Hollywood TV maestro Ryan Murphy's home is something to marvel at. Situated at the northernmost tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, this former studio was built by seascape painter Frederick Judd Waugh and was later used by Hans Hofmann, a key figure in abstract expressionism.
Unsurprisingly, the entire home is a glorious spectacle of subtle color, vintage furnishings, and plenty of personality, but it is the modern rustic kitchen design that we predict will set kitchen trends for 2024, and designers agree.
Drawing on the traditional look of a rural kitchen, a country-inspired space must be functional and versatile, while also setting the tone for the rest of the house. Ryan Murphy's kitchen, designed by Manhattan-based designer and antique shop owner David Cafiero, is a glorious example of modern rustic done right.
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Characterized by the warmth and beauty that natural materials bring to a space, rustic kitchens embody a pared-back look that celebrates the world of restoration and reclamation. It is a functional aesthetic, edging towards the industrial, but one that also retains the inherent warmth that comes from a traditional kitchen scheme.
A key tenet of this design, according to Adrian Bergman, design manager at Plain English, is to ‘embrace the natural warmth and charm of architectural details in the kitchen, such as beams or stone walls, which have aged and weathered over the years.’ However, unlike Ryan Murphy's rural abode, many homes aren’t lucky enough to have these details with which to ground their design. If this is the case, then instead ‘look to introduce elements such as timber cladding, reclaimed kitchen countertops and antique pieces of furniture,’ continues Adrian.
Designing a rustic or country kitchen is not just about the look – it’s about the lived-in feel that it creates,’ explains Leisha Norman, designer at Harvey Jones. ‘One of the best ways to achieve modern rustic charm is to source items that have their own story: the marks of time, weathering or patina can’t be recreated from a mass-produced item bought in a shop.’
While embracing all the character, patina and riches that natural materials offer the kitchen, it is also important to consider sustainability. Opting for reclaimed pieces gives old, unloved items a new lease of life and will bring a unique personality to your space. This approach will also guide you towards a more relaxed, freestanding design, rather than built-in cabinetry, creating a more rustic look.
Finally, when designing a modern rustic kitchen, you must retain the warmth of the space. Exposed brick walls and stone flooring can lead to the kitchen feeling cold, so adding color is a great way to inject a burst of warmth. Pick a palette that evokes a fall garden and you won’t go far wrong. Warm oranges, burnt umbers and rich browns set against neutral walls will create a cozy atmosphere in Ryan Murphy's kitchen.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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