Our Complete Guide To Designing And Decorating A Farmhouse Kitchen

Farmhouse style kitchens are having a major moment. This charming interior design trend combines vintage farmhouse elements with modern industrial accents to create a space that is inviting, functional, and full of rustic charm.

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen or simply refresh it with some new decor, embracing the farmhouse style is an excellent way to give your space both beauty and warmth. The key is understanding and implementing the critical design details that define these rural-chic kitchens.

Defining The Farmhouse Kitchen Style

Key Design Elements

There are certain features that are hallmarks of today’s popular farmhouse kitchens. These include:

  • Natural Materials: Wood, brick, and stone feature heavily in farmhouse kitchens. Wood shows up on open shelving, butcher block countertops, and rugged wood tabletops. Brick is popular for backsplashes and accent walls. Natural stone can be implemented in floors and countertops.
  • Whites and Neutrals: Soft whites and beiges give farmhouse kitchens a light and airy feel and provide a neutral backdrop for textures and other cozy elements. This shows up primarily in cabinetry and paint colors.
  • Open Shelving: The absence of traditional cabinetry is another farmhouse trademark. Open shelves crafted from wood planks help create a utilitarian, rustic look.
  • Vintage Accessories: Antique signs, plates, cutting boards, glass bottles, and other timeworn items make kitchens feel homey and inviting.
  • Rustic Touches: Exposed beams, distressed wood finishes, galvanized metal, and brick backsplashes add old-fashioned rural charm.
  • Farmhouse Sink: A deep, wide sink basin with an apron front creates farmhouse flair.
  • Wood/Stone Floors: Hardwood planks or natural stone tiles complement the natural vibe.

The Overall Look and Feel

While farmhouse style kitchens have some defined characteristics, the overall look and feel is just as important. These spaces embody some key aesthetics:

  • Warm, inviting, and cozy atmosphere
  • A blend of vintage and industrial
  • Simple and unfussy
  • Practical and functional

The kitchen should feel like a welcoming place you want to spend time in and savor simple pleasures like a warm drink or homecooked meal. It celebrates heritage and craftsmanship with its modest, unpretentious vibe.

farm house style kitchens

The History Behind The Trend

Farmhouse kitchens are having a major reemergence in home design, but the origins of this vintage-inspired style go back centuries. Early American farmhouses in the 18th and 19th centuries had kitchens designed for utility and function. They used natural materials readily available and showcased handcrafted woodwork.

Today’s farmhouse kitchen style combines inspiration from classic farmhouses with the clean lines and industrial touches of modern kitchen trends. This allows for a space that feels connected to the past but current and fresh at the same time.

Planning Your Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

Ready to tackle a farmhouse kitchen overhaul? Careful planning is crucial to ensure you get the details right. Here are some key steps as you map out the project:

Evaluating Your Existing Kitchen Layout and Structural Elements

Take stock of what you’re working with. Can your current kitchen layout be reworked to better suit the farmhouse style, or do you need a complete reconfiguration? Look for ways to open up space and improve flow. If your kitchen already has architectural details like exposed beams, bricks, or other raw structural elements, embrace these and thoughtfully incorporate into the new design.

Pay special attention to natural light as well. Farmhouse kitchens thrive on sunlight pouring in through windows. Consider enlarging existing windows, adding additional windows, or supplementing with skylights. Light brightens up farmhouse spaces and gives warmth.

Selecting Furnishings and Materials

Now comes the fun part – picking out the fixtures, finishes, and furnishings that will make your farmhouse kitchen vision a reality! Here are some key elements to look for:

  • Wood or Stone Flooring: Hardwood planks or natural stone tiles make an excellent base. For a reclaimed wood floor, try oak or hickory. Slate is a nice stone option.
  • Farmhouse Sink: A deep, wide apron-front sink is a must. Opt for a fireclay, cast iron, or hammered copper sink for durability.
  • Wood Countertops: Butcher block countertops add natural warmth. For rustic charm, use reclaimed barn wood.
  • Island: A wood kitchen island doubles as extra counter space and dining area. Try one on wheels for flexibility.
  • Open Shelving: Salvaged wood planks make sturdy open shelving. For contrast, try black pipe brackets.
  • Dining Table: A reclaimed wood dining table adjacent to the kitchen keeps things cozy.
  • Hardware: Black iron or brass hardware adds vintage character.
Vintage appliances like this retro refrigerator help achieve a farmhouse look while adding a fun conversational piece.

