Old cottage kitchens: 20 design tips for small spaces |

20 design tips for small spaces |

Small cottage kitchens are full of prized original features, from rustic wooden ceiling beams and original masonry, to quirky inglenooks and alcoves. It’s these characterful features, teamed with their quaint proportions, mix of rustic wooden furniture and quirky collectables that make cottage kitchens such cozy and homely spaces. 

However, their small footprints and low ceilings can be tricky obstacles to tackle when it comes to creating the perfect cottage kitchen ideas and design. But you don’t have to compromise on practicality or style just because you’re dealing with small kitchen ideas. To help inspire your small cottage kitchen ideas, we’ve shared our top tips, from cabinet choices to wall colors, alongside some handy advice from the experts.

Small cottage kitchen ideas

Preserving the rustic charm and original character of a small cottage kitchen is key to its success. 

‘The charm of small cottage kitchens is often the quirky and eclectic mix of old and new that gives the feeling of a cozy and welcoming space,’ Helen Parker, creative director at deVOL, explains.  

With this in mind, we’ve gathered plenty of ideas for how to define your cottage decorating ideas for a practical small cottage kitchen, without having to compromise on those prized architectural features.

1. Focus on luxe countertops

(Image credit: deVOL)

Elevate your small cottage kitchen ideas by introducing high-end surfaces, colors and accessories that impart a precious, jewel-box feel to your space.

The kitchen pictured here is only 40 square foot in size, yet it is brimming with elegant style, including a backsplash and surfaces in Arabescato marble and dramatic colors mixed with characterful accessories.

By honing your kitchen countertop ideas, and making them a key part of your cottage kitchen design, you maximize their impact.

‘Despite its small scale, this cottage-style kitchen has an outsize personality that makes it such a charming space. Investing in luxe materials such as marble and natural stone makes a big impact without a huge outlay when it comes to a small room like this,’ says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens.

2. Use characterful reclaimed materials

(Image credit: Leanne Ford/photo Amy Neunsinger)

This charming cottage kitchen is a project from interior designer Leanne Ford – and showcases all her hallmarks of charm, authenticity and a touch of the unexpected.

‘When I first started designing this house I thought, I don’t want to fight this house; I want to go with it. It had storybook whimsy, beautiful ivy on the brick and magical old windows that I couldn’t take away. We even kept the original blue floor tile and the same footprint as the original kitchen so the space feels like it has always been there. But then we added bright white paint and soapstone countertops from Walker Zanger to balance it out. And there you have it – a modern space that is still full of charm and soul! 

‘I asked a friend to help me cut up my favorite old table to turn it into the cabinet front for the space that lived beneath the kitchen sink. This well-loved, repurposed piece added the right amount of character to the kitchen to honor its original charm and soul.  

As a final touch, Leanne focussed on her kitchen sink ideas and what this essential piece could add to the overall look of the design.

‘I finished the space off with a stone farmhouse sink from Native Trails that added in clean and timeless lines that would complement the wood.’

(Image credit: Old House Adam/photo Rachel McWalters)

You may be worried that a classic retro-style refrigerator will dominate a small cottage kitchen, but this Big Chill Classic Fridge has been trimmed down by 6 inches – from a standard 36 inches to a slimline 30 inches – to fit comfortably within a smaller space.

‘We were going for a cottage vibe in the kitchen and this fridge was everything we wanted. The Classic 30in is an easy replacement for most residential fridges, and it has classic finishes with an industrial modern twist,’ explains Adam Miller, who can be found on TikTok at Old House Adam.

Where should a refrigerator be placed? That depends on the size and your small kitchen layout ideas, but it’s wise to keep to the classic kitchen triangle format of sink, stove and refrigerator if possible.

Adam also converted vintage desk into a small kitchen island for characterful cottage style.

‘I put off turning an oak desk into the kitchen island for months, but after a trip to the lumber yard, we picked out this beautiful white oak that matched the table perfectly,’ he says. ‘I routed a shelf to match the desktop, and only joined it with biscuits, dowel rods, and wood glue. We added the shelf and the feet, added the matching stain and voila!’

4. Install a pot filler

(Image credit: deVOL)

It may seem counter-intuitive to need an additional faucet in a small cottage kitchen – after all, you don’t have to walk many steps to reach the sink and fill up a pan from the tap there. 

In fact, having a pot filler tap is a great idea in a small cottage kitchen, as it prevents the to-and-fro traffic across the space that can cause difficulties when there’s more than one person in the room. A pot filler is also the one kitchen feature that can increase your home’s value most.

Other small-space ideas include incorporating slim, open shelving instead of boxy wall cupboards and integrated appliances concealed behind solid painted doors for a streamlined, unfussy look that only serves to emphasize the small cottage kitchen charm.

5. Fit a shelf above a window

(Image credit: Karen Harautuneian/Hub of the House Studio )

Making the most of vertical space is key in a tiny kitchen – and it’s a great way when to add the homey comfort that’s associated with small cottage kitchen ideas. What do you put on a small kitchen window? Why not consider a shelf?

This kitchen is designed by Karen Harautuneian, Founder of Hub of the House Studio and co-founder of Hart & Toth Cabinet Co.

She has used the go-to-trick of a designer working on small white kitchen ideas, by opting for white walls, ceiling and cabinetry to maximize the sense of light and space.

But she has also thought about practicalities and the best ways of organizing a small kitchen in order to make the most of every inch. A shelf above the window can be used for items you want to reach easily but don’t want cluttering up your countertop.

There’s still room to get creative with the details that make a difference.

‘When I design a small cottage-style kitchen, I love repurposing vintage sash pulls as cabinet hardware and using a rich wood floor to contrast the often white cabinetry,’ Karen says.

