Country Kitchen

lavender_lassJanuary 26, 2010

I'd like to ask you to describe (or post a picture of) your favorite country kitchen. I want to have a table and chairs in the kitchen and a fireplace or woodstove. I'm still in the planning stages so size is still adjustable. I've always liked antique white kitchens with blue accents and antique brass hardware, but I'm open to other ideas and suggestions.

I like a lot of light in the kitchen and would like to include some plants and/or herbs. While I hope to get some great ideas for the kitchen, I'd also like to see what country kitchen suggests to all of you :)

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I wish I had a picture of the kitchen in the house I grew up in. It was a wing off the back of a 200 y/o cape in New England. I would guess it was close to 18 X 20 feet. There were windows on opposite walls, and a porch off the back. We had cabinets on 3 sides, and the forth side had a nice old Hoosier cabinet. We had an old table and chairs in the middle. In my mother's next house, she had a much smaller kitchen, but it had a country feel as well. What I liked about it was that it had almost no overhead cabinets, so there was room for windows and paintings hanging on the wall. SHe had the same old table and chairs in there, too. She had a small bay window over the sink which was ideal for a few plants. Things I like in a country kitchen are: Big enough for a table and chairs. Lots of windows. Cabinets that look more like free-standing cupboards. Lots of kitchen antiques throughout. Vintage surfaces, such as painted wood cabinets (preferably white) and natural counter tops of wood or stone. Likewise, the floor should be something that you would see in an old house- wood or stone. I guess I'm evolving into vintage' kitchen, but to me, that is part of the look. I don't like stainless steel in country kitchens, either.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 3:51PM
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Flgargoyle- You are so right, vintage should have been part of my original description. I think your description of the first kitchen sounds wonderful...and a porch :) I wish you had pictures too.

The second kitchen is also nice. The bay window sounds very pretty and I like lots of windows and paintings with more old-fashioned storage. Also like the wood floors and natural counter tops.

I've been thinking it might be more practical to have a large pantry, storage and maybe canning/preserving area off the kitchen with a freezer, second sink and lots of counter space and storage...and a walk-in pantry. This would let me be more creative with the kitchen and do some of the things you've suggested, like more windows, etc. and still have plenty of storage near the kitchen.

I don't like stainless steel in country kitchens either :)

I worked in a lot of restaurants when I was young and stainless steel feels very industrial to me, not cozy. However, a stainless steel counter in a greenhouse would be entirely different and a very practical and good thing (LOL)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 8:53PM
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I did a Google search for country kitchen ideas and this page came up - lots of pics :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Kitchen Ideas

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 5:30AM
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Isn't Google Images wonderful? It works for my searches so much better than just the web option.

I've always wanted a kitchen with free standing furniture instead of cupboards. Very English and they do sell this in the US now. Or one could find their own for doing this. Not sure how much resell would pose a problem, but if done right I'd think it would be beyond the norm and a great kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:00AM
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Since I'll be building my next kitchen, I can do what I want (pocketbook allowing). It just occurred to me that I could build a series of free-standing cupboards, and then bolt them down/together. Or even leave them loose! The only thing that would need to be secured would be the one with the sink. I'd like to have different height counters for different tasks, such as a low one for kneading bread, which would fit in well with that scheme as well. I like a big pantry too. In both of the houses I mentioned there were big pantries. The one we have now is more of a closet.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Wonderful suggestions here. :o)

I haven't seen the movie 'The Holiday', but saw the kitchen referred to in another thread. It definitely caught my fancy ....

Here is a link that might be useful: link to more pics

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 8:27PM
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That is such a pretty Kitchen Missy. Going to have to come back and explore that link.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 8:34PM
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Isn't it pretty, Chris? Imagine if all the cupboards were painted sagey green instead of blue .. mmmmm .... mmmmm (said like a true green lover eh? lol)
I think having the FP in there sure helps, as well as all the open shelving. I kind of think open shelves are more 'friendly' and casual than having everything behind doors.

I think that a family table also adds to the country feel. A 'formal dining room' and 'country kitchen' just don't seem to go together.

I also kind of think that having pieces of furniture instead of built-ins is more old fashioned because (I think) people bought cupboards and hutches as they could afford them (or build them). I would imagine that a custom 'built in' kitchen was way over what most folks could afford a hundred+ years ago.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 8:40PM
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Oh favorite of all sets. You definitely have to watch the movie. It isn't the A*, but an endearing movie and of course the set. I want to live there. The cottage itself is actually a model and doesn't exist.

