Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

A family remodels their century-old kitchen into a rustic farmhouse cookery chock-full of charm.
By: Annette Joseph

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn ©Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn 2013

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn ©Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn 2013

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn ©Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn 2013

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn ©Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn 2013

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Whole New World

To update their 1910 farmhouse, Sam and Lesley Graham took on a major kitchen renovation, starting with an entirely new layout and updating everything for the countertops to the appliances.

One Step at a Time

Despite the fact that the original countertops were sagging and the rest of the space was dated, Sam and Lesley focused on the beautiful vaulted ceilings, wood beams and natural light. Everything else had to go. And with the help of their builder, Mark Lewis, the couple turned the out-of-date space into a modern farmhouse kitchen.

Color-Coded Cooking

A full view of the main cooking space showcases color-coded shelves. The new shelving system makes for easy organization when putting away dishes, while adding visual interest. A metal stool is kept on hand to reach the top shelf which is stocked with less-used items like vases and serving ware.

Going Gray

Gray grout on subway tile is an easy way to make the backsplash low maintenance. White grout in a kitchen can be tricky. Subway tile is one of the most affordable tiles on the market.

Brass Tacks

These brass planters were originally going to hold herbs, but when they arrived, they were much smaller than expected. Lesley's mom Debbie had the brilliant idea to use them to store things like garlic and shallots. They add a little bit of luxe to the raw-wood shelving.

Unexpected Seating

This great bench is a soft spot to land for friends and family. The round table is a little unexpected with it, which they love. "We aren’t matchy people, so it just makes sense for us to have a funky pairing like this," Lesley says.

Sunny Side Up

Yellow ended up being one of the main colors in the kitchen, so this outdoor metal table fit the bill. Lesley wanted the girls to have a fun spot to color and hang out while she got meals ready for them.

Baking Made Easy

While Sam cooks more dinners, Lesley loves to bake. Having dedicated drawers for baking items makes prepping a snap. They also keep their mixer out to expedite making any last minute cupcakes for school parties.

Hard-Working Hardware

For the shelf hardware, the couple headed to their nearest big box store. They wanted more pops of black and these were an affordable option that could hold a lot of weight.

Reclaimed Style

A local reclaimed lumber supplier, Darien Millworks, took 100-year-old timbers from an old warehouse in Atlanta and ripped them to make the shelves. Lesley requested they left the wood raw to give it that "rustic" feel.

Clutter-Free Cutlery

In an effort to keep the counters free from clutter, Sam installed this metal knife rack. They also love the industrial look and easy access when preparing food. It’s kid-friendly too, keeping them out of reach from little hands.

Suitable Storage

To create lots of storage, the kitchen design incorporates loads of drawers in different sizes. IKEA has a free computer program that allows you to design the kitchen with whatever suits your taste.

Brass Is Back

Lesley found these great pulls at Home Depot for around $2.50 each. She loved that they weren’t shiny, 80’s brass. The antique finish makes them feel timeless.

Understated Industrial

For the lights over the sink they wanted to do something industrial and simple that wouldn’t compete with the vintage Hungarian factory lights that hang from the beams. These handmade lights were perfect, but the canopies didn’t match up with their existing wiring. Sam worked for hours to fit the current keyless fixtures to the remaining pipe. Edison bulbs dress it up a bit.

Must Love Dogs

Their bulldog Guinness is a big part of their family. Their oldest daughter Matilda loves giving him treats and helps with taking him out too.

Personal Touch

These old framed photographs were Sam's dad's World War 2 photos. "We lost both of Sam's parents a few years ago, so there are special reminders of them throughout the house," Lesley says.

Coffee Corner

Lesley dubs this area the "beverage station." Mugs hang on a vintage-inspired bottle drying rack and everyday cups sit on two smaller shelves that mimic the the larger ones. Their coffee maker also stays put, keeping everything in reach.

Back to Nature

Coming from a long line of gardeners, the Grahams wanted to be able to bring plants into their home as well. "I had one spot in our last house with enough light for plants," Lesley says. "This time I wanted to fill our entire home with succulents, fresh herbs, and cool indoor plants.”

Sink Space

The sink wall is a great use of space which formerly housed two double doors. Placing the dishwasher to the right of the sink was a way to make loading and unloading even easier. They also gained storage and counter space.

Mixed Metals

The couple used brass hardware with stainless steel appliances. In order to neutralize the mix, they chose a black faucet to tie in with the black shelf hardware, hood, and windows and doors. They were restricted to a one-hole faucet because of the sink, so they did a pull down so that they’d have an easy way to do dishes.

Steel the Look

All of the window sashes and doors in the house were painted black to mimic steel. Lesley and Sam love that look but didn't have the budget to do it. The black makes a sophisticated statement. "Our last house was cute, and I tend to gravitate towards cute," Lesley says. "I wanted this home to show that we've matured and I wanted it to feel classic."

Just Passing Through

The “pass-through” window makes setting up a party even more fun. Large casement windows push fully open, and a large table creates a makeshift bar. The kitchen becomes an included part of outdoor festivities.

Moveable Feast

Sam was originally going to build a bar that connected to the house, but then Lesley found this really great reclaimed folding table. “We loved the idea that we could easily bring it out for parties and use it in the house the rest of the time,” says Sam.

Open Spaces

The couple had originally wanted to have this bottle opener mounted in the kitchen. At the last minute they decided to attach it to this vintage Coca-Cola crate so that they could move it from kitchen to porch in a snap.

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