6. Don’t be scared to go dark

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

Dark kitchen cabinet ideas, especially gray kitchen ideas, may seem out of step in a small cottage kitchen – perhaps too dramatic for a smaller space. In fact, dark gray is regarded by designers as one of the best kitchen cabinet colors for the sense of elegance, depth and luxury it can bring to a scheme.

There is also a feeling that it’s better to embrace the lack of light in a small room, rather than trying to fight it.

‘If you have a dark room, rather than battling to make the space feel lighter and brighter, opt for deep, rich colors to create a cocooning atmosphere,’ suggests renowned interior designer, Nina Campbell.

7. Create an airy feel with base cabinetry only

(Image credit: Devol)

‘Small cottage kitchens usually have low ceilings, so keeping clutter to a minimum is key to them feeling spacious and easy to work in,’ continues Helen Parker. 

One way to achieve this is to factor in lots of base cabinetry storage (pictured in this deVOL Real Shaker kitchen), as this will allow you to keep the walls open and bright plus will allow characterful masonry and beams to take the lead.

8. Choose Shaker-style cabinets for a timeless feel

(Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

Taking its name from the Shakers – a Christian sect that settled in America in the late 18th century – Shaker design championed simplicity, honesty and quality. Extremely popular today, Shaker-style kitchen design with its simple straight lines and framed doors will complement any kitchen, no matter how small. 

Shaker kitchen ideas work well in a small cottage kitchen, both for their timeless look and because the wooden cabinets can be designed to fit even the most awkward space.

‘Taking its cue from nature, a light sage color, as pictured in this kitchen, will complement the rural surroundings of a small cottage kitchen and the warm tones of natural timber,’ says interiors stylist, Sara Bird.

(Image credit: Sustainable Kitchens )

Small cottage kitchens have beautiful original features, but these can cause design issues. Calling in a professional kitchen designer who can create bespoke design solutions for your space is a great place to start. 

Talking about this Cotswold Chapel kitchen by Sustainable Kitchens, co-founder Sam Shaw explains how ‘part of the brief was to preserve the room’s rustic charm, so we embraced the original features by fitting an Aga and extractor into the cove.’ 

The Aga gives a homely cottage feel, while disguising the extractor allows for a clean streamlined look which is important in small spaces.

10. Consider glazed wall cabinets 

(Image credit: British Standard by Plain English)

In small cottage kitchens, space is at a premium, so it’s important to factor in lots of storage.

‘Use glazed wall cupboards so they feel less imposing,’ suggests Adrian Bergman, senior designer at British Standard by Plain English kitchens. ‘Paint the interior of glazed wall cupboards a different color to draw the eye through to the back.’ 

11. Paint wall cabinets to match the walls

(Image credit: Sustainable Kitchens)

If you decide to go for glazed wall cabinets, one trick to making small cottage kitchens feel larger is to paint the outsides of the cabinets in the same color as the walls, as co-founder of Sustainable Kitchens Sam Shaw explains. 

‘This kitchen was to suit a family of six so needed to incorporate plenty of storage, we disguised extra storage by painting wall cabinets the same shade as the wall to blend in using the high ceilings efficiently.’

Choosing your kitchen color ideas and the best colors and finishes for your painted kitchen cabinet ideas is a key part of the design process.

The kitchen is painted in Chappell Green from Farrow & Ball, which is a brilliant color for complementing the warm honeyed tones of natural wood and stone in small cottages. Painting the doors, door frames and skirting in the same color, too, will help the space feel larger and more unified, even when using a darker shade.

12. Opt for warm neutrals to create the illusion of space

(Image credit: Devol)

Painting walls and cabinets in a neutral shade is a go-to solution for keeping spaces feeling light and bright. 

‘For many years, grays and cooler tones have been popular, but to make spaces feel truly homey, as a small cottage kitchen should, it’s worth considering warmer neutrals,’ says Homes & Gardens Editor in Chief, Lucy Searle.

This Real Shaker kitchen from deVOL is kept warm and welcoming with cabinetry painted in its creamy Linen shade, while tall wall cabinets and white Carrara marble worktop also help to keep things looking bright and streamlined. 

13. Bring cottage charm with natural wood cabinetry

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Real wood cabinetry will stand the test of time, and, when left with a natural finish showcasing the beautiful timber grain, it will also create a charming rustic feel perfectly suited to a rural cottage, as this small cottage kitchen proves.  

Whatever wood cabinet ideas you choose, your units will need care and maintenance to keep them looking their best, but it’s certainly worth it. 

14. Make your worktops deeper

(Image credit: British Standard)

Another key thing to consider when designing a small cottage kitchen where space is tight is to ‘increase the depth of the worktop to make up for limited wall space,’ suggests Adrian Bergman, senior designer at British Standard by Plain English. 

‘Smaller appliances can clutter the worktop so this is an easy fix to counter this. Be careful not to go too deep as you may find it difficult to access your wall cupboards.’

15. Add in a moveable kitchen island

(Image credit: Future / Malcolm Menzies)

Whether it’s a butcher’s block, vintage metal trolley on casters, or an old wooden table, a moveable piece of furniture will give an extra surface for prepping. What’s more, portable kitchen island ideas like this will give flexibility to the layout of a small space as it can simply be repositioned when extra space is needed.  

Search flea markets for intriguing vintage pieces in natural materials with time-worn patinas which will complement the features of a rustic cottage.

16. Create impact by painting cabinets in a vibrant color

(Image credit: Plankbridge)

If you’re lucky enough to have lots of natural light in your small cottage kitchen, such as in this Plankbridge shepherd’s hut kitchen, then you can afford to be color confident with cabinetry. This vibrant green brings a playful touch to a classic shaker design.

