Check out these cozy, country style kitchens and get tips on updating your own

From farmhouse to rustic, what could be more comforting and warm than a gorgeous country kitchen? Distressed hardwood floors, wrought-iron fixtures and oversized, farmhouse sinks are great design elements that work with many styles but they’re akin to country kitchens.

Every week, the AJC’s Private Quarters let’s you see inside some of metro Atlanta’s most beautiful homes and this week we’re inspiring you with the warmth and beauty of a country style kitchen.

A country style kitchen is all about the details. Ideally, those details should be natural when it comes to cabinets, chairs and tables. Look for material like cherry, maple, oak and specifically pine. According to HGTV, “Pine gets its own special consideration for country kitchen designs; because of its uniquely knotty, natural and rustic appearance, it’s particularly well-suited for these kitchens.”

If you want to really embody the theme of a country kitchen, then you may want to invest in an oversized sink, also known as a farmhouse sink or an apron-front sink. When selecting a sink, function is just as important as style. You’ll want a sink that looks great but can stand the test of time.

“Many country kitchens feature old-fashioned porcelain sinks, or, for an even more countrified feel, classic farm sinks in stainless steel or porcelain,” writes HGTV. “These sink types are both stylish and functional, making them a popular choice among homeowners looking to implement a country kitchen design.”

A few other common elements to incorporate are open shelves, exposed beams, butcher block, and farm tables, according to Houzz. You’ll want to avoid sleek finishes, busy patterns and cluttered spaces. Country kitchens usually have lots of open storage space and a large pantry. “Whether incorporated into the main space or set apart, farmhouse kitchens tend to have spacious pantry areas,” writes Houzz. “Look for built-in storage that matches the style and color of the kitchen cabinetry, barn door closures and library ladders.”

As for color, neutral is the golden standard when it comes to this style. A beautiful farmhouse kitchen will often have lots of white cabinetry and backsplashes that contrast beautifully with natural wood styles. If you want to add a touch of color, your safest bets are those found in nature like blue, mustard and red.

Another element that can really set your kitchen apart from the rest is shaker-style cabinetry. “Not as minimalist as flat-panel cabinets or as highly embellished as raised-panel designs, this cabinet style has a graceful simplicity that’s well-suited to farmhouse kitchens,” writes Houzz. “Shaker-style cabinets can be painted or simply finished to allow the natural beauty of the wood grain to show through. Bin pulls, latching hardware and simple wooden knobs provide just the right finishing touch.”

Whatever style you choose — rustic, farmhouse or even classic — you can’t go wrong with a beautiful country kitchen. Just be sure to create a space that’s functional, warm and inviting.