The increased popularity of farmhouse kitchens is easy to understand. With kitchens becoming the focus for friends and family interaction, this style is comfortable, cozy and loaded with charm without being cluttered.

While similar to country, farmhouse style uses salvaged materials like reclaimed wood that retains a certain level of sophistication. Even antiques fit it but not ones that are too delicate. The idea is to create a down-home feeling that invites everyone to relax and enjoy each other.

Typical materials include:

  • reclaimed wood
  • wide plank floors
  • wrought iron and vintage accessories
  • larger, comfortable furniture particularly pine furniture
  • architectural salvage

To get started, you want to work with a color palette of warm or cool neutrals. Colors like cream, beige, grey and silver sage make good starts. What’s important is to use the colors you like but stay with light or neutral shades.

Since woods are a key component, look for pieces with some wear and tear but not ravaged. Details like scratches, knots and nicks add authenticity and individuality. Mix woods with metals, but don’t forget fabrics like cotton, canvas, wool and chenille. It’s important to use a variety of textures to prevent the space from looking flat.

When it comes to metals, layer in a mixture of light fixtures, hardware and accents like railings. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three metals per room.

Organic materials keep an ‘outdoor’ connection.  Wood floors are best but don’t rule out stone. When it comes to additional architectural details consider wicker, rattan, sisal and other natural materials.

Whatever you choose, don’t try to cram in too much. One of the charms of a farmhouse kitchen is a feeling of warm simplicity with room to breathe.