Is the 'farmhouse' kitchen style becoming a craze?

mrsbridgesDecember 19, 2007

We are about to build our new home, and I have finally get to have the kitchen I have wanted for years: plain style painted white cabinets,farmhouse apron sink,beadboard walls and backsplash,french gas range,and matte black soapstone or slate countertops. But all of a sudden, everywhere I look, I am noticing this dream kitchen EVERYWHERE! From house&home magazines, cabinet company display rooms,to the Food Network kitchens of Barefoot Contessa etc. A friend called me today from across the country and described her new kitchen remodel:all of the above! And she and I have never had the same taste. Isn't this farmhouse look going to smack of the early 2000's in a few years? Is this the next avocado green/harvest gold

or country blue craze of the future? I don't want to get caught up in a trend! opinions, please?

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Hmm. Everyone will have different opinions on this I imagine. My two cents is that this is less of a trend than a cycle because it's been around for so long. It's too classic to be a trend. Trends to me are things that are identified with only one time period - like the beehive or tailfins on cars. The cottage look or farmhouse look or whatever you want to call it might not have been in the magazines, but it was still out there, still being "done," and it's harder to nail it down to a specific timeframe.

Also, just like fashion, I think styles of houses/furniture, etc. have opened up so that there is no ONE style that is "in." Maybe it is just me, but it seems like in any sort of fashion sense these days, almost anything goes as long as it's tasteful. It might have something to do with the internet and the global marketplace/world shrinking and all of that, so that styles and tastes from all over are now easily accessible to everyone. Therefore style itself is less rigid and more open.

In any event, I think this "look" is too classic and too timeless to be pigeon-holed as a 2000's thing. Plus, I know just as many (or more) people doing the tuscan/dark wood thing.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 1:23AM
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I agree that it is more of a cycle than a fad, but I do think that it is a very overdone style right now. I'm biased, though, since it is NOT a styleI like myself. As it's own classic style, I doubt that it'll ever scream "2000's!" the way that avacado and orange scream the 1970's, but I do think that it'll become a little tired soon.

Now, I have to say, that I feel your pain: I have wanted SS appliances and simple modern/shaker cabinets for EVER, and this was true when SS was still not popular in homes! Now both these things (shaker cabs/SS) are EVERYWHERE, and it makes me feel like I'm following a trend since that is the style I'm going with, but it was *mine,* darn it, before it was trendy!!!!!! So if that is how you feel, do what you love! Put your own signature in there somewhere- break the trend in some little way that you love that will make the kitchen less like all the magazines, and more like your personal dream.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 2:28AM
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I don't think anything so classic could ever be considered a "trend". It think will always look "in style".

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:08AM
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I think while it is a classic look and has been around forever (I posted a picture of the Waltons kitchen not long ago - I've loved it since then) is that certain elements will eventually stick out at trends and those elements will be what sets a 2000 classic white kitchen off from a 1920's classic white kitchen. Those items which aren't the backbone of the kitchen is what will tell - like granite counter tops which I'm also getting, yes, those will probably scream 2000's in 20 years. soapstone probably not.
The farmhouse sinks probably not, but the gorgeous stainless with the big/small bowls, probably yes (again, that's what I'm getting so I'm not trying to knock anyone).

But each generation has a twist on a classic and no matter how classic I think it will always eventually be out of style at some point.

I think the thing that we have over previous generations is that we're more apt to go with items that have been around a long time - like soapstone, like hardwoods, like farmhouse sinks, and we're staying away from the "latest and greatest" like quartz. We're more apt to say we want a classic kitchen and to research exactly what that means instead of just going with the 2007 take on what classic is.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:33AM
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I wonder if it doesn't to some degree depend on context - a period (or period-inspired) farmhouse kitchen is never going to look particularly dated or "trend related" if its in a period farmhouse, whereas in a suburban rancher it might seem more like a style- related trend or "fashion" related.

Also, as somebody else said, each generation puts their own spin on classic materials. I find it so interesting seeing my light maple cabinets completely changing character in my kitchen (shaker/bungalow -ish) vs their full-blown country look (carved valances n' all) as used originally - sometimes hard to believe it's the same pieces!

In any case, does it really matter as long as YOU love it? It's your kitchen and if thatis what you wanted before it became "popular" it will still please you after it's passes through its "fashionable" phase :) Enjoy it!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:48AM
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I think it is a classic look. It's such a wonderful look and that's why it keeps coming back around.

Growing up in the south, every kitchen had white cabinets up until the 1960-1970's remodels and new homes. I had never heard of soapstone back then in our area, so the counters were always linoleum type with metal banding. I never saw butcher block counter tops, but I saw butcher blocks (the really thick kind) in table form. The kitchen sinks were single bowl and huge, but not apron front. Many (like my grandmother's) had glass fronts on the upper cabinets and glass knobs. The walls in a lot of the homes (what we now call cottages) were beadboard throughout the house -- ceilings and walls.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Yup, it is a classic--one I've personally had as my own favorite for the past 35+ years and as my own first kitchen in a bungalow some 75 years old then.

