If you have friends in New York who tell you that this summer, they are “going to the country,” what does that say to you? “The country” usually conjures up the image of little girls in gingham skirts, pretty country cottages, homemade cheeses, and freshly baked granary bread in the traditional “country” kitchen. The country kitchen, however, does not have to be a distant dream. These days, many people choose to install country kitchens in their homes.
If you are fortunate enough to have the budget to fit a new kitchen, you can build your country kitchen by putting in some of the country-style units that are now on the market. These include real wooden cabinets, with traditional style handles and paneling. You can find various kinds, from pine to the old-fashioned Shaker style, which is very popular. Shaker-style kitchens are made from wood that has been artificially aged, and they are usually a white or cream style. Similarly, the French country kitchen is traditionally in a light color.
If you are not able to fit new cabinets, you could try painting or varnishing the cupboards that you have to give them a more traditional, country-style look.
Another way to give your kitchen a more country style look is to add various rustic accessories and furnishings. For example, if you have room you could buy a traditional wooden kitchen table, varnished in the old-fashioned way, with wooden benches or chairs to go with it. Decorate the table with a traditional checkered tablecloth to add to the look. Simple polka dots and striped linens always look good. For the windows, you may want to put up authentic plaid, checked, or floral prints as curtains, giving that real country feel. The floor would look great with a pretty area rug, such as an oval rug or a floral area rug.
Another important item is the traditional painted wooden dresser. This contains shelves on which you can display various country-style accessories, such as earthenware dishes and cups, pottery, and ceramics. And put away that electric kettle. A pretty copper kettle that you can heat on your open gas ring is far more in keeping with the spirit and atmosphere of this kitchen. And rather than storing everything you have in cupboards, you can hang things from hooks in strategic places or display them shelves. For example, a shelf of glass spice jars or a rack of mugs attached to the walls very much adds to the atmosphere.
Other accessories can include a traditional bread basket and frames with old wooden signs. Serve milk in an old-fashioned blue china jug and keep your sugar in a sugar bowl, kept on the side. Use traditional wooden chopping boards, wooden spoons, and china salad bowls, as well as old-fashioned, country style salt cellars.
The great thing about this style is that you can choose how far you wish to take it, and introduce as much of it as you can afford. For example, if you are not able to change the expensive things like your cabinets and units, then you can at least get a semi country look by adopting the right accessories and soft furnishings. It is entirely up to you.
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