Buying country kitchens - the comprehensive guide from DGM

Today's selection of kitchen furniture, designs and shapes makes it possible to create the right, individual kitchen for every need. After a long-lasting trend towards minimalist designs, cool colours and smooth surfaces, many long for the warm, rustic atmosphere of a country kitchen. And indeed, the natural materials and warm colours offer a homely contrast to the hectic anonymous everyday life of the city. Even in this kitchen category, there are many different variations, so that you can also adapt this style to your personal taste. The first question to ask is what exactly constitutes a country kitchen and what you should look for when buying one.

What is a country house kitchen?

Basically, a country house kitchen reflects the style found in rural areas and a rustic, farm-like atmosphere. The use of natural resources such as wood and stone is a natural part of proper country life, which is why they characterise the image of a typical country house kitchen. These natural materials can be combined in a wide variety of colours and designs and are now complemented by other natural resources such as terracotta or ceramics. Glazed fronts and individual metal elements such as handles or protective edges are also used as a loosening contrast. The colour scheme and precise design offer so many possibilities that the question "What is a country kitchen?" cannot be answered in a general way. Rather, it is a basic style direction that nevertheless leaves plenty of room for your own ideas.

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What elements does a country house kitchen consist of?

A country house kitchen often consists of many different pieces of furniture. These individual components can often be combined with each other in the style of a fitted kitchen and in the end result in a solid, coherent kitchen block that makes optimal use of any free space. Kitchen units with different base cabinets are often complemented by wall cabinets, tall cabinets, special cabinets for electrical appliances and corner solutions. To ensure that the entire kitchen does not appear too massive in the end, the fronts in particular are fitted with ornaments, frames and glass inserts. The fronts with glass are often kept in the style of the windows of a country house and are interrupted with narrow cross- and longitudinal struts made of wood.

What types of country house kitchens are there?

There is an individual way to design the shape and layout of the kitchen for every room shape. The individual cabinets, which are mostly made of natural materials, can usually be combined in a variety of ways in the style of a fitted kitchen. The country house kitchen can be designed in many variations, e.g. as:

  • Single kitchen with a single line
  • Fitted kitchen with upper and lower cabinets
  • Kitchen in L- or U-shape
  • Spacious eat-in kitchen

Especially in the form of a kitchen-living room, the country kitchen unfolds its homely and cosy character to best effect and brings out the style of a farmhouse kitchen as the centre of daily life.

What types of country kitchens are there in terms of style?

It is not only the shape that varies greatly depending on requirements. The style of the country house kitchen is also available in different forms and interpretations. They are usually divided according to the different countries of origin, whose rural lifestyle was formative for the development of the country house kitchen. Basically, the following styles can be named:

Rustic style country kitchen

In the rustic style, the kitchen presents itself with fronts and worktops made of solid wood. The wood underlines the rustic character with clearly visible grains, knotholes and different shades of brown. The visual design is based, for example, on the typical kitchens of the rural Alpine regions, which have helped to shape this rustic style. The rustic country kitchen blends in perfectly with a rural interior or as a warm contrast in modern, light flats.

American-style country kitchen

The American country house style refers to kitchens that are primarily designed for intensive use and robust materials. Here, too, natural resources such as wood and stone dominate, often painted in individual colour schemes. In America, too, kitchens are traditionally the centre of life and not just the place where food is prepared. Accordingly, much emphasis is placed here on hard-wearing surfaces, which are even enhanced with small blemishes and blemishes, as these attest to intensive use.

Country house kitchen in French-Mediterranean look

The French-Mediterranean style gives country kitchens a light, playful and filigree impression. The fronts are often softened by relief patterns and frames and kept in light wood tones. These kitchens were inspired by the characteristic country houses in the warm regions of southern France, Italy or Spain. Accordingly, the typical colours of the landscape there, light sandy tones in combination with strong red, violet or green colours, can be found in the kitchen. Also typical is the use of many wicker and wickerwork items, which are used as storage compartments, furniture or serving bowls.

English country house style kitchens

The English country house kitchen is usually even lighter in colour than the French version. The wooden fronts are usually painted in white or pastel shades and structured by frames, reliefs or planks. Since they were originally designed for the smaller cottages, they offer solutions for small rooms. The light colour does not restrict the limited space too much and loosens it up.

Country kitchens in Scandinavian interpretation

Kitchens in Scandinavian-inspired design reflect the cool, Nordic climate. They are usually chosen as a simple contrast to rustic furnishings and are characterised by clear lines and light colours. Here, too, the wooden fronts are often decorated with narrow or wide frames and kept in white, beige or light blue tones.

Stately country kitchens

There is no skimping on decoration in stately kitchens. For a pompous result, turned or stucco-like frames are used for the fronts, whose handles are either made of elaborately decorated metal or filigree porcelain knobs. The stately kitchen form includes a large number of upper and lower cabinets and is in many cases complemented by a wide, massive kitchen island. This style is particularly suitable for generously proportioned rooms that can accommodate an eat-in kitchen.

Individual and modern country kitchen design

The country house kitchen can also present itself in a modern design. Individual solutions combine the clear lines and discreet colours of a modern kitchen with the natural materials of the country house style. The fronts are often chosen in dark shades of grey or black and combined with light worktops. If the fronts are decorated, then usually only with simple frames without many ornaments or flourishes. The furniture itself is also often solid and straightforward.

What should you look for when buying a country kitchen?

Regardless of which style you choose, there are a few things you should look for when buying a country kitchen. Since natural materials are predominantly used, they should be of high quality. Since natural surfaces are more susceptible to germ formation and soiling than plastics, they should have been tested for health safety. Due to the extensive use of wood, attention should also be paid to environmentally friendly and sustainable production. To ensure that you enjoy your kitchen for a long time, the materials should be finished in such a way that they remain hard-wearing, robust and easy to clean even during many years of use. When buying, look out for quality seals such as the "Golden M". Country kitchens with this seal of quality have been subjected to strict testing with regard to quality, safety and the environment. Only products that have passed these tests may be labelled with the "Golden M".

Get comprehensive advice when buying your country house kitchen

In addition to choosing your country house kitchen, you should also take enough time to consider the electrical appliances. Which appliances are standard, e.g. dishwasher, electric cooker, fridge and freezer, and which extras, e.g. steam cooker, microwave etc., do you want in addition. To preserve the country house look of the kitchen, electrical appliances can be concealed very well behind kitchen fronts as built-in appliances. You should think about this before buying the kitchen and go to your kitchen studio or the kitchen department of a furniture store with clear ideas. They will give you comprehensive advice and show you the advantages and disadvantages of individual brand appliances. When it comes to price, you can certainly benefit from special offers.

What advantages does a country house kitchen have over other styles?

Compared to other variants, the country house style creates a particularly warm, charming and rustic atmosphere. Natural resources such as wood always create a cosy ambience that makes the kitchen seem less functional and more like a living space. While more modern kitchens focus more on simple elegance and a sterile overall look, country kitchens are reminiscent of childhood days and cosy evenings with the whole family. After all, their origins lie in rural, farming areas, where large families often live together under one roof and spend most of their time in the spacious eat-in kitchen. It is therefore particularly suitable for those who want to use their kitchen as an inviting living space, social meeting place and for food preparation in equal measure.

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