Country kitchen ideas to add rustic appeal to the heart of the home

Whether you're in an urban or rural location, here's how to achieve the country feel in your kitchen
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  • A kitchen is more than just another room in the house. It’s the place we gather, eat, and spend time with family and friends. No style creates this ‘heart of the home’ feel quite like country kitchen ideas.

    From farmhouses to cottages, all the way to city homes with a country style, rural kitchen ideas bring a sense of familiar joy to a space. There are many ways you can go with this angle – from cottagecore all the way to sleek and chic. Knowing what makes a country kitchen will help you inject elements into your own – whatever the style.

    The latest looks are all about taking the relaxed vibe of country style, but adding that all important designer edge. Think brass accents, fluted details, lustred glass, wrap-around islands and earthy colours – from olive to orange.

    Country kitchen ideas

    Use this inspiration to discover how to make country kitchen ideas work for your home.

    1. Add an oversized island

    Kitchen with oversized burgundy island and three pendant lights

    Image credit: Harvey Jones

    Classic farmhouse kitchens traditionally would have a large island in the centre. This space would be large enough for preparing all the food from scratch, as well as acting as a place to gather.

    Take inspiration from this style and insert the largest island your kitchen can comfortably fit. Kitchen layouts should always be carefully planned out. Remember that you should try and leave one metre walkway on at least two sides of an island for ease of movement.

    For an extra dose of country style, choose a thick granite or marble top, and a built-in wooden butcher’s block.

    2. Add interest to natural materials

    Kitchen with wooden cabinetry in brown, natural and grey

    Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens

    Natural materials are at the front and centre of country kitchen ideas. However, you don’t have to stick with exactly what nature offers you. Take note of kitchen trends, but with rural style in mind.

    Timber cabinetry can show off its natural beauty just as well but with added interest through colours. Look to stains which don’t cover up the pretty natural imperfections and permutations. Try using a couple of different colours across the cabinetry – tiled splashbacks are a great way to link them together.

    3. Choose classic flooring

    Blue kitchen with large floor tiles and sink over Belfast sink

    Image credit: Quorn Stone

    There are a few main country kitchen flooring ideas, but the classic stone and stone effect tiles are always a winner.

    Make sure to consider the sizing of the tiles and the grouting, not just the appearance of the stone. ‘Contrary to belief we often find a larger tile can work well at giving the illusion of a larger space in smaller kitchen,’ says Isabel Fernandez, Director, Quorn Stone. ‘A smaller tile results in lots of grout joints which can enclose the space and detract the eye from the tile.’

    ‘We often suggest a 900 x 600 tile as it is a versatile size that works well in both smaller and larger areas. If you choose a complementary grout colour it makes the grout less noticeable which again helps to open the space out.’

    4. Include open storage

    White kitchen with open shelving, green cabinetry and cream stove

    Image credit: Olive & Barr

    In traditional rustic kitchen ideas, you’ll often see the inclusion of open storage. As well as nodding nicely to classic rural looks, this is a stylish and practical choice, too.

    Use a small amount of open storage to display your favourite pieces – perhaps seasonal crockery and pretty china, or simply your favourite mugs. Then keep the rest of the kitchen as having closed storage. This way you can tuck away any muss and fuss, giving the space a sleeker look and achieving a more modern version of country style.

    5. Make it sociable

    White kitchen with red brown island

    Image credit: Second Nature Kitchens

    These days, a kitchen is rarely a room simply for prepping food. With many homes eschewing dining rooms altogether, the kitchen is the place to gather, eat and entertain. It’s also where the kids sit down after school, a place to work from home, or to meet for a quick chat over a glass of wine in the evening.

    Because of this, modern country kitchen ideas need to be able to accommodate anything that life might through at them. Layout is key, and you can have fun finding a unique style to suit your needs. Breakfast nooks are a great example. Window seats are a classic way of integrating these into country kitchens, but you can also add in seating to an L-shaped island, for seating right in the centre of the action.

    6. Embrace simplicity

    White kitchen with natural materials and three oversized pendant lights

    Image credit: Magnet Kitchens

    When a lot of people consider country style, they might think of fussy, homey rooms. But these days country has more in common with Scandi kitchen ideas than you might think.

    Go for a restrained palette, adding interest and dimension using natural textures, rather than more colours. Simple, sleek cabinetry will set the look off well. Think more California farmhouse than Old English cottage.

    7. Add a flash of bold colour

    A country kitchen with dark cabinets, exposed brick wall and an orange vintage fridge

    Image credit: Harvey Jones

    ‘We’re anticipating braver colours in the kitchen this year, particularly ocean blues, botanical greens and zesty oranges,’ says Harvey Jones’ head of design, Melissa Klink.

    You may be cautious about experimenting with bright colours, especially if you’re looking at small kitchen ideas. But why not try incorporating pops of colour into white or cream kitchen ideas to bring it to life?

    ‘In a country kitchen, use a neutral base of charcoal, white or natural wood to stop bold shades overpowering. Balancing strong colour with more restful materials is the secret to a liveable kitchen that will last beyond trends.’

