From exposed beams to industrial light fixtures to beadboard and shiplap (lots of shiplap!), modern farmhouse design ideas and home decor have become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially in the kitchen. And it doesn't matter if you actually live in a rustic farmhouse or a city apartment, the look just works. Adding all those rustic elements can be pricey, though. So we're swooping in to help you create a DIY farmhouse kitchen on a budget.
With our help, you'll be able to take a small kitchen — or even a fixer upper — and turn it into a stunner with natural wood, a gorgeous faucet, and maybe even a few coats of chalkboard paint. You may need to stop by a few flea markets to complete your country kitchen makeover, but that's all part of the process.
Scroll on for our favorite tips, ideas, and shopping links that won't break the bank.
Budget Cabinet Ideas
1. Paint your cabinets white.
One easy and inexpensive way to bring farmhouse design into any cook space is to paint your own kitchen cabinets white. The fresh color will open up the room, making it feel lighter and airier. It may even trick the eye into thinking your rustic kitchen is larger than it is. As an added bonus, completing this project yourself will save you so much on labor costs. And you can use any leftover paint to coat your walls, too.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Pure White, $30
2. Remove cabinet doors to create open shelving.
You can also remove the cabinet doors altogether for a laid-back kitchen decor look that resembles open shelving. Display a mix and match array of ceramic plates, plants, or even photos for a casual effect. And instead of discarding the doors, you can save the wood for future projects. If, however, your white kitchen cabinetry is more dumpster-ready than open-shelving-friendly, opt to hang a few thick, textured wooden shelves.
Get the look: Gracie Oaks Solid Wood Floating Shelf (set of 2), $94.62
3. Completely rework them.
Reworking your existing cabinets is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to drastically change the look of your kitchen. But if open shelves are too open for you, and removing the cabinet fronts doesn't sound quite right either, how about adding glass panels to the door fronts. They'll provide an airy, open feeling and can immediately refresh outdated cabinets. If you're a DIYer who's good with a saw, consider tackling this project with budget-friendly, nearly-unbreakable polycarbonate sheets.
Get the look: LEXAN Clear Polycarbonate Sheet, $5.48
Budget Wall Ideas
1. Install a subway tile backsplash.
Yes, you can install a subway tile backsplash for your budget kitchen remodel, especially if you're faking it with the peel-and-stick version. And if covering your entire cook space with tile isn't feasible, focus on the two main areas that need the most protection from spills and splashes: behind the sink and behind the stove. And we promise if you go the affordable and removable route, we promise no one will spot the difference between this and an authentic farmhouse backsplash.
Get the look: Smart Tiles 3D Peel and Stick Backsplash, $25.99
2. Create an accent wall with shiplap even if it's faux.
If you simply must have shiplap for your kitchen renovation, create an accent wall with it — or a sneaky imitation of it. While it might not be feasible to source and install shiplap within a modest budget, you can invest in some affordable peel-and-stick shiplap or reclaimed wood wallpaper for the same vibe at a fraction of the price. Alternatively, install shiplap wallpaper. It's incredibly realistic unless you're super close.
Get the look: Daily Miracles Horizontal Shiplap Wallpaper, $72
Budget Decor Ideas
1. Use an area rug or runner.
Keep things cozy in your new kitchen with a vintage-inspired area rug or runner. We know, we know — farmhouse rugs can be expensive. But they don't have to be. The more lived-in, the better, so scout eBay and Etsy for beautiful vintage (or vintage-looking) finds that you won't mind beating up with lots of foot traffic and the occasional red wine spill.
Get the look: KidsLoveColoring Turkish Kilim Rug, $79.95
2. Include wood elements wherever you can.
For the ultimate farmhouse interior design, add wood elements wherever possible, especially if you have a white kitchen. Can't afford the quintessentially rustic butcher block counters, though? Don't fret. You can mimic the look with more budget-friendly accessories like reclaimed wood cutting boards, cake stands, or cooking utensils. You can also install peel-and-stick rustic wood wallpaper to your cabinets, or even your island, to give the illusion of reclaimed wood paneling.
