Get the look: Contemporary Country

Craft is back, but how do you create a handmade look that’s built to last?


The traditional principles of a country kitchen like craftsmanship, hard-wearing natural materials and functional design, are being embraced by a new wave of design savvy, eco-centric homeowners. How can you apply the latest interpretation of the country kitchen style to your own home?

Image Credit – Light Locations
Image Credit – Light Locations
Image Credit – Light Locations
Image Credit – Light Locations
Image Credit – Light Locations
Image Credit – DeVOL
Image Credit – DeVOL
Image Credit – DeVOL

Craft is back.

A traditional country kitchen is robust, practical and functional. Designed to do what a kitchen should do for a long time. It is built to last, and choosing quality over convenience and function over form you are turning back to the traditional values of kitchens past. Seek out well-constructed products made with traditional techniques for genuine authenticity. Where possible, choose your cabinetry, sinks and brassware from artisanal manufacturers with a history of quality and craftsmanship.

Embrace the principles not the look.

One way to create a modern country kitchen is to embrace the principles and values that underpin the style, but there is no need to be a purist. Don’t be afraid to ‘contemporise’ and personalise the look by adding your own twist. Choose things you like that are well made and handcrafted using traditional techniques, but are not necessarily ‘Country Style’. For example, The award-winning Sebastian Cox Kitchen by deVOL is a collaboration with the talented young designer and wood man, Sebastian Cox.

Country Colours.

The country kitchen is no longer a sea of brown and beige, rather the opposite. Just like the countryside around it, the country kitchen is now alive with colour. Cabinetry hand-painted in Farrow & Ball’s exquisitely-named and brightly-coloured period paint, is an approach that seems very ‘of the moment’. Colourfully flecked Terrazzo Marble replaces the wooden butcher’s block. Surfaces and walls can be painted to match the cabinets to create monotone spaces. If you prefer a cleaner look choose monotone bright white for everything, choosing wooden accessories for splashes of warmth. 

Choose art over accessories.

Country kitchens are working spaces and often feature open shelves with pans, crockery and accessories out for all to see. Some people find this untidy and cluttered. Plan ample storage, hide non-essential items in cupboards and replace them with inspiring art or photography. Whether by your favourite local artist, purchased from Designio perhaps, or painted by you, artwork is a great way to inject your personality and colour into the space. It also creates a unique look that tells your story.

Choose skylights over beams.

If you want authentic, choose low ceilings with exposed oak beams. If you want contemporary, or simply don’t want to live in such a dark space, consider Velux skylights instead. Traditionally the technology didn’t exist to do this, but it does now, and daylight really brightens up a space in a way that artificial light can’t. Vaulted ceilings work too, and are also less oppressive than a low beamed ceiling. 

Choose skylights over beams.

There are certain signature pieces that many people would say you must have to achieving the country kitchen look. One of these icons is an Aga - if you can afford it, if you have room,and are prepared to adapt the way you cook. They are authentic, made to last a lifetime (at least) and are a natural focal point. The other is, of course, a Shaws Belfast sink. This design classic looks stunning in any kitchen and was traditionally the place to stand and chat in the kitchen, earning it the nickname – ‘Jawbox’. It’s the original, and we would say still the finest in the world after over 130 years. But don’t dismiss a Ribchester, with its fluted front, or a classic Double Bowl, that offers even greater practicality. 

However you decide to create your country kitchen, the aim is to make it a warm welcoming space that gives you pleasure for many years and works for how you want to use it. Good luck!

Have you created a Contemporary Country kitchen or bathroom with a Shaws sink? Or are you planning to? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line, or share your creation with us on social media. 



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