Style Spotlight: The Rustic Kitchen

From country farmhouse to log cabin lodge, rustic style can take on many forms. Get a closer look at what makes this unpretentious style so cozy and comfortable in our rustic kitchen design guide.  


What Is Rustic Style? 

It’s hard to pin down just one definition for rustic design. Many think of it as a look that celebrates raw, handcrafted materials, like hand-hewn beams or hammered copper sinks. To others, rustic is associated with designs and materials of a bygone era – primitive antiques with timeworn finishes or centuries-old, random-width floors. Even a place, like a log cabin or farmhouse, can represent rustic style for some. Truth is, rustic can be all those things. 

Genuine Charm 

Whatever the influence or interpretation, the appeal of rustic style is found in its honest simplicity and unassuming nature. There’s no attempt to disguise how something is made, what it is made of or how old it may be. By emphasizing solid, straightforward construction and allowing materials to show off their natural splendor, rustic design proves that practical can also be beautiful. 

“Sit a Spell” Ambiance 

  • Because there is nothing delicate, ornate or eccentric about it, rustic design has a relatable realness. There’s a hospitable and approachable vibe. No matter where you come from or where you live, rustic style feels like home.
  • You won’t find many bright colors or bold color schemes in a rustic kitchen. Softer, muted Earth tones that lean to the warm side of the spectrum, like light browns, dusty grey-greens and creamy whites, are in keeping with the organic materials prevalent in rustic design. 
  • Texture is a key design element for rustic kitchens. Look for low-gloss finishes wherever you can. Add texture by including a crackle-finish backsplash tile, a live-edge wood countertop, woven-rush bar stool seating or a brick-veneer accent wall.
  • Choosing a wood species with a prominent grain pattern, like Oak or Hickory, adds character to a rustic room. Amp up the effect by opting for one of our rustic species – Rustic Alder, Rustic Hickory or Rustic Maple – that features open knots and contrasting mineral streaks.
  • As long as you keep the details modest, both raised panel and recessed panel door styles work well in a rustic kitchen. You can’t go wrong with Shaker-style doors, or choose a grooved center panel door option if you’re going for a rustic farmhouse look. 
  • Avoid highly polished metals. Think blackened pewter hardware for cabinets or oil-rubbed bronze faucets. (Stainless steel adapts to just about any design style, including rustic.)

Make New Look Old 

You can get that attractive unpolished look of rustic design, without sacrificing modern cabinetry construction and conveniences, just by choosing one of KraftMaid’s unique finish options:

  • Our Vintage finish technique uses edge and corner oversanding after paint is applied to let a glimpse of the wood show through in the areas that typically become worn over generations of use.
  • The Distressed finish technique makes your stained door appear as if it were made from reclaimed wood. Random distressing, eased edges and a dark burnishing stain add tons of character.
  • Aged and Weathered specialty finishes feature artisan-applied techniques designed to replicate finishes that have been exposed to daily use and the elements for decades.

Get Inspired

Does rustic design sound interesting? Visit our rustic kitchen photo gallery for more kitchen design ideas to inspire your project.