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A farmhouse kitchen – warm and welcoming

Someone once said “The kitchen is the heart of any home” and that’s certainly true of ours.  I think with farms, that’s generally true across the board…definitely in all the farm houses of my friends and relations I’ve ever visited. At the mother in law’s, it’s where they have their business meetings, invite people to join them for tea, and have even invited the postie in for a cup of tea.

aga kitchen shelf

Even though it’s the central room of our house, I’m not that keen on our kitchen.  Well, really it’s more that there are things that really bug me about it. 

1. The workspace is non-existent: we have dual aspect, an Aga and an electric cooker, open plan to the dining room dumping ground for N’s toys, and 2 doors.  This all means there’s not much space for actual worktops
2. The units themselves aren’t great.  They were chosen way back when the house was built, pre-me, so are pretty basic, and not well put together at all.  Really they need ripping out and new ones putting in – I’d prefer plainer shaker style to the 80s-90s style that are similar to what my mum’s new build originally had.
3. It collects spiders webs like anything.  That’s our house overall, although there have been less since Autumn when N collected a lot of conkers and they seem to have seen off a lot of large spiders.
4. The kitchen quite frequently looks like a laundry as it’s obviously the best place for drying clothes.

a spacious farmhouse kitchen
Note the laundry – it’s unusual when there isn’t any

Even though these things are annoying, it’s my favourite room in the house.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”] “Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home” Rachel Ray[/pullquote]

It’s warm and welcoming at all times of the year, thanks to the Aga.  In the winter it’s the first place people go to get warm – there’s nothing like leaning against an Aga to get warm.  Having the Aga means speedier cooking and faster heating, as there’s no need to pre heat and when it’s lit, the water is always hot.

Although it took me time to get used to using an Aga, when I moved in, I was thrilled to find a dishwasher.  If it breaks, there’s always that time when you think you can live without it, but a few weeks in and you’re desperate to have it back.  I’m a bit of a promotion fiend when it comes to buying dishwasher tablets (I always prefer branded for all the multipurpose qualities), but I’m looking forward to using the Fairy Platinum we were sent to try.

oak kitchen table

Despite the lack of worktop space, the actual space in the kitchen is brilliant.  There’s room for a huge kitchen table and a few years ago the OH bought the oak table and chairs for a birthday and Christmas present for me the house.  We have room to have laundry out and move around, and N even has room to ride around on his toys.  Having open plan means babies and toddler love running and crawling round the circuit while I can sit and talk with friends.  I remember when my sister in law lived next door in the converted garage, and her eldest used to love running through the utility room to find us.  I’m sure N would have done the same if they’d still been living next door.

The events our kitchen has seen are numerous.  Dinner parties with mutual friends of mine and the OH’s where the men always end up in the living room, while the girls congregate around the Aga in the kitchen.  A Jamie Oliver cookware party to celebrate my party with the table bursting with food.  An NCT birthday party when the children were one.  Food and friends were central to all as so often is the case as you get older, so the kitchen is always the place to be.

first birthday party cake in kitchen memories

Of course, we have the views looking over the fields.  It’s lovely to sit and watch what’s going on.  People always comment on the first time they visit, how nice it is to have the great views.  With the huge windows I’m able to blog sitting at the table while N plays outside.  It’s easy for me to keep an eye on him while he has the freedom to roam outside.

view from our kitchen

And it’s all about family.  The shelf above the Aga is full of photos – one of my favourite photos I took of him at a couple of months old, alongside photos of our nephews and niece.  N loves to look at these photos and guess which of his cousins they are (confusing because they’re all much younger in the pictures).

family photos in the kitchen
The strawberry bowl I painted at a paint your own pottery place

There’s also food.  We don’t do it as much nowadays, but the OH and I used to cook together sometimes.  It felt like really nice companionship, and working together to a common end.  Essentially that’s what marriage is and the kitchem was symbolic of that.

So our farmhouse kitchen might be ‘unfinished’ in decoration terms (much like the rest of our house).  But it most definitely is the heart of our home.

kitchen quote and recipe books

What does your kitchen mean you you?


This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum.

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  1. I like your kitchen and am very envious of that view. Hope you find time to get it exactly as you would like. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

  2. I absolutely agree with you that the kitchen is the heart of the home. We too have a large kitchen table and I like nothing better than to have masses of people gathered at it, chatting and eating merrily. I could not survive without my AGA, I don’t know how I would manage to get all our socks dry without it!
    I understand what you’re saying about lack of workspace but it looks like you would have plenty of space to put an island unit near the AGA; this would be ideal when you’re lifting dishes out of the AGA and would give you a clear preparation area (as long as it doesn’t become a dumping ground).
    You should be proud of your kitchen, it looks wonderful especially with all the evidence of normal family life. Sometimes I manage to tidy away all the toys, books, clothes, laundry, ironing bags, etc etc and I think WOW! It doesn’t last for long though and to be honest it never really looks right when it’s tidy.

    1. Ooh another Aga owner. Definitely rely on it for drying. We’re the opposite to everyone else. Struggle in the summer as we’ve never got on with a washing line (when the Aga’s turned off), but winter is great!

