Farm Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Stained glass and wood complement this farm kitchen's comfortable country touches.

Farm Kitchen: Island in center of kitchen

Farm Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

A spacious angled island features Darlene's baking center, with a built-in oven flanked by roll-out storage drawers. Her grandkids can sit and watch what's cooking from the opposite side.

Farm Kitchen: Darlene Van Blarcom by kitchen island

Darlene Van Blarcom In Kitchen

Darlene chose Cambria quartz, durable and easy to maintain, as the natural stone surface for her island and countertops.

Farm Kitchen: Back of kitchen island

Kitchen Island Detail

Painted a "linen" color, the island has cherry beadboard inside the seating area, matching the look of the cabinets.

Toe-kick light below kitchen island

Farm Kitchen: Island Toe-Kick Lighting

With the flick of a switch, toe-kick lighting illuminates the bottom of the island, enhancing night lighting and adding ambiance for entertaining.

Farm Kitchen: Pop-up electrical tower in island

Pop-Up Electrical Tower

Two pop-up electrical towers in the island mean no cords dangle over its edges.

Farm Kitchen: Cookstove and kitchen flooring

Wood-Burning Cookstove

The wide oak plank flooring is new, but underneath the wood-burning stove, the flooring is fireproof stone.

Farm Kitchen: Antique stained-glass wall divider

Antique Stained Glass Piece

An antique piece of stained glass Darlene found tops a wall separating the kitchen and living/dining area. Notice the classic Hoosier cabinet below it.

Farm Kitchen: Dairy farm mural in beverage center

Beverage Center Mural

Mosaic artist Chris Long designed the 8-1/2 foot stained-glass mural that serves as a backsplash for the beverage center, built with an extra sink and mini fridge.

Farm Kitchen: Holstein in stained glass

Close-Up On Holstein In Mural

The colorful mural isn't only artistic, it also tells the story of the Van Blarcoms' farm, which is expanding acreage and doubling its herd.

Farm Kitchen: Jersey standing by two barns

Two Barns In Stained-Glass Mural

The backsplash spotlights both the family's 19th-century barn and a new up-to-date structure.

Farm Kitchen: Grand champion jersey

Grand Champion Jersey

The proud profile of the Van Blarcoms' grand champion Jersey, named Adventure, is showcased in the mosaic creation.

Farm Kitchen: Stained glass sunflowers

Sunflower detail In Mural

Sunflowers in the custom mural commemorate those planted for the farm weddings of Darlene and husband Jim's daughters.

Farm Kitchen: Wall of windows, sink and kitchen cabinetry

Wall Of Windows In Kitchen

Natural light pours in from the windows; recessed lights allow an unobstructed view of the farm. More stained glass accents cabinets above the farmhouse sink; a beadboard door leads to the walk-in pantry.

Farm Kitchen: Beadboard sliding door

Barn-Style Sliding Door

A barn-style sliding door (left) in the kitchen foyer—also made of cherry beadboard—opens into the basement.


By Barbara Schuetz

Three years ago, a kitchen remodel hadn’t even crossed Darlene Van Blarcom’s mind. She and husband Jim were more concerned about the leaky basement in their 1850s farmhouse. It badly needed repair, but contractors recommended something more drastic: tearing down and rebuilding about a quarter of their home.

“They said if we wanted the house to stand another 200 years, it needed a good foundation,” Darlene recalls. “We had two weeks to decide.”

The Van Blarcoms, who own a dairy farm in rural Columbia Cross Roads, Pennsylvania, gave the go-ahead to not only build a new basement but also a garage, bath, laundry room and impressive 650-square-foot kitchen.

Working with designer Karen Beach of Chapel Lumber, the couple drew up a list of “must-haves” for the new kitchen. “We wanted a big island for eating and working,” Darlene says. “We also wanted a view of the farm.” And the kitchen had to accommodate a 7-foot stained-glass piece she found at an antique show, the original wood-burning cookstove and a roomy walk-in pantry

The kitchen project took five months to complete. During that time, Darlene and Jim were able to live on the other side of the 16-room house, which has a second, smaller kitchen that’s handy when friends or family come for extended stays. They have three adult children—all involved in the dairy farm—and six grandchildren.

