Country style kitchens

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A country style kitchen is warm, inviting and charming

A country style kitchen is the antithesis of a sleek, hard surfaced, shiny, state of the art modern kitchen. A country kitchen may consist of cabinets that appear distressed, country fabrics such as calico and chintz, bead board and/or wainscoting on the walls and an infusion of striped, floral, gingham, checked or plaid patterns.

A country kitchen might seem completely out of place in an urban high rise; however, if you are a transplant from Nebraska living in the heart of NYC, longing for your motherís country style kitchen and all of the soothing memories associated with that room, then create a country kitchen oasis in your urban apartment. You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.

A country kitchen captures the homespun essence, retro-feeling decor and features flea-market finds and antiques. Upholstery and lace or vintage print curtains give a country kitchen a soft and inviting feeling. Country kitchens can vary in style. There is the farmhouse kitchen, the English country kitchen, the French country kitchen, the American country kitchen, the cottage kitchen as well as the Swedish country and Tuscan country kitchens.

If a farmhouse country kitchen is your heartís desire, choose maple or oak cabinets, with recessed panels. The counter tops should be soapstone or laminate and ceramic or linoleum is good for the floor. The backsplash can be simple or a creative combination of decorative tiles and natural materials. The wood in a country kitchen can be either dark or light or both.

An English country kitchen is more formal and features square cabinets that have curved edges. A wood valance, wood cut-outs and rope molding are found in this style of kitchen as are light or natural cabinets, which are frequently constructed out of oak or pine.

Tuscan (Italian) country kitchens often feature distressed or painted furniture and dark or richly colored woods. When choosing a back splash, counter material and a sink, consider using natural materials like stone tiles. The hood over the range is often the main focal part of the room. The overall look is one of rusticity and timeworn.

An American country kitchen is comfortable and usually quite big. Geometric and floral textiles are incorporated into the dťcor and texture is found in the accessories, furniture and fabric. The cabinets are likely to be flat paneled and rough hewn and pine is often the wood of choice.

A French country kitchen is often done in colors that the countryside inspires, such as the blue of the sky, deep reds of the sunset, lemony yellows, grassy greens. Sometimes the wood furniture in the French kitchen is painted with floral scenes or landscapes.

A country kitchen may, in fact, appear to be a bit more feminine in nature than a rustic or modern kitchen. The goal is to create a space that is comfortably, cozy and inviting.

In a country kitchen, you are likely to see plate rails, white painted cabinets, a farm sink, and weathered cabinet surfaces. Pottery and other collectibles, such as plates, are displayed on open shelves. There is generally an abundance of natural light coming from the many windows in the kitchen.

Country kitchens are often eco-friendly because the homeowners have used reclaimed wood and other re-purposed and re-cycled items in the construction and creation of the kitchen.

Go to your local flea market or second hand store and see if there are chairs or other items that you can use as is or paint and incorporate into your country kitchen.

Bead board on the walls, paneling or wainscoting is closely associated with country design.

Donít forget artwork. You may think, put photographs and paintings in the kitchen? Sure! It adds to the homespun feeling when you incorporate your favorite photos or treasures that you have found on your antique excursions into your country kitchen. Put them on display on open shelves or cover an entire wall with your pictures.

Fabric is also very important. When picking materials for your chair covers and curtains, consider texture, color, pattern and design. For your windows, you can opt for a sheer, lacy curtain or you can use florals, checks or both.

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