We’re exploring an eclectic mix of rustic country kitchen inspiration, decorating ideas and shopping resources, and maybe you’ll find ideas to steal a look or two. Rustic design elements often come into play whether it’s English Country style, French Country loveliness, Nordic French beauty, or Belgian chic. There’s a down to earth, gritty realness to a variety of rustic features, and they often feel right at home in otherwise elegant spaces. Consider this varied range of kitchen design styles and decide on a fav!
Rustic Country Kitchen Ideas to Learn the Look
You’ll see that there isn’t a singular way to design a rustic country kitchen. In fact, we’ll take “rustic” to simply describe those elements that aren’t polished, perfect, glossy, bling-y, glam, synthetic, fancy, or formal.
Emphasis on Natural Materials
Rustic kitchen design elements often include natural materials like wicker, rattan, jute, and seagrass. Aren’t these glorious examples in Desiree’s Cotswolds inspired kitchen with its reclaimed wood ceiling?
These add rustic charm too in a Leanne Ford designed farmhouse kitchen:
Imagine how this deVOL kitchen would feel were the walls newly drywalled…
Wood on walls, ceilings, backsplashes, and floors is an excellent way to inject rustic texture.
Sometimes rustic is an attitude…Jocelyn Sinauer’s kitchen has always been a favorite of mine because of its effortless chic. Not even styled photos feel contrived!
But plaster is another option for adding texture. (Jill Egan’s elegant European country kitchen above features rustic accents and rugged materials like stone, but it is certainly not a typical rustic country kitchen!)
Antiques, Vintage & Reclaimed Materials
Rustic country kitchens often have a sense of age, and that is not easily faked with reproductions or even intentional distressing.
Remember in the late 90s when homeowners were distressing new cabinets with hammers and chains and massaging them with antiquing glaze? Unless you’re a gifted artist, it’s not the best option. Rather, source old beams, antique cupboards, vintage lighting, and other authentic pieces from the past to incorporate into your design.
A collection of vintage or antique ironstone? So humble and so beautiful for adding non-fussy rustic charm when you love the color white.
Of course if you have an antique bakers table from France…build a design around it!
But ironstone or even a collection of marble mortars are far easier to locate!
Add Playful Whimsical Kitchen Moments
By whimsy, we don’t mean those wood signs that are everywhere in the marketplace declaring “eat” or “French kitchen” or “kiss the cook.”
But a collection of mismatched china or plates on the wall can be a pleasingly whimsical installation on the wall.
Even a mix of cabinetry styles can be whimsical when the overall design looks as good the one above and below.
Even lighting can add whimsy…
Notice how the assorted decorations and essentials on these shelves are imperfectly placed:
Little objects that make you smile when you see them can be weaved into whimsical vignettes.
Unfitted Kitchen Designs
It’s an unusual approach for many Americans designing a kitchen, but before kitchens were simply wall-to-wall boxy cabinet rooms, they contained individual unfitted elements.
A combination of fitted and unfitted is often a winning one.
I love the idea of adding a furniture piece like this to use as a larder or pantry:
You can find them locally because so many folks are getting rid of such heavy, oversized pieces! An absence of upper cabinets can also add a rustic layer…
Linen & Rustic Textiles
This rustic design look like Brooke Giannetti’s below is one I admired enough to incorporate into my own country kitchen design.
Adding linen or other unfussy fabrics and upholstery can keep the mood casual and laid back.
My favorite woven pendants with a rustic look are found HERE.
Rustic Accents & Decor
The details matter too, and shopping for the right rustic accents and decorations can be fun but also challenging.
If you’re shopping for vintage items, it can take time to find the just right pieces.
But the access to beautiful handmade and handcrafted items online now is incredible. Have you seen the beautiful examples curated by Jenni Kayne for Olive Ateliers?
I found my own urn from Shabby Chic Couture by Rachel Ashwell.
Even those once hard-to-source items like artisan lighting are within reach thanks to Etsy and custom kitchenware sources such as deVOL.
If online shopping aint yer jam, you can always make a trip of it and travel to markets in Europe! I spy lots of treasures in this French kitchen:
Your local antique mall may have everything you need too.
The easiest way to add instant rusticity to your countertop? Beautiful wood cutting boards, charcuterie boards, or bread boards:
They’re easy to find, useful, and look great in multiples too.
Another addition that will add a layer of rusticity is a rugged farm table, orchard table, or harvest table.
Ours has served us so well!
And when you want a break from its woodsy ruggedness, cover it with a pretty cloth.
Ceiling Details for Rusticity
We often forget about ceilings and their potential as a layer in the mix.
So many gorgeous examples of charming country kitchens with texture on the ceiling:
There are even companies who specialize now in the production of faux beams that can fool anyone.
Sometimes it is about uncovering what’s already there!
But plenty of other times it involves thoughtful consideration, shopping, and calling upon artisans for help.
In our former kitchen, the ceiling was low, and wood beams were not something I wanted. But I hated the swirly 90s textured ceiling so I went in the opposite direction and plastered that ceiling myself! I don’t have many photos of it so use your imagination!
This would have been swell to uncover:
And just as charming? A pristinely perfect architecturally magnificent ceiling paired with rustic design elements:
Add a Rustic Branch, Plant or Topiary
Is it really so simple?
Why yes, yes it is. Even dried, straight from the wild overgrowth outside your door will do…
If you follow Loi of Tone on Tone on IG, then you know about his gardening and way with myrtle. But even if you’re less topiary-savvy, look for organic elements to display casually.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Rustic Cozy Finds to Shop the Look
Tips for Designing a Kitchen With Old World Style
Peace to you right where you are.
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