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Affordable Interiors: Chapter 5: How to Cheat Farmhouse Chic

by - Friday, January 24, 2014

farmhouse chic chicken egg cup

How to turn a space from drab to fab!

Ok, so I don't live in a farmhouse. (One can only dream) But my heart has always been smack-bam in the middle of the country, so it's only natural that a lot of my taste revolves around the English farmhouse.

Ok, so I also don't have a boot room. Or an AGA. Or a tractor. But that's what this is all about: a bit of sneaky cheating! I know a lot of you out there have the same love for country style as I do. I also know that we're not all living in the perfect little white farmhouse down the windy little dirt track that looks so magical in the snow. But why should that mean that we can't have the farmhouse look in our own homes?

Well, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't!



So, the kitchen. The control room, the food room, the heart of every home. This is where the magic happens and it's always my favourite part of that perfect little white farmhouse.

But ahh, our kitchen. Pokey, dank, flaky, grim, impractical, mismatched and terribly laid out. It's a huge job and honestly needs gutting and starting again. Seeing as we're renting, that's of course out of our control. And budget. But after nearly a year of living with 3 shades of yellow, in matte and gloss, dark green wood, damp damage, exposed cement and flaky paint jobs, the prospect of producing our guests food for Christmas out of this place seemed the worst idea in the world. So we decided to do something about it.

You may have seen on Chapter 4 that I actually did a quick spruce up on one part of the kitchen. This corner was our motivation for doing the rest, as it showed us the kitchen had potential to actually look nice.


run down kitchen before shot

I had used a bit of the paint I already had to just clean up this strip of wall under the cupboards back in summer. After doing that mini fix-up, we still had loads of the paint left, and still had three quarters of a nasty kitchen getting us down.

So we decided to use the rest of the Gentle Fawn on the rest of the mess, and boy, am I glad we did!

So here are a few before shots. (Hastily taken as we were starting the work. On my iPhone. In a rush. Same old story as all of my decorating before shots!)


run down kitchen before shot

Bleugh.

run down kitchen before shot

The flippin' green door... Dark. Green. Stain. Seriously!??? The most satisfying thing about this whole makeover was relentlessly attacking that door with white paint.

I'd actually forgotten how depressed this room made me feel. It really wasn't a happy environment. It was hostile, grim and certainly didn't make you feel like entering it, let alone cooking in it.


run down kitchen before shot

See the ceiling there? That's said damp damage. That's also about 20% of how bad it actually looked.

You're probably starting to learn some things about the landlord by this point, too.


run down kitchen before shot

Ooh, these shelves! The one thing that I could actually see the potential in. (That's damp damage above the door there, too). These were sitting very patiently throughout the redecoration, casually waiting for me to make them my playground.

And that I did.


beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

A playground of decorations, finishing touches and of course, streams of fairy lights!


beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation


All the beautiful bits & bobs that I had in hiding for fear of them being mentally scarred by the horrible décor have finally come out to play.

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

Everything now sparkles and twinkles and shines.

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

And glistens and gleams and dances with happiness.

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

Can you tell I'm a little bit in love with this makeover?

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation


beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

This shade of paint is utterly fantastic. I've already decided that when we're finally in our forever home, Gentle Fawn is going to be my kitchen colour, probably with pure white gloss tiles for the splashback. It's just so versatile; in the daylight, it is almost a soft lavender-taupe. In the evening, it is a warm white with a hint of baby pink. But it's still got the qualities and decorating opportunities of white. It's just fabulous.


beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

So, My Tips for How to Cheat Farmhouse Chic:

~ White says perfect farmhouse to me, but to stop it feeling too cold, bring in 
various shades of off-white, beige and cream to soothe the style

~ Experiment with mixing patterns & fabrics to soften the look

~ A white wooden door oozes farmhouse style, (especially with a garden planner hanging on it) - so use this when choosing your shades

~ Vintage glass milk bottles make glorious accessories

~ Try low lighting (like fairy lights and lamps) to keep the pale tones bright but cosy after dark

~ Old jam jars and glass storage jars are a simple but effective way to display pretty items that look out of place just on their own

~ As clichéd as it sounds: have a few chicken / bird decorations dotted about - these make me happy!

