Friday, August 15, 2008

Country Style Kitchens

Country styled kitchens are difficult to define exactly as they have an eclectic feel, which means that they have all sorts of bits and pieces from differing styles and periods combined to create the country look.

There are also regional styles that are probably more well known like French Provincial Country Style or Old English Country Style, Colonial American Country Style. They all bring a similar feeling to the style, that of a safe, warm and comfortable homely ambience to the kitchen.

Generally timber is a major feature either in the cabinetry and or the flooring and the furniture.

Timber counter tops are popular or simply a mobile timber island or cutting block.

The finish to the wood is simple and often a white wash or distressed look is used over the wood to create a weathered or aged feel.

Most country styled kitchens have room for a kitchen table and chairs.

Usually in timber or wood, with a plaid or checked upholstery.

The preferred timber types are pine, maple or the local wood in plentiful supply.

Pot racks – generally metal, and timber chopping blocks are features and numerous other forms of display for cooking utensils and jars of sugar, flour, salt and condiments etc.

The country kitchen lacks order and symmetry but it does possess visual movement and controlled clutter. The style allows for combinations of accessories and wrought ironware, copper pans, ceramic plates and jugs, different patterns in fabrics and collectables. They are functional and homely. Many finishes are different, combining timber with painted tiles, metal work and ceramic, as long as there are no high contrast clashing combinations – the country feel exists.

The prevalent colors are creams and whites combined with natural timbers and light browns. Highlight colors are dependant on which country style you follow but in general, reds, earth greens, blues are popular and common colors in plaids and checked fabrics.

The American Country Style is typified the the colors of sun aged barn reds and dusky blues, patchwork upholstery and painted floor boards, floor cloths and matchboard wainscoting, stenciled motifs and artwork and simple rag rugs.

French Country Style or Provencal or French Provincial is defined by the Provencal print of fabric which features warm sun drenched color schemes of bright yellows, pinks, reds and blues. The walls are often white washed or color washed in natural tones of ochre, russet, honey or rose. The flooring is predominately terracotta tiles and the use of timber is prolific with simple functional, rustic designed furniture. Metals feature in accessories, wrought iron cabinetry handles, pot racks, plate holders and candelabra and shutters to the windows.

English Country Style is a weathered and well-used look. An elegant yet old and faded look, still homely with the generational comfort of unchanged history and style. Worn floor rugs, needlework cushions and upholstery on timber kitchen chairs, faded floral chintz drapery at the windows. Soft subtle mellow colors, creams, pinks, generally warm colors as kitchens were often in colder areas of the house. Display of condiments, preserving jars and always some sort of flowers, either wild flowers in a vase of flowers and herbs hanging over the stove to dry.

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