Look for vintage accent pieces. Even old glass jars can be filled with dried beans, seashells or used as flower vases. This kitchen is full of interesting accents, but not to the point of being kitschy.
Period touches add a reminder of the original farmhouse roots. Notice the pottery, antique stool, vintage clock and Morton Salt® sign. These pieces add nostalgia and a comfortable feel. Also check out the large freestanding storage unit with its different size doors, storage spaces, and mismatched knobs. It’s a perfect pairing with the vintage worktable. Loving it!
Step on It
Hmmm. What to do with the floors? Most often kitchen floors were constructed of wood, which you may or may not want to paint. Another option is black and white tiles or linoleum.
White dishes are ideal for open shelving because they don’t distract from other colors. You can always add to your white dish collection by buying new pieces at yard sales, discount stores, and more. Mix and match different styles and they will work together because of the color. Makes them easy to replace, too.
Industrial elements work with the farmhouse style. Metal, no-nonsense pieces, like hanging lights, have strength and long wear. Window treatments can benefit from an update to allow more natural light in the kitchen. For mealtimes, candles and other low lights can add a warming glow.
Farmhouses were originally adorned with items that were handy and practical.
Take care not to go too far overboard. Find the balance between hand-me-downs, flea market and newer pieces. It is perfectly acceptable for the styles and materials to be mixed up. Everything does not have to match. Incorporate these ideas to get an impressive home of farmhouse furniture.
About the Author
The author, Dina Janicke loves to travel and visit old barns to get inspiration for interior design ideas. She dedicates most of her time to incorporating these designs to her store at www.customfurnitureworld.com