The farmhouse kitchen never goes out of style. Warm and inviting, this rustic aesthetic pays homage to America’s westward expansion when settlers started rural farmsteads in the 19th century.
Using easily accessible materials found in their immediate environment, pioneers constructed their homes out of organic elements like wood, stone, and metal. The farmhouse’s interior echoed the same nature-inspired design elements and focused on simplicity and function. Kitchens were furnished with large wooden farm tables, shelving to store dishes, and cookware, along with rustic architectural elements like beams and paneling.
Embracing the farmhouse style’s simple lines and forms of its heyday, today the farmhouse look has evolved into a sleek modern aesthetic. And in the kitchen, this means a neutral color scheme with a mix of organic design elements.
Wood shelving is a defining characteristic of the farmhouse kitchen. Open shelving focuses on simplicity and practicality, as it is easy to install and doesn’t require much wood for construction.
For smaller kitchens, open shelving lightens and brightens the space, giving the space a larger feel. In cramped sculleries, open shelving is beneficial when thinking about storage options. Installing floating shelves one on top of the other so you have two or three shelves gives kitchens a more voluminous feel, drawing the eye upward.
Before selecting the type of hardwood for your floating shelves, think about the aesthetic you are going for. A lighter wood like ash, maple, or white oak is suitable for a more modern space. And darker woods like cherry, mahogany, walnut or espresso can help warm up a space. If you have light-colored surfaces in your kitchen, a darker wood creates contrast.
Also, pay attention to the finish of the hardwood. Perfectly sanded smooth surfaces are ideal for contemporary spaces, while something with more wood grain and texture can help achieve a more rustic look.
Worn and weathered surfaces like metals with a patina gave farmhouse kitchens their rustic charm. To support open shelving, metal brackets bring in additional visual interest and can further warm-up kitchens with another organic design element. In today’s kitchen, you can embrace a traditional and country-inspired look with a bronze metal, or you can select a more modern finish like matte black to give your kitchen a contemporary vibe.
ORGANIZATION & DISPLAY
For the country cook who was busy at work feeding hungry farm workers, ingredients and dishes needed to be easily accessible, and thus were typically stored on open shelving.
Shelving allows you to create vignettes and display your beautiful wares. You can be thoughtful about what you show, telling your own farmhouse kitchen narrative. Eclectic style is part of the farmhouse aesthetic, so be sure to give your kitchen a collected and personal look that shows your identity. Don’t go overboard with your arrangement though, or else your kitchen can look cluttered and chaotic.
Display glassware, dishes, and serving ware. Install hooks under shelving to hang coffee mugs. And near the stovetop, arrange cooking ingredients like spices, herbs, sugar, and flour in beautiful jars or canisters.
Beautiful wood shelving is a timeless hallmark of farmhouse kitchens, and with the right design elements and thoughtful displays, you can bring a warm, country-inspired kitchen to life.