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The average American spends 30 minutes a day preparing food in the kitchen. However, this number doesn’t include the time spent eating, chatting, and entertaining in your kitchen. With so much going on in one room, it’s easy to see why many homeowners are creating a rustic kitchen for their home.

Not sure where to start when it comes to creating your own rustic kitchen? Here we will share some essential tips to create the kitchen of your dreams. 

Defining Your Rustic Style

What comes to mind when you hear the words “rustic decor”. The truth is, the term rustic will conjure a different image for each of us. That’s because there are a wide variety of rustic styles to choose from.

This is why defining which rustic style you want to go with is a solid first step in planning your kitchen design. Remember, consistency is key when choosing each element of your kitchen. So ask yourself, what type of rustic do you lean towards? Are you looking for a rustic Napa vineyard feel? Want to transform your kitchen with a farmhouse feel? Maybe you want to include rustic Tuscan inspired details. Try and create your style foundation before making any other decisions.

What to Keep in Mind When Designing Your Rustic Kitchen

While it’s easy to go on a Pinterest binge or start ripping out pages from your favorite design magazine, it’s important to remember that not every look is right for every kitchen. There may be a design you love that simply doesn’t work with the size or overall style of your home.

Remember, as much as you want your kitchen to look great, it’s more important to have a kitchen that works with you, not against you. Consider the factors below to better determine which options are right for your kitchen.

Flow of Traffic

Ever go to cook a meal and find one family member stacked on top of another. Is it difficult to maneuver around your kitchen, even for simple tasks like grabbing a drink from the fridge? There’s a good chance that your kitchen isn’t laid out correctly for the size of your family.

Having too many elements close together can obstruct traffic and create clutter within your kitchen. You will also find that adding large features (like a rustic kitchen island) into a small kitchen will make moving about even more difficult. Take these factors into account before adding more pieces to your kitchen.

Pets and Children

Small paws and tiny hands have a tendency to get into everything, and can easily become injured. The same goes for children that are determined to get into every cabinet.

Taking the safety and security of each family member into account is an important part of planning your kitchen. You may choose to go with doors that avoid crushing fingers or cabinets that are just the right height to keep certain products out of reach.

Entertaining and Daily Life

An important question to ask yourself is, what will I be using my kitchen for? While the answer seems obvious, there are a number of activities that may occur in the kitchen that don’t include cooking.

For example, if you entertain often, you should know if the kitchen will be a place where guests can have a seat and chat. Or perhaps the kitchen is a place where the kids can do their homework. It may even be the spot where you check your email. Knowing everything that will happen in your kitchen will allow you to design accordingly to your life and all that’s in it.

Important Elements in Your Rustic Kitchen

Now that you’ve determined the who, how, and why of your kitchen it’s time to look into what. There are countless areas of your kitchen that can easily incorporate a rustic design. The key is using the right amount of rustic features without going overboard.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your rustic kitchen creation. Here we will cover some important elements to look into when creating your rustic kitchen.

Rustic Kitchen Cabinets

Your cabinets are often the first thing guest notice when walking into your kitchen. That’s because they are usually located right at eye level, and have a color that contrasts against the wall allowing them to pop. Choosing rustic kitchen cabinets is easy when you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

For example, you may like the idea of having plates and knick-knacks on display, in which case floating shelves with a rustic paint finish is an ideal option. Looking for a real farmhouse feel? Try cabinets that feature chicken wire on their doors.

Rustic Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances seem to be a challenge when designing a rustic kitchen. That 19th-century rustic oven can look great, but it won’t help you much if you can’t use it.

Try to save the rustic look for appliances that you don’t need on a regular basis. For example, a vintage rustic pasta machine is a great conversation piece. A rustic cutting board is also beautiful to keep out and handy when you need it. Refrigerators, ovens, and coffee machines? Focus more on quality than style.

Rustic Kitchen Tables and Furniture

Furniture is the perfect place to tap into a rustic design with statement pieces. Farmhouse tables are a great addition to any rustic kitchen, especially when they are complemented by cozy rustic benches.

Rustic bar stools are also a great option and create extra seating without taking up too much space. Remember to make sure that each piece of rustic furniture is functional and durable. Handcrafted pieces create a great statement, but only if they are built to last.

The Right Material for Your Rustic Kitchen

Think wood is an automatic go to for a rustic kitchen? Think outside the box. While wood definitely creates the feeling you’re looking for, materials like exposed brick, stone, and even some marble can also help create a rustic look in your home.

The important thing is to stick to one or two materials and implement them in the right spots. Red brick walls look gorgeous against unfinished wooden countertops, and stone walls and backsplashes create the perfect contrast with polished marble.

Rustic Kitchen Accessories

Here’s the part where you get to play. The small accessories and details in your kitchen are what will create a real rustic feel. This can vary from kitchen to kitchen. Some homeowners might go all out, with copper pots and pans hanging above their island.

Others may choose more subtle details, like wooden cooking utensils or an antique knife sharpener. Get creative and don’t be afraid to visit second-hand stores and thrift shops to find unique items.

How to Add Contemporary Pieces to Your Rustic Kitchen

While rustic elements can really embody the look you’re going for, don’t be afraid of incorporating some contemporary pieces. Using the right amount of modern touches in the right way won’t ruin the overall look.

For example, choosing to go with contemporary lighting fixtures can create the perfect balance in your kitchen. You can even choose to go with a more contemporary style with features like sinks or oven hoods. The important thing is to maintain a level of balance.

What to Avoid When Designing Your Rustic Kitchen

While we encourage you to get creative and incorporate your own unique style, there are some important areas to avoid when designing your rustic kitchen:

  • Don’t overdo it. You can create a rustic design without having to cram that farmhouse look into every nook and cranny. A few statement pieces and the right material and stains are easy enough to achieve a rustic look.
  • Don’t make it uncomfortable. You absolutely love that farmhouse table, but is it comfy enough for your 6-year old to sit at during dinner? Remember, kitchens are one of the most used rooms in the house, don’t sacrifice comfort for style.
  • Don’t scrimp. We all have different budgets to work with, but it’s better to invest the majority of your budgets on a few great pieces than on a bunch of cheap accessories that won’t last long anyway.

Windows, Beams, and Other Architectural Features

If you’re both remodeling and redecorating your kitchen, then you’ll have windows, beams and other architectural features to keep in mind. Beams are a beautiful and classic way to create a rustic look in your kitchen, however, if you’re working with low ceilings you may want to skip it, as the look can make your ceilings feel even lower.

If you’re installing new windows, creating a cozy breakfast nook with a windowsill is a timeless rustic look that will never go out of style. Not to mention the fact that it will increase your overall property value. You may also want to add in elements like a second sink or a private work corner, to make your space even more functional.

Creating a Rustic Home that You Love

A rustic style kitchen is just one of the many ways you can incorporate a rustic kitchen into your home. By knowing what to add and what to leave out, you can create a look that’s both classic and functional.

Want to bring rustic style to the rest of your home? Check out our blog on creating the perfect rustic bathroom.