If you're not a fan of super-polished, all-white spaces, a rustic kitchen might be right for you. This gorgeous — yet low-key — interior design style brings to mind countryside cool with barn wood, wide open spaces, and natural materials.
Rustic touches and wood floors — especially ones that feel weathered and worn — reign supreme in a farmhouse style or country kitchen design. The goal of these culinary spaces isn't to appear pristine. In fact, fresh-from-the-factory is not a rustic look. Instead, you'll see distressed dining tables repurposed as islands and vintage-inspired signs and kitchen decor alongside stone floors that could belong in the Italian bistros of yore. There will also almost always be features like milk glass, depression glass, and copper accents. And while neutral color palettes do play well with the aesthetic, bold colors blend even better.
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But just because you like this style doesn't mean your cook space can't feel fresh. The following modern rustic design ideas will prove our point.
1. Opt for traditional farmhouse kitchen details.
This rustic space from Katy at A Shade of Teal is perfect evidence that you can create a bucolic vibe in the kitchen — without feeling like you live in the country. The key is a traditional, barn-inspired door in the perfect natural stain, which pairs beautifully with barely-there-blue shiplap around the base of the island to create an outdoorsy effect.
2. Throw vintage-inspired accessories into the mix for a modern farmhouse feel.
Can't you hear the birds singing outside this white rustic kitchen by Amy from White Cottage Home & Living? Yes, the open wood shelving and glorious vent hood scream "country glam," but it's the vintage decor that makes this space feel truly rustic. White and green milk glass and the precious tea tray all feel like they were purchased at a local estate sale.
3. Lean into the lighting.
The sunny bay windows in this kitchen from blogger Liz at Love Grows Wild overlook an actual field — so it's no wonder the space feels rustic. But it's more than just the view. The country kitchen table, the vintage sign hanging above the window, and the metal factory pendant light work together to enhance the feeling of countryside bliss. As a final touch, the natural light creates the coziest effect.
4. Make sure to layer.
Sometimes, it's the little things — and lots of them — that make a rustic space feel just right. That's why star designer Leanne Ford gave her sister-in-law's cottage kitchen a layered vibe with the help of multiple objets d'art, gorgeous serving ware, and vintage terra cotta pots. There are so many stunning pieces to focus on, and together they make the small space feel distinguished and cozy.
5. Add a hint of color.
In this colorful space from Pia Capdevila, "busy" isn't a bad thing. The eclectic tile, wood elements, and casually styled shelves might remind you of your grandmother's country house and all that yummy comfort food, but the teal-blue cabinet adds a hint of modern rustic color. The gorgeous oversize black clock, mounted between the cabinet and the door, creates a dash of drama.
6. Create warmth with natural decor and accessories.
The raw wood ceiling beam hanging across this rustic kitchen from Root and Revel is the perfect addition to help transform an airy white space into farmhouse chic. To tie the room together, the tan brown shade is reflected in the leather counter stools at the island, the vintage bookcase, and wood cutting boards propped against the tile kitchen backsplash.
7. Add an exposed brick wall.
8. Make your island sophisticated.
Outfitted with a brass, elevated rustic island, salvaged oak and leather paneling, and reclaimed factory floorboards, this outstanding setup from De Rosee Sa pushes the bounds of the rustic aesthetic, proving that the customarily down-to-earth design can also be edgy and sophisticated.
9. Bring the outdoors in.
This rustic kitchen features a crisp white interior accentuated by stainless steel appliances and complementary metal barstools. But the design still manages to bring a bit of nature to the mix with an indoor log stand and wood trim on the island.
10. Go for rustic kitchen cabinets.
We love the raw, natural look of this small kitchen with unfinished wooden cabinets, window trim, and exposed ceiling beams. The pared-down decor and accessories create the perfect rustic-meets-minimalist vibe.
11. Put your DIY projects on display.
Nothing says rustic like adding a personal, hand-made accessory in the kitchen. A simple shelf (that you can DIY by following Hunker contributor Trisha Sprouse's tutorial here) will be functional and so cute.
12. Include a distressed centerpiece.
This kitchen from Kate Marker Interiors represents classic rustic style with a heavy emphasis on one of the signature characteristics: distressed furniture. You can get a similar look with a vintage island that will double as your cook space's focal point.
