Several elements help pull off the farmhouse style in an otherwise basic kitchen. Bead board, open cabinets, drawer pulls, lighting, flooring, and accessories. I could not afford an expensive farmhouse sink, so I opted for a really large, deep sink with a small side sink (in addition to a large vegetable sink in the island). In the main sink, I can lay an entire cookie sheet or griddle down in the bottom which is wonderful for messy cleanups.
Another thing that adds to the overall atmosphere of the kitchen is to keep practical items that you use daily, out in the open where they are easy to access. All my dishes, bowls, utensils, and even some of my cookware are on open shelving. Almost everything is used regularly, so I was careful to choose items that looked lovely and yet were functional at the same time. (See my post on Simple & Beautiful Kitchen and Pantry Organization for more.)
Oh, and did I mention that I like multiples? I don't have a lot of fancy kitchen tools, but what I do have is almost always found in mass... kitchen shears, vegetable peelers, plates, bowls, ramekins, etc. However, be careful not to clutter up the space with too many things! Instead, keep wide open spaces for work. Declutter regularly and re-evaluate what should be out on the counter.
Avoid "cutesy" items if you want that sophisticated farmhouse style. Go for things that are more classic or slightly retro in feel, such as the reproduction clock below (from burkedcor.com) or the baker's lighting (from Restoration Hardware - my biggest splurge and well worth it! Sorry it's no longer available.).
Recently I won this gorgeous farmhouse-style Joanne Hudson cheese platter from Delores @ Vignette Design! I love how it adds a little european country feel to the room.
There you have it. My farmhouse kitchen; hub of the home. Would I change anything? Sure, hindsight is always 20/20, but for the most part, it's a dream come true. A word to the wise... if I were to do it again, I would put in a double oven (what in the world was I thinking?), I'd either lower the ceiling in there or I would have put the bead board up on top and subway tiles down below as the backsplash. The few closed cabinets would have glass fronts, and I would have used a lighter color on the countertops. Finally, I would have done a different treatment above the stovetop. The cabinets above are useless and a dramatic focal point would have been dreamy.
If you have lots of traffic in your kitchen, beware... white cabinets on the bottom get VERY dirty and lots of wiping removes paint. I've thought about painting them a different color, but I love the clean white look. So I'll probably wait til the kids are older and then repaint them myself (ummm... I mean my husband will do most of the work and I'll assist!).
In the photo above, just to the left of the oven, there is a little nook where my office is located. I had my husband add it so I would be as close as possible to to all the action and have a space to organize recipes, plan menus, and answer the phone. That tour and more to follow!