Rustic kitchen ideas to create a warm and welcoming space

Add country style into your kitchen for rural-inspired rustic charm

Everyone loves a comforting kitchen that makes you feel instantly at home. One of the most authentic ways you can achieve this is through the rustic kitchen ideas. Whether you're going for a full room revamp, or just want to integrate a few rural touches, this style will help add an inviting appeal to your space.

You may feel that your kitchen ideas are limited to the style of your house as a whole, and where it's situated. However, rustic kitchen ideas work equally as well in a modern house as they do in a classic country abode. While the traditional rustic kitchens include range cookers, Belfast sinks and a solid farmhouse table, there are contemporary aspects which are key to this look, too. For example, sleek Shaker-style cabinetry, industrial finishes and textured, raw materials. Pendant lighting, bar stools and a hint of copper and leather can all bring a fresh new feel to a rustic kitchen.

'Country-style has experienced a revival, perhaps in part due to the emergence of cottagecore and the stylish rural properties that continue to feature on our Instagram feeds,' says Alex Main, director, The Main Company (opens in new tab).  This desire for a country-inspired interior has evolved slightly, with a softer colour palette and more modern approach to this timeless trend.'

Rustic kitchen ideas

From materials and textures to colours and accessories, these are our favourite ways to work rustic kitchen ideas into your home.

1. Open up your shelving

White kitchen with open shelving over sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

'The almost-defining trait of a farmhouse kitchen is that dreamy pared down feel with closed lower cabinets and lots of open shelving,' says Al Bruce, Founder of Olive & Barr (opens in new tab). 'They give you a chance to display those unique bits n’ bobs that create a rustic farmhouse feel: decorative plates, cast iron pots, mason jars filled with dried, your rustic wooden bowls and utensils, anything and everything.'

'Not only will the addition of open shelving make your space feel lighter and brighter, but you’ll also have more opportunities to bring your personality to the forefront.' It's also one of the core small kitchen ideas to give the illusion of more space.

Making use of kitchen organisers is a great idea, and more often than not it makes seeing what's on your shelves a lot easier when opting for glass options. Even inside cupboards, it looks ten times nicer to decant your dried foods into jars and storage containers.

2. Add industrial touches

kitchen with blue and wooden cabinets and exposed brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachel Reeve)

The industrial trend is intrinsically linked to rustic kitchen ideas. Feature brick walls, metal detailing and exposed pipeworks all give that rural-with-an-edge vibe.

To keep it on the rustic end of industrial, make sure to mix in with plenty of woods and warm colourways. Rustic kitchens should feel welcoming, so steer away from the ultra monochromatic modern kitchen ideas (opens in new tab) look.

3. Create a homey scheme

light blue kitchen with island, bar seats and pink patterned tile splashback

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Rustic kitchen ideas should be full of inviting personality. Use this space to showcase your favourite colours and objects. A touch of eclecticism is very welcome, so include rag rugs, patterned tiles and mismatched crockery.

In terms of colour, warm neutrals, blues and yellows are most associated with this theme. Stick to one for a more pared back approach, or layer up for a quirkier finish.

4. Consider your flooring

pale blue kitchen with darker island and flagstone floors

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Quorn Stone)

When choosing rustic kitchen flooring ideas, natural materials are a must, and if you can go for large flagstone tiles, then all the better. 'For centuries, estates and country homes have used flagstone flooring, thanks to their hardwearing characteristics and classic appearance that have stood the test of time,' says Isabel Fernandez, Director of Quorn Stone (opens in new tab).

'Now more than ever, people are wanting to create this timeless look in their kitchens by choosing large format flagstones. Most commonly, the ‘free length’ or ‘random length’ tile size is opted for, by which the widths are fixed (usually 500mm or 600mm) and then lengths are a random selection ranging upwards to 1000mm. This free length flagstone has the ability to work in all sized kitchens and gives maximum focus on the beauty of each tile.’

5. Add unexpected pattern

white cabinet with patterned wallpaper interior

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Patterned wallpaper isn't always on trend for kitchens, but it most certainly is one of the heartland rustic kitchen ideas. If you're nervous about wallpapering the walls, or simply want to limit pattern, then think laterally.

Paper the backs of glass-fronted cabinets and inside drawers for joyful bursts of colour and pattern without your overall scheme being overwhelmed. Plus, this take on kitchen wallpaper ideas is easier and more affordable to change should you get tired of your choice of design.

