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The New Farmhouse Kitchen

If you’re a die-hard traditionalist the trend towards contemporary and transitional design may leave you feeling lost for fresh new inspiration in the familiar classic look you love, but no more!

Island legs are simple but still read farmhouse. Note flat panel style doors and flat slab drawer fronts. The stone floor suggests French Country here.  Lovely, yes? Kitchen by Tom Howley. There’s more where this came from!

As they say, everything old is new again and that couldn’t be more true for Traditional design. If you yearn for that farmhouse feel you’re right in step with what’s going on in the design world right now.  Today’s country kitchen has been reinvented with design details that reflect the cleaner lines and stepped-up function of today with the welcoming warmth you want.  Here’s how you can update without selling the farm.


New Direction for Paneling

Traditional beadboard runs vertically.  It’s called beadboard because in between each plank there is this detail which is called a bead in molding lingo.


The new look is called shiplap and it goes horizontal instead of vertically for a fresh new interpretation.  For a cleaner look, you can even remove the bead and have a v-groove or a nickel sized space between planks.  This works for coastal looks too since it’s actually inspired by ship design details, thus the name shiplap.

Aprons Rule

Apron sinks, also called farmhouse sinks, are all the rage and they come in a large variety of materials from the original cast iron and clay to the newer stainless steel and granite composite versions.  They can also be under mounted so you can wipe those crumbs right off the counter and into the sink. Don’t overlap the sink edge though or you’ll have a concealed seam underneath between sink and counter that can get pretty gross and be hard to clean.

Ikon Silgranit farmhouse style sink by Blanco is granite composite which is extremely durable and stain and heat resistant. Designed by Artful Kitchens.


Less is More

One of the hallmarks of a traditional farmhouse kitchen is lots of moldings, legs, bun feet etc. It used to be the more the merrier but that has changed.  You can still have your legs and even corbels but they are simplified and clean lined.  Speaking of clean, these less detailed versions of the originals are much easier to keep clean.  Less detail can also be easier on the wallet. Win win!

modern farmhouse-Architectural Digest
X marks the spot in this modern farmhouse kitchen via Architectural Digest. Raised panel doors keep this look firmly in traditional territory but flat slab top drawers and open shelves lend an updated feel.

Time for Recess

Attractive and innovative framed doors are the perfect choice for the new farmhouse kitchen and we are seeing flat recessed panel doors as a popular alternative to the traditional raised panel styles.  In fact simply switching from a raised panel door to what we call a flat panel door is an instant update.  If you want to take it even further consider a flat, or slab drawer front which allows you complete freedom when it comes to selecting your pulls or knobs.

Decorpad-modern farmhouse kitchen
Flat panel doors, in this case, Shaker, horizontal paneling and simple clean lines enhance this modern farmhouse kitchen.  Source

More Inspiration

I found these books which are right on topic.  Add them to your library if you are looking for more tips and inspiration on how to achieve the new farmhouse look in the kitchen and other areas of your home. A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY Projects to Add

a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room features easy DIY projects for all parts of your home. The Farmhouse: New Inspiration for the Classic American Home has great examples how to add updated farmhouse details to new or existing homes.  Last but not least City Farmhouse Style: Designs for a Modern Country Life is my personal favorite as it adds a touch of sophistication that could make your farmhouse look totally at home in city or country. This book is not out for a few months yet but if you can’t wait, check out Kim Legget’s website for a preview.


Now for the Cow

Art can also be a style defining element of your kitchen. Nothing says farmhouse like the quintessential cow.  Are you cow A, or are you the more minimalist modern version that is cow B ? 

The Farmhouse cows are available through my affiliate Dot & Bo.  The books can be found on Amazon. Purchases through the links above can help fund my blog. If you choose to indulge I thank you for your support. 


Please keep in mind this is one approach and is reflective of what I’m seeing in the design world.  The best advice I can give you is to always design to the style of your home and your heart that way you will never go wrong.  It’s your investment and you get to choose what you like and leave the rest.  I can help you make the best choices for your own unique situation and would love to hear from you. Email me at to explore how we can work together.

Coming Friday: Parts III & IV of The Big Move  

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Gloria Graham-Sollecito

Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.

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