You’ve seen those warm, rustic, inviting, farmhouse kitchens in magazines. The question is, how do you get that in your home? If you like the gentle and inviting nature of a farmhouse, but you don’t live in one, here’s how to recreate the feeling.
Use Open Shelving
Farmhouse kitchens are the original open floor plan design. Wall-mounted shelves and doorless cabinets are inviting, and unpretentious. They give you easy access to things you use every day. In the old days, people didn’t have time to keep opening and closing doors. They were too busy doing things like, you know, cooking.
If you have what most people have, consider removing the doors. That’s it. It’s a simple remodeling job that doesn’t require any demo work. And, you’ll be one step closer to a perfect kitchen.
Accents can really set off a kitchen. Pitchers and pottery, old-fashioned lighting and other accessories can make the place feel like something someone’s grandma use to bake pies in. And, if you grew up on a farm, you probably know what made it special – the old stools that kind of, sort of swiveled, a broom in the corner with some missing bristles, the squeaky cabinet, the distressed cabinetry, the drawers without rollers, the hardwood floors, the plants in the window, the exposed walls, and a gentle breeze created by the beat up screen door. Another must-have element is a couple of these metal counter stools.
This is probably the most iconic element in a good farmhouse kitchen. The apron-front sink has a broad face, a deep bowl, and is very sturdy. Some of these were ceramic, and super-heavy. Check out some of the best kitchen sinks on the market to see if you can find something that approximates it. Your next best hope is a flea market or salvage yard.
The hearth. This is where soups are made. A fireplace in the kitchen is a great stand in for a stove that’s on the fritz, but it’s also a central gathering spot. Even if you can’t install a real one, a faux-place can fill the space and still give you the look. And, if you don’t want a fake fireplace, consider a gas one – they’re cleaner than wood-burning ones and they’ll produce real fire.
Of course, if you truly want authenticity, go with a wood-burning model, and make sure you install hardware for a dutch oven. Check with your city’s code enforcement officer about how to build it, and what safety precautions need to be taken. You’ll want to hire a professional mason or bricklayer for the job, as this is both a labor of love and of skill.
In other words, a fireplace is not a DIY project.
A Massive Table
What’s a farmhouse kitchen without that massive table? If it’s not 4 inches thick, you’re just pretending. Go big, or go home. Vintage pieces can, thankfully, be found online and in good second-hand stores. Some companies, like The Pottery Barn, build awesome replicas, but you’ll pay big money for it.
The best way to get your hands on an old farmhouse table is to scour the countryside for an old farmhouse that’s being cleaned out, or estate sales taking place in the country.
Freestanding cabinets were a mainstay in the old-school kitchens, largely because there was never enough room in the shelves for all those plates, plus the cooking supplies. They’re also incredibly practical and they look amazing. With the freestanding units, you actually do want doors.
Yes, most of these will be (or should be) painted white, and distressed. That’s just how it was done back then. White is, thankfully, still cheap. Distressing is an art, however, it might behoove you to just find something that’s already beat up from the previous owner, neglect to paint it, and throw it in the corner.
Old Fashioned Range
This is where the magic happens. A farmhouse kitchen isn’t one without an old fashioned range, or at least a vintage range. Look for one with a stovepipe, even if it’s just for looks. If it actually works, all the better! Modern stoves are much more safe than their farmhouse counterparts, not to mention the efficiency factor.
Still, vintage pieces can be found if you’re a diehard fan. Just make sure the unit is in good working order and keep in mind that if it breaks, few technicians know how to service something that old – you’ll probably be on your own. Now, go bake some bread.
Want to see more awesome farmhouse kitchen ideas? Check out my Pinterest Board!