The kitchen is the heart of the home: a space for entertaining, negotiating family life and -perhaps most recently - an office.
So, it’s no surprise that the country style kitchen is still a firm favourite with designers and homeowners alike. Rustic yet timeless, cosy and homely, what’s not to love?! We’ve put together ten top tips to help you ensure your country kitchen exudes that rustic charm.
Creating your perfect country kitchen doesn’t need to be arduous - after all, the country kitchen is not supposed to be refined and pristine. Use open shelving or an armoire to display tableware and antique finds. Try adding a few houseplants or herbs to soften the space and bring the outside in.
Add style and personality to your country kitchen by introducing bursts of colour. Liven up your cabinets with a statement colour - try Under the Wave for a dramatic look - or keep it traditional with Weald Green.
The Provence tile range offers deep glazes of blue and green. Hand-finished in Wiltshire, they have the classic French country style that has been popular at Fired Earth for over 20 years. Try Valette or Monaco for a true touch of style.
5) Don’t shy away from patterns
Patterns can be added simply in textiles such as a table runner or blind. Or, if you feel a little more confident, introducing the Marrakech or Paris tiles will make your kitchen the envy of friends and family.
Handmade and decorated with an antique finish, each tile is subtly different, giving an aged appearance with a rustic feel, and is sure to make a house feel like a home. Try Paris Cabaret tiles to add shape and form or Marrakech Mabrouka for a classic pattern.
Floor tiles can also be used to create patterns and interest. Consider a herringbone layout or a larger repeat pattern using various sizes of tiles within the same range. Dorzano and Cathedral Limestones are perfect ranges for this type of floor: subtly aged in soft neutral tones, both ranges will give the impression of a floor that has been laid for centuries.
6) Mix and match furniture
Retain the rustic aesthetic and create a kitchen out of singular pieces of furniture for a true relaxed, country farmhouse feel. Mixing and matching dining chairs is sure to add charm and character.
7) Embrace terracotta
Continuing the rustic theme, nothing says country kitchen more than a terracotta floor. Having somewhat of a revival recently, terracotta has never been more popular. The Handmade Classic range is where it all started for Fired Earth and continues to be loved to this day.
Aging beautifully over time in warm orange and red tones, terracotta is simple and honest with extraordinary longevity. Take it a step further and introduce the Lubelska klinker brick. A reclaimed tile dating back to the 19th century, it not only exudes character but is as beautiful and warm as it was 200 years ago.
Combine terracotta floor tiles with an equally beautiful wall tile. The Stonelustre range is simply a work of art! Handmade in England using Cornish clay, each tile is lovingly cut and glazed by hand. The uneven surface of the tile allows the glaze to pool and gives a stunning depth of colour. Grey Green and Mushroom are firm favourites.
If hassle-free is more your bag, the new Montpelier and Verdelais porcelain ranges provide a rustic practicality whilst emulating a French limestone. Add texture with a porcelain wood replica - Rye Harbour and Studland Bay will bring a fresh, outdoor feel, perfect for any busy farmhouse kitchen.
No country kitchen would be complete without a Belfast sink and bib taps. Add a contemporary angle by introducing a different finish to your taps - this can then be transferred to cabinet handles and lighting.
Copper and brass are very much on trend and add warmth to a space. To complement the soft metallic tones, the chalky finish of Encaustic tiles works brilliantly. Fired Earth’s collaboration with Bert & May has introduced a collection of encaustic tiles which will suit any room and style. Their rustic and characterful nature makes them a perfect addition to a country kitchen. The Pradena range in particular will bring a little fun to a scheme, using the forest green colourway adds a naturalistic feel.
Good lighting is essential in any kitchen, which might require brighter lights for food preparation and cooking, but warmer hues for dining or entertaining. Consider down lighters or angled spotlights in cooking and preparation areas. Softer pendant lights work well during daylight hours, whilst uplighters will reflect light up into the room for a relaxed, ambient light for entertaining in the evening.For a traditional country feel, why not opt for reclaimed hanging lights, ideal for illuminating an island.