6 ways to create a rustic Scandinavian kitchen design | Vaunt Design
Rustic Scandinavian kitchen design

Traditional vs rustic Scandinavian interior design. What really is the difference?

If clean, bright and clutter-free living is your idea of a perfect home, then you really needn’t look much further than the Scandinavian home trend. What if, however, your kitchen taste edges ever so slightly closer to warmer tones than the white hues of traditional Scandinavian kitchen design? What if you have a penchant for earthy wooden accents in your kitchen space instead of the sleek, streamlined designs crafted out of plastics and laminated wood? You’ll be pleased to know there’s a distinct variation to the look, and it’s one you’re going to love! From rustic Scandinavian style lighting to vintage copper accents, this post is dedicated to helping you achieve a Nordic kitchen design that’s chock full of texture and character. Keep reading for our 6 ways to create a rustic Scandinavian kitchen design.

1. Rustic Scandinavian decor colour combinations

Rustic kitchen

Image credit - Kronfoto (instagram)

Traditional Scandinavian kitchen design leans heavily towards crisp white walls and clean kitchen unit design. The use of white has multiple advantages when used as the predominant colour across your kitchen, not least its ability to maximise natural light, so it’s not to be overlooked, even in rustic Scandinavian interior design. All we’re trying to do is accent your crisp whites with hints of earthy beige, orange and wood textures. Check out this little list for some rustic Scandi inspiration that you can apply to your kitchen…

• Distressed wooden dining table
• Used scaffold plank shelving
• Live edge chopping boards
• Brick walls (painted white or not - it’s the texture that matters)
• Copper or industrial style bar stools
• Distressed metal, rope or rattan lighting

The key to a rustic Scandi style kitchen is to accessorise with a smattering of earthy hues and textures amongst all those beautiful white and blacks.


2. Rustic Scandi style lighting

Rustic Scandinavian kitchen table

Correct lighting in all kitchens, not just the rustic Scandinavian trend kitchen, is imperative. Traditional Scandinavian kitchen design dictates sleek and streamlined lighting designs; often black or white and, above all, extremely minimal. With the rustic Nordic style, however, we have a few more options. 

• Wicker & rattan pendant lights
• Mesh style lighting
• Concrete pendant lights


Wicker & rattan pendant lights

Large rattan pendant light

Midgard Rattan Pendant Light

The use of wicker and rattan is a great way to inject a little rustic charm into your kitchen space. The ‘imperfect’ nature of these handmade designs underlines the rustic charm of your new Nordic kitchen décor.

Mesh style lighting

Bronze Nordic Pendant Light

Cu Chi Mesh Pendant Light

Due to the organic shapes of the latest mesh style designs, this style of lighting is the perfect match for the trend. By using warm, earthy tones such as brass and bronze, this edgy style of lighting sits perfectly in tandem with your rustic Scandinavian kitchen backdrop.

Concrete Pendant Lights

Concrete Pendant Lights

Concrete pendant lamps not only befit the sleek and streamlined look of the Scandinavian trend but due to their raw and earthy material can portray a beautiful rustic aesthetic too. 

3. Open shelving 

Rustic Scandinavian open shelving

Image credit - jade.doutch

Open shelving is a bold styling approach often found in industrial-inspired homes. However, if you can find a beautifully aged piece of wood or even some old building site scaffold boards, you can create an open front kitchen shelf beautiful enough to befit the rustic Scandinavian interior design trend. 

The key is to be bold and let your kitchen condiments shine! Display pasta, coffee and tea in glass jars, liquor bottles, cookbooks, photos and any number of vintage style ornaments to achieve a cluttered aesthetic to one particular wall in the kitchen. Just remember to balance it out with a cleaner look on the rest. 

4. Industrial accents

Industrial hanging shelf
Melli Suspended Shelving Unit 

The industrial and Scandinavian trends really couldn’t be much further apart, however, by applying weathered woods and a slightly warmer colour palette, the lines between the two trends start to blur. Don’t forget, go too far and you risk losing that Scandi minimalism we all know and love. Never lose sight of the fact that the rustic Scandi style kitchen trend is achieved through careful accenting. Here are a few ideas for you to mull over. 

Industrial Shelving

Industrial Wall Shelf

MoMa industrial wall shelf

Good shelving is not only important for keeping things tidy, but it's essential to creating the Nordic look you desire also. Keep your shelving style minimal and let your accessories and plants do the talking. 