Yup, it's definitely all over the place and has been for over a decade, which means it's about run its course, or current "in" cycle. Not olive green and orange daisies, but definitely already an era marker.

Since you really love this look, I'd suggest you go for what you want but with variation on the current interpretation. Such as Wonbyherwits describes. Go real farm kitchen and put a worktable and chairs in the middle. Consider painting the cabinets something other than white (you can change color any time you want). Install an old cabinet and hutch and wallpaper the middle open section. Unless you really want the function of standing close, bypass the currently ubiquitous apron sink. I doubt soapstone or honed anything will be nearly as widespread as polished, so if you do stone stay away from high-gloss counters. Ceramic tile backsplash that's neither subway nor imitation stone (4x4s in your favorite color?). Open shelves and open storage are classic old-kitchen yet not widely done, so if your kitchen is not on display from your living room, they'd be a way to go. Shelf paper with scalloped edges. And so on. Some variation on the usual Shaker but still simple--if you need to hire someone to clean out the grooves they're too fancy. Flat panel with a curved edge were as common as what we now call Shaker. And so on.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:59AM
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It's a classic look.

What you're seeing is a departure from the ornate "Tuscan" look that has been so prevalent over the last few years. Heavily glazed walls, distressed cabinets, ornate moldings, etc.

The natural progression is to tire of the "thickness" of that design and to crave a simpler, cleaner lined look, hence,the farmhouse kitchen.

In a few years people will begin to tire of the simplicity, and a new ornate-style kitchen will emerge again.

If you love it, do it. And remember that 95% of people don't have the kitchens like you see in magazines anyway. (Unless, of course, you're talking about GWebbers. In that case, they ALL seem to have magazine worthy kitchens!)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:13AM
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I'm waiting for granite to become politically incorrect because mountains all over the world are being strip mined for the stuff. That being said, I love my new granite.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:18AM
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oh gosh Fran...don't say that!!! LOL.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:24AM
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It's a craze if you judge by magazine covers.
But most people's kitchens aren't in magazines.
I'm a KD and the only farmhouse kitchen I've designed is my own.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:58AM
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We're looking to buy a house built in 1914. It has white, shaker style, inset cabinets, large ceramic sink, butcher ock counter tops....sound familiar? It hasn't been changed much since it was built, aside from the addition of ugly countertops where the butcher block used to be. I think it's a pretty classic look.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 11:05AM
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Ha Fran-That is funny stuff.....

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 11:06AM
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I am also a little disheartened to see this style kitchen everywhere because when I began planning mine there weren't many to be found.

Mine is in a lake cottage home and I think it's so well suited to the casual, rural surroundings that it will always look "in place" and "in time" which is what I most wanted.

I have to say I was happy to hear that my cabinet supplier discontinued offering the denim blue stain/glaze that my island was done in. That, at least, will be my distinguishing feature!

I would encourage you to go with this style if you love it. I don't think it will soon be dated. The only instance I would say not to do it is if it doesn't fit the rest of the house or location i.e. The Barefoot Contessa has this type kitchen in her cottage in the Hamptons, but the one in her NY city apartment (featured in a recent House Beautiful issue)is styled very differently to fit that building and locale.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 3:44PM
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Ditto, fran. On each count, down to loving my (hopefully) one-day P-i-C granite.

Trying to make up for it in other ways though like buying other house things that are ecologically sound including re-using, and locally grown or produced (ideally both).

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 3:57PM
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Farmhouse kitchens have been in certain magazines for as long as I can remember. They really haven't changed much, only the background colors and the appliances. The granite and backsplash are what dates the kitchen now.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 5:31PM
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As others have said, it is a classic look that will never go out of style. At the same time, I firmly believe that the kitchen should match the house. That way, the kitchen will never look dated: it will always look like it belongs there.

My sister in law has a new house (new construction) in a modern style (no moldings anywhere, skinny trim around windows, wall to wall carpet, open floor plan, etc.) Lovely home. However, I think the kitchen style in question would look terrible in her home. She has sleek, dark wood cabinets, black appliances, granite, stainless sink, etc.

How well does your dream kitchen fit with the rest of your house?


    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 7:36PM
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Very interesting observations! I choose to put vintage elements back into my 1939 kitchen for many of the reasons outlined above. I chose a dark granite and subway tile with a crackle finish and am extremely happy with it so far. But I did have the same doubts about certain granites being the harvest gold and butcherblock formica that I grew up with. I guess I'll know the answer to that in 30 years or so...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 3:46PM
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It's the little black dress of kitchen styles.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 4:32PM
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