If a modern kitchen isn’t your style, a country kitchen might be right for you. Here’s how to get the look — at an affordable price.
A farmhouse or country kitchen looks charming, but it’s also a hardworking space created from durable, long-lasting materials. The best part? You can get the look at any price point, says John Brennan, sales manager for Sears in Albany and Rochester, New York. “The look is defined by its clean lines, but with the warmth and feel of country living,” he says.
On a budget? Save money on cabinetry by keeping your existing layout and simply refacing. “We’ll leave the boxes and change out your cabinet doors for new Shaker style doors in white or antique white,” Brennan says.
Of course, in any farmhouse kitchen, utensils and plates should be close at hand for the high-trafficked room. Open shelving is an inexpensive choice that helps make your kitchen feel larger and lighter. You can also put a glass front on a few doors as an accent to get that open feel without exposing all your dishes and cookware.
With a larger budget, you might opt for new wood cabinets painted white. Whatever you choose, Brennan suggests complementing the white with darker brass or oil-rubbed bronze hardware for a soft, warm look. “Stay away from stainless steel,” he says, which can create more of a modern look.
Choose warm tones for your counter, Brennan says. With a smaller budget, a solid surface or acrylic will work and come in a variety of colors. “That’s where people can really pull in their own style, with most people gravitating toward lighter neutral colors, browns and tans,” he says. “Stay away from black and gray if you want a farmhouse feel.”
Butcher block is another good choice. “It’s so beautiful you wouldn’t want to cut on it, but you can,” Brennan says. If you’ve got an island, a butcher block top is a great accent.
The island should have the look of furniture to fit the style, especially in a high-end space, Brennan says. “Decorative corbels and contoured legs lend themselves to a country feel.”
Paint or Tile?
Either works, but to maintain the simple, clean look on a budget, paint is a great choice, even for the backsplash. Choose light colors.
Subway tile and wainscoting add expense but also texture and detail without cluttering the space. You can use those as accents — tile behind the stove, for instance, or wainscoting on one side of the island. For a more country look, use wainscoting on the lower half of the walls up to the chair rail.
If you’ve “dialed back on the budget with paint,” Brennan says, splurge on a good white porcelain apron sink — a mainstay of the farmhouse kitchen.
And don’t forget layered lighting. Use rope lights under the cabinets and pendants above the island and sink for task lighting.
“Repurposed items and industrial pieces are trending now,” Brennan says. Small chandeliers create nice ambient light, as well.
Tie everything together with a wood floor.
“Sheet vinyl that looks like wood or tile is super budget-friendly,” Brennan says. “And there are great high-end laminates for kitchens in walnut, for example. Faux wood is durable, easy to clean, safe for pets, won’t dent like real wood and doesn’t need to be refinished.”
However you go about it, the farmhouse style is classic. Get the basics down, and over the years you’ll merely need to change out lighting and hardware to update. Schedule your free in-home consultation today to get started on creating the country kitchen of your dreams.