I've been working on the kitchen plans for my mom's new farmhouse. I've designed a number of kitchens over the years and every once in a while take on an interior design or commercial design project too. My mom is going for a Granny-chic look, and it's been a lot of fun sketching the design and sourcing materials. We've been collecting pins for five years for this project! I think it is going to be adorable, and I promise to show you pictures. Picking out tile and wallpaper and lighting has me reminiscing about the choices I made from my own space. Here's a quick look at my farmhouse kitchen.
In my own, humble, opinion, some interior styles are more apt to go "out" of style sooner rather than later. I mean if anyone thought pastel fixtures would last, they were poorly mistaken- the pink commode screams 1980's. But then again, as a vintage and antique dealer, I count on these relics and styles of the past to recirculate in popularity. And what goes around certainly comes around. However, I do feel like certain aesthetics are timeless. For example, when planning my kitchen more than 12 years ago, I knew I wanted white subway tile and open shelving.
Bead board and tongue and groove (aka ship lap) were on the style board as well. Not because they were in every magazine in 2010 (they weren't - but certainly a number of my favorite magazines), but because they are classic design elements which can be found in most historic American farmhouses. So, while a lot of guests who visit my kitchen think we have just remodeled the space to fit the current style - the truth is, by choosing a classic look, I am pretty confident the room will remain on-point for a long time to come. Plus, the farmhouse aesthetic not only fits the setting of my home, but additionally, the down home, easy-going and durable look fits our lifestyle too.
One of the things I really wanted in my kitchen was a furniture style island with a butcher block top. This counter serves as breakfast bar, buffet, baking assembly line, surgery table perfect for Bandaid applications, and conference table for family meetings. It has hosted drop by guests and after school snacking. This spring, it has become "the office" and schoolhouse simultaneously. While I've turned a number of amazing vintage and antique workbenches, tables, and salvaged cabinets into islands to sell, none of them have replaced this island. The source - I actually ordered from Ebay of all places! It arrived on a Christmas Eve and made for an exciting unwrapping event. It is solid wood and was a budget-friendly option compared to the bids from local cabinet makers. One of the items I'm hunting for are the perfect counter stools. These are ok, but the tops are way too dark for me. They are similar to the Hickory floor, so the contrast isn't as pronounced as this photo may make it appear. I may end up with a collection of mismatched stools in the end (they are on my junk hunt list).
Over the years I've enjoyed switching up the look of the kitchen by lining the open shelves on either side of my wall oven. At Christmas time I've used plaid wrapping paper as an inexpensive and easy pop of seasonal cheer. Sometimes, I really want a minimalist look and leave them white with white dishes. They are versatile that way. A couple years ago I purchased a few yards of Magnolia Home wallpaper and pasted it into the back of the cabinet. I've always had white dishes, and I really like how I can layer them in front of this paper without it all seeming to busy or haphazard. One of the many things I seem to pick up while I'm out junking are these antique scales. My magpie collection includes about 10 or 12 of them. Once in awhile I sell one at the Shops at Station 8, but if they are white, green, or black they've probably found a spot in my personal collection. My cabinets are painted maple - the color is called "white chocolate" - it is pretty close to the Antique White (SW) color of the walls. The long Montana winters bring many gray days, so I avoided any cold, gray tones and opted for warmer whites and neutrals throughout the house.
Initially, I was hoping for school house pendant lights, but they were so far out of my budget that I ended up installing less expensive stand-ins until I could source and afford vintage pendant lights. Well, a couple years ago I fell in love with these mercury fluted pendants from Pottery Barn. (By the way, they are on close out right now on PB for next to nothing). My father-in-law is an electrician, so my kitchen is well equipped with task and overhead lighting options. I think it is actually one of the most important elements to a functional kitchen. The light bar trim around the bottom of the upper cabinets is one of the prettiest details of my kitchen and also provides for under-cabinet lighting.
People ask - do you use the pot filler faucet. Yes! Everyday. Yes!
As I was going for a softer, classic white kitchen, I opted for light grout in my subway tile. And at some point I hope to switch out my very durable Corian solid-surface countertops for a white quartz. The same is true for my kitchen sink. I am on the hunt for a antique farmhouse sink, but they are few and far between in these parts. I may eventually opt to put in a new apron sink, but that will be a project for down the road. Isn't that part of the fun of home ownership? We look at our house as our forever home, and so we are in no huge hurry to have every detail "perfect" from the start. I think that mentality is also an important part what goes into make a house feel like a home.
When we built our farmhouse, which was basically the ultimate DIY project, we ended up cutting down the plan we had drawn. In doing so, I lost my walk-in pantry. Casey built me nice shelves in the garage and for years I made do with stacking my canned goods and Costco staples out in the garage. But then I found this amazing cabinet. It is the perfect size for the wall in my kitchen and looks like it just belongs. There is a pocket door between the kitchen and dining room. I painted the kitchen side of the door with black chalkboard paint. It has been a great spot for secret notes, math problems and summer bucket lists.
Speaking of summer, it's time for me to get back outside. Thanks for stopping by!
Take Hope. Be Well.
From the Red Barn,