You could also take this approach to farmhouse kitchen island ideas, painting them a bright color to create a focal point.

17. Install some wall hooks

(Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

There are certain tricks that designers use to keep order when they are organizing a kitchen.

Wall hooks will keep surfaces clutter-free and helpful for hanging pans, kitchen essentials and textiles when base cabinet space is limited. However they also help create that homey feel that we all love about a small cottage kitchen, opting for vintage wall hooks will help create that sort after mix of old and new.  

18. Choose a paint color to complement original features

(Image credit: Little Greene)

When it comes to choosing a color for a small cottage kitchen Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene advises:  ‘It’s important to consider the colors that already exist within the space, be that furniture, flooring or furnishings, these elements should be included as colors within your palette to draw out the style you wish to follow. Are there architectural features or areas of interest to draw attention to? Color is a fantastic way to highlight these features or brighten gloomy corners.’ 

Remember, cottage lighting ideas are also key to creating a welcoming but well illuminated space.

19. Add a pulley dryer

(Image credit: Future / Jody Stewart)

When space is limited, it’s important to utilise every inch. Hanging a pulley dryer from the ceiling is a great way to get laundry drying up and out of the way, whether you are installing it in your small cottage kitchen or organizing a laundry room.

Add hooks to your laundry rack and it can also double up as a place to hang pots and utensils, in fact, anything! A common sight before the days of washing dryers, a pulley maid will give your small cottage kitchen a homey, vintage feel. 

20. Add in high shelves to display collectables 

(Image credit: Future / Jody Stewart)

In small cottage kitchens you have to make use of every nook and cranny. Often the focal point of a small cottage kitchen, above the Aga is a brilliant place to add in a wall shelf and showcase those cherished ceramics that make your space feel so quaint and homely. 

When you’re styling a shelf like this, which is more about display than storage, be sure to created a balanced vignette of favorite items.

What kitchen layout is popular in small homes?

The layout of your kitchen will depend on the space available to you. Galley kitchen ideas are the best option for narrow and long spaces. L-shaped kitchens give a sense of flow, and may allow space for a dining area at one end of the space. Or you may find that a freestanding kitchen, which allows flexibility to move furniture and flex it to fit your space, offers you the greatest freedom for the kitchen layout in a small home.

21 pretty ways to decorate homey spaces |

Whether you live in a classic country cottage and are looking for cottage kitchen ideas to complement it, or simply love the cottage look, we’ve rounded up the key things to consider, as well as plenty of inspiration and expert advice from kitchen designers to help plan your interior.

From layout, storage and materials to lighting, wall colors and window treatments, there are plenty of kitchen ideas to consider when creating the perfect cozy and rustic space, but perhaps the best place to start is to consider what you have. 

Cottage kitchen ideas

Cottage kitchens are prized for their original features. Whether stone flagstone floors, rustic ceiling beams or weathered inglenooks, it’s these details that give cottage kitchens their unique charm and homey feel.  

When thinking about cottage kitchen ideas, it’s important to consider how best to make these features really shine while also creating a space that is practical and welcoming.

We’ve plenty of ideas to help you get the look in any size kitchen, but if you want definitive design tips for the rest of your home, our cottage decorating ideas will bring you plenty of advice for a characterful home.

1. Tick the ‘cottage style’ boxes

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

There are certain gorgeous elements that epitomise a cottage kitchen – think butler sinks, warm wood elements, stone flooring types, brushed gold and brass fixtures, a larder cupboard and vintage-style drawer pulls.

And then there’s character and color…

This kitchen from John Lewis of Hungerford has it all, with the teal color interiors of the wall cabinets bringing personality to the space.

‘Designing a cottage-style kitchen is all about selecting honest, natural materials and pairing them with simple finishes,’ says Rebecca Noakes, Head of Design & Brand Creative, John Lewis of Hungerford. ‘Color-wise, go for warming, natural palettes.’

2. Add a modern update 

(Image credit: Kim Gordon Designs)

Classic cottage kitchen ideas can be given a contemporary update with unexpected additions. This stunning design by Santa Monica interior decorator Kim Gordon plays with repetition, scale, and contrasting materials – all within a cottage context.

Introducing metallic and marble elements alongside rustic wood and a pale palette keeps the look fresh.

3. Mix wood finishes

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

The use of wood in a cottage kitchen goes beyond the cabinetry. Wall paneling ideas, like the tongue-and-groove splashback in this kitchen, bring texture and a warmer look than tiles, while still being practical. A rustic wood table also showcases the natural beauty of wood grain.

‘The harmonious combination of expert craftsmanship, functionality and traditional design make cottage kitchen ideas an obvious choice when renovating your kitchen,’ says Rebecca Noakes from John Lewis of Hungerford .  

‘Cottage kitchens have always been fashionable, and their endless appeal lies in the warmth and character this aesthetic instantly gives to any home. To get that  cottage kitchen feel the use of natural materials is really important, think wooden elements or beautiful stone flooring.’

4. Make the most of a small space

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Cottage kitchens tend to be smaller in size, so you’ll need to make the most of every inch of space to maximize its functionality. 

One idea is to combine a built-in banquette with dining chairs, to allow more people to gather around the kitchen table. Creating a sense of separation, with color or a pendant light above the table, will bring a sense of occasion to even the smallest eating area.

And think about appliances, too.

‘Multitasking appliances such as washer-dryers are definitely worth considering. While concealed appliances that are integrated into the cabinetry will open up the space visually and create cleaner lines,’ says Sally Hinks, Kitchen Designer at Harvey Jones.

‘Smaller appliances such as coffee machines and microwaves can be housed in cupboards to free up valuable countertop space.’

