Country kitchen ideas – the latest rustic designs that suit both rural and urban settings

Upgrade your country kitchen in a modern design
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • It’s the dream room for your dream home. The place to gather, eat and share everyday life with friends, family and dogs. So, in 2020, where do you start when thinking about the perfect look that’s right for a country setting?

    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.

    For more cabinetry styles, check out our kitchen ideas channel

    In her new book, The Perfect Kitchen (published by Rizzoli and on sale 24 March 2020), Waterworks co founder Barbara Sallick explores the process of designing a kitchen in great and beautiful detail, from surfaces and finishes to storage, cabinetry, and hardware. It’s worth a look for its timeless practical advice and beautiful images.

    Get ahead of the curve in the kitchen with this snapshot of this year’s key design cues… and start planning the country cooking space that you’ve always longed for…

    1. Add a flash of bold colour

    Country kitchen ideas Harvey Jones

    Enquire online: The Original kitchen in Studio Green by Farrow & Ball, from £20,000, 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.

    ‘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.’

    2. Celebrate the comeback of dark wood

    Enquire online: Bespoke kitchens, from £32,000, The Secret Drawer

    Deep-toned woods such as walnut and mahogany are set to return to the kitchen. ‘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.

    3. Introduce fluted glass

    Enquire online: Holkham kitchen, from £30,000, Davonport

    Forget frosted or opalescent glass – fluted glazing is the way forward in 2020.

    ‘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.

    4. Include statement lighting

    Enquire online: Infinity Plus Country Ermine kitchen in Blueberry Matt, from £3,300, 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 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.

    5. Try white all over

    Enquire online: Alderley kitchen in Bone, from £10,000, Burbidge & Son Kitchen Makers 

    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.

    6. Be sociable

    Enquire online: Bespoke kitchen, from £45,000, 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.’

    7. Make your sink the star

    Enquire online: Fluted Tuscan Farmhouse 1000 double marble sink, £4,025, shown in the Haberdasher’s kitchen, from £30,000, both deVOL

    It’s the humble sink’s time to shine, thanks to a renewed love for classic, apron-front designs. Look for interesting materials and unusual shapes, like this fluted design by deVOL – check out its marble options, too.

    Chunky brass sinks are great for adding richness and warmth – try the Eclectica range at Framed under a sash window or set within a marble-topped island, an stand-out sink will add wow to the washing up.

    8. Go green

    Buy now: K1 kitchen, from £25,000, Brookmans by Smallbone

    If global paint brands and colour forecasters are to be believed, green is the prevailing colour for 2020, 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.

    All the latest from Ideal Home