A favourite topic of ours is that of design, both in a general sense and more specific ones. Partially this is because we’re a company founded on a particular design principal- that of the ultra modern, German style kitchen full of cutting edge appliances and decked out in sleek stainless steel- but it’s also because there are a wealth of things to talk about. By it’s very nature, design is subjective; what works for certain people won’t work for others, and therefor no one school of design is any more “correct” or “wrong” then the other.
We also strongly believe in discussing the merits of design ethics you may not expect us to, from the mildly dissimilar to the diametric opposite, as we feel you can stand to learn a lot by broadening your horizons and thoroughly scrutinising differing ideas of what makes a “stylish” kitchen. And today we’ll be doing just that, by taking the theoretical scalpel to Country Kitchens.
If the image of an old, homely, possibly battle worn kitchen is what comes to mind when you hear the term “Country Kitchens”, allow us to dispel that idea immediately; what you’re thinking of is Shabby Chic. We can understand the confusion, mind, as the use of the word “country” does bring to mind images of something fairly humble and well used. And to be somewhat fair, the aesthetics of country style kitchens could be confused with those of a Shabby Chic one at first glance. There is, however, one major key difference; Shabby Chic kitchens contain a number of obviously used elements as part of their overall bid for authenticity, whereas Country Kitchens generally borrow solely from the retro aesthetic alone.
Certainly you’ll find plenty of wood in a Country Kitchen, be it as panelling, as the worktops, or the chairs and tables contained within. Likewise, the ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators contained within can appear like they were made in a more innocent time, or perhaps even further back then that in some cases.
If you’re dealing with someone with a particular taste, some of these may even appear to be aged like elements found in Shabby Chic kitchens. Make no mistake, though; this is pure artifice. The appliances and decorative fixtures are designed a certain way, to recall a certain feel or ambiance. And discounting artificially aged materials, they will appear as pristine and new as the function they provide.
Similarly, whilst many Shabby Chic kitchens will adhere to architectural design of the past (both deliberately or out of necessity), Country Kitchens may employ some more modern innovations into their structure. It’s not uncommon to find Country Kitchens with Kitchen Islands, for example.
Don’t take any of that as a negative observation, though, as it isn’t. There are actually quite a few benefits to having a kitchen designed this way. The first and most obvious is that older, aged appliances will not only lack the advanced functionality of something made much more recently, but they may also be running on borrowed time depending on how well they’ve been kept over the years. Decorative fixtures or furniture that is likewise naturally aged may suffer from the same longevity problems, and depending on what fixture it is that could lead to some very serious problems. By contrast, what modern appliances designed to look old lack in authenticity, they more then make up for in reliability and ease of use. You can trust them to last for the long haul, and they will almost always make the tasks required of them easier by way of simply being more functional.
By also circumventing the aged angle, Country Kitchens have a similarly homely, nostalgic feel without being compromised by the idea that the kitchens are “dirty” or “unhygienic”. Whilst the authentic factors of a Shabby Chic Kitchen may not necessarily bother some people, it doubtless will others. Beyond that, even the very nature of the nostalgic feeling given off by Country Kitchens is different by way of not always appearing old and decrepit; they feel timeless and, dare we say, even a little magical maybe.
Whatever your fancy may be, you can’t knock the ingenuity of a Country Kitchen, or the experience it provides both it’s owners and their guests.