      Could have a moveable island. That would be handy.

      My OH despairs at all the junk. I usually have recycling on the window ledge (the joys of having to walk down the farm drive to the bins), and lots of stuff piled up everywhere. One day I’ll do a proper clear out!

  3. I love the size of the kitchen, and your Aga sounds great – not sure I could learn to cook on one!! I too have old units, have wondered about spray painting them… But it could so easily look worse, rather than better!!!

    1. It does take some learning to use an Aga. We don’t bake in ours as it’s ancient and the temperature’s a bit dubious, so we do have an electric as well. Makes life cooler in the summer when we turn the Aga off.

      Spray painting sounds cool.

  4. I just want to say that I love your kitchen. My in law’s live in an old farmhouse in Iowa, and it reminds me of their kitchen. I truly think it is the heart of any home. Also. BEAUTIFUL cake! 🙂

    1. It’s definitely a traditional farmhouse kitchen. Ssh, the cake wasn’t mine – an NCT friend of mine makes cakes for a living so she made this one for the party.

  5. My kitchen means a lot to me! Means that place where I have to be chained for 2hrs to feed my lil monsters! haha jk! I like mine because is opened and allows me to cook, watch the kids play, and watch my tv shows at the same time.
    Dee T

    1. Open plan is definitely good when you’ve got children, means the mess extends, but has a lot more visibility and is a lot more sociable when you’re cooking

  6. That’s awesome that it’s so nice for entertaining. And yep, I agree, it’s all about family (and hurrah for it). 🙂 I love your kitchen.

  7. Really love your Aga and the view from the kitchen window is so beautiful! The size is good too, wish I had a bigger one.

  8. I love the way your kitchen looks and it has suited you with the dinner parties. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Your kitchen is very cute and cozy. I have an open design in my house so its a really big space so not really as cozy. But I like having all the space too.

  10. My grandparents kitchen is just like that. I miss having a kitchen like that. Our kitchen is small and there’s no windows. Someday I hope to have a big, welcoming kitchen again.

    1. Oh yes, windows are a necessity as far as I’m concerned with a kitchen. Plus I’m nosy, so I like to see what’s going on. Hope you get your dream kitchen one day

  11. I love your kitchen. I bet it has been the source of many family dinners and parties. I don’t like to cook so my kitchen does not mean much to me.

    1. I think ours, even if you don’t cook, is still the central point. Quite often just sitting down for a drink when they pop in – we tend to sit in the kitchen rather than the living room

  12. I love your kitchen looks so warm and welcoming. The natural wood and that lovely huge table reminds me to my grandma kitchen

    1. I love a big wooden table, and it’s definitely a proper farmhouse kitchen. Shame we have to cover the table up with a table cloth to protect it.

  13. Farmhouse kitchens are definitely the heart of the home, although I think that applies to a lot of houses these days. Our tiny house is pretty much open plan downstairs so the kitchen turns into the dining room which turns into the living room so the kitchen area is inevitably where most of our life is lived!

  14. I’m so envious of your kitchen. Ours isn’t nearly as big and we do not have a dinning table. I do enjoy cooking so it is my favorite place to be in. I hope to one day have a big enough kitchen and workable space.

  15. What a lovely post Emma. This really is a typical ‘farmhouse kitchen’ – homely and family orientated. I for one love the look of it and that view – wow!

  16. That is the same in our house, the kitchen is where most everything happens.. The kitchen is big with a 8 or 9 ft granite slab as the table..

    1. The Aga? It’s working. Our house heating and water is run on oil via the aga, so definitely not decoration. It would be a waste of space if decorative.

  17. I definitely agree that the kitchen is the heart of a home, especially a farmhouse! My Dad grew up a farmer, so at my grandparents house we always spent tons of time in the kitchen- especially during harvest season. Great post!

    1. Nice to hear from someone who’s been involved in farming. It’s the place for all their ‘meetings’ and obviously coffee or tea breaks. Thanks for stopping by

    1. Yes, it’s great, although as you can see, is totally full. We have a big kitchen with a separate larder, but still I run out of space for storage

  18. I love the back-splash. That checkered pattern really sets the tone of the room. Beautiful table and chairs as well. Nice job. Love your quote too.

  19. I really like your kitchen! We just redid ours–before there was horrible floral wallpaper that gave you an instant migraine. The size is still on the smaller side, but everything is updated. I love the kitchen and that is where so many wonderful things happen! The views out your window are gorgeous!

    1. Wallpaper in a kitchen’s quite unusual, especially if it’s a smaller room. SO nice when you have a room you really like, decorated to your taste. Thanks for stopping by

  20. I think that’s a pretty kitchen. I love how the view is refreshing. Never mind the clothes that are hung on the chairs. Isn’t that normal?

    1. I think anyone with children has a lot of laundry, so yes it’s probably quite normal. 2 clothes horses. It is nice when they’re all dry and put away though

  21. The kitchen also means family to us because it is where we gather for food. Our kitchen and dining area is very much just near each other so despite the lack of space as well, we manage to make it fine as long as we’re happy together.

    1. That’s a really positive way to think about it, and having a kitchen/dining area means you can have proper family catch ups over meals.

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