Country kitchen wallpaper can raise eyebrows in even the most ardent pattern-lover. Will a pretty wallpaper suit the functionality of a country kitchen space? Where in the room should it go? And should it match your cabinets or contrast with them?
But if you are looking to add character to your kitchen ideas, and with cabinetry taking up much of your walls, wallpaper can be a good opportunity to introduce color and pattern.
For a warm and welcoming kitchen, country wallpaper ideas featuring delicate florals and nods to nature are the ones you’ll want to look for. Neutral and earthy tones suit large wall areas in country decorating ideas, though brighter, bolder hues can add a contemporary edge and work well as a feature wall.
Country wallpaper ideas for kitchens
Country kitchen wallpaper will add another layer of detail to what should be a pretty, welcoming space – though it needn't be wholly traditional. Though ditsy florals and pretty pastel prints might be the obvious kitchen wallpaper ideas, more contemporary designs can give your country kitchen a more modern feel. Here, we bring you our favorite country kitchen wallpapers to inspire your room's new look.
1. Create a contrast with country wallpaper
Country kitchen ideas can cleverly straddle both modern and traditional looks, with a contemporary country kitchen wallpaper key to getting that look just right. What do we mean by that? Well, while a traditional wallpaper design would look out of place in a modern kitchen, as you can see in the room above by Harlequin, a more contemporary repeat pattern can look wonderful in a simply-styled period-style kitchen.
Our advice would always be to tackle a kitchen remodel this way around – with timeless cabinetry and fixtures and fittings, and a more adventurous approach to decor, which can be changed more quickly and at less expense.
2. Be bold with color for a contemporary feel
Country kitchen wallpaper doesn't need to be pale or pastel. Richer, deeper tones can add drama and depth to the room, and bring a modern touch to rustic homes.
'Opt for a rich color palette such as ochre or terracotta when choosing country wallpaper for the kitchen to inject a joyful splash of color,' suggests Paula Taylor, Graham & Brown's Color & Trend Specialist. 'This will add warmth to a cold north-facing kitchen or radiate a dazzling glow when bathed in natural sunlight.'
Pair with unbleached wood for a rustic style which evokes a homely country kitchen, or opt for painted kitchen ideas in a similar shade.
3. Incorporate a country scene
Bring a bucolic, romantic look to your country kitchen with a wallpaper that evokes a rural landscape.
'While the kitchen can be a chaotic mix, look for small prints or toile de jouy that have an airy feel,' says interior designer Elle Cole of Elle Cole Interiors. 'Papers with classic touches like florals, landscape scenes or trellis designs work particularly well and give a romantic touch to a country kitchen.'
4. Complement your cabinet color
Think complementary, not contrasting, when opting for colors for country kitchen wallpaper and painted kitchen cabinet ideas.
'You’ll want to be sure that the colors in your wallpaper tie into your cabinet color and any adjacent painted walls so that the space remains cohesive,' explains Lisa Rickert of Jolie Home.
'A few of my favorite colors for country kitchens include warm whites, beiges, and earthy greens. Consider layering different shades of the same color, for example, a wallpaper with a beautiful green or blue background looks great paired with cabinets or walls painted in a lighter shade of the color.'
5. Use matching fabric and wallpaper
For a softer, rural-inspired look, think about pairing coordinating or complementary wallpaper and fabric. This works especially well for blinds, cabinet curtains and upholstery on seating, plus country kitchen curtains, of course.
You could choose the same scale of pattern for your country wallpaper and fabric ideas for kitchens, or choose one element that has a larger pattern, to switch up the look. You could also choose the same pattern but in a different colorway for the fabric to bring a less matched look.
'A few country-style wallpapers we adore are by Colefax and Fowler, Berkeley Sprig, Ashmead, Leaf Trellis, Sanderson and Felicity,' says Elle Cole of Elle Cole Interiors.
6. Choose a modern floral
Floral designs are a natural choice for country kitchen wallpaper ideas – they fit both the naturalness of the rustic theme and the freshness associated with food and ingredients, giving your space a French country kitchen appeal.
'Floral and natural wallpaper prints have seen a resurgence in popularity for kitchen decoration as a result of the "cottagecore" trend, which references natural materials and heritage prints to capture a feeling of comfort and rural simplicity,' explains Paula Taylor, Color & Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown.
'These countryside- themed motifs can prevent a kitchen from feeling purely functional by breathing life and vitality into the space.'
7. Paint kitchen cabinets to complement country wallpaper
Create a cohesive look by painting kitchen cabinets in a shade that complements the rest of your scheme. Here, a sage green kitchen island picks up the foliage tones from this fantastic floral kitchen wallpaper.
To recreate the look, shop the Poetry II collection from Tapetenfabrik Rasch.
8. Add country charm to a modern kitchen
Striking the balance between contemporary design and country appeal can be tricky. But this space proves that you can create a country kitchen with the help of wallpaper.
