Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

What is a Rustic Style Kitchen?

Over the last decade there has been an increase in design styles and choices for spaces that once held to a more traditional one such as the kitchen. Homeowners are enjoying the freedom of expression through bolder color choices, blending of styles, and various materials. Some have even enjoyed bringing back design elements that harken back to an older time filled with character and charm such as the rustic kitchen style. Several of our clients have enjoyed incorporating these elements into their own kitchen but to some it may not be a style that they are familiar with. Let’s explore what a rustic kitchen is, what makes it unique and how you can have this look in your own kitchen.

What is a rustic kitchen?

The word “rustic” tends to produce images of live edge tables, brick textures, and lots of dark wood but there is so much more. A rustic kitchen has a warm and inviting atmosphere that immediately sets people at ease. It does not mean a dark space that is filled with your great grandparents’ kitchen decor. It can be fresh and bright with a variety of design elements that may be inspired by the rustic vibe such as glass front cabinet doors or a stone backsplash. It is a style inspired by the elegant beauty of nature and our rich heritage of yesterday when pioneers hewed out a place of their own in the vast expanse of the new world. Some of the prominent and traditional materials used include:

  • Apron front sinks
  • Live edge pieces such as tables and floating shelves
  • Nature inspired colors
  • Natural stone countertops
  • Copper
  • Glass
  • Wood beams

Each of these things represent character and charm that emphasizes stability and security, two qualities enjoyed in the heart of the home. If you are looking for classic character and an inviting environment to gather with your family, the rustic kitchen style is for you.

Elements of a rustic kitchen

Although we have already mentioned the design elements in a rustic kitchen design, let’s dig a little deeper into what they are and how they can be blended together to create a character rich atmosphere. Color is an important part of any design as it influences the mood and just because nature is the inspiration behind a rustic kitchen color palette doesn’t mean it is boring or bland. From neutrals like gray, white, and creme to the earth shades like browns, amber, and charcoal, there are a few pops of surprise you can add such as a little red, orange, and even a touch of green. Combining these colors together you can add visual interest or bold contrast that still has cozy vibes but with confidence. Texture is another fun element in design that instantly adds a little extra to the space. This can be incorporated into the backsplash by using natural stone tile, even ones that are uneven or through countertops like granite or travertine. Some homeowners have even enjoyed using tile or old brick as their countertop which brings character to the kitchen. The is an essential part to the kitchen design and some of the favorite options in a rustic design include an apron front sink that can be purchased in stainless steel, porcelain, or copper. Choosing a copper sink has its pros and cons, the color is stunning and makes a great focal point but copper can be sensitive to acid, heat, and harsh cleaning products so be sure to test small areas before scrubbing it down. Some of the pros include it is naturally antibacterial and it is durable. Read more about a copper sink and whether it is a good fit for you in this article by Quality Bath. Wood is a natural fit for a rustic style kitchen and really plays a key role in creating just the right look. It adds so much to the design and can be paired with multiple elements to enhance the atmosphere. Glass front cabinets are a show stopper as they allow you to showcase your favorite pieces especially when LED strips are added. Thick butcher block countertops are another wonderful option in a rustic kitchen and are a functional design choice since you can cut and serve right from them. Wood beams are a great touch to the kitchen even if they are not needed for load bearing they can still be included in the design. Be sure to talk to your designer about all of your options.

More rustic kitchen design ideas

There are more details you can select to help decorate and enhance the rustic kitchen vibes for your new space. Barn doors are finding their way more and more into the home instead of in an actual barn and they would make a wonderful accent piece for your kitchen. They can be used as a pantry door or scullery kitchen area which will instantly add character and charm to the entire space. Closed cabinets provide great storage and allow you to hide certain things but with a rustic kitchen don’t be afraid to leave a little space for some open shelving, a feature that was prominent in the kitchens of the old west. You can place beautiful canisters, cookbooks, or even mixing bowls on them as part of the decor plus within easy reach. Lighting is another critical element and it provides a wonderful opportunity to have a little fun or vintage vibe to your rustic kitchen. Using fixtures with wrought iron, reclaimed wood, and textured glass give an added touch to the atmosphere. You can even buy oversized bulbs or ones that have an older or unique look to them for special effect. Don’t forget about the hardware, this is often the jewel of the cabinets but also a chance to add another dimension to them. Consider finishes like oil rubbed bronze or other darker finishes. Together these final details can complete the look of your rustic kitchen design.

A rustic style kitchen

Cozy, comfortable, charming, words that don’t just describe the rustic design style but perfectly represent what the heart of the home should be for everyone. It is usually the favorite gathering place because it is where food is shared and memories made. This style’s priority is casual connection, where everyone is welcome and there is always room at the table. By selecting certain details you can easily personalize it to represent your family and tell your story. It is a mixture of the past with the promise of tomorrow. Talk to your designer about the rustic kitchen style and explore places like Pinterest and Houzz to see examples of this timeless style that could be just right for you.