Eight Elements of Perfect Rustic Kitchens

Sick and tired of slick, white, modern, minimalist, streamlined kitchens? (Or maybe you never liked them in the first place?) If the kitchen is the heart of the home, shouldn’t it be cozy, homey, warm and inviting? If that’s your mindset, then the rustic kitchen is your dream kitchen.

Rustic kitchens, AKA country or farmhouse kitchens, are the antithesis of modern, minimalist styles. Their charming style is defined by many elements; we’ve compiled a list of the eight features that are most necessary in creating the character-filled kitchen you desire.

The perfect rustic kitchen should include:

Weathered finishes

Distressed wood, weathered counters, patina’ed metals, textured walls. Older, worn-in fixtures give the room a lived-in look and feel as well as genuine character. Rustic style tends to avoid the uniformity and symmetry that has become popular in more modern decorating.

Rustic Kitchen by Witt Construction
Herbeau Valence Single Hole Mixer with Handspray
Rustic Kitchen by The Workshops of David T. Smith
Rustic Kitchen by Highline Partners, Ltd

Architecture and fixtures

The shapes of the kitchen fittings – and the kitchen itself – must fit the rustic scheme. Vintage and country-inspired faucets, light fixtures, pot racks, bridge or wall-mount faucets, apron-front (farmhouse) sinks, arched walls… pick one or all for a truly rustic result.

Rustic Kitchen by NICOLEHOLLIS
Cifial Highlands Hi-Rise Exposed Pillar Kitchen Faucet
Shabby Chic Dining Room by Thompson Custom Homes
Kalco Lighting Lighted Potrack
Photo by Peter Vitale Photography
Sonoma Forge Brut Kitchen Faucet with Side Spray
Kalco Lighting Lighted Potrack
Rohl Sink & Faucets, image via Rohl

(Shown: Rohl Shaws Original Fireclay SinkRohl Country 3-Leg Bridge Faucet in Tuscan Brass, Rohl Column Spout Filter Faucet in Tuscan Brass)

Vintage touches

Sometimes it’s the small touches that are most necessary for proper decor schemes. Rustic hardware and accessories – like roosters and weather vanes – effectively up the charm factor in any kitchen.

Rustic Kitchen by Slifer Designs
Farmhouse Kitchen by Bruce Kading Interior Design

Copper

Every rustic kitchen should ideally feature copper. Its warm hue, natural patina over time, and farmhouse feel – copper pots hanging from the ceiling, anyone? – make it a rustic staple.

Fixtures and photo by Rohl

(Shown: Rohl Single Bowl Kitchen Sink in Stainless Copper, Rohl Perrin & Rowe 4-Hole Kitchen Faucet with Sidespray with matching filter faucet and soap dispenser)

Sierra Copper Sonoma Copper Bar Sink
Native Trails Hammered Copper Range Hood
Sierra Copper Hampton Apron-Front Sink

Farm elements

Farmhouse kitchens should – obviously – feature farmhouse-inspired pieces. Farmhouse sinks, farm tables, art or accessories associated with farms… if it belongs in a true farm kitchen, it belongs in your rustic kitchen.

Farmhouse Kitchen by Wendi Young Design
Native Trails NativeStone Concrete Farmhouse Kitchen Sink
Photo by V.I.Photography & Design
Farmhouse Dining Room by Lisa Gildar Interior Spaces

Back to nature

Let it all hang out. Leave (or add) exposed brick or beams and incorporate natural materials such as slate and soapstone (a material that also gets points for the “patina” category).

Kitchen by Whitten Architects
Kitchen by Spot Design, Inc.
Photo by Colin Cadle Photography
Rustic Kitchen by chas architects
Farmhouse Kitchen by Hill Farm Furniture Ltd

Fire

In the good old days, farm wives cooked over real fires (and not the gas-powered ones found on today’s ranges). While you shouldn’t give up the convenience of modern cooking for the sake of style, try adding a fireplace or furnace (or an awesome pot-bellied stove) for crackling warmth and comfort.

Farmhouse Kitchen by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
Rustic Kitchen by Don Ziebell
Farmhouse Kitchen by Digital Architecture Inc

Authenticity

This one’s the most important. Try to picture this kitchen with stainless steel appliances:

Rustic Kitchen by Teton Heritage Builders
The effect would not be nearly as striking. Try to keep everything as close to the design theme as possible – authentic finishes, enameled or panel-ready appliances, attention to detail. If it’s not authentic, it won’t be as genuine as you’d like it to be.
What’s your take on rustic kitchens? Do you dream of one or would you rather stick with more contemporary design?

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