Four Subtle Design Touches For A Rustic,Vintage Kitchen


Vanessa Bell

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Trying to create a new kitchen in a whole new style? It probably sounds incredibly daunting and you feel completely and utterly out of your depth. Where do you start? What key design features do you need? What about colour schemes, furniture and appliances?

Instead of thinking too broad, you need to narrow the focus of your design’s basis on small, subtle touches and build the rest of the kitchen around these features. Whether you decide wood is the way to go for your worktops, or you go for a scintillatingly rustic stone splash-back, these design elements can help guide your overall design, and complement the broader style of the room.

1. Quarry Tiled or Wooden Flooring

While this might seem like quite a significant deign feature, flooring is something that often gets left alone or forgotten about with rustic interior design, particular with kitchens – the idea among many being that an original unfinished floor adds to the traditional charm, and requires little input or work too.

However, flooring is a surprisingly important design aesthetic which plays an enormous part in perceptions and first impressions of a room – one of the first things people will notice, if only subconsciously, is what’s going on down on the ground.

Instead of leaving it unfinished, you could decide to opt for rustic looking red quarry tiling or something simple like painted or finished wooden floorboards. If you want to really keep it authentically rustic, you could source the tiles or timber from reclaimed sources, though new options will be more cost effective.

2. Wooden Utensils & Accessories

From the big to the small – both finished and unfinished plain wood plays a really important part in the design of any rustic kitchen, and that’s true for everywhere from big things like the flooring, to small things like utensils and countertop accessories.

Keep your chopping boards and pan boards (the round boards you use to stop hot pans scorching your worktop!) wooden, invest in wooden utensils like servings spoons and salad tongs, and get some finished wooden pots to keep them all in. It might sound like an overwhelming amount of wood, but these small touches should complement your kitchen rather than overpower it.  

3. Rustic/Antique Ornaments & Display Pieces

Similar to your practical utensils and kitchen accessories, these purely design-focused ornaments and accessories can really help to subtly bring your rustic kitchen’s design all together. There are a number of things you can choose from to ‘accessorise’ your vintage kitchen, so it all falls down to personal taste as well as what kind of kitchen you’re going for – whether it’s classic vintage or rustic farmhouse.

You could have a display of copper pots and pans (either for use or not), vintage carpet beaters, kitchen-relevant tin ornaments (e.g. a painted tin chicken), antique lanterns with candles for extra light – the possibilities really are endless. The best thing to do is to head to car boot/yard sales, charity shops and antique fares and try to pick some really unique vintage pieces.

4. Natural Stone Tiled Splashbacks

Rather than going crazy with natural stone tiling across all the walls of your kitchen, you can achieve a simple, yet effective, rustic touch by adding a traditional tile of your choice as a backsplash behind a sink or cooker/hob area. Natural stone, faux-brick, mosaic or slate tiles can all work really well as splashback materials – if used effectively, and around more muted or contrasting colour schemes, then this subtle addition can easily become a key focal point, complementing the design throughout your kitchen.

Once you’ve incorporated these, and other, simply rustic design touches into your kitchen, then you’ll likely find the bigger things (like layout, large furniture choices, colour schemes etc.) will flow much more naturally, and you’ll end up with everything in your kitchen complementing each other – rather than clashing, and ruining what you set out to achieve!

This guest post was written by Tom McShane – blogger, DIY enthusiast and love of all things rustic. Tom incorporated lots of wood and natural stone into his rustic kitchen design, and would recommend natural stone tiles from Crown Tiles to anyone looking to do the same.

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