If you’re looking for a warm and inviting look for your kitchen, a rustic design is for you. With tons of variations and options, a rustic kitchen is accessible even when you’re watching your wallet.
Check out our take on rustic kitchen ideas on a budget today.
What Is a Rustic Look?
A rustic look is casual, natural, and aged. Your items might be as new as can be, but they give off a vintage feel nonetheless. Rustic looks highly prioritize nature and natural beauty.
The rustic style originates from old times when people lived with the tools and homes they carved and created themselves. This gives everything a sense of being organic, being brought from the earth to your table – or, in this case, becoming a table in your rustic kitchen!
Rustic-style rooms will utilize earth tones like greens, browns, nudes, whites, and wood colors. The key to a rustic kitchen is having a nature-ruled space with an airy feel.
People can choose from the original rustic look or other variations, including a contemporary rustic style that uses a lighter aesthetic.
Rustic Kitchen Elements
Every look has the elements that make it stand out from the rest, and the rustic style is no different. Working with a lot of wood, textured patterns, raw materials, and neutral metals, you can create your own rustic kitchen unique to your taste.
Many rustic kitchen elements can be added in one piece at a time, enabling you to stick to your budget. Some elements, like texture, can also be added on top of what you already have in your kitchen to change its look altogether.
Weathered wood is one of the most noticeable aspects of a rustic look. We find wood in the form of rustic kitchen ceiling beams, wood trimming around windows and doors, kitchen tables and chairs, and fireplace mantels.
When purchasing antique or wooden furniture, many rustic kitchens offer a mix of reclaimed or repurposed wood with vintage pieces. This keeps the cozy charm of your rustic kitchen while adding a modern twist.
Wood is also incorporated into kitchen tools, such as cutting boards and utensils, which are often displayed in rustic kitchens. Wood tones may also be used for cabinets, countertops, or floor finishes.
Rustic kitchens often give the feel of living in the open countryside or a mountain landscape. This is accentuated through textured materials such as wool, linen, canvas, and burlap. Some rustic kitchens also incorporate faux animal skins. For a truly rustic feel, all of these canvases are unprinted and in their natural form.
Kitchen towels, table runners, rugs, and burlap sacks for storage are popular rustic features. Rugs are often made from seagrass, sisal, or jute for a more rustic feel.
To stay within your budget, many of these items can be found economically at second-hand outdoor markets, indoor markets, or through online exchanges.
Sometimes, you can create a rustic kitchen not only by renovating but by de-renovating. Stripping your home down to its initial features could bring in the rustic feel that you are looking for.
Exposed ceilings with wooden beams, brick walls, wooden window frames, and nature flooring are all great additions (or original takes) for a rustic kitchen look.
Wood, tile, and stone are all common raw materials found within this look. Incorporating these materials where you can is sure to bring all of your visitors into a natural and cozy rustic space.
Matte Or Neutral Metals
While the modern kitchen is full of shiny metal materials and surfaces, a rustic kitchen is quite the opposite. Remember that rustic screams “natural” and brings us back to older times. That’s why a
truly rustic kitchen will avoid shiny hardware and lighting fixtures.
Instead, opt for matte or neutral metals wherever possible. Painted metals are another alternative, creating a more old-time feel.
Budget-Friendly Rustic Kitchen Ideas
From appliance choices to where you put your pots and pans, there are a ton of budget-friendly options to make your rustic kitchen idea a reality. Here are 20 ideas to get you started.
Pendant lighting, also called drop or suspender lighting, is a single light fixture that suspends from your ceiling. Usually, it hangs by a visible chain, cord, or metal rod. Whereas modern kitchens use small spotlights, a pendant light will add a rustic feel to your kitchen for all who enter.
Some styles of pendant lights used to be found in agricultural hotspots and factories. This industrial charm goes hand in hand with the old-age feel of a rustic kitchen.
Mount Your Pots And Pans
In the olden days, kitchens rarely hosted enough cabinet space to hide away pots and pans. And, with all of the use we get out of them, it’s a wonder we hide them away to begin with!
