Country Kitchen Designs

    When we think of a “country kitchen design,” what comes to mind is warmth, natural materials, farmhouse sinks and maybe slightly worn furniture. Some folks see country style as a sort of kitschy collection of gingham tablecloths, cow-shaped creamers and cornhusks. But really, the country is all about the great outdoors – whether the prairie, mountains, or ocean. Country kitchen design can come in many different looks, from sweet down-home ginghams, to more sophisticated French or Scandinavian country styles, to sophisticated modern retreats.

    American Country Kitchen

    The classic American Country Kitchen design brings us back to our colonial roots. Colors are mostly natural earth tones such as ocher and clay-toned reds, utilizing milk paints and natural waxed woods. Often, we’ll find paneled board walls and low ceilings to evoke the cozy feel of days gone by. Classic Windsor chairs and colorful wool braid rugs add charm and detail to any country kitchen. But don’t for a minute think that country kitchens can't be completely modern. State-of-the-art cooktops and refrigerators are right at home in these homey settings.

    American country kitchen

    American country kitchens use earth tones, woods and braided rugs. Photo credit: Country Living

    French Country Kitchen

    French country kitchen designs tend to be simpler and even more rustic than their American cousins. These kitchens have a mix-and-match quality to them. Often, the main cabinetry has a different wood finish than does the center island. Countertops can be wood or natural stone, and typical of European kitchens, there are often no upper cabinets. Open shelves, lots of copper pots and colorful French Faience pottery bring life to the French country kitchen.

    French country kitchen

    French country kitchens are simple and have lots of open space. Photo credit: Decor-Pad

    Scandinavian Country Kitchen

    In general, Scandinavian country kitchen design (which is currently white-hot popular) showcases simple forms and lightly finished surfaces. Floors are often unstained oak and clean-lined cabinetry is finished in light-colored paints such as gray or pale blue. Upper cabinetry is minimal, as are window treatments. Textiles in the form of upholstery fabrics and flat-weave rugs are generally striped or checked in reds and blues, evoking the classic country feel of kitchens worldwide.

    Scandinavian kitchens implement light colors and few upper cabinets. Photo credit: Vakre Hjem & Interiør

    Modernist Country Kitchen

    Lest you modernists feel left out of the country kitchen discussion, there is no reason why a country kitchen can’t be as sleek and sophisticated as an urban loft kitchen. It’s all a matter of incorporating the right materials such as natural woods, sleek slate or concrete countertops, stainless appliances and backsplashes, and corrugated galvanized steel ceilings. With the right mix of natural materials and sleek contemporary fittings and fixtures, you will certainly achieve a great modern country kitchen.

    Modern country?

    Mix natural materials with modern fittings to create a contemporary country kitchen.

    Regardless of your preferred design style, a comfortable country kitchen is easy to achieve with the right attention to details both large and small. As with all design projects, spend some time deciding what “country” means to you and you will be well on the road to achieving your dream country kitchen.

    Country kitchens utilize natural elements such as wood countertops, light paint colors, slate tiles, and soft textures. Figure out what works for you.

    Hire a skilled kitchen remodeler to achieve the country feel you want, complete with all modern conveniences. 

    Author Linda Merill is a professional interior designer and writer based in Massachusetts. 

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