Fashion is constantly evolving, and keeping up can be expensive. Even worse, what is trendy today may not be tomorrow. When it comes to something simple, like painting the walls, updating your home is relatively simple so changing to a modern look is relatively painless and inexpensive. That is not the case with kitchens.
For all but the very rich, a kitchen is something that changes maybe once a decade at most. The heavy cost along with the stress and inconvenience of kitchen remodeling all mean that adopting the wrong style will leave your home feeling outdated. Come January many kitchen companies are pushing their latest styles hard for those in the market, but what guarantees a timeless style?
When most think of the typical English home they imagine the classic country kitchen in a cottage. This look is the complete antithesis of modern trends. A common criticism of contemporary kitchen style is the featureless, glossy features create a cold atmosphere that is almost clinical. Those looking for a more genuine, lived-in look should instead opt for a country look.
But what makes a classic country kitchen? As with any style change it’s critical to fit in your new aesthetic as much as possible, so once your new kitchen is installed you can make sure everything complements each other perfectly. In this guide we will be showing you the components that make up a true country kitchen.
High quality cabinets
The sleek, bare-bones look of modern designs may look neat but often doesn’t give a high-quality feel to the building. When creating cabinets for your country kitchen you want to focus on the natural look of the wood, even painted designs often show a degree of grain.
Really high-end designs will be in the frame, which means that each drawer and cabinet will sit in its own surroundings. This gives the feeling of a custom kitchen, as this look must be created by a carpenter for your specific needs. Kitchens in the frame it will set you apart and can be a real unique selling point in the future of your home.
Rustic quality throughout
Quality is everything when it comes to country kitchens, because of the materials used there is little margin for error. Where a modern style kitchen can secure doors created from low-cost materials such as MDF, there is less space to hide in traditional styles.
That quality and display of natural wood should be reflected elsewhere. When you buy a new table for your kitchen, a wooden finish will be better suited to the environment. If you have the option, using exposed beams in the space is ideal, not practical for existing spaces but something that can be done with an extension.
Added a personal touch
Personality is something few are looking to add when it comes to the kitchen. Within a contemporary design it is also likely that the owners will use a more minimalist approach, which fits well with the space. For a country kitchen the opposite is true, having a personal touch in the kitchen is crucial to increase the ‘home’ feeling.
From paintings to trinkets acquired over the years, your space should tell a visitor a lot about you. The idea is to turn the kitchen into a communal area that can easily and comfortably be occupied for hours, think long lazy Sundays waiting for the roast to finish cooking!
Of course, overdoing it with the personal touch can result in a tacky, junk shop look. As with many homes it is best to customize your kitchen over time, if you have just had a new country style kitchen installed then it may be best to enjoy a slightly more stripped back look and add slowly.
Soft and light colors
Color and kitchens have a precarious relationship. While a simpler room can easily be personalized with a feature wall or the addition of color, a kitchen simply feels different. Even the contemporary styles that are currently enjoying popularity often do not push color as a defining feature.
Where country style kitchens are more unique is that the typically acceptable colors are quite narrow. It is best to air on the lighter side, with creams and soft pastel colors. Solid white is also best avoided as paint often changes over time, it is vital to consider how the color will age in your choice. A country kitchen is timeless, and the kind of colors you see in photos from 50+ years ago that remain aesthetically pleasing are the best choice.
A kitchen should be used, not seen, and open shelving can really help create that wide open look that a functioning kitchen has. Many country style kitchens are loaded with beautiful crockery, and using open shelves can help ensure that this is on display and accessible at all times.
As an alternative to additional closed cabinets to hide things away from prying eyes it is ideal. That being said you will need things that are worth viewing, and if you are not already lucky enough to own pottery that is worth viewing this can add a surprising cost.
Nothing screams country kitchen like a vintage style stand mixer. Their idealistic vision is a home cook, an apron, who creates a delicious meal for the family. No home cook is complete without a stand mixer, and often the kind that is passed down through the generations. Inefficient and heavy for those who do not believe, the presence of one of these on a kitchen counter gives an excellent character. Many models like KitchenAid have changed very little since the day they were first designed, and as such meet the criteria for a country kitchen perfectly.
A country kitchen is typically large, and as a result meals are often cooked for many people. Cooking for groups will mean having something much more than just one oven. A full size range cooker is the type of thing that is designed for this type of kitchen. Unbashedly old fashioned, with cast metal construction and a design that is anything but compact and contemporary.
Celand said that design is also a big part of what many people consider a country kitchen to be. Walking in and seeing a range cooker with its traditional gas burners just symbolizes what country style is all about.
Catering for many people can be difficult, and using a Belfast sink adds an additional layer of relief with some functional benefits. Typically made of vast ceramic, the ‘surface’ of the basin protrudes level with the outdoor units. This not only adds a classic feel reminiscent of country style but also adds additional capacity internally, ideal for washing larger pots and pans.