    8. Celebrate the comeback of dark wood

    A dark wood country kitchen with built in ovens and an island with marble worktop

    Image credit: The Secret Drawer Company

    Traditional country kitchen ideas, such as deep-toned woods like walnut and mahogany, are set to return. ‘We’ve seen a surge in requests for dark timbers,’ says Emily Chew, senior furniture designer at The Secret Drawer.

    ‘We love how they add depth and natural richness, not to mention a nod to the past, which is just perfect for older country homes.’ Here, the rich walnut island unit has been beautifully paired with Farrow & Ball’s Mahogany paint on the wall cabinets.

    9. Introduce fluted glass

    A close-up shot of dark green glass fronted cabinets

    Image credit: Davenport

    Forget frosted or opalescent glass – fluted glazing is the way forward. This touch works beautifully in just about every kitchen style, from sleek and contemporary to Shaker kitchen ideas.

    ‘Set into wall cabinets or internal panels, such as room dividers between the kitchen and a pantry, fluted glass helps to maximise the flow of daylight through a space and fits with the industrial aesthetic that is trending right now,’ says Richard Davonport, the managing director of Davonport.

    10. Include statement lighting

    A statement ceiling light above a dark kitchen island with black bar stools

    Image credit: Wren Kitchens

    Statement lighting is making its mark throughout the home, but nowhere more so than in the kitchen, where the switch from practical downlights to glam fittings is especially dynamic. For impact, go for outsized kitchen lighting ideas and designs in luxe materials and striking shapes.

    Make sure your chosen piece isn’t competing for the limelight by installing a low-key extractor hood – a downdraft or flush in-ceiling extractor is best. Add adjustable wall lights above key prep areas to ensure you’re not chopping in the shadows.

    11. Try white all over

    A white kitchen with an alcove in the chimney breast and an island below pendant lights

    Image credit: Burbidge and Son Kitchen Makers/Jon Day

    White-on-white schemes will never date but a new confidence with texture is adding depth and interest to paler palettes. ‘Contrast matte painted units with a high-shine splashback, or pair a stone worktop with modern gloss cabinets,’ suggests Ben Burbidge, managing director of Kitchen Makers.

    The chalkiness of encaustic cement is velvety soft, while polished metals provide cool smoothness for taps and handles. ‘Mixing in rustic materials like brushed timber and burnished copper can bring a white kitchen to life,’ adds Ben.

    12. Double up the space

    A large, open plan kitchen with a marble island, wooden dining table and white pendant lights

    Image credit: Blakes London

    ‘Now open-plan living is de rigueur, kitchen design is evolving towards creating ever-more sociable spaces,’ says Jamie Blake of Blakes London.

    ‘A big layout trend is essentially to design two kitchens. The main part functions as an elegant space for entertaining, cooking, and perhaps working. We then create a smaller, more functional, pantry-style kitchen where more practical elements of cooking can be tucked away.’

    13. Make your sink the star

    A kitchen sink area with wooden cupboards and dark brown wallsImage credit: deVOL

    It’s time for kitchen sink ideas to shine, thanks to a renewed love for classic, apron-front designs. Look for interesting materials and unusual shapes, like fluted edges or rich brass options. Framed under a sash window or set within a marble-topped island, a stand-out sink will add wow to the washing up.

    14. Go green

    A dark green kitchen with a light freestanding island and wooden bar stools

    Image credit: Brookmans by Smallbone

    If global paint brands and colour forecasters are to be believed, green kitchen ideas are prevailing, from neo-mint to dark olive. ‘We’re seeing green replace the navy blues and dark greys of recent years,’ says Iain O’Mahony of Brookmans by Smallbone.

    Mix up your greens, as shown by this pale Alta green island against a backdrop of Evergreen cabinets. The blend of modern mint and classic forest feels fresh yet timeless.

    How do I make my kitchen look like a country kitchen?

    Country kitchen ideas are all about making the most of natural colours, textures and materials. Whatever your style you can integrate these in a way which suits your home. Think of every element of the kitchen as being able to represent the theme. From natural stone flooring, to a textured sink. The glass, burnished brass or woven shades of pendant lighting, wooden cabinetry and marble worksurfaces. One of the great things about country style is that it’s filled with personality, so you can tailor the look to fit what you’re after, and include personal must-haves.

    How do you make a country kitchen look modern?

    Modern kitchen ideas are always a great choice, but this doesn’t have to mean turning your back on country. Mix the two with ease by aiming for the aptly named modern country. To achieve this, you tone down the most classic country elements, and look for ways to make them more chic and sleek. Rather than slate flooring, choose a modern stone look porcelain. Integrate seating into your island or breakfast bar. Choose contemporary lighting. Hardware has a lot to answer for, too, so carefully consider your taps, handles and light switches to achieved a finished modern country look.

    What are country kitchen colours?

    The colours which work best for country kitchens are those which can be found in nature. Whites, creams and soft greys are always popular. The other main choice is to go for greens and blues – as long as they’re not verging on neon, you can pretty much choose any shade which works for you and your taste. Another classic country kitchen colour is a mellow yellow, to bring that sunshine rural joy to the everyday.

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