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Lauren Phillips
Updated January 18, 2019

Consider this your no-fail formula for creating a dreamy farmhouse kitchen.

Farmhouse kitchens may be having a bit of a moment, not least because they offer so many variations and options for crafting that just-right balance of rustic simplicity and modern charm. Admiring farmhouse and rustic décor is one thing—actually putting farmhouse kitchen décor ideas into action as attainable kitchen decorating ideas is a whole other beast. Fortunately, breaking down a picturesque kitchen into the must-have elements of a modern farmhouse kitchen is the perfect starting point.

There are a number of ingredients, so to speak, that make up every farmhouse kitchen. Each of these farmhouse kitchen décor ideas contributes to the overall modern farmhouse chic look, but like interior sliding barn doors, they also can be adjusted to suit personal preferences, lifestyles, and budgets. These décor elements are the basic iterations that are most commonly used in farmhouse kitchens, but swapping out a subway tile backsplash for a glass tile one won’t ruin the whole look; in fact, it can even give a farmhouse kitchen a playful twist. With that in mind, take each of these farmhouse kitchen décor ideas with a grain of salt: Each is open to interpretation, especially because the final goal is to craft the just-right kitchen for you and your household.

Feel free to mix and match these farmhouse kitchen details, keeping in mind that most farmhouse kitchens have homemade elements, authentic details, aged materials, and distressed surfaces. Exposed brick, shiplap, and items with a patina can also add that lived-in, farmhouse-esque feel. Some DIY touches—such as giving bright hardware a bit of a patinaed tarnish or installing a little shiplap as a backsplash—can help establish the look, too, if a full-scale renovation isn’t possible.

Wood cabinetry

Farmhouse kitchens almost exclusively have wood cabinets. Other cabinet materials, such as laminate, are too modern for the farmhouse style. Wood kitchen cabinets have just the right amount of traditional details, and they can develop an organic patina—or be stained to have one—that helps further the modern farmhouse look and feel. Most modern farmhouse kitchen cabinets are white, but any color can work when paired with the right hardware, countertops, and accessories.

Neutral color scheme

Kitchen color schemes can be all over the color wheel, but for farmhouse-style kitchens, they tend to have neutral tones, with white, black, and wood shades as the primary elements. Gray, and navy can also work in more modern farmhouse kitchens.

Open shelving or limited upper cabinets

Most farmhouse kitchens have a pared down feel, without too much upper cabinetry. This helps spaces feel light and bright, and installing open shelving offers displays for kitschy décor items (such as cookie jars, heirloom dishware, and more).

Concrete or quartz countertops

Farmhouse kitchen décor ideas rely on simplicity—so ornate, marble and granite countertops with bold or multicolored finishes aren’t typically a fit. (Though, again, it’s your kitchen, and what you say, goes.) Instead, try concrete countertops or a smooth quartz. A darker shade with contrast nicely against light or white cabinets, while a light one will pop against navy cabinetry or blend nicely with white.

Wood, tile, or brick backsplash

White subway tile with black grout is among the most common kitchen tile backsplash ideas in almost all kitchens, but especially in farmhouse kitchens. It offers a fresh, clean look that fits well with the other simple, homely elements of the space. Exposed wood and brick also work as backsplashes, though, and can offer an unexpected twist on this farmhouse kitchen décor idea.

An apron front or farmhouse sink

A sink with a large basin and an apron front—a farmhouse sink—is by far the most popular farmhouse kitchen sink. These sinks may take some getting used to, but they’re undeniably the go-to for farmhouse kitchens.

Lantern pendant lights

For illumination, farmhouse kitchen lighting is typically a lantern pendant light. These hanging light fixtures offer plenty of light for a cookspace, and their materials can be matched to other hardware in the space for a cohesive look.

Dark hardware

Black matte hardware on cabinets, drawers, and more are the norm for farmhouse kitchens. They pop against kitchen cabinets of all paint colors, though especially against white ones, and have a toned-down look that fits in with the farmhouse theme. Copper and bronze are also popular, though, for a lightly warmer look. Whatever hardware is used, though, for a unified look, find faucets in the same finish.

Natural wood details

Whether on countertops, an island, or in decorative accents, exposed wood is a must for farmhouse kitchens. Many people use wood floating shelves as open shelving, or have a kitchen island with a contrasting wood countertop.

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