5. Introduce bold but natural color

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

Bold color is a great addition to Shaker kitchen ideas – but for a cottage look, the shade you choose will ideally be informed by your backyard planting or the land around you.

‘This beautiful green kitchen design from John Lewis of Hungerford for @ferncottagemull, with its green painted panel walls and blue kitchen island idea is totally immersive, just like the landscape beyond the back door,’ says Andréa Childs, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors magazine. 

‘The accessories really work to bring in the cottage look, too. Interesting and characterful, they add layers of interest that build on the base color for a unique look.’

6. Choose a natural floorcovering

(Image credit: Fibre carpets)

While wood and stone flooring is a key component of classic cottage kitchen ideas, sometimes you want a softer look. Here, a sisal rug not only provides comfort underfoot, it also helps to define the dining area within the kitchen space.

A natural fiber such as seagrass, coir or sisal is a great cottage kitchen idea, but you’ll want to choose one that can withstand any splashes and spills.

‘Sisal is a hugely popular choice for flooring, even more so in recent years as we’re all so much more environmentally conscious,’ says Julian Downes, Managing Director of natural carpet and rug brand, Fibre. ‘Our new Sisal EasyClean collection is just as hardwearing but with added protection for the inevitable spills which come with a busy family or entertaining home.’

7. Plan your layout carefully

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

When you’re planning cottage kitchen layout ideas, keep practicality in mind – especially with long galley kitchen ideas like this one.

‘Think carefully about which parts of the kitchen you’re going to be using most for cooking and how easily you can move between them,’ suggests Sally Hinks, Kitchen Designer at Harvey Jones, who make this Arbor kitchen.

‘Use the kitchen triangle method to help you position the refrigerator, sink and cooker as the core elements when mapping out your space.’

8. Focus on storage solutions

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

Cottage kitchens can come with a number of storage challenges – uneven walls, low ceilings, quirky shapes, or simple lack of space, can all limit cupboard capacity.

‘Built-in cabinetry and options that cleverly use every inch of space are your friend here,’ says interiors stylist Sara Bird. ‘Ideally, your kitchen storage ideas should incorporate floor-to-ceiling cupboards that maximize vertical space. You may need bespoke options, such as shelving or cubbies built around or into fireplaces, hearths and alcoves. Finally, options such as storage window seats, shelving and even under-plinth drawers will add to the conventional kitchen cabinetry.’

9. Keep it simple

(Image credit: Michelle Salz Smith/Jenni Corti)

Cottage kitchens can quickly become fussy and cluttered. If your look is more pared back than chintzy, keep things simple with slab-front cabinets, minimal handles, and a serene color palette.

Symmetry helps to keep a kitchen looking smart and put-together. Here, matching open shelves around a sink positioned in the center of the countertop bring a feeling of serenity.

10. Create a welcoming feel with a rustic timber table and chairs

(Image credit: Devol)

Cottage kitchens are so much more than places to prepare food, they really are the heart of the home and a vintage kitchen table is essential to creating that perfect social hub and homely cottage feel, as Helen Parker, creative director at Devol explains. 

‘The charm of cottage kitchens is often their quirky and eclectic mix of old and new as this gives the feeling of a cozy and welcoming space. A vintage kitchen table and chairs is a must; all cottages need a spot for chatting and drinking tea and the ubiquitous jug of wild flowers.’ 

In contrast to the rustic furniture, this beautiful chandelier adds a surprising luxe element – one of many fantastic cottage lighting ideas to transform a space.

11. Maximize natural light with pale cabinets

(Image credit: Neptune)

Cottage kitchens often have low ceilings and small windows, so the key to a good design is taking every opportunity to optimise on natural light as Nerine Vacher, Kitchen Designer at Neptune, reveals.  

‘Making use of the natural light will go a long way in creating a harmonious flow in your kitchen. By including cabinetry in soft colors, like Neptune’s Sage (pictured above) or Snow, you will see how light and airy the room feels, no matter how big or small.’

Our painted kitchen cabinet ideas will help you find the perfect color for your space.

12. Choose real wood Shaker-style cabinetry

(Image credit: Future Owns / Darren Chung)

As any cottage owner knows, there’s rarely a straight line to be found within the property’s four walls. With this in mind, bespoke cabinetry is often the best solution to getting the most out of awkward spaces. The simple, paired-back design of classic Shaker-style cabinetry will beautifully complement rustic architectural features.  

13. Showcase rustic period features

(Image credit: Unique Home Stays)

Cottage kitchens are brimming with desirable period features, so make sure your design makes the most of them. Rather than conceal rustic exposed brick or stone walls with cabinets, try opting for simple wall shelves which will allow the history of your property to shine through. 

Cabinets and a backsplash created from reclaimed timber enhance this vintage French look. While the checkerboard floor is a classic element of French country kitchen ideas.

14. Create a blank canvas for layering vintage finds

(Image credit: British Standard)

Keeping walls and cabinets white is a brilliant foundation for showcasing the vintage pieces which give cottage kitchens their unique charm, as Adrian Bergman, senior designer at British Standard by Plain English explains. 

‘With a clean and light palette you can create a layered interior with an eclectic mix of furniture – think pot board dressers, farmhouse tables, Windsor chairs, open shelves and pot racks. Finish with personal knick knacks and trinkets to add a lived-in charm.’ 

White kitchen ideas also have a timeless quality that work beautifully within a cottage-style kitchen.

15. Consider freestanding furniture

(Image credit: Cotswold Co.)

When space is at a premium, as it often is in cottage kitchens, it’s a good idea to factor in some freestanding pieces to bring flexibility to your kitchen layout. 

Try opting for a moveable kitchen island or butchers block, or small vintage table, as pictured above, which will create extra prep space but can also be easily moved to the side of the room if you need to make space for guests.