Yes, green instead of blue. And I could see building a fake firplace to use for some other storage. Maybe I should gut my kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 7:55AM
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Try doing a search for "unfitted kitchen". That means one with freestanding cabinetry and furniture pieces, and you should find some lovely examples.

Do check your local code for what would need to be affixed, many locales require any cabinet with plumbing, electric or gas running to it to be secured to the floor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:24AM
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The link below was sent to me to look through . A fun read. Not sure I want steel. Going to look into the Fitted kitchen suggestion. I have to get ready for work soon so this will give me something to look forward to when I get home.

If I do go with the furniture type kitchen I will leave the sink cabinet in place or get another that will attach. Good call Trixieinthegarden.

If this whole decision were up to me it would have already been taken care of. LOL I still need to convince the man of the house this is a good idea.

Thanks Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage kitchens

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I found this site and there are too many to list for possibilities. You will need to link from this site to view other options. Looked at a few of them and love the ideas. Will have to go through when I have more time.

Trixie, you are right. Some of the "furniture" has to meet code. They do have matching pieces for this. All is from England, but great ideas and obviously a big seller in the UK.

I can see with what I did read how one could use so many pieces of furniture already available, new, used, etc. Finish off to match or combine in a unique way. Also, this would be so much less cost for remodeling a kitchen. Darn, wish mine would fall apart and go for this idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: More than fun...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 10:32AM
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Lavender Lass,
Do you get to choose, or is it a joint (husband involved) project?
I know a woman who purchased inexpensive antiques for years, storing them in an old garage. When they went to design the kitchen she opened the garage...French butcher block (the real thing, an old grocer's block) island...good quality cupboards rescued from a 1920's house (they raised them up a bit with a new base)...stained glass windows (placed as decorations over double pane)..old tin ceiling tiles to make a stove back splash. A genuine Hoosier cabinet. An old stove that's being repaired now. In short, too much stuff to bother with getting new. He's thrilled with the kitchen budget (and getting a car into the garage) and how easy it all is. She's thrilled that with a coat of paint she gets her country kitchen.
Maybe you could borrow a page from her book. Antiques are
really cheap right now.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 2:21AM
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We've tried mightily to make a country kitchen out of our tiny galley kitchen. There is an adjacent family room, which has become the 'country' part of our kitchen. We have a very old pie safe, a Hoosier cabinet, and a small jelly cupboard in there, as well as our old kitchen table and chairs. My wife has some of her antique utensils hanging on the walls. I rescued a neat old cabinet from a dumpster that is very tall and skinny. My wife painted it cream and green, in the colors that were popular on utensil handles back in the 30's. I guess I could take some pics, although it's not a very well-coordinated room; it all just sort of happened. I hope we can tie it together more effectively when we build our new place!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:22AM
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flgargoyle. You tease!! Please share pictures!! I love the cream and green.

Considering moving the Hoosier into our kitchen after the redo. But I use the hoosier in my studio to cut glass on. Soooooooooooo And no it is not harming the hoosier to cut glass on I have a special cutting mat on it.

OMG Phone just rang. Friend is coming to visit from California. My kitchen cabinets are all unloaded and boxed in the sewing guest room. Guy starting on the kitchen remodel today. City Council meeting Monday night, I am the city clerk so lots of work, and I HAVE to work CRIPES I am out of here for awhile. I am in total shock. OH NOOOOOOOOOO he just told us he is 5 hours away!!!! HOLY CRIPES Zoooommmmming out of here. Have fun you guys. Send me energy!!!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:36AM
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Chris, I didn't know that you were actually ready to start on your kitchen. You'll have to start a thread also so we can see what you are doing.
It seems like I will be the last to 'spruce-up' my kitchen (if I was only independently wealthy, sigh). I say spruce-up because I definitly will be keeping my old cabs and adding new into the mix.

I know how it is to have company when the house is torn apart! Lots of good energy is coming your way!

BTW, you guys have a lot of council meetings. Are they gettin' paid by the hour? lol

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 10:18AM
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Sigh.....with me, first thing to go in any country kitchen would be a plate rack. I've really coveted those, and plan to rip out a wall cabinet next to our sink and have hubby build me one JUST LIKE I TELL HIM TO DO. (right)

Then, I see white cabinets, of course. I see a garden window, which is same level as the sink with the countertop tile extending outward into the window. NO backsplash behind the sink, just this fine window with potted herbs and hanging baskets of sunloving plants.