3. Hang an industrial-chic pendant light.
An industrial-chic pendant light is another farmhouse kitchen decor must. If you already have a fixture installed over your island, swap it for one that aligns with the rustic aesthetic. (Just make sure to check with an electrician first if you're not familiar with hardwiring!) Farmhouse-style lights often incorporate industrial elements that you might find on a working farm. Think wrought iron, brass, or even a bell jar. And the boxier and angular, the better.
Get the look: Trent Austin Design Light Single Bell Pendant, $92.99
4. Mix modern touches with a farmhouse feel.
Not ready to go full-blown farmhouse? Not to worry. This style surprisingly complements modern design. Try pairing traditional farmhouse white cabinets with modern light fixtures, like KT2 Design did here. Or combine vintage accessories with midcentury modern dining furniture. Even a lived-many-lives rug with fresh countertop accessories would look great. Then sprinkle in the Goldilocks of modern farmhouse style: new accessories that look old, perhaps like these CB2 serving bowls. How's that for compromise?
Get the look: CB2 Scallop Serving Bowls, starting at $12.95
5. Nix window treatments.
In a true bucolic home, the only neighbors are likely barn animals and cornfields. Now, that might not be the case for your space. But if privacy isn't a concern, nixing window treatments — like Liz Marie did here — can create a pared-back farmhouse kitchen look, allowing for a streamlined, simple design. If you can't go without window coverings, consider something sweet and subtle, such as a neutral linen Roman shade.
6. Add seats to your island.
The kitchen island is the heart of any home and is an especially important part of farmhouse cook spaces. Since this spot may also function as a work from home zone or homework central, providing seating is key. While a pair of barstools can quickly add up, they don't have to be expensive. Scour your favorite stores (cough Target cough) for simple wooden stools. The more worn in they get, the more farmhouse they'll feel.
Get the look: Threshold Halifax Farmhouse Wood Counter Height Barstool, $60
7. Add beams.
If you weren't blessed with beautiful wooden beams across the ceiling of your farmhouse kitchen, there's nothing stopping you from making that look happen. Simply go for faux wood beams. They come in a variety of finishes (unfinished, pre-stained, hand-hewn) and widths, so you can customize the effect without spending a fortune.
Get the look: BBGMA Rough Hewn Faux Wood Mantels, $198
8. Bring in the plants.
True farmhouse living is a mix of indoor and outdoor life. So for your rustic kitchen, consider bringing the outdoors in. Adding plants is an ultra-easy and oftentimes inexpensive way to bring a little life to your cook space. One of our favorites is the pothos. It grows no matter how much you neglect it and cascades beautifully, making it perfect for a kitchen shelf. Plus, this hardy variety can withstand a kitchen's harsh environment — heat and humidity don't bother pothos — while simultaneously ridding the air of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene.
Get the look: The Sill's Trailing Bundle, $46
9. Don't shy away from color.
All white everything is quintessential farmhouse, but if that's too stark for you, lean into earthy, natural tones — colors you'd see on a bucolic farm. Think dusty, worn greens, rich browns, and perhaps a subtle splash of blush. Designer Heidi Caillier made such a statement with this gorgeous sage, we wouldn't even mind doing dishes in that farmhouse sink.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Calke Green, $44
10. Invest in the right items.
If we had to pick one defining feature of a rustic kitchen, it'd have to be a farmhouse sink. Unfortunately, though, they don't run cheap. So how do you know which items to splurge on? We recommend going for appliances that'll last you years (and years and years) and save you money and energy in the long-run. A good quality and durable sink will outlast every trend. And while we're at it, don't skimp on the counters and floors if you don't have to. DIY as many decorative accents as you can; then invest in the rest.
Get the look: Elkay Double Basin Farmhouse/Apron Kitchen Sink, $820