Blog by Beebe Cline

<< back to article list

15 Ways to Cozy Up a Kitchen With Rustic Style

“Worn," "distressed," "rough hewn" — these are not the first words that come to mind when we think of kitchens today. While crisp white cabinets, polished nickel hardware and beautiful marble countertops are on trend these days, a rustic kitchen will always provide the comfort of a piping hot bowl of macaroni and cheese on a cold night. More words that describe the look are "well worn," "patinated," "antiqued," "homey" and "reclaimed." See if you'd like to try any of these ideas to cozy up your kitchen.
Light a fire. The number-one cozy element in a kitchen is a toasty hearth. While adding a full fireplace is a big intervention, today's woodstoves and fireboxes don't require a major renovation.

Learn about clean-burning woodstoves
Shop beyond the typical appliance options. Standard white, black and stainless steel appliances can take away from the rustic look. Appliances now come in a range of colors and cabinet-front options that won't detract from the cozy atmosphere.
Look to antique precedents for inspiration. A combination of distressed cabinets, curly maple counters, a worn farmhouse table, a metal candle chandelier and a soapstone sink make me think Ma Ingalls is going to come around the corner with her famous sourdough bread.
Choose elements that show their age. Rough-hewn timber beams and a slate floor give this kitchen a rustic look from top to bottom. In between, cabinetmakers repurposed the green cabinets from an antique hutch.

See the rest of this house
Pay attention to architecture. A brick arch, stone wall, wood ceiling and recessed range plus exposed rafters pull together to give this kitchen a European country-house look. Details help too; the bull's head sculpture is from an old French butcher's shop.
Pair wood finishes with warm hues. This rich red island helps tie together the Oriental runners, wood countertops, ceiling coffers and cabinets. Copper pendants add patina and glow.
You (almost) cannot have too much wood. You can use wood from floor to cabinets to ceiling, just be sure to break it up a little with countertops and a backsplash of a different material. Note the way the space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling adds contrast and definition.
Add vintage-style touches. A reclaimed sink, an enamel stove and old-fashioned cabinet latches give this kitchen much of its vintage charm.
Consider a rustic wall treatment. This kitchen's walls have been painted to give the illusion of texture and age.
Consider reclaimed wood for your countertops. A couple of coats of polyurethane will keep wood countertops protected from spills and rotting. If you're renovating an older home, look in the attic for beautiful old floorboards to use for countertops.

See more tips for wood countertops in the kitchen
Use barn lighting. Gooseneck pendants and barn sconces add a rural feel. This kitchen also has a copper sink, another classic rustic touch.
If you're afraid a rustic kitchen will be too dark, forgo upper cabinets for windows to let in the light.
Add a cozy spot for gathering and eating meals. Dining in the kitchen is one of the coziest things you can do, no matter what your kitchen's style. It doesn't matter if it's a small table, a large island or a built-in breakfast nook.
Explore different finishes. This faucet has a mahogany bronze finish; check out options like antique brass, unlacquered brass, architectural bronze, antique copper and shiny brass.
Bring in textiles. You can go for upholstered counter stools or kitchen chairs, seat cushions, rugs and tablecloths.
A rustic kitchen does not have to be dark. You can combine your light-colored-kitchen dreams with rustic elements like reclaimed wood on the island or countertops, exposed ceiling beams and a hardwood floor. This kitchen has a transitional look that brings in the best of both styles.