Despite its streamlined cabinetry, this intricate Tudor Garden wallpaper from Lime Lace injects plenty of country charm. The design draws on Tudor knot gardens as a reference, bringing a touch of history to the contemporary scheme.
9. Keep things simple with a pretty repeat pattern
An interiors taste that is slightly more minimal doesn’t mean missing out on country kitchen wallpaper altogether. Instead, opt for a pretty repeat pattern in a neutral tone and pair it with a simple paint scheme. Here, paper and paint are used together to add interest without overwhelming the space.
‘With much of the surface area in kitchens often taken up with cabinetry and countertops, small areas of kitchen walls are wonderful places to add pattern and texture with wallpaper,' suggests Andy Greenhall, Head of Design at Paint and Paper Library. 'Because these rooms are often visually cluttered, choose a simple pattern to maintain a sense of calm.’
‘Our Honesty design is an elegant all-over print, featuring a watercolor and crayon rendering of an honesty sprig. The motif is given plenty of space, allowing the ground to present its soft color – a gentle balance that is well-suited to busy spaces such as country kitchen diners.’
10. Use your country wallpaper to create a focal point
Combining this vintage-inspired wallpaper with Shaker cabinetry in a matching tone creates a focal point in this country kitchen. This is further enhanced by the use of pendant lighting and a striking kitchen island.
Recreate the look with the Crane Fonda ‘Palm Green’ wallpaper from Divine Savages.
11. Use picture rail moldings to increase the sense of height
Whether you are blessed with high ceilings or want to create the illusion of more head height, picture rail moldings are your friend. Simply add your country kitchen wallpaper up to the proposed height and keep the rest of your scheme a pale color. You will add character without allowing a bold print to overwhelm your space.
Find the Gibbons Carving wallpaper at Lime Lace.
12. Embrace original features when wallpapering
Some may look at a paneled room and assume that wallpaper will not work, but this sweet space proves that is not the case. A well-chosen country kitchen wallpaper with a simple repeat pattern can add additional character to a room with plenty of period features.
When choosing a country kitchen wallpaper, designer Elizabeth Ockford suggests that you bear in mind that the kitchen is the space ‘where the outside and inside of the house meet – be that fruit and vegetables or flowers coming in from the garden, or where the family and pets gather to cozy up after a country walk or over a long lunch. And wallpaper in that room can reflect that, in color and subject matter.'
In Ockford's Cleo wallpaper, you get a large variety of common or garden bugs, delicately drawn onto clean-colored grounds.
13. Choose small patterns for a pretty country kitchen
This pretty blue pattern offers an abundance of country character without making the small space feel boxy.
‘Small pattern wallpapers can look great in kitchens,’ says Daniel Slowik, Associate Design Director for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. ‘There are likely to be large areas of joinery where large patterns would be wasted. Small patterns in bright colors lift the space.’
Find this Windsong wallpaper at Jane Churchill.
14. Choose an Art Deco print for a country twist
Perfect for country homeowners whose tastes span both traditional and contemporary interior trends, this stunning Art Deco-inspired paper bridges the gap. It promises to add plenty of character, adding a contemporary feel to country schemes.
Find the aptly named Amazing wallpaper from Tapetenfabrik Rasch.
15. Create an immersive space
Wrapping the entire kitchen with country wallpaper will create an immersive, embracing space. Feel free to play with expectations when it comes to patterns. Here, a Chinoiserie print matches beautifully with the pale blue of the range cooker, putting a fresh perspective on country kitchen wallpaper.
‘For country kitchens, I also generally try and choose smaller scale prints so it acts as a quiet backdrop,' shares Henriette Von Stockhausen, Creative Director of VSP Interiors.
'I often use Howe Bourne Street’s wallpapers as they have a real country feel without being too staid, and there are some great colorways! Together with curtains, art, and rugs, wallpaper helps to avoid the cold functional look that kitchens tend to have and transforms it into a more lived-in room.’
16. Play with an intricate but neutral pattern
An intricate pattern can add character to a kitchen wall, and the natural tone featured here prevents the wallpaper from overwhelming the space while complementing the rustic floorboards and cabinetry.
Photography Melsetter collection, Morris & Co
17. Channel the wildlife
Images of nature and birdlife instantly evoke a sense of the countryside, which is why they are so popular in country style wallpaper patterns. Check the pattern repeat before your buy, to minimise wastage when lining rolls up.
For example, this particular design by Farrow & Ball has a pattern repeat every 61cm (or 24 inches). Fortunately, many wallpaper websites have specially designed calculators to help you work this out, or they also have in house experts on hand to advise.
18. Head for the coast
‘Neutral colors have often featured in kitchens,’ says Fiona Howard, British textile designer. ‘However, a wall in a tomato orange, a leaf green or a pretty sky blue can lift the mood and character of the kitchen,’ she adds.
