A large farmhouse sink
Farmhouse sinks are now a standard in newly built homes, and for good reason. With deep bowls and an overtly utilitarian look, these sinks make kitchen cleanup a breeze. They provide ample room for even the bulkiest pans, and their sleek surfaces allow you to clean them with minimal effort.
Farmhouse sinks come in two main styles: under mount and apron front. If you want a kitchen that is family friendly but easy to clean, an apron-front sink is your best bet. These sinks have an exposed front panel that can hold up to the rigors of daily use without breaking or chipping. Because they’re made from heavy-duty metals like stainless steel or copper, they won’t show signs of wear even after years of hard use.
If you prefer a more streamlined style with maximum counter space, then choose an under mount sink instead of one with an exposed front panel (also called a “skirted” sink). Under mount farmhouse sinks have hidden partitions that do not interfere with countertop space, making them ideal for small kitchens where every square inch counts!
Open shelving is the best. It’s like a windowsill, but for your dishes and cookbooks! For those who hate to keep their most-used items in cabinets, this is a great solution. We’ve seen open shelving above the kitchen island and along walls. Usually, there are two rows of shelves (or three or four), but we’ve even seen an entire wall dedicated to open storage, like above.
While ship lap is often used in homes under construction, it can be added to homes of any age. Shiplap is not just for the walls: it has been used in mudrooms, on ceilings and even on floors. It can be painted just about any color you’d like, and a coat of white paint gives the boards an especially crisp look.
Ship lap’s versatility continues into how it can be installed. Horizontal lines create a modern look, while angled or vertical boards are more traditional. Painting or staining the boards different colors helps to add visual interest and personality to a room as well. No matter how many times we see ship lap on Fixer Upper, we’re never tired of it!
White cabinets are a good choice for any kitchen. Unlike more daring colors, white goes with just about everything. White kitchens are also versatile in that they can be dressed up or down depending on the hardware you choose to install. If your style is rustic, classic bar pulls will complement your farmhouse chic motif perfectly. If you want a beautiful, easy-to-grasp pull handle reminiscent of European design in the 1920s and ’30s, try handles that arch—like these from AmazonBasics—or consider a sleek stainless steel version like this one from Yankario.
Additionally, while white sounds like it might be hard to maintain, it’s actually not as bad as you’d think! The key is to use the right products: Magic Erasers work well (but test an inconspicuous spot first!), and you can also try baking soda and vinegar on those tougher spots if need be. Get into a routine of cleaning spills up immediately (they’ll leave water marks) and using coasters for hot pans or other items that might mark the surface otherwise, and you’ll have clean cabinets for years!
Subway tile is one of the most popular and budget-friendly backsplash options out there. Not only is it easy to install, it can also be grouted in a variety of colors, and its classic look has made it a staple for both kitchens and bathrooms for over a century. This timeless ceramic tile has been used on Fixer Upper many times in many different ways—from single lines of tile around kitchen islands to large patterns behind stoves. Here are some specific ways that you can use subway tiles to achieve your own Chip and Joanna Gaines-inspired fixer upper kitchen:
- For the backsplash: “This room was dark and dingy before they put up those white subway tiles,” says Joanna on episode 5×05 of Fixer Upper. The backsplash provided a beautiful contrast to the wooden cabinets and made the whole kitchen feel light and bright.
- As an accent wall: Subway tiles don’t have to just line the walls above your counters or sink area—they can be used as an entire feature wall in your kitchen as well! To create this gorgeous look from episode 4×10, Line up two rows of subway tiles vertically with a thin strip of wood between each section to give it some dimension. This will add character without breaking up space too much since you’re using such similar materials throughout.
A Kitchen Island
They’re not always the size of your kitchen, but they are the centerpiece. Kitchen islands are a great way to add practical space and aesthetic appeal to your favorite room in the house. They can be as simple as a butcher block or as ornate as a marble countertop with an intricate wood base. We’ve seen them built into cabinetry and we’ve seen them operate as standalone pieces of furniture. Many have sinks or stovetops incorporated for added utility, and if you find that you have guests over frequently, there’s nothing wrong with an island doubling as a breakfast bar where friends can gather around a drink while dinner is being prepared.
You can do any of these things in your own home!
Are you ready to be inspired by these amazing kitchens? In all of these designs, the renovations are spectacular, and the pictures are lovely. But if we learned anything from these HGTV episodes before us, it’s that we can do any of these things in our own homes!
- Do it yourself! Check HGTV or YouTube for instructions or inspiration on everything from new countertops to subway tiles. And don’t forget about A Beautiful Mess; not only does their blog include a wealth of home decorating tips, but they also have a store where you can purchase DIY kits!
- Hire someone to do it for you! Contact your local small businesses and ask which contractors they recommend. Make sure they’re licensed and insured, so if something goes awry with your renovation project, you’re covered.