Choosing Appliances and Lighting

Appliances and lighting do more than just serve functional needs–they can make or break the farmhouse vibe. Some pointers:

  • Select appliances with a retro flair or add custom panels to mute modern stainless steel.
  • Pro-style ranges with classic colors like blue, red, or white are a nice farmhouse fit.
  • Vintage-inspired lighting like galvanized metal pendants, woven lampshades, and carriage lights work beautifully.
  • Avoid anything too sleek or ultra-modern in finish.

Incorporating Special Touches

Finally, pepper your design with personal details that make the space truly yours. Some farmhouse-friendly special touches could include:

  • A valance over the kitchen window dressed up in a charming farmhouse fabric.
  • Open glass-front cabinets to display treasured dishware.
  • A salvaged wood hutch or kitchen island as a statement furniture piece.
  • Extending wood open shelving to nearby dining area for continuity.

Design Considerations for Achieving The Farmhouse Look

As you move into decorating your farmhouse kitchen, keep these design ideas in mind for staying true to the comforting, vintage-inspired look.

Color Palette and Materials

Farmhouse kitchens use a neutral, muted color palette. Common shades include:

  • White
  • Beige
  • Gray
  • Black
  • Wood tones like oak, maple, cherry

For materials, think:

  • Natural woods with visible grains
  • Unpolished metals like wrought iron or galvanized steel
  • Bricks or stones with an aged, organic appearance

Cabinetry Design

Traditional cabinets don’t fit with the modern farmhouse aesthetic. Instead:

  • Opt for simple shaker-style cabinet doors with an off-white, beige, or light gray wash.
  • Use glass-front cabinets sparingly to display collections.
  • Incorporate open shelving from reclaimed barn wood instead of upper cabinets.
  • Build a farmhouse-style sink base from a reclaimed wood butcher block.

Flooring Ideas

Hardwoods or natural stone mimic early farmhouse kitchens. Great options include:

  • Salvaged oak wood floors for a worn-in look
  • New white oak or hickory wood plank flooring
  • Pine wood floors for affordability
  • Slate or travertine tile
  • Terracotta tiles or brick flooring
  • A brick inlay border

Kitchen Layout And Work Triangle

Functionality still matters in a farmhouse kitchen. Look for layouts that:

  • Allow space for a farmhouse kitchen table and chairs
  • Maintain an efficient work triangle between the sink, stove, and refrigerator
  • Take advantage of existing architectural elements
  • Accommodate most cooking and dining needs

Island, galley, L-shaped, and U-shaped layouts tend to work nicely within the spatial confines of many farmhouse kitchens.

Farmhouse Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Pull together your dream farmhouse kitchen with finishing touches like:


  • White subway tile
  • Tin ceiling tiles
  • Salvaged barn wood
  • Exposed original brick backsplash
  • Natural stone like travertine marble brick
  • Handmade ceramic tile in muted tones
  • Bold patterns like Moroccan fish scale tiles

Lighting And Hardware

  • Galvanized metal pendant lights over a kitchen island
  • Vintage glass pendants with Edison bulbs
  • Woven fabric shades on ceiling light fixtures
  • Wrought iron or cast iron lamp bases
  • Bin pulls or bar pulls in an antique brass finish
  • Cast iron drawer pulls with an aged patina

Wall Decor

  • Framed signage with folksy farmhouse phrases
  • Floating wood wall spice rack
  • Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving
  • Patterned wallpaper lining open shelving
  • A large clock face
  • Botanical art prints in simple frames


  • Woven baskets for produce storage
  • Glass canister sets
  • Ceramic pie keepers or bread boxes
  • Dried botanical garlands
  • Fresh flower arrangements
  • Vintage kitchenwares like scales and flour sacks

Bringing It All Together: A Complete Farmhouse Kitchen

When all the elements come together cohesively–the rustic materials, vintage-inspired accents, and cozy vibe–the result is a beautiful farmhouse kitchen that looks and feels both fresh and nostalgic.

Natural materials like reclaimed wood, brick backsplashes, and metal hardware create an authentic farmhouse look.

Planning a kitchen redesign may feel like a daunting task, but approaching it thoughtfully and keeping farmhouse design principles in mind will help you create a warm, welcoming cooking space you’ll love spending time in. Have fun with it and make it your own!

Farmhouse kitchens have stood the test of time because they embody comfort, craftsmanship, and heritage. As this look continues gaining popularity in home design, remember that achieving an authentic farmhouse kitchen requires more than just throwing up some open shelves. Carefully curating the materials, colors, layout, decorative details, and accessories is key.

Use this guide as you embark on planning your own charming farmhouse kitchen oasis. Feel free to make it your own with special vintage finds and custom touches. Most importantly, create a space that celebrates warmth, gatherings, and all the joy that comes from cooking and sharing meals with those you love.

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