Industrial bar stools

Rustic bar stools

Stoker wooden bar stool

There can be no finer accessory to your beautiful white marble or quartz worktop than an industrial, wooden top bar stool. The contrast is stark, the look is clean, and the finish is absolutely beautiful. Check out our blog post where we cover our 8 best industrial bar stools

Industrial dining table

Scandi Industrial dining table

Image credit - nest_twenty_eight (Instagram)

For a stripped back approach to your Nordic table presentations, opt for an industrial style, solid wood top dining table with weighty steel legs. These beautiful pieces of furniture often act as the room's centrepiece and look fantastic when fully decorated with a full array of Nordic tableware (point 5)


Metal accent mirrors 

Amongst your everyday, go-to kitchen accessories and utensils, scatter a few select industrial pieces to keep the look fresh and unique. From metal table mirrors to lamps, these quirky home accents allow your Scandinavian style kitchen to retain a rustic edge.

Small table mirror

Eulalia small table mirror


5. Rustic-Scandi style kitchen accessories

Wooden wine rack

Deaux wooden wine rack

Never neglect the subtle intricacies when designing a space. It’s the smaller items that act as the final pieces to the puzzle and with rustic Scandi style kitchen accessories, you’ll add an element of sophistication to your surroundings. Our best tip to achieving a truly rustic Scandi themed dinner table is to think 'layers'.

Scandinavian tableware

Shop our range of Scandinavian stoneware dinnerware here

Build your Scandinavian table setting from the ground up. Think contrasting materials like wood, cotton and stoneware, and combine them with complementing neutral colour tones. 

Scandinavian stoneware dinnerware

Rustic Stoneware Dinnerware

Jord Stoneware Set

Nordic stoneware dinnerware adds a beautifully ‘imperfect’ appearance to your table servings. From wonky mugs and plates to speckled and sandy textures, don’t scrimp on your ceramics. Use them to leave a lasting feeling of style and sophistication.

Wooden chopping boards & bowls

Rustic wooden chopping boards

Kale herringbone chopping boards

By displaying an array of live edge (wonky) chopping boards and serve ware, you impart a strong connection with nature into your kitchen environment which aligns perfectly with the rustic Scandinavian kitchen trend. Remember to pair with your neutral-hued stoneware to elevate your Nordic table presentations. 

6. Copper, brass & bronze highlights

One of the most obvious differences between the traditional Scandinavian kitchen design and rustic Scandinavian design trends is with the use of earthy coloured metals. 
Be careful not to go overboard; these materials are best when used to accent your kitchens décor, not overpower it. Let’s look at some ideas. 

• Aged Copper backsplash
Copper bar stools
• Brass and bronze cupboard handles
• Copper pans and pots

Aged copper backsplash 

Copper Backsplash
Image credit - www.metalsheets.co.uk

Aged copper backsplash panels are not only perfect for accenting a wall but great for adding a deep sense of character to your rustic Scandinavian kitchen design. 

Brass and copper bar stools

Brass bar stools

Louis Brass Bar Stool

Compliment your aged copper backsplash with a delicately gilded, copper clad bar stool. Copper bar stools offer a unique alternative to regular barstools and stay true to the rustic Scandinavian décor trend. 


Brass and bronze cupboard handles

Remember we said accent and not overpower? It’s the little things that really set your rustic Scandinavian kitchen décor apart. So give your kitchen cupboards a lift with a selection of brass or bronze kitchen cupboard handles


Copper pans and pots

Hanging copper pans and pots

Image credit - @ellenpompeo

Traditional Scandinavian kitchen design dictates a clean and minimalistic look. The rustic trend offers much the same but with a smattering of earthy accents. Hang a selection of copper pans and pots over your kitchen area to inject a hefty rustic accent.

So there you have it. For those who adore everything about the traditional Nordic kitchen design trend yet have a penchant for the ever-popular modern-rustic style, our 6 ways to create a rustic Scandinavian kitchen design may just help in the quest in blending the two trends. Amongst your whitewash walls and jet black accents, mix in some sandy creams, distressed wooden furniture and copper notes. Remember that the look is achieved in the layering of various materials with complementary colours and textures, and be careful not to go too far; this is still the minimalistic Scandinavian look we all know and love, but with an earthy, utterly alluring rustic twist. 

For more rustic home decor inspiration, check out our blog post how to make a modern home look rustic here

Shop Scandinavian home accessories here

Shop Rustic-Scandi Homewares


Liz Taylor

Liz Taylor said:

Beautiful ideas and stunning photographs


Vicky said:

I love the color on the kitchen cabinets! I am in the process of planning a kitchen remodel and would love to use that color. Beautiful work!


D'colbé said:

I now understand ‘SCANDINAVIAN’ style a whole lot better. Apparently I have seen it most of my life being an ex-Chicago IL resident which has plenty of ‘scandi’ and ‘irish’ influences.


Carolyn said:

Absolutely love the dark gray color of these cabinets. Would love to use it in the Farm Shed we are building for retirement! Could you please share the color? Thanks In Advance


Debera said:

Beautiful kitchen look! Please can you tell me where the black metal wall Lights can be obtained as there was no mention of those. Thank you…

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