6. Choose Shaker style cabinetry

pale green grey shaker style kitchen with open shelving and island

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tom Howley)

‘Regardless of whether you live in a modern renovation or rural cottage, traditional shaker kitchen ideas and cabinetry is perfect for creating a welcoming, lived-in look,’ says Tom Howley, Design Director at Tom Howley Kitchens (opens in new tab).

‘Charming cottages and period homes almost always have challenging features such as chimney breasts, sloping ceilings, quaint proportions, quirky nooks and uneven floors. Choosing a bespoke shaker design allows you to preserve and work around these original features, enhancing your space’s look and individuality.’

7.  Add interest with panelling

kitchen with pink panelled cabinetry and stone floors

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Panelling is a simple and chic way of integrating rustic kitchen ideas into your space. These sleek lines on your cabinetry will add interest and the subtlest suggestion of pattern. For a more full-on approach, take your panelling up onto your kitchen splashback ideas, too.

8. Think about your lighting

dark blue kitchen with beams and industrial lighting above island

(Image credit: Olive and Barr)

'Of all the ways to add a pinch of rustic charm to your kitchen, getting creative with your kitchen lighting ideas is probably the quickest, easiest and most-effective,' says  Al Bruce, Founder of Olive & Barr. 'The lights you opt for a great way of adding a touch of country charm to your kitchen. From adding filament bulbs to your industrial-style fixtures to hanging Mason jar pendant lights above your island, to illuminating your prep space with a reclaimed patina light shade that matches the materials used in the rest of your space.'

9. Add a cupboard skirt

kitchen with pink panelled walls, cream cabinets and skirt

(Image credit: British Standard by Plain English)

Cupboard or sink skirts very traditional way of bringing rustic warmth into your kitchen. 'Instantly softening, a sink skirt is also a great way to inject colour and pattern into your kitchen or pantry,' says Karla Patterson, designer at British Standard (opens in new tab). 'Affordable and stylish, it's also a clever way to conceal any unsightly storage and undersink spaces.'

Choose a contrasting colour to your cabinetry to make a statement, or use pattern to pick up on it if you prefer a more toned down finish.

10. Mix and match materials

kitchen with dark island wooden panty and exposed stonework

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Rustic kitchens shouldn't feel too 'done'. One way to make sure it has a lived in feel is to mix and match materials, colours and textures. You're nearly looking for the kitchen to feel as if it has evolved over time. Sticking to natural materials and a tonal palette is a useful way of guiding your choices so everything still sits together peacefully.

11. Use warm neutrals

white kitchen with green wooden topped island and metallic pendant lights

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'Pale greys, white, cream and black with wooden accents tie things all together into a wonderfully rustic space that looks as perfect in the depths of winter as it does when the summer sun pours through the windows,' says Al from Olive & Barr. 'That’s what a neutral colour scheme does for a space.'

Remember that the key to rustic kitchens is an inviting sense of warmth, so tie in joyful bursts of nature-inspired greens and blues.

12. Use touches of burnished metals

close up of burnished brass tap

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Brass can add a new dimension to rustic kitchen ideas. ‘Burnished brass and matt gold handles add a whole new dimension to kitchens,' says Tom Howley. 'Brushed or aged finishes can enhance the brightness of white paint finishes. They also echo harmoniously with the ever-popular greys and dramatic dark palettes.’

How can I make my kitchen look rustic?

Rustic kitchen ideas should showcase natural materials, colours and textures. Think warm woods, stone floors and tactile surfaces. They should also feel lived in, a rustic kitchen isn't a show home. ‘Cottage style kitchens are renowned for their proud displays of cookware and personal objects,' says Tom Howley. 'Open shelving can be a great blank canvas for showcasing your favourite antique finds. You can even countrify your shelving by incorporating bespoke brackets or corbels.'.

How do you make a rustic kitchen more modern?

Rustic kitchens can be modernised rather easily. One of the most popular ways of achieving this is through using touches of industrial chic.  'We’re seeing many more homeowners experimenting with materials, creating a contrast between the classic and contemporary to create truly innovative and unique kitchen designs,' says Alex Main, Director, The Main Company. 'Exposed beams and distressed brickwork continue to remain popular, but these are cleverly off-set by metallic accents, high-specification appliances and eye-catching lighting.”