A newly renovated country kitchen with contemporary flair.
A country kitchen gets a savvy makeover that melds traditional inspiration with contemporary style.
The Fergus, Ontario, farmhouse-inspired kitchen of Briony Wilson and her partner is a lively exercise in balance: It pays homage to the room’s 1865 origins while still boasting a functional layout and a short list of modern conveniences. Four years ago, however, the tableau was entirely different. “When we bought the home in 2008, the kitchen was a visual hash,” says Briony. “Appliances were in the wrong places, there was little counter space and it was a hodgepodge of materials.” Still, it wasn’t a complete write-off. The room’s generous Georgian-style proportions (13.5 by 25 feet with 9.5-foot-high ceilings) and original large-scale windows testified to its good bones and won the couple over. Briony says, "My partner is a traditionalist, while I’m more contemporary, so it had to feel like a country kitchen but have clean lines. ”To realize the home’s potential, the couple enlisted the Style at Home design team.
Rural chic kitchen renovation: The before
Placed beneath an original seven-foot-high window, the new apron sink affords a view of the rolling farmland beyond. “We chose to forgo window coverings,” explains homeowner Briony Wilson, “because the setting is extremely private and we love the clean lines of the large-scale windows.” The aluminum pendant light above the kitchen sink provides useful task lighting; it was made over with black barbecue paint that complements the darker accents in the room.
Black decor accessories
Keeping accessories to one colour – black – creates a more cohesive look.
A wall of Indiana limestone acts as a contrasting backdrop to fire-resistant iron shelves that display family heirlooms.
A new wood-burning stove and decorating with black slate tiles look like they could be an original feature. “We use the stove a lot in the winter to supplement our geothermal heating system,” says Briony. “We love it. It’s cheery, throws out tons of heat and is cost-effective, too.” The wood-burning stove lends additional character and charm to the space, while the reclaimed Elmwood floor boards are different widths to create a more authentic look.
Before: Kitchen cabinetry
After: Cabinetry and seating area
Shaker-style IKEA cabinets custom-painted dove grey (a subtle reference to the stone farmhouse’s exterior) are fitted to the ceiling and around appliances to maximize storage. To avoid looking too “new,” the kitchen backsplash was tiled in three different shades for a rich, layered effect. The simple table, which seats six, has detailed legs that infuse an understated country feel. And the soft, slipcovered chairs juxtaposed with rustic, iron-grey benches create a dynamic seating arrangement.
The newly increased countertop space allows for useful little extras like potted fresh herbs and a rustic cutting board that can be left out on display when not in use. The framed 19th-century hunting-scene prints are family heirlooms the homeowner inherited.
Mixing family heirlooms into the kitchen decor gives off that lived-in vibe that everyone loves.
Dark grout in tiling
Opting for a dark grout colour has its benefits: It hides dirt well and allows the tiles to stand out visually.
Before: Misplaced appliances
After: Bar sink and wine fridge
The existing oven and microwave were replaced with a new bar sink and wine fridge, turning this small nook next to the dining room into a practical and convenient area. Glass-panelled cabinets showcase special tableware, while the adjacent shallow cupboards with solid doors disguise a fuse box. A slipcovered chair is the perfect perch for enjoying the light-filled room.