10 Classic Kitchen Mouldings To Amp Up The Warmth And Wow

Why do some timber kitchens look paper-thin and others look sturdy and well built? What is it that makes one painted kitchens look cheap and another luxurious?

How do you set your kitchen apart?

The difference is in how you approach the details. Bespoke components add the substance to timber or painted kitchens, without feeling like a flimsy cardboard set.

These carved details not only make an impact in your home but are also essential for defining various classic kitchen styles such as Hamptons (coastal), Provincial, Contemporary Luxe and English Manor. Does your kitchen manufacturer produce these accents that add weight, elegance and a touch of luxury?

Use timber and painted features to add weight, style and warmth to your country kitchen renovation.

Let’s look at some components in detail to find out what exactly they are and what they can add to your country kitchen renovation.

1. Canopies


Half mantle featuring a combination of decorative and plain corbels.

A canopy is the part of the fireplace that protrudes forward in order to draw smoke upward and stop it dissipating in the room. In a kitchen context, this is where the range hood would be placed. Country kitchen canopies vary in style from very plain with few details for a farmhouse look or highly detailed for an English Manor effect.

2. Mantles

A mantle used to define a hood much the same as a canopy, but it has evolved to encapsulate the decorative elements above the fireplace (or range) often involving a display shelf of some description.

A half-mantle is most popular at Smith & Smith. It leaves plenty of bench space next to the cooktop for dishing up and does not dominate in small or medium sized kitchens.

In a country kitchen, it is important to allow room for displaying personal decorative or culinary items. One of the main aspects that separate a country kitchen from a sleek modern kitchen is the homely feel. The quickest and most effective way to create that homely feel is to put your personality on display via these decorative items.

Country Kitchen

Decorative canopy, mantle and chimney-breast. Note storage in either side of the chimney breast, display shelf as part of the mantle and the use of corbels to tie the look together.

3. Chimney-breasts

Door profiles don’t need to be highly detailed to create an impression.

Chimney-breasts protrude out from a wall in order to accommodate a flue for a fireplace. In modern country kitchens, chimney-breasts play a less structural and more decorative role.

A false chimney-breast in a kitchen context can provide a trove of hidden storage nooks as well as look the part. Consider pull-out spice racks either side of the range.

4. Half turned posts

A half turned post is simply a turned post sliced in half. I wonder if you’ve ever spotted one. Chances are you haven’t but have noticed that certain country kitchens just seem to ‘hang together’ well. Half turned posts are used as punctuation in country kitchens to end off a row of cabinets or to surround cabinetry that is separated from the main kitchen, yet ‘somehow’ (now we know how!) feels a part of it.

5. Plinths

Think of a plinth as a solid base for your cabinetry to sit on. Modern kitchens tuck ‘kickboards’ out of the way, but country kitchens celebrate the style and craftsmanship of yesteryear by bringing them forward. Modern kitchens have that floating, ethereal feel, but country kitchens should have a solid, built-to-last feel. It is the plinth that grounds a country kitchen.

If you are going to use plinths in your country kitchen, consider a smattering of regular kickboards also. They may be modern, but they are there for a reason! Without recessed kickboards, you will find your feet feel a lot bigger. Kickboards allow around 5cm additional space (compared to plinths) to tuck your toes under cabinets. This is good ergonomics as it allows you to be closer to your worktop, saving your back. Use plinths where you are not likely to stand for long periods.

Plynths, a classic door profile and no handles make this a thoroughly modern take on a classic style. A wall of cabinetry is very 2019.

6. Corbels

Corbels are essentially decorative brackets that are designed to support a structure above. There is a vast range of corbels; some of our corbels are highly decorative and used in French Provincial and English Manor style kitchens others are pared back and suited to transitional kitchens and farmhouse kitchen/meals area. Corbels can be large or small; they are generally used to support a canopy, shelf or under a bench top.

7. Reeded and Fluted Columns

Reeded and fluted columns also create punctuation in a country kitchen. They can break up monotonous lines of cabinetry or end off segments of the kitchen. They can be used around a range, as part of a panelled doorway or as surrounds to a wall unit. The effect of reeded or fluted columns is simple and linear, therefore, they sit well within any country kitchen style.


Reeding can be seen either side of the chimney-breast and as decorative cladding for the structural column.

8. Plate Racks

Can one have a country kitchen without a plate rack? Definitely! But who would give up such an easy opportunity to create warmth and homely style simply and effectively with a plate rack full of a dinner set personally selected by you?

Kitchen, Modern, Country, Concrete Floor

Personal style prevails in this rustic kitchen dresser. Warm it up with a distressed finish on the paintwork, natural timber lining boards and accents.

9. Benchtops

French Provincial Kitchen, Timber Benchtop

Timber bench tops work well around sinks.

French Provincial Kitchen, Timber Benchtop

Double bullnose, bow ended island bench-top.

Timber benchtops are an excellent choice for a country style kitchen. The grain and hue of the timber both add to the warming effect. Generally, when one thinks of a timber benchtop, swollen, wet areas around the sink come to mind. Timber benches are easy to care for if a sufficient coating of two-pack polyurethane is applied or if it has been properly oiled. Before you ask, two-pack polyurethane does not always have to be high gloss – matte, textured and satin finishes are also available.

Smith & Smith are one of the few kitchen manufacturers handcrafting timber benchtops in-house. Our polishers love to see the evolution of raw material to bespoke piece that is custom-made for your kitchen.

The style of your country kitchen generally determines the type of timber bench that will best fit your kitchen. Farmhouse kitchens generally include a plainer benchtop while provincial kitchens may feature an eye-catching bow ended, double bullnose bench-top. Click here for more information on our handcrafted bench-tops.

10. Doors

Doors are one of the most prominent features within your kitchen. Country style kitchens may feature plain shaker style doors, framed “V” groove doors or bolection mould doors. Painted, feature grain or refined grain timber doors are all possibilities. If you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed, never fear. Kitchen designers are well able to steer you through the design process and so long as you have a collection of kitchen pictures or features you love, you will get the look you are after. Click here for more information on doors.


Clean lines in a farmhouse kitchen. Simple square edged bench-top and minimalist shaker style corbels and doors.