Rustic kitchens make use of a variety of accents including natural wood, repurposed aged wood, stone, and muted earth tone colorations.
Whether you are working with a very small kitchen or simply want to turn your modern or contemporary kitchen into a rustic haven, there are a variety of ways you can bring a touch of rustic charm into your home.
Rustic touches can include anything from copper kettles and pots, to live-edge countertops and tabletops. Additionally, mixing certain bright colors such as royal blue or apple red can bring a level of country charm to the kitchen you may not have thought possible.
Decorating your small rustic kitchen doesn't have to be difficult, and you can make use of a wide range of structural accents in the room as well such as exposed wood trusses and support logs.
1. Use a kitchen island to add more counter space
While your kitchen might be small, adding a kitchen island or other centerpiece counter top can be a great way to make it feel larger. At the same time, it gives you more room to prepare food or present baked goods during holidays and family gatherings.
2. Display wine bottles on custom wall holders
If you love having wine present, but can’t find a good way to display it, consider adding a unique wall mounted slanted bottle holder. This frees up plenty of cabinet space and eliminates the need for cellar storage or under-cabinet bottle racks.
3. Make use of horizontal wood slat decor styles
Horizontal wood slats for your cabinetry can blend amazingly well with horizontal structural support beams along your ceiling or the edges of the room. Match the wood grains closely for a combined look, or go with a drastic contrast to make the whole room pop with rustic charm and elegance.
4. Add decorative linked logs for eye catching decor
Non-structural linked natural wood logs can create an eye-catching accent to any room in your home. These logs work exceptionally well in kitchens, especially if you combine them with copper ceiling-hung pots and pans or make use of antler chandeliers.
5. Use light colored paint to make the room feel larger
If your kitchen is on the smaller side, use light colored paint and ample lighting to make the whole room feel larger. By reducing the amount of shadows in the room, you can open it up and give the whole area a spacious and airy feel.
6. Use exposed knotted wood for a rustic charm
All natural knotted wood can look amazing on cabinetry in your cabin or lodge. This wood aesthetic works well with darker woods such as dark walnut, cherry, or mahogany. You can also dark stain naturally light wood to bring out the unique knots and grains. This works exceptionally well with pine, oak and maple.
7. Add a combined kitchen hutch for your main counter tops
If you don’t have standard kitchen countertops or have no desire to install them, consider using a combined kitchen hutch instead. These versatile pieces of furniture offer you a sink, counter space, and eye-level cabinet options for storing all of your kitchen appliances and dinnerware.
8. Go for a variety of textures for a rustic feel
Don’t be afraid to combine a variety of different textures to get the rustic charm you are searching for. Light aged wood, modern high-gloss wood, brick, stone, and plaster all combine nicely to create a unique rustic feel in your kitchen.
9. Match your cabinets to your walls for rustic elegance
If you are fond of a certain color, you can use various shades of it throughout your kitchen. For example, beige can be found in a wide range of shades which all blend nicely with each other. Try using various shades on your cabinets, walls, and other decorative accents.
10. Use repurposed barn wood as a kitchen backsplash
Many rustic kitchens just don’t feel complete without using some repurposed barn wood. This aged wood brings a unique charm to any room of your home, and in the kitchen it works amazingly well as a backsplash, cabinet fronts, or kickboards.
11. Give your cabinets a rustic patina coloration
Your wood doesn’t have to be repurposed to have that aged look. Use a wire brush to scrape off some paint and add unique patterns into the wood, then brush on a patina wood stain to give it that aged look quickly and easily.
12. Use apple red colors to make a room pop
When you’re looking for rustic charm, you can’t go wrong by combining bright apple red colors to your kitchen. Rugs, pitchers, wood stains, and appliances all have that rustic charm and country feel when done in brighter red colorations.
13. Blend rustic wood decor with natural ston
Bringing the outdoors in can be a great way to turn your kitchen into a rustic haven. Make use of all natural stone and wood accents to not only make your kitchen feel more naturalistic, but to also create a unique and one of a kind decor.
14. Use light colors and wood tones for an airy feel
Light colored wood, such as birch or white oak, can pair exceptionally well with breezy paint colors such as sky blue. Both of these colors help give your kitchen an open and airy feel which in turn can make small spaces feel larger than they are.
15. Dark blue colors can make a room feel cozy
Blue is a very versatile color which is why it is one of the more popular color choices in home decor. Adding a variety of dark blue accents to your kitchen can make it feel cozy and warm. This color palette may be especially comforting in colder climates too!
