So you want to make your kitchen into something more exciting huh? Well, the best tips that make any kitchen interesting is all in the detail. What’s hot this year? Word has it that rustic kitchens are making a big comeback. Here are some tips that you’ll want to note and what to avoid. There are important rules to stick to, so I’ll cover them as well. Let get started!
Your kitchen décor must look authentic
The very first rule is to stick to a theme. Don’t mix and match found stuff, especially with cabinets! This will make your kitchen look cheesy and unconvincing. Here’s a little story for you to exemplify my point. In the early 1990s, when Las Vegas started to undergo a family-friendly transformation, they hired ex-Disney Imagineers. The result was stunningly impressive but had no clear boundaries in holding a select theme.
This is what made the new Las Vegas overwhelming at sensory perception. In short, too many cooks in the kitchen! With a disgruntled army of ex-Disney artists on-hand with a blank check to do whatever they wanted, it was disastrous. Not only did each hotel have its’ own theme, they each broke that rule several times over. Stick to a theme and embellish the parts that work well. For more inspiration, check this link for an authentic rustic Disney look.
It’s all about color
Color plays a huge role in rustic design but it’s not supposed to be bright and shiny. Rustic is the gradual aged-down look of cabinets that contain traces of color that have faded over time. It doesn’t mean that your kitchen should look like the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, nothing like that! Think more along the lines of Pantone colors. If you have no idea, check this link out: https://www.pantone.com/color-finder
- Natural wood grain
Natural wood is beautiful all by itself but very old wood cabinets have a raised and lowered texture grain. This is because of the different rings you see in the grain all age differently. Every year a new layer is added, thus the wood grain you see all varies in subtle color. You can enhance this by scrubbing-down new wood cabinets with a BBQ grill scrubber. This is a wire brush that helps remove the existing varnish and allows softer layers to be brushed away.
When a texture is satisfactory to you, it can be finished off with a light stain and varnish mixture. This is ¼ wood stain of your choice with wood varnish mixed together. The varnish is supposed to be translucent with a little bit is color showing through. The first layers can be wiped away so deeper layers are progressively darker.
- Red color and stain
Go to the Pantone color chart and choose two colors of red. The real secret here is to choose any two that are together on a ‘chip’. This is what a Pantone card is called and is either one color higher or lower. Used the darker color mixed into a stain mix that brings-out darker cracks. Then the lighter color can be dry-brushed on top for a refreshing aged look. Your paint must match the stain that’s used, so it should be oil-to-oil-based.
- Patina green
This is nearly the same as above, but using a patina-green which appeals to you. Once again you need to pick two colors that are side by side to each other.One must be lighter while the other is darker. The closer you get to the color Patina that comes from aged brass or bronze is best. Then finish-off the coloration using the same process as above.
- Aged blue-grey
This is a classic colonial frontier color that was popular in many country kitchens. It made a crossover into rustic since it fits well into a color scheme like this. The secret is to allow the blue to remain visible in the cracks and darker edges of your cabinets. The grey day brushing is to add the aged down effect. The blue should be soft like a baby blue but grey can be any choice you like.
Wood beams add depth
Make a search for any rustic kitchen and you’ll see plenty of wood beams. Don’t make the mistake of using fake polyurethane foam wood beams since they never look real. Here is a great example that you can do better than what these guys did. https://www.myvintageporch.com/diy-faux-wood-beams/
In a nutshell, it’s three pieces of cheap pine wood that are glued together to create a channel shape. These can be aged down by sanding, using a BBQ grill wire scrubber, and anything that gives it a natural one-piece appearance. Fill in any connecting gaps with tinted wood putty. Using various sizes helps create more depth, especially if you have a tall kitchen ceiling. Using the natural wood grain coloring techniques mentioned earlier helps give the beam realism.
The classic stone wall
Rustic kitchens need stonework to pull-off the final look of a log cabin-like kitchen feeling. You can buy ready-made ceramic stones that are glued to your wall for this. Natural brick or rounded stones are good they should appear to have a purpose. Here’s why-
- The arched oven top
Take a look at lots of old-style rustic brick ovens and you’ll see the same kind of pattern. There’s always a supporting beam above the top that’s arched. This is how brickwork can support the weight over an oven or cooking area. Some kitchens also incorporate a tile backsplash behind the back of the arch. But this is optional depending on your taste. These stone slabs or bricks come in a kit that uses a special grout adhesive that helps them stick better.
- An open doorway
Doorways are nice transitional decorations that help complete the illusion from one room to another. If you decide to have a doorway covered with brickwork or stonework, you need to be extra careful around the edges so that the joining areas look natural. This is one task where you may need to strip-down the door frame to the baseboards. If there are gaps you’ll need to add smaller broken pieces to fill them in.
- Make a stone map
What works best is to draw on the wall or arched support is to have stones or brick-shaped drawn first. This can help you map out where the main bricks or stones are going. If your pieces match-up, you’ll be doing fine. Just know the size you have before you start drawing. You can always break up larger pieces into smaller ones to fill in odd-shaped gaps. The rest is finished off with filler grout and stains.