Fiona Howard’s Harbour wallpaper comes in three colorways to suit different schemes – including this classic combination of blue and white.
Better yet, all of her wallpapers are designed by hand and printed using environmentally friendly inks, and for every roll of wallpaper sold a tree is planted in conjunction with One Tree Planted.
19. Go back to nature
Many traditional fabric patterns have been redesigned to work for wallpapers too, so it is easier than ever to achieve a classic look.
This whimsical Baroque design from Little Greene was uncovered by the National Trust, hiding beneath wall-hung tapestries at Erddig in Wales, United Kingdom. It has now been reimagined into a classic-contemporary wallpaper design.
20. Be bold
If you want to make a real impact with country kitchen wallpaper, why not cover a whole wall in a bold pattern? This design idea can help brighten up a cozy nook or small dining area in a corner. Just be sure to use colors featured elsewhere in the space for a cohesive look, rather than a clashing one.
21. Look on the bright side
Fresh and fruity tones can brighten up even the darkest of kitchens – just be sure to choose a wallpaper with a wipe-down finish, or ask your decorator to apply Decorator's Varnish for added protection.
Most brands will highlight if their designs are suitable for use in a kitchen, so keep a look out for phrases such as ‘wipe down’, ‘washable’, and ‘scrubbable’ in your search.
Pearl Lowe collection, Woodchip & Magnolia
22. Try a ditsy print
A mini or ditsy country kitchen wallpaper print will always create a feminine and country feel, especially a floral design.
It is best to avoid applying wallpaper directly behind a hob or a kettle, otherwise you may run the risk of it peeling prematurely. But to create a quaint and quintessential country kitchen, place your wallpaper behind shelves, or line the back of dressers.
‘A line of herbs looks wonderful placed in front of wallpaper, and I think pictures always look more interesting hung on wallpaper too,’ says British textile designer Fiona Howard.
Design by Sandberg
23. Treat wallpaper as art
Who needs artwork with a wallpaper pattern like this? The large format design echoes the look of a gallery wall in this particular kitchen, and the tree design brings a sense of the outdoors inside.
If possible, look out for wallpapers which are ‘paste to wall’, for easier application.
Caspian collection, Sanderson.
24. Zone with a feature wall
‘Wallpaper can be an unexpected design note in a kitchen adding interest and a certain softness against the hard surfaces,’ says Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball Brand Ambassador.
‘Your design choice can be discreet and delicate, or more dramatic like the large scale Hegemone. You can even zone an area within your kitchens, such as the dining area illustrated with our rhythmic pastoral design Gable – perfect for more Rural kitchens as it echoes of farm and fields,’ he adds.
Room by Farrow & Ball.
25. Pick an archive print
An archive print will convey a vintage look that's perfectly suited to a country setting. This Brooke House Cinder pattern from Little Greene has a classic design to complement the traditional style of the kitchen.
Creating a feature wall around the mantlepiece helps to elevate the country feel even further.
What country wallpaper designs look best in a kitchen?
Country-style wallpaper designs for kitchens will always be a classic choice, and with many of us spending more time at home these days, the idea of creating a warm and welcoming kitchen is more prevalent than ever. Look out for traditional patterns in alternative or bold colorways for a modern twist on a classic design.
'Country-style wallpapers add a rustic-chic look to any kitchen or cooking area,' says Amy Stansfield, Content Creator at Wallsauce. 'We're seeing kitchen wallpapers that have vintage designs inspired by William Morris gaining in popularity. For a typical country kitchen, another trend is faux wood panel wallpaper in off-white, navy or natural wooden tones.
'When selecting country wallpaper ideas for kitchens, I recommend sticking to mostly organic motifs, such as florals or greenery,' says Lisa Rickert, Creative Director and CEO of Jolie Home. 'These look especially great with cabinets painted green, blue or a soft neutral. Mid to large scale patterns tend to work best, since smaller scale designs can feel busy or overwhelming to the eye.'
Is kitchen wallpaper in style? What country designs are on trend?
Natural, earthy tones tend to be the best color schemes for country kitchen wallpaper – so bear this in mind when choosing a wallpaper design. Make sure at least one color in the pattern matches or complements the tones in the rest of your kitchen to ensure it won’t end up clashing with your scheme.
I've been immersed in the world of homes, interiors and lifestyle since my first job in journalism, on Ideal Home. I went from women's magazine Options to Frank, a brand new title from the publishers of The Face and Arena. From there it was on to the launch of Red magazine, where I stayed for 10 years and became Assistant Editor. Two children and a move to the coast meant it was time to shift into freelancing, and I spent 14 exciting years writing for everyone from The Telegraph to The Sunday Times, Livingetc, Stylist and Woman & Home. When I was offered the job as Editor on Country Homes & Interiors, I couldn't resist – and now I combine that role with developing the H&G Country channel.
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