13. Mix it up with various natural finishes.
From the polished wooden floors to the dark wood cabinetry and exposed red brick wall, this rustic kitchen design from Chastity Cortijo doesn't hold back when it comes to pairing different types of natural finishes.
14. Design around a fireplace.
This outdoor kitchen by Mary Patton manages to feel warm and intimate by utilizing rustic features such as stone flooring, a wood plank ceiling, and wood furniture. And most importantly, all the details pair well with the true star: a white brick fireplace.
15. Go with a wood-burning oven.
It might be a bit aspirational for those of us who prefer to prepare our meals in a less laborious manner, but this cook space from deVOL Kitchens is stunning. For the rustic enthusiast looking to go all out with natural design, we recommend placing a wood-burning stove in the midst of your culinary hub.
16. Don't forget the ceiling.
The shiplap ceiling here is gorgeous on its own, but we love how the owners of this kitchen further accentuated the ceiling with mounted light fixtures and hanging baskets. This is proof that every part of a rustic cook space deserves a bit of love and decor.
17. Give the kitchen life with greenery.
Warmth practically emanates from this modern rustic design from deVOL Kitchens. And that's, in part, thanks to all of the greenery. You can get this look in your own home with indoor plants that thrive in the kitchen and a few herbs placed conveniently on your counters.
18. Choose woven seating options.
Here's another way to ensure your rustic kitchen design measures up: Get creative with the seating options. Blackband Design brightened up this cook space with a crisp white dinette set that features the sweetest woven chairs.
19. Incorporate copper accents.
This lovely black and white kitchen is a rustic lover's dream thanks to a stunning copper midcentury oven. Not ready to replace any appliances, though? Simply bring in the metallic accent with copper hardware for your cabinets.
20. Add an artistic touch with mosaic tile.
The creative use of mosaic tiles brings unmistakable individuality to a rustic kitchen with ease. And if you're open to a rustic kitchen with color, look for an eye-catching backsplash tile in a rich shade of blue.
21. Keep the shelving interesting.
Using unfinished, wood planks for open shelving will give your cook space the homey feel that rustic kitchens are known for. Consider going the DIY route to create your own simple storage, and get ready to display your favorite spices and cutlery.
22. Don't forget about the rugs.
Add a bit more flair to the kitchen area with a rustic rug that keeps in line with the theme of stylish, weathered accents. Try a vintage runner if your floor space is limited.
23. Add a little bit of luxe.
This Mel Bean Interiors kitchen incorporates marble countertops to elevate a rustic space with exposed beams, wood-paneled ceilings, and dark wooden flooring. Just a splash of luxury feels intentional and not overwhelming.
24. Paint your cabinets.
While making over her kitchen, Shelby of Farmhouse Living simply painted the cabinets with a few coats of sage green shellac. We think the new color makes a lovely pairing with the leather chairs, and the wooden accents and open shelves enhance the overall rustic feel.
25. Go with a stone accent wall.
The focal point in this kitchen from Blackband Design is the stunning stone accent wall. The striking detail adds yet another layer to the multi-textured room and beautifully contrasts with the wooden door and flooring. To get this look on a budget, simply add wallpaper that features a realistic stone print.
26. Get inspired by the seasons.
The burnt orange island, dark flooring, copper pot rack chandelier, and vibrant backsplash bring an unmistakable autumnal energy to this warm cook space from Mary Patton. Try incorporating a few seasonal touches like these in your own rustic kitchen.
27. Install natural accents in unexpected places.
Don't forget the nooks and crannies when it comes to incorporating rustic elements in your kitchen. We love the understated yet eye-catching wood-lined thresholds in this De Rosee Sa design. They're unexpected but oh-so good.
28. Go with wooden countertops.
The wooden countertops in this lovely Heidi Caillier design are equal parts earthy and functional. They provide a nice contrast between the painted dark blue cabinetry and vertical wood wall paneling.
29. Play up your neutrals.
The folks at Katie Marker Interiors kept this rustic kitchen aesthetic simple yet stylish. The neutral palette includes white ceiling and wall paint, an extended wooden island with a gray tabletop, natural wooden chevron flooring, and tall olive cabinetry with gold hardware. And yes — in the right space, olive green can work as a neutral.
30. Mix dark and light shades.
This combo of cool gray wall paint, rich wood countertops, and black cabinets from Studio Ten 25 shows that a rustic kitchen doesn't have to be overwhelmingly dark to feel cozy. Combine light and dark hues for the perfect balance.