A pleasant mismatch of antique furniture, plenty of busy print and pattern, and a casual style of displaying crocks, accessories, and trinkets, are all key to beautiful country kitchens. They’re cheerful and light-hearted with their playful approach to colour.
Whether you’re planning a remodel for your existing kitchen or to install a brand new one, if your taste in style leans more towards the warm, welcoming, cozy, and comfortable, you’ll want to explore the broad range of options for country kitchen design.
In this short article, we’ll be covering some differences between similar styles, and the elements that form the very definition of a country kitchen.
Country Kitchens Versus Modern Farmhouse Kitchens
There are so many different décor styles trending that it gets hard to keep up with all the little differences. The country kitchen and a modern farmhouse kitchen are two styles that are often confused.
Both styles are often just kind of thrown in the same bucket and people just assume they’re “kind of the same thing…” but, that’s not quite right.
Yes, they have similarities that they share but there are also some distinct differences.
One of the similarities they share is in their wood cabinets and furnishings, vintage-style accents, and overall distressed feel. More often than not, this is what causes confusion between the styles.
The farmhouse style will often have white cabinets, whereas country will often be a sage green or blue, but that doesn’t mean country can’t have a white kitchen.
Another similarity between the two is the use of mason jars. They’re used for spices and other dry goods and for pantries or pantry walls to organize and create a clean, uniform look.
Also, apron front sinks and open shelves are two more similarities you’ll find between the two, as well as a butcher block countertop. Open shelves and butcher block countertops aren’t something you’ll only find in either a farmhouse or a country kitchen. It’s something that’s popular in other designs as well such as industrial, modern, and rustic among others.
And wood countertops are often the common choice in a country-style kitchen, but sometimes you’ll also see granite and other natural materials regarding countertops.
Now we’ll get into a few differences between the two and make it easier to know which one is which.
So What’s the Difference Between Them?
Country-style kitchens rely heavily on their accessories. They have a flea market feel that comes from all the little trinkets that are most likely obtained secondhand.
A farmhouse kitchen also often has thrift store treasures, however, the kitchen design is free of visual clutter. You might find a few decorative accents on the countertop or wall – like those popular “pantry” signs, – but no more.
You won’t find a jumbled collection of hand-painted salt and pepper shakers or wall cabinets lined with décor.
They also differ in their fabrics. Country kitchen fabrics are usually striped, plaid, or have a buffalo check pattern. Meanwhile, farmhouse curtains mostly have either solid fabrics with a bit of texture or a slight pattern with little colour variation.
That leads to the next difference, which is colour. A modern farmhouse is likely to give a light, airy feeling, often featuring lightly coloured neutrals throughout the home.
Feel free to check out this extensive farmhouse kitchen design article to learn more about what defines farmhouse kitchens.
The cabinets of a country kitchen, however, usually feature deeper, rich wood tones and painted cabinets in colours like cranberry red or sage green.
Now, while a country kitchen is often mistaken for a farmhouse-style kitchen and vice versa, the same goes for rustic kitchens. So, next, we’re going to compare the similarities and differences between a rustic and a country kitchen.
What About Rustic Versus Country Kitchens?
Like farmhouse designs, rustic kitchens are often confused and mixed up with country kitchen designs.
While the world of design is evolving fast, terms or styles can quickly get mixed up. Some say there’s no difference, while others insist on the fact that rustic and country are worlds apart. We’ll discuss that a little bit now.
The problem in distinguishing the two styles is that they carry similar themes. Both are homey, earthy, and fairly welcoming.
The country kitchen is an American icon. It features a wide open space, usually occupied by a dining table that’s directly built-in to the design. Most of the design tends to stay simple, using custom cabinetry, often hardwood floors, and a roomy design that highlights simplicity.
The major difference between a country and a rustic kitchen is the worn-down, beaten up and battered appearance of the wood floors, furniture, cabinetry, and accessories in rustic kitchens. Rustic also often uses more reclaimed wood than any other style.
If you want to know more about rustic kitchen design, feel free to read our article about what rustic kitchens are and what makes them so amazing.
What Defines Country Kitchens?
The country kitchen is an American icon! The warm, welcoming and homey feeling it gives with the buffalo check curtains, and the deep apron sink. And even though the style has strong roots in the past, today they’re far from old-fashioned.
Let’s get into some features that make up the definition of the kitchen style.
The Use of Patterns in Country Kitchens
One of the best things about the country kitchen style is that you have complete freedom when it comes to patterns.
They’re mostly full of print and patterns, tossed together in a charming and almost disorderly fashion. You’ll often see stripes that sit greatly with florals, checkers, or farm animal décor. Tiles are one of the best ways to incorporate these patterns.
While patterns are super common, they also use vintage and antique details.
Vintage and Antique Details
To help drive home that country feel, add some antiques and vintage details for a more “lived-in” feel. One option is to go all out and replace the dining table and chairs with a used set or get some small ornaments or dishes to show off on open shelving.
Everything’s on Display in Country Kitchens
Clutter-free and pristine are two words that are unknown to the country style, in fact, it’s the opposite. Country design is often characterized by a bit of “country charm” and slightly unsettled.
Open shelving or glass-fronted display cabinets are often used to show off dishes, pans, and linens. For anything that you want to hide, use apple crates, or willow baskets.
Decorative displays are also a thing in country kitchens. For example, hanging rails for pans and utensils, a wall-mounted plate or pot rack, or hooks under cabinets to hang your mugs.
Apron Front Sinks
An apron front sink (also known as a farmhouse sink) is a key feature. It’s a unique-looking sink that comes out all the way to the edge of the counter. The front edge is often used as a place to hang an apron or kitchen towel.
They’re not only installed in base cabinets along the wall but often will be seen in a kitchen island, which helps keep the cooking space clear of clutter.
Country Kitchen Accessories
Lastly, the finishing touches in a country kitchen are all about the accessories. Use baskets, blue canning jars, and vintage ceramics like yellowware mixing bowls or ironstone pitchers to add the classic touch.
You’ll also most likely see some brass and copper pots and pans here and there.
A traditional country kitchen has quite a few distinct design qualities, whether you prefer a homely country cottage scheme or a French country feel.
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel and the country kitchen is a perfect style that fits your taste, but you don’t know where to start, make sure to take a peek at HGTV’s photo gallery of country kitchens or Houzz’s French Country photo gallery for country kitchen ideas. Also, feel free to talk to one of our kitchen dealers about your country kitchen design ideas and let them do their magic so you can enjoy the perfect custom design – stress-free.
If you’re not planning to remodel your kitchen any time soon, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about the design. Here’s an article that talks about how to can make some modifications to add a country feel even to modern kitchens.
We hope this helped you distinguish between the farmhouse, rustic and country kitchen design styles and the elements that make up the country kitchen.