I love the beadboard backs in the cabinets, especially the ones with glass doors. But maybe no beadboard for the walls, since they would be hard to clean in the main kitchen. A stainless steel counter top could look much like the old tin counter tops, so I have nothing against them there. A country kitchen should be highly utilitarian. But given that, a variety of counter surfaces based on what is appropriate for each space would be great. If someone bakes a lot, then the low height of a marble surfaced counter--but I don't do that much baking. I am a fan of Silestone counter tops, and some of the textures and colors could be quite nice in a country kitchen. I personally am fond of Italian porcelain tile floors, but if someone has stainless countertops, then white cabinets, a gray slate on the floor would look great, along with some brushed nickel drawer and door hardware.

If there is no room for a kitchen table, then a taller cabinet with beadboard on the outside and a nice bar top with some good sturdy stools using tractor seats might look pretty good. A porch post at either side of the widened doorway from the dining room would look good. (We do plan to widen and relocate a passageway and put a 2 stool bar off to one side which will be high enough to hide the cooking side of our galley style kitchen.

A single sink with an apron can be in stainless, but the real winner is probably the soapstone farm sink. If there is room for a pantry, make it like someone said, with room for the nitty gritty kitchen functions like canning, mass production of fresh foods, the freezer, a deep big sink, the recycle area, maybe even the laundry in there if that is where the mudroom entry connects. This would be more important in areas with severe winters, of course.

I know there is more than this, but I was not prepared for someone to ask what the ideal country kitchen should look like. Above all, a place to talk on the phone, have a cup of tea or coffee, fix a quick school lunch, call the volunteers for the PTA or church social. Maybe a laptop tucked into a corner with a small TV above it. In my grandma's day, she had her radio tuned to Stella Dallas every day.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 9:13PM
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Wow, so many great ideas! The fireplace is beautiful in that kitchen. I haven't even had a chance to look at the links, but I will tonight.

Idie2live- Love the that cross stitch?

I'm very lucky in that my husband doesn't really care what I do, as long as it's not all lace and pink (LOL) Less money is always a plus, but don't want to sacrifice quality, so antiques are a great idea. I love painted beadboard and might put some on an island. I have a large space if I take the wall down between the kitchen and dining room. I'm also thinking of taking a wall down between the kitchen and old porch and having a sitting area with the wood stove. All the action, except watching TV, seems to happen in the kitchen, so why not have a lot of space to enjoy it? I may add on behind the kitchen for the pantry/laundry area/mudroom. If the money hold out, I'd love to have a screened porch off the back :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 5:37PM
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About the time we decided to buy this rental cottage from a friend, we put in this 10x12' wooden deck after the railing of the stoop collapsed. Hubby built it, but a contractor neighbor kept me from killing him since he did NOT understand that Alabama was different from MA. The bricks came from the lovely riverfront home we had, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Previous residents had pit bulls which they kept chained in the back yard. The entire back stoop had to be torn out due to the damage they did to it. We subsequently replaced the hollow core back door and the damaged storm door, replaced the upper screened in area with white vinyl lattice and Lexan to keep out critters such as raccoons, squirrels, mice, rats, stray cats, and BIRDS. While taking out a broom hanging rack on the porch, I found a nest with three tiny bird eggs in it, long dried out, but they explained why we continue to have some tiny birds coming through the double glazed french door when I forget and leave it open. Old habits are hard to break.

We have a wrought iron table on the deck now. An umbrella lets us have lunch around it even in summer. But after the sun crosses the yardarm is when this deck really shines. It is on the eastern exposure of the house. The back gable of the house casts a good shade for us. We now have a gas grill down on the brick patio area.

The back porch is slowly being transformed into an extension of the kitchen. The lattice is gone, and the Lexan windows are bullet proof and let in a LOT of light.
Building with Lexan requires a lot of study and practice to make sure you use the proper caulking and allow for the extra expansion this material has, unlike glass windows.
BUT, it probably will never get busted out by hurricanes.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 3:19PM
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moccasinlanding, what a nice deck and patio. This picture actually helped me to better understand your thread on remodeling your kitchen/porch into one space.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 7:55PM
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