16. Chrome accents can really help draw your eye
Don’t underestimate the power of shiny chrome in your rustic kitchen. Chrome pairs well with any color palette, wood grain, or stone type and is a great centerpiece to draw your eye. Consider adding chrome appliances, sinks, or decorative accents to spice up your kitchen.
17. Embrace flea market and antique shop finds
If you’re looking for that everlasting rustic cabin charm, don’t forget to do some shopping at antique shops and flea markets. You can find some antique appliances or furniture that will work amazingly well in your small rustic kitchen.
18. Use dark natural wood as a bold contrast
If you aren’t ready to go all the way into a rustic kitchen, you can add a few dark natural wood accents to your modern or contemporary kitchen to get started. Consider adding rustic wood cabinet fronts, pantry doors, or stove exhaust covers to see how it looks.
19. Color coordinate adjacent rooms for a larger feel
For homes with more open floor plans, you can make your kitchen space feel much larger than it is by letting your kitchen color choice blend into other adjacent rooms such as the dining room, foyer, or living area.
20. Use floating shelves instead of cabinets
Cabinets can make a kitchen feel closed off and private, and in some cases, open front cabinets just don’t look right. Instead, try using floating shelves in place of standard cabinets to create an open and welcoming feel in your room.
21. Make use of wicker, copper, and antique decor
Rustic accents can come from many different items. Don’t overlook copper pots, pans and kettles. Additionally, furniture that uses wicker accents can blend in very well with any rustic decor. Also keep an eye open for antique sideboards, cabinets, and hutches to add to your kitchen.
22. Combine antique cabinets with rustic lighting
Antique open front cabinets are a unique and versatile item to have in your kitchen. Pair them with unique rustic styled lighting to help give your kitchen a charming look. Additionally, you can tie these two pieces together by making them the same color to help pull the kitchen together.
23. Bold dark colors contrast well with natural wood accents
If your kitchen has an abundance of natural dark wood grains, consider going for bold colored cabinets, tables, and appliances. This dark and natural combination pairs nicely and gives your kitchen a warm and cozy rustic feel.
24. Don’t be afraid to mix primary colors for rustic charm
Instead of sticking with a single color choice, try mixing a few brighter color palettes together to see how they work. Primary colors such as reds, blues, and greens can combine well to not only make your kitchen feel welcoming, but can also give it a touch of rustic whimsy.
25. Bold black and white color contrasts work together nicely
If bright primary colors aren’t your speed, consider the classic black and white combination. These two bold extremes have always worked well together and it’s no different in your rustic kitchen. Go with white on your walls and ceiling, then use black for your appliances and furniture.
26. Sky blue pairs well with floral accents and decor
No kitchen is complete without at least a few floral accents in some form. Pairing those floral accents or decor items with a light sky blue works amazingly well. If blue isn't your style, pastel red, pale green, and muted coral works well too.
27. Bring natural floral decor and tree boughs inside
Most rustic country kitchens have at least a bouquet of wildflowers on the breakfast table. It adds that extra dash of country charm to the room. You can also add dried vine wreaths, evergreen boughs, herbs, and other floral accents to your kitchen.
28. Ceiling hung shelving is more attractive than cabinets
In some kitchens, having vertical cabinets suspended from the ceiling is a better look than the boxy feel of closed cabinets. If you are looking for a lighter and more delicate way to store your dinnerware and small appliances, consider going with open shelving options instead.
29. Use exposed roof trusses as part of the interior decor
In kitchens where the roof trusses are exposed, you can use these to your advantage. Incorporate the natural wood designs into your decor by contrasting it with ceiling paint, or cabinet choices. You can’t go wrong with this rustic accent in your kitchen!
30. Use beige or off-white with natural earth tones
Pale earth tones and beige or off-white colors work together exceptionally well. Consider using a natural stone backsplash, or blending your sandstone countertops with beige, eggshell, or ivory colored paint or wood stains to get a unique rustic combination of color themes.
31. Use homemade lamp shades as a centerpiece
Sometimes, a homemade item can add that little extra something to your rustic kitchen. Lampshades are commonly handmade, but are often overlooked when designing your space. Try finding hammered tin, wire wrapped, knotted wood or woven grapevine lamp shades for a unique rustic touch.
32. Add dashes of geometric color for a stylish look
While bright colors may not always mix well with rustic shades, muted tones can work very well in most kitchens. For example, pale yellow, terra cotta, sand, and most earth tones can be all the color you need to add a bit of country charm to your rustic kitchen.
33. Live-edge countertops add rustic elegance
While it might be viewed as more of an investment, don’t overlook the versatility live edge countertops can bring to your rustic kitchen. These extremely durable and elegant countertops provide a unique wood grain that mixes well with any kitchen theme.