How to Get Farmhouse Style

The farm kitchen is the one you want to spend time in. Morning sun spikes through the windows, illuminating unfussy but enchanting surfaces and details. Time is designed to slow down in this space—telling of simpler days, family; good, honest hard work; home-cooked meals—the very things so many of us strive for even as technology, stress, and anxiety compete to distract us. Most farmhouse kitchens are no longer near a field or farm; they’re tucked into urban apartments, re-created in suburbs, or built into plans for homes palatial and humble alike. From today’s farmhouse style kitchen, you can almost hear the rooster crowing and the cow lowing.
Here are some of our favorite ways to invite the farm—and its way of life—into the home:

A Sink as a Focal Point

People used to spend a lot of time at and around their kitchen sink—not just washing up after work and sudsing up the dishes, but rinsing produce fresh from the ground, cooking, canning, bathing children. These sinks have an ergonomically friendly apron front—because you’ll want to be comfortable pressing your adorable vintage apron against it; in that way, the farmhouse sink is one of those utilitarian products that has become a have-to-have style statement that sets the tone for an entire kitchen. Today’s farm sinks are available with a single or double basin and come in cast iron, vitreous china, fireclay, metal, or soapstone—but of course, we’re partial to concrete and copper, both hand-made products with A character that speaks the same rustic language as the rest of the farmhouse kitchen.

Floors That Invite Bare Feet

Forget cold tile, and think warm wood (all the better for being wide plank and hand-scraped) or any flooring that shows the touch of a human hand—painted floors are welcome in the farmhouse kitchen. One note about tile: an exception can be made for tiled floors that mimic the bold patterned look of linoleum (sans the kitsch).

Farmhouse style copper sink

Wm. H. Fry Construction Company combines the warmth of natural wood with copper kitchen sinks. Photo by Mark Pinkerton

Painted Cabinets with Glass Fronts

At the moment, crisply painted cabinets are the best of both worlds: both on trend and reminiscent of the farm. They’re also the easiest way to dress up builder grade or older cabinets and give them a custom appearance. And because cabinets take up so much visual square footage in the kitchen, changing their color can alter the entire palette of space; white, gray, or any number of easygoing neutrals can nudge a kitchen into having a farm feel.

Farmhouse style custom copper counter top

Custom copper countertop farm kitchen.
Designed by Jan Kepler of Kepler Design Group.

Countertops That Can Take a Beating

In a farm kitchen, you have to be able to plop down a hot pot without fearing for your countertops. Countertops are a great place to introduce natural elements to the farm kitchen—sleek soapstone, hammered copper, classic marble or warm butcher block are farm favorites; save man-made composite countertops for more contemporary spaces.

Open Shelving for Displaying Collections

Jettison traditional top cabinets (at least a few of them) in favor of open shelving—especially lovely on either side of the kitchen sink—where you can stack a pile of white dishes (white equals farm), keep drinking glasses within reach (Mason jars equal farm), or display a charming kitchen collection (copper kitchen accessories equal farm).

Eat-in Kitchen

Whether there’s an island, banquette or breakfast nook, or a classic farmhouse table (like this copper dining table), this kitchen style is all about the comfortable seating of as many loved ones as possible. With today’s open floor plan, a full farmhouse dining table easily becomes a part of the kitchen.

Farmhouse Style Copper Trestle Table

Copper Trestle Table

Painted Wood Paneling

Add texture to your kitchen with textured striped panels—take your pick from beadboard, shiplap, board, and batten, or tongue and groove and use it as sparingly or generously as you please: make use of it on a backsplash or ceiling or stretch it floor to ceiling. To communicate farmhouse style, it must be painted; otherwise, it just communicates the 1970s. The exception: bare reclaimed wood, perfectly utilized for ceiling beams, on an accent wall, or fashioned into a rustic range hood.

Farmhouse Style Copper Utensil Holder

Hand hammered Copper Utensil Holder

Charming, Useful Accessories

A wonder of quaint details, with much of its charm found in its large glass canisters full of flour, sugar, coffee, oats and other dry staples, mixed with vintage items both chippy and lovely (think retro kitchen scales, a hook full of old handmade aprons, a repurposed sign on the wall), crisp pottery and kitchen accents like copper utensil holders, spoon rests, and large lazy susans at the center of a dining table.
For more farm-fresh inspiration, see our hammered copper kitchen sinks, our NativeStone concrete kitchen sinks.