If you want to bring a traditional kitchen theme to your home that will never go out of fashion, a farmhouse kitchen might just be the look for you. Although this timeless design may not have the sleek lines of a Shaker kitchen or the ultra-modern touches of a contemporary kitchen, they have their own inimitable charm and design flair that can be perfectly created using our solid oak kitchen cabinets and traditional-style oak kitchen doors and frontals, accompanied by one of our solid wooden worktops.
What Makes a Farmhouse Kitchen?
Whilst there is no single design element that makes up a farmhouse kitchen aesthetic, there are a number of features that can be combined to achieve the look of a traditional country farmhouse.
This style traditionally suits larger kitchens where a dining area is coupled together with the kitchen rather than separated. If necessary, a kitchen island or breakfast bar can be used to great effect in order to divide up the room, whilst providing an area to socialise or have casual meals – we wrote about kitchen island ideas which may be useful whist considering the options open to you. The varied nature of modern house layouts means that having an open plan farmhouse kitchen may not be possible, but with the right design accents, a kitchen separate from the dining area can still be described as ‘Farmhouse’.
Materials and Colours for Farmhouse Kitchens
To be truly faithful to this country design aesthetic, natural materials should be used in favour of synthetic choices wherever possible, with only traditional and rustic-looking materials and products on display. Consider our popular oak worktops in their full stave variant with matching upstands, plus lacquered cabinet frontals that show off the natural beauty of oak’s grain. Alternatively, gorgeous timbers including cherry, walnut and beech are also capable of bringing the charm of a farmhouse kitchen to your home. Our guide on choosing wooden worktops for traditional solid wood kitchens details some of the different options available that work well in a more classically designed setting.
Whichever species of wood you choose for your kitchen worktops, our full stave options are a perfect choice for achieving the traditional farmhouse look, as they show off the natural figure of timber, and are closest to the style of worktops that would have been found in original farmhouse kitchens.
For a faithful recreation of the farmhouse look, solid oak kitchen cabinets should always be considered, along with oak frontals that can either be painted in pastel shades from Farrow & Ball, or can be supplied in a natural lacquered finish to show off the innate beauty of oak. Choose to purchase your frontals from Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets and we can pre-paint them in any one of Farrow & Ball’s beautiful paint shades, including those in our Pastels and Accents ranges, which are all ideal choices.
Light greys, greens and creams are all well-suited to a Farmhouse kitchen and can complement the traditional styling alongside the darker tones of natural wood.
Farmhouse Kitchen Accessories
Accessorise wall cabinets with traditional accents such as cornices and pelmets, whilst choosing kitchen cabinet door handles in pewter or ceramic to complement your chosen country theme to complete the look. Open-fronted wall cabinets, or cabinet doors with glazed frontals are ideal for displaying your favourite antiques, crockery and trinkets. For storing dinnerware used on a daily basis, consider our solid oak plate racks – they’re an ideal cabinet accessory to enhance the farmhouse feel of your kitchen.
There are many other cabinetry details to consider, including our ornate oak pilasters, traditional corner posts and tongue & groove kitchen end panels, which all help to achieve the look of a bespoke farmhouse kitchen design. Installation of pilasters and corner posts and fitting end panels can be done easily, and these accessories can also be painted in Farrow & Ball shades to match oak frontals, or lacquered to show off the beautiful solid wood.
Consider leaving architectural elements of your kitchen exposed, such as brick work, wooden beams and other rustic materials to add depth and authenticity to a farmhouse kitchen. Do think carefully about the transition from one material to another to ensure it has the greatest impact. Distressed paint finish on furniture, rustic mosaic tiles and brushed nickel taps are all perfect additions.
Additional Finishing Touches for your Farmhouse Kitchen
Storage. Contemporary and Shaker kitchens tend to favour an uncluttered, minimalist look, whilst a country kitchen is often quite the reverse. Although this doesn’t mean it should be an uncurated mixture of oddities and antiques, use your design nous to decide which pieces are suitable for prominent display. Other kitchen necessities and appliances should be given plenty of storage space so as not to disrupt the traditional farmhouse feel. Use wall space effectively and – if space allows – consider a traditional dresser for additional display space, rather than hiding your treasures out of sight.
Fabrics. Material design runs throughout a farmhouse kitchen, and having a keen eye for using fabrics that are in-keeping with your kitchen theme will only help to enhance the farmhouse look. Consider a curtain frontage beneath a sink rather than cabinet doors, and be sure to match tea cloths and other towels where possible. Traditionally, windows in farmhouse kitchens would be flanked by curtains, but roman blinds can also work well with the right fabric choice.
Flooring. In order to keep your design looking authentic, the only viable choice for a farmhouse kitchen would be either solid wood or stone tiled flooring. To complement wooden worktops, we would recommend solid wood flooring, whilst stone flooring may complement tiling and other ceramics used in the kitchen. Definitely avoid vinyls and carpets – they won’t complement traditional cabinets and other features that make up a farmhouse kitchen.
Lighting. Lighting in a farmhouse kitchen should be soft, comforting and largely discreet. If you have high enough ceilings, a chandelier is an option, but otherwise we advise sticking with lighting that can be hidden on top of wall cabinets or discreetly sunken into the ceiling. When choosing lighting for a kitchen island or breakfast bar, we recommend using basic fixtures that hang by a chain, with a small lamp shade that complements other colours used around the kitchen.
Appliances. As the design of most farmhouse kitchens pre-date the appliances people now require, the only appliance that is imbued with a traditional farmhouse feel is the AGA. Of course, you’ll want to have other modern amenities such as a fridge, dishwashers and other appliances, so we would recommend using inbuilt appliances in order to hide them from view wherever possible.
We offer a range of specialist cabinets that suit integrated appliances intended for 600mm wide cabinets, many of which allow for a cabinet door to be fixed to the front of the appliance, so as to completely hide it – meaning the rustic feel of the kitchen is not spoilt.
Extras. With everything else accounted for, don’t forget the kitchen sink! A ceramic Belfast sink is the ideal accompaniment for farmhouse kitchens – stainless steel and overmounted sinks almost always look out of place in a traditional kitchen theme.
There are many other kitchen accessories to consider to finish off the farmhouse feel – a rustic ceiling mounted pan rack, wire frame vegetable and fruit holders and other hand-crafted fixtures can all enhance the look. Remember that, above all else, you should curate your kitchen rather than create clutter in order for a traditional design to be successful.
Please note: This guide was originally posted on 10th January 2015 but has been republished on 17th March 2015 to include additional information.