Old World Kitchen Ideas

Greetings gals and guys! We have been thick in the house hunting process and let me tell you it has been a whirlwind. If you’ve purchased a home in the last couple years in an active market you may relate to the nuances of the process and how competitive it can be. I’ll be sharing more on this subject and the very exciting details of what’s pointing to our future home soon.

In the meantime I thought I’d put together a post on kitchens, specifically old world inspired, a design style I would love to create in my new kitchen.

A large portion of my day is spent in the kitchen. So making it both pretty and functional is top of mind. The layout of a kitchen is one of the first things I look for during the home search process. It’s got to flow nicely or at least have the potential to become something I can work with. I don’t get overly concerned with the state of the aesthetics because that is something I can always redo.


Today I’m showing you 5 examples of kitchens infused with old world charm. I find this design style captivating and I love that it can embody European styles like English Cottage, French Country, and Tuscan, along with other historical design influences.

#1. Island Dreams

No offense to the white kitchens of the world, but I find these often to be too perfect and somewhat sterile. I’m drawn to something that looks lived in, worn in places, and of course, warm and inviting.


The placement of a simple wooden table in the middle of the kitchen is a nod to kitchens of old. Historically tables in the kitchen have served as work spaces and dining places for servants and staff. As kitchens have evolved, the use of tables and islands have modernized as well.

Personally I prefer to avoid fancy islands with stone slab countertops permanently anchored in the middle of the kitchen. Instead, a primitive table with rustic character is a wonderful way to bring in that old world feel while increasing your workable surface area and dining space. 


#2. Room With A View


Okay moms (and dads), let’s face it…we spend way more time than we would like washing dishes and loading that dish washer. So doesn’t it make sense to ease the burden of the task with a nice view?

Having a window view, ideally over the kitchen sink is an absolute must for me. I think realtors may think I’m a little nutty when one of the first requirements I throw out is that the kitchen must have a window or it’s a no go.

I’ve learned over the course of owning homes that having the view out gives me a lot of joy and inner calm when I’m anchored in the kitchen for hours at a time.

In the picture below one can only dream of such a romantic kitchen with a cozy window nestled in between gorgeous stone walls.

I don’t even know if this window is in a kitchen but can you imagine this garden view?


#3. Texture Please

A classic feature in old world scenes is some level of texture or earthy element—be it stone, raw or reclaimed wood, bricks, etc. Old world kitchens are revered for their use of natural materials. In our current kitchen I tried to capture this essence through an exposed brick wall. It makes me so happy every time I see it.

I’m not sure yet how I’ll plan to achieve texture in our new kitchen, but I’m pondering various ideas such as French-inspired stone walls or some type of wood treatment in the space. 

You don’t have to tackle a big project like adding stone or brick to your walls to create old world character. Something as simple as wooden shelving with primitive appeal will help achieve the look while adding storage capacity.


Oh my goodness, how I love this look. Check out the wood panels on the back of these shelves. They contrast magnificently with the elegance of the brass rails and overhead picture light.


#4 The Shade Of Your Cabinets

Okay friends, let’s talk cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are a fundamental component of the kitchen’s aesthetic. They have the power to transform the entire space (for better or worse). For an old world look, think of neutral paint tones like creamy whites, subdued greens, taupes, browns, blacks, natural wood, and dark wood tones.

Keeping the cabinets in these warmer tones and avoiding flashy primary colors like reds and bright blues, will help in creating that relaxed old world vibe.

Here’s another Devol kitchen that pulls everything together effortlessly to create a kitchen I would want to dawdle in. The mixing and matching of materials and muted colors seems to work stunningly. Even the varying floor boards add to that lived in feel.


Here’s another beautiful use of earthy elements and soft colors to achieve the old world aesthetic in this space. The contrasts in colors and finishes create a remarkable look— hence the black counter top, white farmhouse sink, taupe cabinets, and gold fixtures. Keeping things simple yields flexibility for mixing things up.

#5 Art Work

It may not be the first place in the home you would think to display art, but paintings, especially those with vintage appeal, can work magically in the kitchen to create old world beauty.


A painting or portrait can add a homey touch to the kitchen. Layer paintings on a shelf or over the stove for a design statement.


I’m actually starting to get butterflies thinking about how I will decorate our next kitchen.  All these kitchens are giving me some exciting inspiration I can’t wait to try out. Tell me what you think about this design style? Do you have any old world-inspired elements in your kitchen? I’d love to know more…

In the meantime, be sure to stay connected so you don’t miss any posts! I’ll be back shortly to share more home ideas.

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