What the heck does "country kitchen" mean? As far as I can figure, it simply means "outdated."

Asked by Elizabeth O'Connell, 20886 Mon Apr 5, 2010

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Johnny Yanko…, Agent, Gainesville, VA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Hi Elizabeth:

Have you ever thought about writing a sit com? You definately have a way with words. Unfortunately, "puffery" is not against the law, as you may have already found out.

And not being specific in the remarks, is a major complaint homebuyers and Realtors have. Here are some of my favorites.

"Cozy", is a home so small, that anyone who has ever eaten french fries, can not move from room to room, without injuring themselves. "Handyman Special", is a home in such disrepair, that you need to sign a waver just to enter the facility. And, "needs TLC", is really a "tear-dow," in disguise.

Of course, a "tear down", can also mean that there are old leaky pipes, just
below the surface, that are causing the entire neighborhood to smell like rotten eggs.

Notice "tear down", refers to the property above grade, and makes no mention of what can be happening below the home.

So as you can see, beauty is in the eyes, of the writer who enters the listing remarks. Good luck, and feel free to lampoon any other "zingers" you find out there.

Johnny Yankoviak
0 votes
"Country kitchen" is a specific description, like "colonial-style". It's a defined dictionary term. You didn't answer Elizabeth's question, which she may have actually wanted an answer to.
Flag Thu Sep 4, 2014
Greg Carrie, Home Buyer, Outside U.S.
Mon Mar 4, 2013
A country kitchen has to do with the layout. The eating area is within the kitchen and not separate. Usually surrounded by the cabinetry.
3 votes
Glenda Cherry, Agent, Herndon, VA
Tue Apr 6, 2010
A "country kitchen" has less to do with the decor than the layout. Traditionally, a country kitchen is open to another room (usually the family room) and often includes a breakfast nook and/or a center island.

Glenda Cherry
2 votes
Country kitchen is just a style of kitchen. It's usually rustic and looks like the house s in Sweet Home Alabama. It's a style that doesn't really mix with other styles. Either you have a country styled kitchen or you don't. It's a pretty classy style, though, if you ask me. http://www.drandolphsgiftshop.net
Flag Wed May 6, 2015
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Sep 4, 2014
That's funny, I find many buyers think it's due to the decor.!

1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Apr 6, 2010
My definition is the same as Debbie and Chicago's. It's a style--somewhat rustic, a farm feel. It's not meant to mean outdated, but you're right--that sometimes seems to be the fallback description when a listing agent can't think of another way to describe it. But, no, it shouldn't be used to describe a kitchen with butcher block Formica and avocado green appliances.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Attorney At…, Home Buyer, Colonial Beach, VA
Sun Dec 27, 2015
It goes back to rural (country) farm life where they built homes with a table space in the kitchen for eating breakfast and lunch in while wearing your dirty work clothes so that you didn't mess up the dining room, which was the only eating area in other homes. It has nothing to do with decor or size, other than you needed room for the table.
0 votes
Lindastanton, Home Owner, Frederick, MD
Thu Sep 4, 2014
The term "country kitchen" has nothing to do with the design or whether it is old or outdated. It refers to size - as the dictionary puts it, it is "a large kitchen with ample areas for food preparation and eating". In other words, there's room for a table with seating all around.
0 votes
Elizabeth O'…, Both Buyer And Seller, 20886
Fri Apr 23, 2010
Mr. Yankoviak, your honesty is refreshing. Thank you.

0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Mon Apr 12, 2010
Well, Elizabeth, the good news is, you get to visit these homes in person so you can decide for yourself whether "country" is a positive description or not!

If your preference is for sleek, modern...then I think we would all agree you should skip anything that calls itself "country" - whether it's a brand new country kitchen, or one that is falling apart at the seams.

You might want t google "country kitchens" for a peep as to what the design magazines think it means. Erik, below, included a link which you might find helpfu, too.

Bottom line is..........descriptive words are often open for interpretation....so are conditions of homes......one person's "has to be torn down", is another person's "warm and comfortable".........you'll have to look and decide for yourself!

Good luck with your search!
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes
Elizabeth O'…, Both Buyer And Seller, 20886
Mon Apr 12, 2010
Thank you for all the answers! Some of them are still very vague, though, like "Style of cabinets, colors selected, floor and wall finishes it all makes for the country farm kitchen feeling." What style? What colors? What floor and wall finishes? I agree with the one agent who said that it is sort of the "fallback" term that typically translates as outdated. As a buyer, when I see the words "country kitchen" I cringe. I think of cheap, flimsy cabinets, "country" blue and mauve, maybe some fake ivy, perhaps a rooster motif, faded laminate counter tops, cream-colored appliances, horrible florescent lighting, and a very poor layout. If I recall correctly, "country" was in style a good 30 years ago. For me, the kitchen sells the house, and I am weary of glowing descriptions of kitchens that, in reality, are really quite horrible.
0 votes
Lauren Smerb…, Agent, Springfield, VA
Thu Apr 8, 2010
In this area, it is typically a larger, eat in styled kitchen, with county type accents, such as, oak cabinets.
Web Reference:  http://laurensmerbeck.com
0 votes
The Mulhern…, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Wed Apr 7, 2010
We use Country Kitchen to describe Townhouse kitchens that span the entire width of the house. We typically do not use that in our single family homes as a description, but to my understanding it is a kitchen that allows for table space within the confinements of the kitchen. Basically a room for a table within the setting of the kitchen, not a separate room/area for a table.

0 votes
Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Tue Apr 6, 2010

The meaning does indeed vary from locale to locale..here is a link to what was first in google http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Country-Kitchens-Bl…

Most agents in our area would say it means much the same as eat in..though it open to another room...typically the family room. However, the googled meaning certainly sheds some light on what I thought country kitchen meant...

Have a great day!

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Apr 6, 2010
Elizabeth, apparently it can mean different things to different people!

In my neck of the woods, it is more about the rustic, informal style than the size. You might find wood cabinets, wood floors and maybe a painted tile backsplash (w/ little roosters or fruit!)......all that country charm and quaint stuff.

If you find a grandmother baking apple pies, then it is an American country kitchen :)
If you find grandma, she greets you with "bonjour", and is preparing coq au vin, then it is most likely a French inspired country kitchen! :)

(It is late, I can't sleep, so you are stuck with my corny jokes!)
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Apr 5, 2010
OK, then.

I use the term to mean, out-of-proportion large for the house. A kitchen that would be a great factory to feed eight, in a two-bedroom house.

There are certainly some functionally or economically obsolescent references possible, such as, the stairway to the upstairs bedrooms is off the kitchen.

But if you see it for one of my listings, I mean that it is an older house with a really large kitchen.
0 votes
Mary Jo Daly, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Apr 5, 2010
Style of cabinets, colors selected, floor and wall finishes it all makes for the country farm kitchen feeling. It does not mean out date.
Web Reference:  http://www.maryjodlay.com
0 votes
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