Rustic Kitchen Vs Retro Kitchen and how to get the lookRebecca Hinshelwood
Vintage kitchen design concepts are on the way up. And it’s easy to see why. They’re nostalgic, warm and homely – things that appeal to a lot of us while we’ve been spending more time at home. So if the idea of a vintage style kitchen sounds good to you, how do you go about it? It’s not as simple as replicating a room from the pages of a magazine from 1975. Of course, you’ll want to retain modern functionality and convenience. Vintage styles work best when nods to different times work alongside each other within a balanced concept. This is why we often find kitchen concepts following either a rustic kitchen or retro kitchen concept. What are these things, though and how do you get the look?
A rustic kitchen design concept covers a pretty wide range of styles. From English country cottage to French farmhouse, the finished aesthetic is different but they share common features. So if rustic feels up your street, you’ll need to direct your attention to these key features and concepts.
There’s an element of visibility that is common to all rustic kitchen styles. Open shelving and wide stone worktops to house accessories are key in achieving this look. Glazed cabinet fronts are great for display without allowing items to collect dust. Layers and details should be the underlying concept across the room. So look for detailing in cabinetry, and texture on worktops.
Farmhouse kitchens are traditionally large and open. The large farm table has given way to a wide kitchen island, with the added convenience and storage that this brings. But give your kitchen island the feel of that old style table by adding seating. Smaller kitchen spaces require a more cosy layout that makes use of the room height as well as floor area. Any size space will benefit from a mix of free standing and fitted units, to give the feel of a naturally evolving room.
Soft furnishings are key in any rustic look, to soften the space and make it feel lived in. Natural materials like wood and granite can sit alongside one another to give the room unfussy elegance. The contrast created by sitting wood furnishings against granite worktops creates levels of texture that form the basis for a good rustic kitchen style.
Natural, muted colours are the go to palette for any rustic concept. Pastels will bring a more whimsical look, while creams and neutral tones are more earthy. Rustic styles benefit from pairing worktop and flooring colours. So pale wood boards on the floor look great with grey/white granites or beige marble surfaces.
Rustic aesthetics need lots of detail to work right. Take the time to find genuine vintage items for your rustic kitchen. Displaying crockery is a great place to start. Choose baskets, jugs, and trays as fantastic storage solutions on worktops. The functionality on display highlights this rustic country style. A nod to the personal also finishes off the look.
Rustic style doesn’t mean that you need to shun modern convenience! Carefully choose which utilities should be hidden or integrated and embrace the country aesthetic on what’s visible. So a large butler’s sink with ceramic or brass finishes on taps and free standing range oven give an impression of rustic functionality. Then you can keep your microwave, fridge freezer and smart speakers under wraps.
Do you love the 60’s pop art vibe? Or perhaps you long for an injection of ‘20s art deco glamour? These are two great examples of key style eras that are an ideal foundation for a retro kitchen aesthetic. Retro styles work best with clear and clean lines and statement features.
The eras that retro styles take inspiration from are those of great innovation and change, so a minimalist foundation is a perfect base for statement features that are iconic from those times. It also means that modern innovation can sit comfortably alongside your retro style. Keep cabinetry and work surfaces simple, and focus your retro vibe on details like tiling, furniture and accessories.
Retro styles don’t depend on any particular layout, but remember that seating is a key area to bring the retro feel to life. Think about fitted booth seating, or feature furniture that’s in keeping with your chosen era.
Retro styles work great with chrome and stainless steel fittings. So set these against a shining quartz worktop for a great effect. Monochrome is a strong feature, so keep worktops to black or white tones, and cabinets painted.
Choose your retro era and select a colour scheme accordingly. Art deco works great with monochrome while a ‘50s diner needs a splash of colour. Pop art retro requires a bold colour, while pastel toned appliances give a great retro chic. Wherever you choose your colour, it’ll stand out best against a clean and minimal fuss quartz worktop.
It’s easy to go overboard with retro detail, however the best results are achieved through subtlety. A piece of wall art and retro lighting set off the look with a few details here and there. Patterning on your tiling and splashbacks gives some great retro detail when set against a more minimalist quartz or granite worktop.
From mixers to kettles to fridge freezers, retro styles are plentiful when it comes to appliance shopping. Don’t worry about getting them all – you don’t want a cluttered worktop anyway. So make use of your storage to keep all but those statement appliances out of view.
Choosing a vintage style for your kitchen, whether it’s rustic or retro, requires a strong and unfussy base. As long as your worktops are elegant and timeless, with cabinets laid out and built with function in mind, then little details are easy to change. In fact, with a strong base kitchen you could go from rustic to retro with very little expenditure. We know kitchens and we understand the natural stones that will give your kitchen a durable, practical and stylish foundation through the many styles you may choose. Just get in touch to find out more.