Choose seats that will sit best in this more contemporary take on traditional country style
When you think of traditional rustic style, you might picture an untouched remote cottage interior or a log cabin. It’s a cosy look, but modern rustic is a more adaptable take on it. There’s still plenty of wood, but it’s lighter or perhaps painted. Pattern is played down and clean, contemporary furnishings work beautifully in the mix.
More in this series: Bar Stool Inspiration for Minimal, Modern Kitchens l Bar Stool Inspiration for Kitchens with Character l Bar Stool Inspiration for Traditional Kitchens
Work a subtle twist
An ultra-simple, all-wood style picks out the other timber elements, including the stunning chandelier, in this rustic yet clean-lined kitchen. Rather than choosing stools in the same shape, however, take your lead from this scheme and opt for a mix of square and round seats to break the uniformity.
Also note how this space blends different timbers. Each wooden feature – cupboards, wall panelling, ceiling joists, stools and so on – has its own texture. However, tonally, they’re almost the same shade. This keeps the aesthetic clean and contemporary, whereas a mix of woods in different colours would lend more of an eclectic, rough ’n’ rustic feel to the room.
Warm it up
If your kitchen is very modern but you’re keen to introduce a rustic element, be inspired by this combination of styles. It shows just how visually significant one choice can be – in this case, the seating. The kitchen is slick and contemporary; it’s the chunky, timber-topped stools that add the warm, more homely feel.
To tap into this effect, look for seats with plenty of grain on show, and opt for a luxurious amount of depth to ramp up the forest feel.
Pick a classic
These Tolix H stools suit many styles of kitchen, including this classic Shaker one, and give a slightly utilitarian touch. Choosing a cream shade, as seen here, rather than plain metal, softens the overall effect (they can look really industrial in some contexts) and helps them to blend in to the room – useful in an open-plan space that leads into a living area.
There’s a huge range of bar stools out there to suit this look, so check out this kitchen edit before you hit the shops.
Narrow it down
Rustic often conjures up images of chunky, solid designs, but this stool has a slim seat and delicate metal legs that contrast nicely with the rest of the kitchen. It links with the strong fine lines of the dark grouting for subtle cohesion.
A style like this would also work well in a kitchen where space is tight, as it can be tucked neatly under an island and the legs won’t stick out as a potential trip hazard.
Experiment with white
Don’t rule out man-made materials in a modern-rustic kitchen. These stools have a definite contemporary feel, but the wooden legs temper the moulded white seat, adding a softer feel, as well as complementing the other wooden touches.
Have look at these stools for minimal kitchen schemes
Go for leather
Comfy and practical, these padded leather stools also have a high back, making them a good choice for a longer sit-down. Also, rather than being perched at an island, these seats sit at a high table that can double as another useful kitchen work surface.
The combination of metal and wood is a classic modern-rustic look, but here the legs have been painted blue to add a burst of colour against the neutral units, and to match the pendant lights.
If you can’t find the colour you like, you could try spray-painting the legs in a shade that works in your scheme.
For a more substantial option, how about a tall dining chair? With its generous padded seat and cross-strut back, this upholstered design would encourage guests to sit and chat to the cook, without the need to wander off in search of a more comfy chair.
Stainless-steel remains a very popular kitchen choice for appliances and accessories, such as this fridge and pendant lights, but rather than going for the same slick, polished metal on the bar stools, the owners of this kitchen have added a warmer element with these bronze numbers.
Mixing metals works really well in a rustic interior. Just make sure one or two are in slightly ‘rough and ready’ warm tones (bronze is perfect, or try materials that mimic rusted metal), and pair with sleek joinery to keep the balance.
What do you think of this selection? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.