Mounting your pots and pans on a wall is a cheap and easy way to give a more rustic feel to your kitchen.
You can hang purchase a mounted pot rack, often in the form of a steel or wooden bar with hooks, or you can hang individual hooks yourself as a DIY project.
If you have extra space, these mounts can be used to home certain utensils, too.
Wooden coasters are economical, cute, and functional. These coasters come from natural wood, a staple in any rustic kitchen, and can also be found with a gloss finish if you’re looking for something a bit more modern.
Coasters are great when serving hot drinks in your favorite mugs, or an ice-cold glass of lemonade to match your countryside aesthetic.
You’ve seen plenty of table runners across kitchen styles, but for a rustic look, we’re focusing on rug runners. If you have an island, these go well between the island and the closest countertop.
Runner rugs can be found second-hand, online or in markets, and there are plenty of styles to choose from. Try to buy one made with textured material and stick to neutral colors to complete the rustic look.
Display Your Boards
Cutting boards are a strong kitchen and cook’s backbone. Wooden cutting boards, specifically, are specifically for a cook in a rustic kitchen.
With many cutting boards showing warm wood finishes and neutral tones, you’ll want to display them in your rustic kitchen as functional décor.
You can simply stand the boards and learn them against your backsplash or choose to hang them similarly to your pots and pans. If you choose to simply stand them up, it’s a completely-free rustic kitchen twist!
No rustic kitchen would be complete without a staple wooden kitchen table. While it isn’t the cheapest idea on our list, it must be said that wooden tables are found far and wide and often on the low-end of the price spectrum.
Check out places like Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List, or your local flea market for used wooden tables to complete your rustic look. Feel free to add a different wood finish to make it your own, as well as to cover up any knicks from prior wear.
Open shelves are a simple DIY budget-friendly project for a rustic kitchen feel. Chunky wooden shelves on metal brackets are easy to put up and provide a great place to display your kitchen goodies.
Not only does this add more storage space in your kitchen, but you can display your bowls, recipe books, or plants to add to your rustic look.
Glass jars with wooden tops or mason jars with aluminum tops are great rustic features to include in your kitchen.
You can fill your glass jars with dried goods, such as pasta, rice, or lentils. You can also use them for baking materials such as flour and sugar. Display these on your countertops or your open shelving.
Mason jars can also be used for serving drinks or yogurts.
A breakfast bar can be done in two ways. First, you could add some rustic bar stools to your kitchen’s island to create a breakfast bar feel. Combine this with our rope placements, mentioned below, and you have a comfy breakfast zone for the whole family.
The second way would be to dedicate a small corner or countertop area to your breakfast bar. Use your glass jars or mason jars
Hang Your Mugs
Hanging coffee mugs are an excellent addition to your rustic breakfast bar or underneath one of your open shelves. You can purchase a few hooks to connect under your open shelving for less than $10. Aim for steel or metal-copy hooks to add on to the rustic décor.
While we all may have our favorite coffee mugs, we highly recommend bright white or green-colored mugs if you want a pop of color against the wood of your rustic kitchen.
Vintage Pantry Labels
Since you’ve got some fabulous glass containers to display your dried goods, it’s now time to ensure you know what they are. Adding cute vintage pantry labels to your containers is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
Some of our favorite labels are blackboard-based, so you can change the chalk label whenever you need. Other options are the labels made of burlap-bag material which you can personalize online or through a traditional label-maker.
What more budget-friendly way to change your kitchen’s look than to change a few lightbulbs! A rustic kitchen is all about a warm and inviting scene that makes guests and family alike feel comfortable. Swap out any of those white-light hospital bulbs for warmer tones and colored bulbs.
As a bonus, many eco-friendly lights already come in warmer hues, so you can save on your electricity bill while also pursuing a rustic look on a budget!
Most people who don’t want a bread box have never tried fresh bread out of it. Not only does it keep your delicious carbs fresh, but it adds a retro, rustic touch to your kitchen without taking up too much space.
Unique Towel Holders
Hanging up your dishrags can be done in rustic style. Instead of throwing them over your sink or on your oven, set up a rustic towel holder that can be store-bought or DIY.
The most common rustic towel holders are made with a metal bar or pipe. Steel is another alternative. You can connect these straight to your walls or underneath one of your open shelves. The latter provides a more thorough rustic look and also places your towels further away from your kitchen wall.
Rope placements can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to match the rest of your rustic décor. The material is rugged and durable, lasting most people years.
Use it under your serving plates for a put-together look on your wooden kitchen table to complete the aesthetic.
Rope Or Iron Door Handles
If your kitchen doesn’t have an open floor plan, add a rope or iron door handle to the kitchen door to emphasize the entrance to your rustic space.
If you don’t have a kitchen door, the same handles can be added to your cabinets or pantry doors. Twine cabinet handles are a popular option that won’t break the bank.
If you haven’t realized it yet, rustic is all about the wood. Adding wooden features throughout your
kitchen is a surefire way to set off a rustic style.
Some possible wooden features include wooden serving bowls, utensils, bar stools, analog clocks, towel hangers, display bowls, and décor.
Retro Kitchen Scales
Vintage appliances are aesthetically pleasing, but they aren’t all easy to come by. A retro kitchen scale, on the other hand, can be found for less than $20 online.
Not only is it a great appliance to have for cooking, baking, and meal-prepping, but it’s also a “modern” retro scale that comes in many pops of color to add a bit of your own personality to your rustic kitchen mix.
Wooden Wine Holder
Displaying your wine is always a fun idea, and doing so in a wooden wine holder will add a touch of elegance to your rustic kitchen. You can find wine holders for anywhere from three to nine wines, but we always say less is more when it comes to showing off your fancy liquors.
Building a kitchen island isn’t on our budget-friendly list, but decorating one if you have it is! Kitchen islands are the perfect thing to serve as the rustic centerpiece in your kitchen.
Our favorite touch is to add wooden bar stools to it, but you can also stick to the ones you have and instead top it with rope placemats, your retro food scale, or a pendant lighting fixture.
Types Of Rustic Looks
As we briefly mentioned earlier, your rustic look can take on its own persona according to your taste. The great thing about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and budget-friendly rustic ideas is that you can incorporate as much or as little of a rustic feel as you please.
Generally speaking, there are five popular rustic themes currently abounding across the U.S. Let’s take a look at each one and what makes it unique.
Whether you’ve been lucky enough to visit Tuscany or not, you probably envision it as a sun-soaked place with stone patios and a beautiful view. The Tuscan rustic look follows this vision, featuring a sunbaked look from its furniture to its flooring.
It utilizes warm and worn pieces, high use of stone, and a preference for tiles. You may also find hand-painted articles strewn about for décor as well. Tones are warm and include dark wood and iron accessories.
Rustic cottage style brings on the impression that you’re in your wooden cottage far from worries, crowds, hustle, and bustle. It focuses on wood, especially through paneling throughout the kitchen. You’ll also find more vintage pieces in this style of rustic kitchen.
Rustic coastal style incorporates a sea-breeze feeling with things like distressed wood and a nautical color scheme. You will see more light blues thrown into the mix and a focus on light woods instead of the traditional, dark rustic wood beams.
Rustic farm style has evolved into a chicer look, incorporating simple wood finishes and colorful painted designs. The focus here is on the appliances – the more vintage, the better. Farm rustic will also take away a bit of the roughness found in traditional rustic kitchens for a bit of a sleeker look.
The modern rustic look is a nice balance betweeb the old-age style of the 20th century and the robotized style of the 21st century. It includes the traditional rustic charm and coziness with more modern-day amenities.
Utilizing an open floor plan, modern rustic kitchens often extend into a living space with a similar style, amplifying the room available. The furniture stays modern while still incorporating wood into things like flooring and trim.
Budget-Friendly Rustic Approaches
Creating your rustic kitchen can be a fun and budget-friendly process. From checking out second-hand markets to tackling your own DIY projects, there are plenty of economical options to bring your rustic dream to life!