Design Dilemma: An Ecletic Approach to the Country Kitchen
Can you blend an old farmhouse kitchen with the clean, austere lines of a modern kitchen?
Although rusticity and modernism would not seem natural partners, we’ve found examples of several kitchens which perfectly blend the modern and the rustic.
What’s the key to bringing modernism effortlessly to your rustic cabin, country manor or farmhouse?
1) Make use of natural materials. Just because you’ve gone modern doesn’t mean you have to banish all wood and stone from your kitchen. Instead, make use of these traditional materials but keep the lines clean and simple. Above a modern light fixture and bright white cabinetry with simple lines help lend a modern air to an otherwise country kitchen, replete with wooden beams and brick fireplace.
2) Use modern lighting as a contrast with more traditional elements. If you’ve got traditional cabinets, one of the easiest ways of adding contemporary flair is with lighting. The lighting you choose can make an obvious statement, or stay subtle. The kitchen above successfully mixes both modern and traditional elements. The plaster hood and wood cabinets have a European farmhouse feel, and the built-in hutch wall and butcher-block topped island feels very traditional as well. But both the modern pendant lights and the full-height marble backsplash make it clear that this is no old-fashioned kitchen.
3) Use old-fashioned lighting in a modern kitchen. Below, we’ve got the complete opposite, modern cabinetry, kept stark white along with a modern island. The traditional elements, this time, come in the tiled backsplash and wall, that reaches right up to the ceiling and the traditional brass lamps.
4) Change just one or two elements. One of the big concerns when mixing styles is the potential to combine styles that clash, without ever achieving that sense of effortlessness that is always a goal in rustic surroundings. One way to avoid a potential clash is to focus on changing just one or two elements. For example, in most of the kitchens above, there is just one element that stands out as a divergence from the dominant style of the kitchen, whether it be modern or traditional. It could be a lighting fixture, a backsplash or a table. Below, a traditional kitchen feels modern, thanks to clean lines and a modern pendant lamp.
Below, a rigorously modern kitchen is softened by the use of wooden cabinets and a more traditional table.
Finally, another photo of a beautiful country kitchen, that is warm and modern at the same time: