25 Rustic Kitchen Ideas You'll Want To Steal

Rustic details can make a house feel like home — a place lived in and lovingly used. There is proof of life and purpose in objects that show their origins and composition. They are even more alive when they bear the marks of time passage: a hand-carved wooden spoon, perfectly imperfect pottery, a gloriously nubby rug, or smoothed tile floor that tickles or soothes bare feet.

Rustic finishes have always been around because objects have always existed — we tend to keep things for long periods or pass them on to others. But the last few decades have seen an overabundance of mass-produced items consumed for convenience and cost. That, combined with an obsession with technology and a prevalence of polished interiors, created an indoor environment without much organic or natural inspiration.

The popular farmhouse trend, with warm and rough-hewn elements, is a rebuttal to the ready-made agenda. Contemporary styles incorporate more wood, honed stone, and concrete, while the industrial trend celebrates vintage iron work and repurposed finds. Rustic pieces breathe life into these themes — The Spruce suggests reclaimed wood and distressed or raw materials — reminding us to touch and look.

In the kitchen, they're logical and comforting even. Well-seasoned cast iron pans hint at a simple, good cook who cares more for function than flash. Scarred cutting boards heal yet leave behind the evidence of hard work. A battered farmhouse table stands as a memento of dinners had and will be there tonight with hot plates and overflowing glasses. Read on for our favorite rustic kitchen additions.

1. Vintage or rustic stools

Stools come in all shapes, materials, and styles, and there is something for every budget. They tuck nicely under a breakfast bar or kitchen island, saving space in a small room. The adjustable variety and swivel options are the most fun.

2. A farmhouse or trestle table

The farmhouse or trestle table, shown above, seems relaxing and inviting. Solid wood will last for years and can sometimes be refinished if needed. What's more, custom solid wood tables can be made to size, wood type, and stain color specifications. Or you could scour flea markets and antique stores for something perfectly aged. 

3. A hanging utensil rack

Rustic is raw and natural, but it also means simple and functional. Not only are utensil racks a great use of space, but they also keep frequently used items visible and easily at hand. Additionally, they allow an opportunity to add humble materials to the kitchen, such as wrought iron, a wooden branch, or industrial piping.

4. Barn doors

In the new age of open plan living, barn doors, and their hanging track systems, are extremely useful and accommodating to variously sized passageways. They are the perfect avenue for introducing the rustic elements of iron and wood into a modern or traditional space.

5. Wooden bowls and baskets

A rustic kitchen is a cook's kitchen — with only what's needed and objects that encourage our appetite for life. Wooden bowls and baskets contribute to function, texture, and warmth. Antique wooden bowls and baskets are offered at every rummage sale, or visit a makers market where you'll find artisan wood-turners and basket weavers crafting magnificent pieces.

6. Concrete finishes

Concrete has an industrial and cold connotation, but it can actually be quite lovely with its matte and irregular finish. When encased in wood while curing, the grain is transferred to the concrete, resulting in a beautiful hybrid. It's becoming a popular countertop material and can be waxed, stained, and sealed. It's perfect for flooring and walls, too.

7. A bench

A bench is a no-brainer for bringing rustic style to your decor. Use it to create a seating area, adding throw pillows and baskets underneath. Or replace some of the kitchen chairs — a bench fits more people, especially small children. Those without a back can tuck under the table, making the room feel less cluttered. 

8. Plaster walls

Rough and tactile plaster harmonizes with wood grain, raw metal, and pottery — all details that underscore a rustic and natural style. Faux finishes can be applied with products or paint, or techniques for the real thing can be learned in a tutorial.

9. A wood stove or fireplace

Earth, air, water, fire — the natural elements tie us to our environment. A wood stove or fireplace is the ultimate rustic luxury in the kitchen area. The heat, sound, glow, and stacked wood are a feast for the senses.

10. A live-edge bar

In a live-edge bar or table, the exterior of the tree (minus the bark) is maintained rather than planed off, putting us in immediate touch with where the object came from. Some of these pieces are giant, thick slabs with incredible shapes and graining. 

11. Iron pendants

Pendant lights are available for any style or budget — adding or updating them can significantly impact the tone of the space. Dark iron, copper, steel, and glass are some lighting fixture materials that work best in a rustic kitchen.

12. Kitchen herbs and house plants

Herbs and greenery instantly add warmth to a kitchen. Pump it up by choosing hand-thrown ceramic, baskets, wood, and metal pots. Protect fragile materials or pieces susceptible to moisture by placing the plant in a waterproof container first. 

13. Exposed beams

Exposed wood beams are reminiscent of barns, industrial spaces, and historic homes, and they're a tried-and-true way to create the feeling of being in one of those. They can also conceal undesirables like wires and ductwork. Left natural, richly stained, or painted white, they instantly give a newer home great character.

14. Open shelving

Home superstore cabinets don't exactly shout rustic but topping them with butcher block, concrete, or unpolished stone certainly helps. In addition, if space allows, open shelving can stand in for uppers, making the room feel loftier and putting the wall treatment and housewares on display.

15. Black framed windows

Like exposed ceiling beams, black windows remind us of industrial spaces and antique architecture. They're dramatic, too — and just as a strong red wine can stand up to bold flavors, black window frames hold their own against bold design choices.

16. Linen and cotton dishtowels

Textiles are a welcoming addition in a room with mostly hard edges and finishes — enter the kitchen towel, the soft workhorse — wiping onion tears and cleaning up after our messes. Go for neutral linens to stick with a rustic theme, although plant-based dyes create gorgeous colors if you can get your hands on some. 

17. A weathered island

The island is a practical beast, sometimes housing appliances, an extra sink, or functioning as a spot for meals. It's also often the kitchen's focal point. New designs frequently opt for making them appear to be a built-in or antique piece by utilizing another paint color or countertop material. A pre-loved, weathered find is an excellent alternative.

18. Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most frequent items on a home buying wishlist, and it's no wonder; they bring richness and warmth to any space. They're particularly stunning in the kitchen, alongside the vibrant and subtle colors of fresh fruits and vegetables.

19. Cutting boards

Cutting boards are mini rustic sculptures, ripe for leaning, hanging on the wall, or serving fruit and cheese. They're pretty good for chopping, too. A whole collection of different shapes, sizes, and stains create an attractive, usable display.

20. A utility sink

A utility sink is a stalwart of rustic kitchen design; whether restaurant-inspired stainless steel, farmhouse enameled cast iron, or hammered copper, it should be large-capacity and deep enough to do the job well.

21. Pottery

A wheel-thrown and hand-built slab pottery is akin to wood — its origins are earthy and unmistakable. Thankfully there are several ways to introduce it into our kitchens: mugs for coffee or tea, dishes, serving and bakeware, a vase, and pots for herbs. A collection can grow from just one piece and be matching or hodgepodge.

22. Textured rugs

Rugs are an excellent opportunity for adding color and pattern to the kitchen; they also feel lovely under bare feet. If you're worried about staining, pick a texture with a color variation or a print, and try low-pile and outdoor options.

23. Hanging pots

Pots and pans are metal, and there is just something about metal that feels edgy, earthy, and full of energy; again, it's so apparent what it is and where it's from. A pot rack is the most fabulous piece of jewelry for the kitchen. 

24. An antique cupboard

An antique cupboard can lend a newer kitchen a timeless appeal, and it also offers variation to the existing cabinet style, supplying depth to the overall design. Concealed, open, or glass door storage, painted, natural, or stained wood, the options are limitless.  

25. Exposed brick

Exposed brick is texture to the max, and it makes any space feel warm and aged as the light plays across the surface. The kitchen will play cafe or neighborhood bistro while we play chef.