Other small kitchen ideas might include making the most of the vertical space with tall cabinets and open shelving, and using color to enhance the sense of spaciousness.

16. Factor in plenty of storage 

(Image credit: B&Q)

‘Effective small kitchen storage is another simple way to create a happy and homely kitchen. ‘ explains Nerine Vacher, kitchen designer at Neptune. ‘Including a single piece of furniture, such as a cabinet, or larder, you can completely transform your kitchen, by creating more surface space and keeping clutter out of sight.’ 

Organizing a kitchen begins with the unseen elements, such as the area under the sink or keeping utensils neatly on hooks, to bring order to your cottage kitchen ideas.

17. Add a vintage dresser to display collectibles 

(Image credit: Future / Malcolm Menzies)

An iconic, practical piece which has furnished kitchens across the centuries, a classic wooden dresser is a mainstay of the cottage kitchen. It offers the perfect space for displaying those prized brocante finds and vintage ceramics, but also lends a homely feel. Its effectiveness is all down to how you style a display cabinet to put on a show in your cottage kitchen.

‘Shelves with a higgledy-piggledy array of French porcelain bowls, books and vintage glassware is the best way to create a feeling of a home that is more than just stylish, but a sign of a happy well lived life,’ reveals Helen Parker, creative director at Devol.

18. Focus on a traditional range cooker

(Image credit: Future / Brent Darby )

At the heart of the home for centuries, the range cooker would not only have been used for cooking, but would have heated the entire house. With its constant radiant heat, a traditional cast iron Aga is hailed by many as the best oven for traditional home cooking, but it will create a cozy, warm welcome. In fact, there are lots of clever ways to use a range cooker that don’t involve cooking.

It’s the perfect spot to relax  in a rocking chair with a good book, for dogs to snuggle, or to hang the laundry to dry above on a pulley dryer. Alternatively, there are plenty of modern electrical range cookers available with the good looks of the traditional Aga but with increased control and functionality.

19. Choose a real wood kitchen worktop

(Image credit: British Standard)

The beautiful, varying grain of real timber is the perfect complement to the weathered architectural features of a cottage kitchen and should be on your list when considering kitchen countertop ideas.  

Revealing his key tips for creating a cottage kitchen, Adrian Bergman, senior designer at British Standard by Plain English, says: 

‘The beaded detail on our Stowupland doors sit perfectly in a cottage kitchen. We would suggest pairing the cupboards with a rustic wooden worktop to add warmth and texture. Choose one that weathers gracefully, Oak, or reclaimed Pitch Pine both work really well.’ The wood will require periodic oiling, but the effect is beautiful and the worktop will stand the test of time.’ 

20. Introduce vintage textiles

(Image credit: David Brittain)

Whether it’s chintzy florals, classic ginghams or a hint of elegant French linen, vintage textiles are guaranteed to lend a homely feel to a cottage kitchen. Cottage curtain ideas are a great place to start when looking for inspiration for a pretty, cozy home.

Curtains in a pretty fabric are a brilliant way to hide white goods and a vintage floral tablecloth will certainly create that vintage country feel. A custom-made Roman blind at a window in a nature-inspired print to bring color and pattern to a space.

21. Create a cozy feel with a warm wall color 

(Image credit: Future / Darren Chung)

Cottage kitchens are all about capturing a cosy, homely atmosphere, and wall color can have a huge impact on the look, feel and atmosphere in a space. Kitchen color ideas can create a vibrant lift or promote a calming mood, or be used to brighten up a shady room.

With its subtle natural tones and soft mottled texture, this orange limewash from Ingilby Paints brings a warm cheery feel to this cottage kitchen without being harsh on the eye. 

A natural, breathable formula, limewash is ideal for preserving original plasterwork in older cottages. 

What is a cottage style kitchen?

Cottage kitchens are prized for their original features – whether stone flagstone floors, rustic ceiling beams or weathered inglenooks – it’s these details that give cottage kitchens their unique charm and homely feel.  

For more compact spaces, then our small cottage kitchen ideas will bring you more advice and ideas to help you create a characterful cottage kitchen.

What does cottage kitchen style mean?

Cottage style is a look that is warm, homely, compact and full of character. Of course, cottage kitchens’ small proportions and irregular angles can present unique challenges, too, but there’s no need to fret, as small can still be beautiful as Helen Parker, creative director at Devol explains. 

‘A cottage kitchen is small so everything you put in it should be very carefully chosen, there is no room for nasty appliances or ill-considered pots and pans,’ she reveals. ‘You don’t have much space so make every vignette and surface look as beautiful as you can, spend money on choosing things that are absolutely perfect and beautiful. Never settle for “okay” in a cottage, it will end up looking mismatched and messy.’ 

practical advice on arrangement, photo examples

Arranging a kitchen in the country is a rather serious moment that requires a thorough approach. Unfortunately, very often it is treated carelessly, as many have the opinion that it is necessary to take to the dacha what is no longer needed in a permanent house or apartment: shabby furniture, old appliances, various things “let them lie in reserve”.

If you approach the issue correctly, the kitchen in the country will become a real masterpiece

In this case, it is not necessary to talk about a beautiful functional kitchen. However, if you approach the issue of arranging the kitchen responsibly, then you will be able to make not only a practical, but also a very cozy kitchen, in which it will be pleasant not only to cook, but also to enjoy your vacation on summer evenings.

Take care of coziness and comfort



The main difficulty of arranging a kitchen in a country house lies far from the difficulties of choosing a design or choosing the right household appliances. The first thing you will most likely have to face is the need to establish communications.

