11 Farmhouse Kitchen Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated February 2, 2022
A retro kitchen in a cottage
2Mmedia/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

With its utilitarian roots, farmhouse style makes for the perfect DIY

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Farmhouse style is a classic, but this classic works on a budget. The idea hinges on worn-in, rustic elements that aren’t necessarily polished or pricey. For example, a butcher block or natural wood countertop generally costs less than marble and other solid surfaces. 

Even if you’re not looking to do a full kitchen remodel, you can still DIY some modern farmhouse elements to elevate your kitchen’s style. Here are a few farmhouse kitchen ideas that won’t break the bank.

1. Repaint or Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets

Any type of tear-out job is going to be on the expensive side, but you don’t have to completely replace your kitchen cabinets to give them some farmhouse flair. Simply repainting them can sometimes do the trick. Choose a light color to capture the farmhouse feeling like white, beige, blue, or mint.

If you want to make a more significant change, you can reface your cabinets. This is typically 30% to 50% more affordable than replacing custom or semi-custom cabinets, according to HomeAdvisor. Choose a rustic style like beadboard or shaker-style doors.

2. Try Open Shelving

A rustic kitchen with open shelving
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Instead of refacing your kitchen cabinets, you can remove the doors altogether. Open shelving gives a kitchen an instant farmhouse look. The best part about open shelves is that your kitchenware becomes decor. For farmhouse style, you’ll want to show off classic white dishware, vintage plates, and mason jars.

This option is a little more complicated than a fresh coat of paint, so if you’re not savvy with power tools, you may want to hire a local professional to either replace your cabinets with shelves or convert your existing cabinets.

3. Swap Out Old Kitchen Hardware

It’s surprisingly inexpensive to swap out cabinet handles, pulls, and knobs. This upgrade is easy to DIY and requires little more than a screwdriver, some new hardware, and a little elbow grease. Trade out your old hardware for a new set in a rustic material like matte black stainless steel or copper. You can even opt for vintage pulls if you want something authentic. Take a look around your local flea market for a complete set.

4. Turn a Vintage Table Into a Kitchen Island

A country style kitchen with an old table used as kitchen island
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Not everyone has a kitchen island, but everyone can make a kitchen island—as long as there’s space. A table-style island, available at most big box stores, is a simple upgrade that will save the cost of a full renovation. Go for natural wood if you’re looking to add a farmhouse element.

If you’re feeling extra creative, you can even convert a vintage table into an island. Take a look around antique shops, flea markets, and thrift stores to find an authentic style on a budget. The more worn-in, the better (as long as it’s not going to fall apart).

5. Try Peel-and-Stick Crown Molding

Crown molding can give a kitchen an instant farmhouse lift, especially if it’s used on the top of cabinets. Unfortunately, real crown molding is difficult to install and can be pricey. Instead, try peel-and-stick crown molding. This product is made for DIY renovations and requires no special equipment. It’s already pre-cut, too, so just make sure you purchase the right size.

6. Opt for a Wallpaper Border

Because wallpaper requires precision, it can be difficult to install. The average cost for wallpaper installation is somewhere between $290 and $735. That may not be in the cards if you’re working on a budget, but a wallpaper border can cost much less, especially if you do it yourself with peel-and-stick wallpaper. 

For a farmhouse kitchen look, choose a vintage-inspired print⁠—whether it’s checks, florals, or a rustic illustration.

7. Refresh Your Backsplash With Peel-And-Stick Subway Tile

A farmhouse kitchen is all about the backsplash. If you’re on a budget, steer clear of natural stone or stainless steel, which tends to be the most expensive. Instead, opt for ever-trendy subway tiles. Peel-and-stick varieties take some elbow grease, but they will save you installation costs.

8. Paint Floor Tiles for a Vintage Look

Replacing a floor is one of the more expensive parts of a kitchen remodel, but it makes a big impact. Hardwood floors, especially if they’re natural or painted wood, give off a cozy farmhouse style, but they’re notoriously cost-prohibitive. Instead of replacing your floor, why not paint it?

Old tiles can get a vintage farmhouse look with some careful stenciling. This is a DIY project that requires patience, as glossy tiles are stubborn and tend to repel paint. Latex-acrylic or epoxy paint works well with concrete, but you’ll have to sand down ceramic to remove the high-gloss finish. Alkyd paint or oil-based paint with bonding primer may be most resilient.

9. Install Board and Batten

A board and batten wall is a relatively affordable DIY with a high impact. Cedar is typically used on the exterior of a home, but for the interior, you can get the same look with plywood (which also happens to be one of the most affordable woods on the market). Paint it a light color to contrast with your cabinets or go with a classic white.

Because this is a serious DIY that requires power tool proficiency, you may want to hire a pro for installation.

10. Accessorize With Antiques and Copper

Copper pots hanging in the kitchen in a row
LeslieLauren/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A simple trip to an antique store or flea market can transform your kitchen into a farmhouse oasis. It’s all about the accessories! 

To get a farmhouse makeover on a budget, opt for antique accents. Think: mason jars, vintage teacups, and porcelain storage containers. Copper teapots or visible copper cookware are great in both form and function.

11. Play With Texture

Because farmhouse style is rooted in actual farm work, it lends itself to hearty fabrics with rugged textures. Burlap and linen are both inexpensive options that add a farmhouse feel to any kitchen. Try swapping out curtains, hand towels, napkins, and other decorative elements. For even more texture, reach for rustic wicker accents. If you don’t want to replace your furniture, a well-placed basket can still help create a farmhouse kitchen look.

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