Image Credit: Stonehouse Handmade Kitchens
By Becky Evans
Convert a busy, bustling and chaotic kitchen into a friendly and relaxing atmosphere – making simple changes to interior design can really affect the mood of a room.
Country-chic kitchens beautifully combine the rural outdoors with minimalist elegance to create a refreshing take on modern design. Although country-chic décor is defined by its rustic charm, it is important to focus on practicality when it comes to designing a kitchen. Of course, as the hub of the home, a kitchen should provide a warm and inviting space while still catering to your needs. With a mix of modern and rustic influences, this style stands out from classic kitchens by having a feel for both the old and the new.
Vibrancy is a good starting point when thinking about designing a country-chic look. Stick to whites and neutrals when deciding on your colour palettes – they would work well on any surface, while creating a bright backdrop for vital kitchen fixtures. Using subtle and soft tones when painting the walls and furniture also gives a calming, natural look for those who wish to create a peaceful environment. The same goes for lighting – make sure to utilise natural light as much as possible to create a bright and airy feel, enhancing this with indoor spotlights. Installing French windows that lead onto a patio or into your garden is a great way to do this, for example.
If white is too minimalistic for you, monochromatic colours can also work well – light greys, blues and greens would bring classic tones to the room. These shades can easily be incorporated through kitchen cabinetry and homeware. Using colours such as these will provide a subtle contrast to the bright white, making the room feel warmer.
In terms of furniture and homeware, the country-chic style should involve well-worn objects in some way. For example, an old chair would fill up an empty corner perfectly, and, covered with a few tartan blankets, would certainly pull of the country-chic look. Wooden framed pictures, houseplants and even a few candles dotted here and there will provide a shabby edge to modern chic features. To add glamour, pair these things up with elegant chandeliers and ornate vases; don’t be afraid to be daring.
Hand-painted furniture is also a great option for those who wish to create a French-style look. Cabinets, shelves and farmhouse tables would all suit neutral colours, while adding a homely and sophisticated edge to a kitchen. Bring the outside in with indoor plants; greenery in the kitchen produces a fresh feel to the room while creating a flow through from the garden. Use plant pots with the same colour scheme or, again, hand-painting them could be an option if you enjoy DIY.
Highlight different areas of the kitchen to separate them from the rest; styling the breakfast area with modern stools and drop-down lighting will contrast brilliantly with a more rustic dining area, for example. A scrubbed wooden table accompanied by slate placemats and table runner provides a stark yet loving contrast to the minimalistic breakfast area. Creating a diverse and eclectic setting that matches both quintessential country tones with minimalistic influences is what this style aims to do.
If a homely feel is wanted, hanging prints, artwork or photographs at differing heights would put a personal touch on the kitchen while offering a perfect ‘mix-match’ look. Cushions on chairs and patterned table runners will also take some of the harshness away from the contemporary modern features. Stay clear of rugs, unless they are placed in a separate dining area. Instead, go for wooden flooring that matches the colour palette of the rest of the room – lime washed flooring is a good option to keep the space light and airy.
The main themes to stick to when designing a country-chic kitchen are vibrancy, minimalism and rustic charm. From wooden tables to marble countertops, comforting features to industrial lighting, mixing two contrasting looks in this way can really put and interesting twist on a kitchen. Combining the old with the new will result in a sophisticated and luxurious room, offering glamorous features in a homely, rustic setting.
The versatility that comes with ‘country-chic’ allows room for personalisation and adaptation with the involvement of familiar features such as photographs and well-loved furniture. A kitchen shouldn’t just be a place for cooking – it should be a place for dining, relaxing, talking and hosting. So, escape a busy life and come home to an elegant and bespoke room, handcrafted especially for you.