Create a Farmhouse Kitchen

by MaryeAudet

Love the cozy look of a farmhouse kitchen? It is easy to recreate on almost any budget.

Whether you had a grandmother or aunt that had a cozy farmhouse kitchen, or you just created one in your mind, a vintage farmhouse style kitchen evokes a feeling of comfort and belonging. It is symbolic of a more relaxed lifestyle, family meals, and comfort food.

This style of kitchen works well in homes today. It is a low maintenence choice, and one that can stand up to the frentic activity of even large families. A board game can be played at the table while cookies are being whipped up at the counter. The farmhouse kitchen invites family and friends to linger, to talk, and to relax.

Every farmhouse kitchen, no matter how unique they are, needs some basic elements to carry off the look. Here are some kitchen ideas to inspire you.

country kitchen

Color Schemes

While real farmhouse kitchens were likely to be white most people think of warm, inviting colors and color combinations. Colors that mimic crockery, vintage dishes, or foods work well.

  • Blue
  • Cream
  • Chocolate brown
  • Red
  • Yellow

Color Combinations

Blue and white is crisp, cool choice for kitchens. It is eaasy to get a French country look with this combination. Small bursts of a bright color like yellow or red can add interest.
Red and White is another popular combination, and when paired with black can give your kitchen a retro look.
Jadite green and cream is beautiful and relaxing.
Warm spice colors pull in a Mediterranian feel and give your country kitchen an old world ambiance.
Yellow and white are clean and classic. This is an especially good combination if you have a kitchen that doesn't have much natural light.

Painting Techniques

There are a variety of painting techniques available that work extremely well in the kitchen to give it the look you want.

Wallpaper and Border

Wallpaper may not be the best choice for a busy kitchen unless it is made of an easy to clean material. Steam from cooking and frying can cause the paper to become dingy looking very quickly. However, wallpaper border works well to brighten up the room, pull the colors together, and add interest.

Countertops and Backsplashes

Countertops and backsplashes are important elements in your kitchen, both as surfaces and decor. They should be easy to clean, interesting, and pull the whole look together.

Countertop choices include:

  • Bamboo
  • Copper
  • Granite or marble
  • Laminate
  • Solid surface
  • Stainless steel
  • Tile

These products vary greatly in price and your choice should be based on affordability and intended use as well as the total look.


You can use other materials with the backsplash. The surface does not need to be smooth and won't recieve the wear and tear that a countertop will so you have a few more choices.

Beadboard is a classic farmhouse kitchen look that is also inexpensive. Be sure to paint or stain the wood and then seal it carefully.

Brick veneer creates an Old World look and works especially well with warm spice tones.

Chalkboard paint  may not be authentic but it is an easy backsplash that won't cost much to create. Use magnetic paint underneath and you will be able to stick your recipes and notes right to your backsplash.

Mirrors aren't exclusively a farmhouse look but they will add light and space in case your ktichen is small.

Tile  comes in numerous shapes and colors so you can get the exact look you want whether it is Victorian farmhouse or more of an Arts and Crafts look. You can even make it environmentally friendly by using recycled glass tiles.

Tin ceiling tiles make an interesting, textured backsplash that can create a Victorian look.


There are a lot of different choices for floors. You should decide on your flooring based on the look you want, your budget, and the type of wear it will recieve.

Plank wood floors are always appropriate for the country kitchen. The are warm and beautiful but can be difficult to clean.

Marmoleum is much like the lineoleum of Grandmother's time and it is an eco-friendly choice.

Tile floors can work well and are easy to clean but they can become slippery when they get wet.

Vinyl wears well, in inexpensive and easy to clean. You can buy it in vintage patterns to give you more of a farmhouse look. Try to get one that mimics stone or other natural material.

A rug here and there can add color and sound reduction. Braided and hooked rugs work especially well for this look.


Very few of today's cooks could get away with teh simple Hoosier cabinet that was the mainstay of the farmhouse kitchen of yesteryear. However, the same look can be achieved by carefully choosing cabinetry.

Consider buying pieced that look like stand alone furniture or, rather than buying a stock cabinet choose a china cabinet from the thrift shop and paint it to compliment your kitchen.

Painted cabinetry works very well in farmhouse kitchens. Choose hammered iron hardware or other types that will give you the look you want. Glass and porcelain knobs complete the farmhouse style.

Finishing Touches

Most country kitchens would not be complete without a large wooden table for eating, game playing, and the preparation of food. You can choose an authentic antique or one that looks like and antique; both will give the authentic look you want.

Choose either long benches on either side or a variety of vintage chairs from the thrift shop. For continuity paint them all the same color.

Curtains work well, as do venetian blinds but if you live away from the crowd you may just want to put a valance up at the window and be done with it.

Old advertsiing posters, vintage dishes, or antique calendars are perfect additons to the wall and will add color and interest.

Make It Yours

Creating the kitchen of your dreams cannot happen by copying something someone else has done. At some point you need to step out and create the vision you have of what your farmhouse kitchen should look like.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was the perfect kitchen. Take your time and choose items you love to make it a kitchen you and your family will love.

Updated: 06/01/2011, MaryeAudet
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dustytoes on 08/23/2011

That picture alone is full of great ideas!

theherbivorehippie on 06/10/2011

I am in love with that picture! I want that kitchen! I cannot wait to move next year, I'm getting rid of everything contemporary and modern in my home and creating a more inviting atmosphere. That painted folding/sliding door perched in the corner is brilliant. Thanks for the great ideas!

MaryeAudet on 06/03/2011

petunia...yes, I have one but sadly it looks like it hasn'tbeen touched since it was built in 1910. :/

petunia on 06/02/2011

Farmhouse kitchens are so inviting and gracious!

Michey on 06/01/2011

Great lens and info. Thanks I also like the presentation.

MaryeAudet on 06/01/2011

There are two views on marmoleum...some people say it is really hard to keep .clean, others say it depends on the installer. Be sure you check it out thoroughly...pros and cons. MY kitchen is WAY too vintage too. Right there with ya - I am still in the dreaming stage.

Kids_Fun on 06/01/2011

We have a farmhouse kitchen, unfortunately it's a little too vintage and needs a little bit of an update:-) Love some of your ideas, we've been looking really hard at Marmoleum .

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