~ Florals, stripes & polka dots in pastel hues make for stylish country living

~ A combination of painted white and exposed wood inject warmth into a space

~ Complete the look with vintage homewares, e.g. Hornsea or Cornishware

~ Hanging kitchen tools for practicality adds to the decoration

~ Don't be afraid to display slightly shabby items - it will only add to the charm


beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation

beautiful farmhouse style kitchen renovation


Featured Items:


Birdy Side Plates ~ £20 for four Magpie

Small Storage Jars ~ £23 each Orla Kiely

Vintage Cream Scales ~ see stockists Typhoon

Cream Faux Roses ~ £4.99 a bunch Hobbycraft

Floral Teatowel ~ £12 Laura Ashley

Paint on Walls ~ Gentle Fawn by Dulux

Paint on Door ~ Pure Brilliant White by Home of Colour at Homebase



If you're really needing a bit more country in your life, turn your digital radio over to the Birdsong station every now and then. The genuine recordings of nature are a welcome retreat from a busy schedule and offer a taste of countryside to those living in the city!

I'm regularly counting the days until we can move back into the countryside (i.e. where I belong!) but that's a long way off at the moment (along with the forever home). So, I do what I can to bring nuggets of country living into my life until I can be living the real dream in the future.


We've since installed a cheap and cheerful 'under cupboard lighting' system, which I'll write about another time. If you're anything like me and hate the work top feeling dingy while you're cooking, you'll love this super simple idea. It's totally changed the feel of the room (again) and definitely deserves it's own post!

Thanks for stopping by today & have a great weekend!

Much love,



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21 comments

  1. from MMS Furniture Feature Friday! Thanks for sharing your renovated kitchen. It is so cute and I LOVE what you did with those small corner shelves.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barb - The shelves are my favourite part too! :) x

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this post at The Weekend re-Treat Link Party on The Best Blog Recipes! Wanted to stop by and Pin your post to our Party Boards :)

    Shauna @ The Best Blog Recipes

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    1. Hi Shauna, thanks so much for having me at the party! & Thanks for the pin! :) X

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  3. Your kitchen is just charming. Great ideas. I love seeing a room like this that is so personal and unique in the decorating!

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    1. Hi Sandy, thanks for the lovely words, I really appreciate hearing what everyone thinks! :) x

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  4. Nothing short of miraculous! I hope your landlord doesn't raise your rent now.

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    1. Thanks Marti! I hope he doesn't either! - Luckily a raise would be quite unlikely! :) Thanks for popping by. X

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  5. That is just beautiful!! It's amazing the before and after pictures. I really love the lights that you used around the door way and shelves - just gives the kitchen that "final" touch.

    Thank you for stopping by and linking up!

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    1. Thanks for the lovely words! I'm a bit of a fairy light obsessive - I totally agree that they're always the finishing touch that makes a space cosy! Thanks for reading, and hosting. :) X

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  6. Your spotted hen caught my eye! Love your retro farmhouse kitchen. Pinning and sharing:)

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    1. Hi Michele - he's lovely isn't he! Was a gift a few years ago, he serves as an egg cup too! Thanks so much for popping by and for sharing! :) X

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  7. Just sayin' Don't let the landlord in! He'll raise your rent!

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    1. Haha! I'll try my best to keep him out...! ;) X

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  8. What a fun kitchen! It's like a million times better, and you have so many cute things in there. I love that little chicken!

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    1. Hi Kristi, thanks so much! The chicken's great isn't he! I got him as a present and couldn't stop laughing at how cute his face was, I smile every time I look at him now! Thanks for stopping by. :) X

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  9. So beautiful! I just love the vintage feel to your kitchen. It's so gorgeous, especially with all the soft colors you've incorporated in with the white.

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  10. Forgot to add thank you for sharing on Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week's issue.... I love this! Inspires me in my own kitchen.

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    1. Hi Mel, thanks so much for the kind words! White and pastels is my favourite colour scheme and I'm slowly injecting in into every room! I'm so pleased you want to feature me, and even more pleased that you're feeling inspired! Thanks so much! :) X

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  11. What an awesome transformation! You just increased the value of your landlords property I'm sure. He should actually lower your rent because you are helping him out! Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week! ~Deborah

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    1. Hi Deborah, thanks for the lovely comments! It's certainly more appealing now, despite only being aesthetic work. One can only dream of lower rent! :) Thanks so much for popping by, and have a great week too! X

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Thank you for stopping by!

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