Even the most beautiful kitchen is useless without communications

It’s good if you bought a ready-made country house, where the former owners took care of everything – then you just have to check the serviceability of the communications and proceed directly to the repair.

If you need to make general repairs or build the site yourself, heed the following recommendations:

  • If you cannot connect to the public electricity supply, you can install several solar panels or a wind turbine. Of course, there is not enough power to support a huge number of household appliances. But for a minimal set of lighting, a refrigerator, a microwave and your gadgets – completely.
  • It is also not necessary to connect to the central water supply. For kitchen needs, it will be enough for you to have a well or a well, to which a pipe is connected. Some install water collectors, but we find it difficult to call the solution practical – in dry weather they will have to be filled manually, which, again, brings us to the problem of where to get water.
  • The same statement is true for solving the sewage problem. A regular pit latrine will be enough to meet your needs. Think well of the drainage system – if it becomes clogged, it will be very unpleasant.
  • It is necessary to resolve the issue with the power supply of the stove. Electric or induction is hardly suitable: they consume too much electricity, so it is likely to be expensive to keep them in the country, unless, of course, it is connected to the public network. Therefore, we recommend stopping at a gas stove – it can be easily connected to cylinders that are not too expensive. Alternatively, you can lay a real Russian stove in your dacha – this is both an additional source of heating on cold days and the opportunity to cook incredibly tasty and healthy food.

In fact, if you solve the issue of communications, we can assume that half of the work is done – in the future, you just have to do the finishing, decide on the design and choose furniture and household appliances.

Start decorating when you decide the priority points

However, this is not all the features of arranging a kitchen in the country. It is very important to take care of good, reliable ventilation – heat, moisture and smells from the kitchen can significantly spoil your stay in a country house, especially if the walls are made of thin materials.

Some solve this problem radically – they build a so-called summer kitchen, which stands separately from the rest of the building. If you do not have the ability or desire to do this, make sure that the kitchen has good air exchange with the street.

Summer kitchen can be located just under a canopy or in a gazebo.

Have you solved all the problems? It’s time to move on to the pleasant – the arrangement of the country kitchen. True, no one promises that it will be easy.

How to furnish

Although it’s obviously more fun to choose finishing materials than solving sewer problems, you will have to put in a lot of effort to get it right. On the one hand, the process of organizing a kitchen in a country house is quite similar to it in an ordinary apartment or house.

Proper design is the key to success

On the other hand, you need to consider how suitable the materials are for these purposes – for example, expensive paper wallpapers in a house with fragile walls and a thin roof may not survive the first serious downpour. Therefore, we will now look at this point in order to understand what to focus on and decide which materials are suitable for use in the kitchen.

How to finish the walls

As already mentioned, ordinary wallpaper is unlikely to suit you. But vinyl, due to the high resistance to moisture – completely.

The same is true for paint: simple mixtures can quickly peel and crack, but water-resistant washable coatings withstand use in difficult conditions. According to reviews on the forums, rubber paints have proven themselves best.

Waterproof paint – great for the kitchen

Not a bad choice – ceramic tiles. However, in this case, it is necessary to carefully select the composition for processing the joints and make sure that the tile fits snugly. As for the adhesive base, we recommend a silicate base – it is highly waterproof, strong enough, but at the same time does not make the structure too heavy, which is important for the usually thin walls of country houses.

Tiles – time-tested

Wooden clapboard – another interesting option. It will cost you less than the boards, and it will look no less impressive. However, there are some nuances here: you need a material with a special impregnation, preferably both waterproof and heat-resistant.

Lining is popular

Important: If you decide to install a Russian stove in your dacha, you will have to give up wooden elements in the decoration. Of course, this combination looks quite impressive, but in reality the risk of fire is too high. Don’t forget about your safety.

An unusual but fashionable solution – a kitchen with bare brick walls. Of course, this is only permissible if the brickwork is neat and all the bricks are intact. However, in general, such a move looks very cool – if you have chosen the style of the kitchen correctly.

Brick can look very interesting

How to finish the floor

Perhaps this is one of the most difficult questions. If your building has a solid foundation, then there are practically no restrictions. But what if the foundation is conditional or simply absent?

In this case, the strength of the material and its resistance to moisture and chemical processes that occur upon contact with the ground should come first.

Concrete is considered to be quite a popular material for decorating a summer cottage floor. Do not think that it is boring and gray: modern options can look very decorative. In addition, it is durable and practically indestructible – ideal for difficult suburban conditions.

Who said that concrete is not suitable for the kitchen?

Quite often wooden floors are installed in dachas. However, there are some nuances here. If the house has a solid foundation, and the room is not damp, nothing limits your choice. Buy wood for visual qualities, feel free to lay parquet or laminate.

But if the reliability of the base raises questions or the kitchen is rather damp, it is necessary to choose dense, expensive types of wood – otherwise the coating will quickly become damp. You can solve the problem if you organize a good waterproofing under the floor and reliably cycle it. However, often the costs do not justify themselves – a lot of money has been spent, and the longevity of such a floor is very doubtful.

Wooden floor – an eternal classic

All the same theses apply to laminate flooring – a cheap coating will quickly become unusable, and an expensive one will cost you a round sum and require significant foundation preparation.

It is not desirable to install a parquet board in a country house at all – most of them are characterized by low resistance to moisture, so they deteriorate very quickly in country conditions.

But linoleum is not afraid of moisture at all. In addition, it has a wide variety of design solutions, some of which very well imitate various more expensive materials. Linoleum has another problem – squeezeability. That is, if you are used to walking in shoes, heels will leave a mark on the floor. On the other hand, few people go to the country in high heels.

In addition, linoleum is afraid of temperature changes, it can crack in the cold or deform in the heat. Therefore, think carefully about the temperature regime in the kitchen of your dacha, even if you do not plan to go there in the winter.

