Country Kitchens on a Budget

by Kathy Wilson

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Country kitchens are one of the most popular kitchen styles today, and with good reason. This style emphasizes family and home, and has come a long way from the cluttered country look of the '80s. Here are some great ideas for bringing a country feel to your kitchen without bustin' the budget!

  • Bring fabric and pattern into the kitchen. Soft curtains on the window, tablecloths and placemats, and comfy seat cushions all add romance and softness to your cozy room. Try using a patterned fabric such as a pretty floral or stripe to really bring the room to life.

  • Create a breakfast nook. If you have any unused space in your kitchen, create a small eating area for snacks or lounging to create that "hub of the home" feel. Use an inexpensive card table covered with floor length cloths set against the empty wall or under the window, add a couple of yardsale chairs (they don't have to match!) with coordinating cushions, and voila!

  • Paint the kitchen. We are so used to white kitchens that we often don't even think to add color to this room, but color adds country charm to a room more than anything else. If your cabinets are less than high grade wood, paint them a country white and see your room brighten. (You can even paint Formica cabinets. Just use a specialty primer such as Kilz.)

  • Bring in those accessories that make a house a home. Set a small framed photo of your kids on the windowsill, stack your favorite cookbooks from your grandmother on the counter, and display your mother's china on open shelves or on the wall with plate hangers. Adding your family to the room is part of the country spirit.

  • Finally, use the time honored tradition of good food in a country kitchen as dècor. Use clear glass jars to store beans, pasta, rice, and tea, and arrange on the counters. Fill wooden bowls from the thrift shop with fresh fruit and veggies. Check your local antique shops for inexpensive food related items that would make a good display collection, such as old utensils, rolling pins, or coffee mills. Remember that the country kitchen was based on those hardworking farmhouses that bring good food to all our tables, so honor it for a true country kitchen!

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator and other popular websites. For hundreds of free budget decorating ideas, visit her at

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