7 Design Elements of Rustic Kitchens

7 Design Elements of Rustic Kitchens

The rustic kitchen is a statement of freedom, style and taste. Rather than going for the most recent technology, modern clean lines and lots of chrome, the rustic kitchen hearkens back to simpler times. The rustic kitchen is designed for warmth, comfort and functionality in this busiest of spaces in the home. Here are some elements of a rustic kitchen.

Open Shelves

Open shelves are strongly favored in rustic kitchens for their simplicity and utility.  An open shelf makes placing and retrieving items easier and faster, making for an efficient cooking experience. It also allows for accessorizing with dishware as on display. Open shelving works well for small sized kitchens as it creates the illusion of a roomier kitchen. However, it is good to remember that clutter and disorganization can make this look bad.

Soft Colours

Whites and creams go well with the rustic look. Hard white can be featured on the wooden surfaces and other furniture while fabrics like the tablecloth or dishcloths can be soft yellow, cream or light khaki. Earthy tones like brown and tan look good on the floor.

Apron Front Sinks

These classic sinks are called apron fronts for a good reason. They have a shallow face which necessitates wearing an apron. The deep sink was also designed for utility as it can hold a large number of utensils. Modern versions with decorative styling are becoming popular with those who favor the simplicity of installing and using these working spaces.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has the earthy warm feel of a country cottage. Solid hardwood works best especially if it is unfinished and bare for the wood grain to show. Other materials that can achieve this look include laminate and vintage tiles.


A beadboard has a big visual effect in a kitchen. A beadboard with grooved paneling adds texture to the wall and the cabinets. For a more rustic look, it can be sanded for a distressed texture, or painted a classic cream colour.  It completes the visual effect very well when painted in the same color as the cabinetry.

Pendant Lights & Lamps

Pendant lights have a warm feel and have a classic look.  LED lamps with softer lighting can be used with shades of frosted glass. Decorative electric vintage lamps will complement this kind of lighting very well.

Kitchen Furniture

Before wall cabinets, there were free-standing furniture items like sideboards, cupboards and armoires. Built-in furniture can be given this look, for example, by having bun feet under the lower cabinets. Painting contrasting colours on items standing next to each other on built-in hatches can trick the eye into thinking that they are not attached to any items in the kitchen.