Linoleum – stylish and practical

Ceramic tiles – an almost ideal material for a kitchen in the country. True, it is quite cold, so you will have to walk around the kitchen in shoes or buy some rugs. In any case, you do not have to worry about deformation due to moisture or low temperatures.

Tiles are often laid in the dacha

Expensive stone or marble floors, self-leveling acrylic floors, carpet or cork are rarely used in the dacha, so we consider it unnecessary to talk about them in detail. Laying such coatings makes sense only if your dacha is a capital structure, and not an ordinary country house.

Finishing the ceiling

Before you start finishing the ceiling in the country, you need to deal with the roof. Make sure it is securely sealed and does not leak or allow moisture to enter. In addition, it is desirable to carry out antiparasitic treatment – in the country the problem of unwanted insects, and sometimes rodents, is more acute than in apartment buildings.

The most obvious option for a dacha is lining or even an ordinary profiled board. It is easy to attach to the ceiling, it is not too heavy, in case of damage it is easy to replace the damaged part. As one of the varieties of such a finish, eurolining can be used. It got its name for better processing of the outer plane and slightly different geometric dimensions.

A simple and reliable solution

However, we recommend additional processing of the material from bark beetles – in most regions of Russia they are a serious problem.

In second place in popularity, of course, are foam boards and various plastic panels and blocks. Their main advantage is the ability to tolerate moisture and temperature changes well. In addition, such materials do not attract various parasites – a tangible bonus for country conditions. And yes, it’s inexpensive to do so.

You can add beams to the structure, but not too heavy

Ordinary MDF panels are not the best choice. They do not differ in moisture and water resistance, and therefore will quickly become unusable. There are also materials of increased strength with protective impregnation. However, their cost is far from the budget – you will spend a significant amount, and over time, the effect of impregnation will noticeably decrease. But for the first couple of years, such a ceiling looks very beautiful.

An interesting option is drywall sheets. Inexpensive, moisture resistant and durable enough, they can serve in the country for years. True, they will have to be tinted periodically, however, against the background of an alternative – a complete replacement of the coating in some cases, the cost of a can of paint can be ignored. In addition, you can create a variety of designs and boxes from them that will mask communications. Quite worthy of consideration material.

Stretch ceilings will become a more expensive, but very convenient finishing option. Such a canvas is not afraid of water, it tolerates temperature changes perfectly, it looks very interesting. You can choose any design. However, if the walls in the country house are low, we recommend that you exercise caution – such a coating can be easily damaged by any sharp object. Therefore, it is better not to bring rakes and hoes into the kitchen.

Stretch ceiling in the country? Why not.

The most budget option is paint. However, it should be understood that you need to choose a waterproof coating. Silicate and rubber paints have proven themselves well.

How to finish an apron

A working surface in a country house is a place of increased workload. Often, it is there that the canning process is carried out during the season, without leaving the garden. Therefore, all elements of the working corner must be strong and reliable.

This also applies to the apron. We put forward the following requirements for materials: reliability, ease of maintenance, the ability to endure operating conditions in the country.

The most common option is a tile backsplash. Durable, easy care, beautiful. With minimal skills, you can even install it yourself – a powerful argument if you plan to save on kitchen arrangements. True, the tile can break, but this is not a particular problem: the damaged area is easy to replace.

Boar tile is a great choice.

If you want to add coziness and originality to your kitchen, choose a mosaic apron. According to its characteristics, this is the same tile, however, due to its small size, it looks very interesting. In addition, you can lay out interesting pictures from the mosaic, pick up a wide variety of patterns, depending on the design style of your kitchen.

Try to decorate an apron

It is often chosen for an apron for a country house. However, its disadvantages are very significant: deformation from high temperatures, the possibility of scratches … Therefore, we do not recommend MDF – a simple tile will cost you the same price, but will last much longer.

Any wooden aprons are not very reliable

Stove or tile?

Most modern people definitely choose a conventional stove. However, keep in mind that in the country it may not be very convenient: the need to provide food for it or the constant purchase of gas.

It is more familiar to handle the stove

Of course, there is also enough trouble with the Russian stove. However, you get the opportunity to eat extraordinarily delicious dishes, many of which cannot be cooked in the oven. In addition, all that is required for the stove is the preparation of firewood. In addition, on cold days, it will serve as an additional source of heating.

You need to learn how to use the stove, but the effort will pay off

However, keep in mind that the stove will need a lot of space, and it will take you time to learn how to handle it.

Where to install the sink

We recommend that you remember the principle of the working triangle: the sink, stove and work surface should be located at a distance of no more than one and a half meters from each other, and ideally even less.

The working triangle will have to be built from the sink

However, in the country, this principle should be slightly changed. Usually focused on the oven. In this case, the top of the triangle should be a sink – plan its location so that it is most convenient to carry out communications. If they have already been carried out, then there are no options at all.

What kind of furniture to choose

First of all, we urge you to abandon the common habit of taking to the dacha everything that is not useful in a house or city apartment. With this approach, you have no chance to equip a cozy kitchen.

Furniture should be beautiful and functional

Furniture for summer cottages should be durable, wear-resistant, tolerant of changes in temperature and humidity. Do not get hung up on too expensive materials – such a purchase is unlikely to be justified.

Moisture impregnated chipboard, plastic, tempered glass – these materials are well suited for kitchen furniture in the country.

As for the kitchen set, the list of options is even wider. Plastic, acrylic, film, glass – choose the option that you like. The only thing we recommend is to purchase a headset, the edges of which are covered with metal dies – so the wood inside will remain intact longer and will not swell from moisture.

