Step Back in Time with a Homey Rural-Style Kitchen
From the rustic to the English, French, and classic American farmhouse style, the country kitchen is an icon in kitchen design that evokes comfort, warmth, and nostalgic memories of gathering around the kitchen table watching grandma whip up old, familiar recipes. The traditional layout includes a center island and an eating area within the kitchen. It is surrounded by cabinets and is usually open to another room – in most cases, the family room. Large picture windows and skylights also provide an abundance of natural light in your kitchen.
Cheery and welcoming, a country-style kitchen keeps casual living in mind – and is not limited to just one particular house plan. Whether you live in an apartment in a busy urban locale or a traditional home in the suburbs, you can bring this look into your home. From the typical farmhouse kitchen to the more sophisticated French style, the country kitchen’s charming appeal can be adapted into any house plan.
Country Style Elements
Here’s how you can bring “the country” into your home:
1. Color It Mostly White
Warm white is the color of choice in most country style kitchens. Combine white with beige, gray, oatmeal, and other softer hues – light yellows, blues, and greens – to create a calming, cheerful, peaceful and cozy effect. Pair a grayish or powder blue with butter yellow for cabinets and shelves to go with the white or beige background.
If you want a bit more splash of color, then choose a muted red – like brick or the shade of antique barns. The light red works on chairs, tables, shelves, cabinets and even walls.
Another soothing color option is green. You can play with different shades of light green – avocado or mint – for cabinets and countertops. The overall effect of these pastel tones is the creation of a kitchen that is comfortable and soothing in every way and complements the design of a country home.
A 2-story, 3-bedroom Country home plan includes this kitchen with cabinets, drawers, and appliances in creamy white set against a wall painted a muted red. Check out the splashes of red in the area rug and canisters (House Plan #117-1030).
2. Wood and Natural Materials Bring Warmth
For a lived-in rustic look, wood is a must for a kitchen. Weathered, white-washed, or with visible knots, wood (usually oak or pine) is used for floors and trims – and timber for exposed beams. Some country kitchen floor plans may feature stone flooring and backsplashes, metals, and porcelain tiles. Consider copper hoods, brass cabinet pulls, or a cast-iron hanging pot and pan rack for accents in the kitchen. A combination of the reddish-brown tones of wood, copper, and brass will definitely bring the rustic mood to any kitchen.
Can you imagine yourself spending a lot of time in this kitchen of a 2-story, 4-bedroom Craftsman style home plan? The wood floor and copper hood are attractive touches that bring a homey and relaxed atmosphere into the area (House Plan #146-2810).
3. Stick to the Simple in Cabinetry
For the traditional country look in the kitchen, go for the simple and streamlined in cabinetry. There are a few options at your fingertips – open shelves, cabinets without doors, and glass-front cabinets. While you may give up storage space, the advantage is the opportunity to showcase silver and dinnerware pieces with intricate designs, glasses, baskets, and other collectibles.
Adding interesting and unique knobs or drawer pulls to cabinets stays with the country design. Copper, brass, porcelain, and antique pieces are very trendy for the look when it comes to kitchen hardware.
This country kitchen in a luxury 1-story 2-bedroom Traditional style home plan features open shelves, copper pendant lights, and a cabinet with an ornate antique finish (House Plan #161-1072).
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Modern Appliances
Remember that country design doesn’t mean old-fashioned – and that goes for appliances and other kitchen necessities. Homeowners can have all the modern amenities in their kitchen – refrigerators, microwaves, kitchen islands with sinks and stovetops – without losing the look and feel of the country style. But there are some homeowners who may want to continue the country look by going with modern appliances that have a retro design, such as a refrigerator with paneling that matches the kitchen’s cabinets. And that’s fine!
The stainless-steel refrigerator and kitchen island with marble countertop in this kitchen of a 2-story, 2-bedroom, and 2-bathroom Country style home plan fits into the overall layout and color scheme of the predominantly white kitchen (House Plan #126-1287).
5. Basic Elements
• Kitchen Island – Then and now, a large center island is an essential part of the country-style kitchen layout. It’s still the perfect place for young kids to watch their parents cook or gather around when grandma comes for a visit and cooks their favorite desserts or comfort food. With bar stools or standard chairs, a family can socialize with each other and their friends – and share meals, conversation, and happy times.
This kitchen in a 2-story, 6-bedroom Craftsman style home plan comes with some of the features of a country kitchen, including two kitchen islands – that can be used for food preparation and for casual family meals (House Plan #161-1044).
• Farmhouse Sink – Long before indoor plumbing, water had to be hauled into homes from nearby rivers and lakes. In most rural and farmhouse homes of the past, water for cooking and washing dishes and clothes was stored in a huge and deep sink – the original farmhouse sink.
In the 17th century, the first farmhouse-style sinks – called butler sinks – were designed in Ireland and Britain; and named appropriately for their cities. The Belfast Sink – fashioned for a city with a number of water sources – consisted of a larger basin and fitted with an overflow so that excess water could drain instead of spilling over the edge of the sink. On the other hand, the London Sink – designed for a place where clean water was scarce – was smaller and shallower, had no overflow, and conserved every bit of water.
A farmhouse sink and open shelves showcasing decorative items are some of the elements of this kitchen in a beautiful 1-story, 2-bedroom Traditional style home floor plan (House Plan #161-1072).
• Walk-in Pantry with a Barn Door – What’s a kitchen without a walk-in pantry? The almost forgotten kitchen gem has made a resurgence in recent years and gives every homeowner an organized storage space for everything – from small to large appliances, snacks, cooking oils, food items, plates, cookbooks, and more. Add a sliding barn door to the walk-in pantry for a complete country look. And to create a more unified design in your kitchen, match the barn door with the cabinetry or wood flooring.
This walk-in pantry in a 1-story, 2-bedroom Traditional style home plan comes with a sleek sliding barn door that complements the wood flooring (House Plan #161-1072).
• Pot-and-Pan Rack – In addition to their cheerful and quaint characteristics, this kitchen style is also practical – with every element designed to make tasks easy and efficient. A hanging pot-and-pan rack, a basic essential fixture in original country kitchens, provided easy access to – and storage for – cooking utensils. What may have started as a decorative feature in modern kitchens is a “must-have” in this kind of kitchen design.
• Exposed Beams – Often found in old farmhouses, exposed timber beams evoke a quintessential image of the country style kitchen. In addition to bringing that charming rustic ambiance to the home, exposed beams can highlight small and large spaces. They can at once be decorative and functional. And, there may be no other place in the home that is more suited for exposed beams than the kitchen. By adding exposed beams to your kitchen, you can seriously enhance the country look and feel.
Check out the exposed beams, open shelves, and glass-front cabinets in this kitchen of a 2-story, 3-bedroom Vacation-style house plan (House Plan #168-1001).
There are many additional décor accents and touches for the country style kitchen. Start with antique knick-knacks, decorative plates, glasses, and other collectibles; gingham curtains in blue/white or red/white; dishtowels with bright patterns; farm-animal themed frames and art; wrought-iron chandeliers or pendant lights. Lastlym the English-country style may even feature “a sofa or comfortable armchairs, providing a place to sit and engage in relaxing conversation”.
Wherever you are, use some imagination and flair to create that wonderful country kitchen with all the comfort, warmth, and decorative touches of the originals. Here are some home plans that have a rustic, country style throughout the entire design.
Footnote: The top photograph in the lead image of this article is the kitchen in a 1-story, 3-bedroom, 3-bath Craftsman style home plan. For more information, click here (House Plan #161-1040).