“As with any farm family,” Darlene says, “the kitchen is the heart of the house with lots of people to feed.” And she certainly does her share of cooking—from feeding field-workers to entertaining more than 200 people at their annual Fourth of July pig roast, complete with a campsite for guests who stay three to four days.

“We entertain a lot,” she says. “And most everybody ends up in the kitchen.”

Folks are naturally drawn to the large island, which measures 11½ by 5½ feet. In contrast to the cherry beadboard cabinets, the island is painted a fresh “linen” color, with cherry accents that tie the two tones together. It easily seats five or more for a casual meal and even has a special spot for Jim. “We angled the island so he can sit there and look out the windows at the farm,” Darlene says.

One side of the island serves as her baking center with a built-in stove and roll-out shelves for supplies. Darlene chose drawers instead of cabinets for easier access to pots and pans. One drawer has sliding trays on different levels for silverware and utensils. Two pop-up electrical towers have three outlets each—great for plugging in multiple slow cookers. The towers are also a favorite of family members who gather around the island to plug in their laptops.

The nearby wall oven has been a welcome addition, especially during cookie-baking sessions with friends and family. And everyone warms up to the cookstove on cold winter days. When the couple bought the house in 1975 from Jim’s parents, the antique stove was in the pantry. It now has a more prominent spot in the kitchen. “It can still cook a chocolate cake perfectly in 15 minutes,” Darlene says.

Her treasured stained-glass piece tops a wall separating the kitchen and living/dining area. Below it stands a beautifully crafted Hoosier cabinet with additional storage. Small cupboards frame the top of the windows that overlook the farm. Area artist Chris Long made stained-glass inserts for the cupboards’ doors that mimic Darlene’s antique piece. He also created the unique backsplash over the beverage center, installed with the grandkids in mind, with an extra sink and a two-drawer refrigerator.

The colorful stained-glass backsplash tells the Van Blarcoms’ story, spotlighting the farm’s 19th-century barn, the new barn, and their grand champion Jersey, named Adventure. The sunflowers in one corner represent the flowers Jim planted for the farm weddings of their two daughters.

“The mural is the most personal part of our kitchen,” says Darlene, adding that the room is in use all the time. “For me, it is more efficient, and it’s easier to socialize and bring the family together now. It makes us feel blessed.”


Farm Kitchen Photography by Lance Cole

Palmetto Home & Garden 1 December 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

The kitchen is the heart of the home so why not invest and make it beautiful! We’re a huge fan of the stained glass!


Mary Ann Vaught 2 January 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I can’t believe you didn’t show the 7 foot stained glass piece she bought.


sharon 3 January 3, 2014 at 6:55 am

Hi, Mary Ann, You can see the stained glass piece in slide number 7.


Brian - Kitchen remodeling 4 January 15, 2014 at 11:20 am

I really like the lighting underneath the island. It really adds to the room when it’s darker out. The island itself is great too. I like the size of it a lot. Great inspiration here! Thank you for sharing.


kathleen pensinger 5 April 23, 2014 at 11:16 pm

What a beautiful kitchen!!


Elsie M. Kainrad 6 April 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

A beautiful kitchen and looks easy to keep clean, and for the grandkids to eat their cookies and milk.


Drema E. Lanham 7 April 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

This kitchen would be my dream. Absolutely gorgeous. Would love to have this in my old farmhouse. The storage, countertops and the island just blow me away. I could cook all day and never tire of being in such a beautiful kitchen. Have a good time in your new surroundings.


Virginia Ledford 8 April 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm

This kitchen is absolutely a dream! They planned out everything so well, from the plugs that pop out of the middle of the island to accommodate laptops and other devices to the paneling on the cabinets and the scene painted on the wall and stain glass


williamlemios 9 June 5, 2014 at 12:46 am

I really like the lighting underneath the island. It really adds to the room when it’s darker out. The island itself is great too. I like the size of it a lot. Great inspiration here! Thank you for sharing


St. Joseph Mo. Wedding DJ services 10 February 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Great post.


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