Even a wooden set will last a long time if you choose moisture-resistant species

Otherwise, be guided by your taste and stylistic ideas of your design.

Which chandelier to hang

Lighting in the country is a rather serious issue. It will be difficult for you to provide power to a complex system of lighting fixtures. Therefore, we recommend opting for spotlights or choosing one small chandelier.

It is better if the cover is made of plastic or glass – such materials are well tolerated by the operating conditions in the country.

It is important not to overdo it with lighting

Do not forget about the general principles of kitchen lighting – the working area should be as illuminated as possible, this is the key to comfortable work.

Color and design

The choice of style and color palette for the kitchen in the country largely depends on your tastes. However, we urge you not to forget about common sense. It is unlikely that luxurious baroque or flashy empire would be appropriate in a country house.

Beautiful, but hardly comfortable in a dacha

It is hard to imagine such interiors as a loft or high-tech there – it is quite difficult to implement them qualitatively, and few people associate a dacha with an abundance of glass, metal and modern materials.

However, if you are ready for experiments…

But the classic style, oddly enough, would be appropriate. Skip the fussy details—simple shapes, restrained tones, neat furniture, and elegant décor. Thus, you will give the country kitchen nobility and style.

Restrained classics are always in theme

Ideal for country-style kitchens. A large number of cozy details, natural materials, simple, but at the same time beautiful and reliable finish. In addition, your preparations for the winter may well become an additional decoration for such a kitchen – jars of country-style jams and marinades are regarded as an additional decor.

Country as if created for a summer residence

Scandinavian style is also good. Especially if you decide to make a simple kitchen. Natural materials, abundance of light and space – why not? If you think about it, this is what so many country kitchens lack.

Scandinavian style will fill the kitchen with light

Decided to install a real oven? Then your choice is Russian-style cuisine. Khokhloma, Gzhel, characteristic embroidery – this will allow you to create an original and original room that will delight all your guests.

Experiment with the Provence style – it is in perfect harmony with the concept of a country house. Unless, of course, you overdo it with the details – perhaps it is better to look for a compromise solution in the matter of decor.

Bold and authentic.

When it comes to colors, the style you choose plays a decisive role. However, in the country, natural shades look best – beige, olive, brown, different tones of green.

Much depends on the size and configuration of the kitchen – the smaller it is, the lighter the palette should be.

However, as we have already said, the choice of color is an individual decision, where you need to build on the traditions of style and your personal preferences.

Ideas for the kitchen in the country

To facilitate the decision, we have prepared a selection of photos of country interiors. Various styles and design solutions, useful features and secret tricks. We are sure that with the help of these photos you will quickly understand what kind of kitchen you need in your country house!

It is convenient to place a kitchen with a stove in a gazebo. Make a small kitchen! A kitchen box is an original solution. Dimensions allow? Make a full-fledged kitchen-dining room Nothing superfluous. Why not? The first floor of a spacious cottage can be combined into a single space. If desired, you can use different types of tiles


Country kitchen: design projects, decoration, photo

Country life for the city dweller is associated with paradise. It’s quiet, calm, no crowds. There is only a complete sense of freedom and unity with nature. But we must not forget about the basic human needs. Therefore, the kitchen in the country should be functional, beautiful and comfortable.

Decorate in the right style

The right choice of kitchen design will create a cozy atmosphere inherent in country houses, while maintaining the functionality of the kitchen. Styles that are close to rustic, such as country, provence, industrial, rustic, scandi, etc., have gained particular popularity. They allow the kitchen to retain country charm, but at the same time remain comfortable and modern. This design does not exclude the presence of various household appliances, which are matched to a certain style of interior or can be hidden behind the facades of a kitchen set.

Washing in front of the window

This solution does not lose its relevance. If the layout of the kitchen allows, place the sink opposite the window. This will not only provide enough natural light in this work area, but also allow you to admire the view from the window to the summer cottage. Thanks to this solution, washing dishes will become less of a chore.

Adding light

Even if the kitchen has a large window, one ceiling chandelier will be difficult to do. Additional lighting sources are recommended to be added above the work areas – where the preparation of products for various dishes and country preparations will take place. Lighting can be arranged using spotlights (spotlights) or diode lighting.

Wall tiles around the kitchen

This finish is well suited for an outdoor kitchen in the country. With the help of tiles, it is customary to decorate only an apron. But this is an urban approach. You are in your country house, so you can do everything the way you want. Advantages:

  • Looks unusual. Such a kitchen design in the country will definitely not leave anyone indifferent;
  • Practical. You can wash the surface with water from a hose;
  • Fire resistance. The surface is not damaged if there is a hearth or barbecue nearby. And you can quickly wash off all the soot from them.

By the way, at the dacha in this way you can decorate not only the street, but also the inner kitchen.

Combination with the living room

The kitchen-living room in the country house is ideal if you have a small house. By combining two rooms and using space zoning tips, you can create a very interesting interior that is not devoid of functionality. The dining area overlooks the “territory” of the living room, so the kitchen space “expands”. There is enough space for food preparation.

There are quite a few photos of the kitchen combined with the living room in the country house. You will definitely be able to find an option that suits you in terms of beauty and technical features. Also, our experienced designers will be able to choose a design that will meet all your wishes.

Not doors, but shutters

Another economical option. Not a single professional kitchen project in the country includes a corresponding idea. And this is its charm – it is unique.

Firstly, textiles are cheap. And secondly, you can change the interior at any time, as soon as you get tired of the current one. You can use plain curtains or fabric with a floral print. There are even materials with textures of wood or natural stone on sale.

This option is also suitable for a small kitchen in the country, because does not overload the space, makes it “airy”.

Renovated furniture VS new

There is always a choice – whether to use old furniture for the kitchen or updated.