When interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn set out to renovate the kitchen in his urban Atlanta condo, he drew inspiration from the authentic materials and rustic elements of his family’s cabin in Wisconsin. The resulting space artfully combines urban and rural design for a warm, welcoming heart of the home.

Rustic Materials Meet Modern Styling

Flynn skillfully blended natural materials like wood and stone with sleek, contemporary finishes to create an inviting kitchen that feels connected to nature.

Salvaged Barnwood Adds Character

The first step was adding a textural feature wall of reclaimed barnwood planks behind the cooktop and prep area. The mix of gray-washed and natural wood tones lends a cozy, organic feel that reflects the cabin aesthetic. The lightly distressed planks, salvaged from a 100-year-old Wisconsin barn, speak to the history and heritage of classic rural architecture.

The barnwood wall replaces a backsplash, eliminating the need for a busy tile pattern. This allows the wood’s natural patina to take center stage. Flynn says, “I wanted to bring the cozy, welcoming feeling of the family cabin into the condo’s kitchen.” The reclaimed planks do just that, evoking the wholesomeness of pastoral living.

Honed Quartz Countertops Provide Durability

While beautiful, real wood countertops are not practical for heavy daily use. So Flynn chose durable, low-maintenance honed quartz in a warm white tone. This harmonizes with the soft gray barnwood wall without competing.

The honed finish has a natural matte look, avoiding the high-gloss sheen of polished quartz. This complements the rustic wood wall for a cohesive look. The quartz is also speckled with tan and brown flecks, relating to the cabin’s natural surroundings while providing an urban kitchen’s functionality.

Unlacquered Brass Finishes Connect to Nature

The kitchen’s metal accents also reference nature through their unfinished, organic textures. The modern brass faucet and semi-flushmount lights above the island have an unlacquered patina, allowing them to develop a natural aged look over time. This avoids a slick, shiny appearance, keeping things relaxed like the rural cabin.

Flynn explains: “I went with unlacquered brass fixtures to juxtapose the urban elements like the sleek cabinetry and appliances with the raw, unprocessed look of the metals and wood.” The soft glow of the brass pairs smoothly with the gray and brown tones throughout.

Mix of Textures Adds Visual Interest

Beyond the feature wall, Flynn brought in a variety of materials with contrasting textures to add depth and dimension. The layered look helps the kitchen feel curated over time, like favorite antiques collected in a cabin retreat.

River Rock Backsplash Makes a Bold Statement

Behind the stove, an imposing slab of rugged river rock clads the wall in a warm russet tone. This natural stone accent provides a striking visual focal point while recalling the winding rivers around Wisconsin cabins.

The scale and solidity of the rock balancing the airiness of the open-plan kitchen. Its rich color and organic shape also prevent that area from feeling sterile. The stone’s raw, unrefined look makes a bold textural statement, contrasting with the sleek surfaces throughout the rest of the space.

Hairpin Leg Barstools Add Airy Contrast

The quartz island houses six barstools with thin powder-coated steel legs that almost disappear, making them seem suspended in air. This lightweight, airy style contrasts the sturdy rock backdrop for visual tension.

The thin metal legs also echo the brass accents, but in a faded black finish that allows the warm wood and stone colors to remain dominant. The matchstick shape pays homage to handcrafted wood joinery at the cabin. Hairpin legs add breezy style within the kitchen’s grounded materiality.

Painted Shaker Cabinets Keep Things Light

To offset the dark stone and wood feature wall, Flynn chose glossy white Shaker-style cabinetry. This clean-lined silhouette matches the condo’s modern architecture. The painted finish contrasts beautifully with the textured barnwood wall, lightening up the moody palette.

The bright white pops against the wall of wood and grounds the ethereal walnut open shelving flanking the cooktop. For Flynn, the color relates to perspectives of the open sky from the family cabin. But it also provides an essential neutral backdrop allowing the other materials to shine.

Purposeful Color Palette Connects Indoor and Outdoor

Every color and finish Flynn chose links the urban kitchen to pastoral Wisconsin through careful alignment with the surrounding landscape’s natural tones.

Browns and Grays Reflect the Cabin Environment

The neutral wood and stone colors dominate the space, with warm beiges and grounded grays reflecting the cabin’s pine forests and weathered exteriors. The barnwood planks pick up on the trunks of towering trees. While the river rock’s russet tones relate to clay and minerals in the earth.

By keeping the colors subdued, the eyes focus on the interplay of rich textures throughout. This grounds the kitchen in nature without using literal organic motifs.

Sky Blue Adds a Breath of Fresh Air

Pops of sky blue provide a surge of energy within the tranquil palette. The retro wall oven, cooktop hood, and dishwasher all wear a crisp blue coat of paint. This ties into cloudless days over the open wilderness surrounding the cabin.

Beyond the connection to place, the vibrant splash of color also adds a dynamism that prevents the rustic woodsy colors from feeling too heavy. It lifts the look of the entire kitchen.

Black Accents Anchor the Space

Finally, inky black cabinet hardware along with the barstools offer moments of depth and solidity. This grounds the ethereal sky blue tones and matches the dark tree bark in the Wisconsin forests. It also enhances the organic pattern and richness of the wood feature wall.

Overall, the colors work harmoniously to reflect the cabin while giving this urban kitchen an energetic yet peaceful feel. The connection to the outdoors brings life into the home.

Unique Lighting Blends Modern and Rustic

An eclectic mix of lighting types and finishes builds on the kitchen’s blended design style with custom personality. The layered lighting provides excellent task illumination along with a cozy ambiance.

Statement Hood Light Makes a Strong Design Impact

One of the kitchen’s most eye-catching elements is the linear brass hood light above the bluestone cooktop, made up of five orb-shaped pendants suspended in an asymmetrical arrangement.

The organic shape and unlacquered brass finish give the futuristic fixture an earthy, handcrafted look, while making a bold design statement over the cooking zone. The edgy grouping reflects the clustering of leaves on cabin trees.

Sleek Undercabinet Lights Enhance Functionality

For optimal food prep and cleanup illumination, continuous LED lighting runs under the upper cabinets, washing the quartz counters below with a bright wash.

The hidden side-mounted design keeps the LEDs subtle and streamlined, matching the kitchen’s contemporary styling. The distinctive barnwood wall hides the lighting wires.

Walnut Shelves Get Artful Downlighting

Over the cooktop, open-frame walnut shelving adds storage and display space. These floating shelves make a striking design feature, with hidden LEDs spotlighting prized wares and cookbooks.

The focused beam feels reminiscent of sunlight filtering through cabin windows. The warm color temperature and dimmable capability make a cozy ambiance for evening cooking.

Island Pendants Elevate Dining Space

Above the quartz dining island, short suspension cables hold a mixed metal cluster of black conical shades and unpainted brass globes. The bespoke fixture adds handcrafted personality within the minimalist kitchen.

The hand-rubbed brass offers a raw, organic patina complementing the wood wall. While the black enameled iron relates to the dark barstools and hardware for cohesion. The tailored scale fits the island layout without overwhelming.

Creative Cabin-Style Storage Solutions

This kitchen integrates smart storage for maximum functionality and organization using unique custom pieces and repurposed antiques.

Antique China Cabinet Houses Glassware

One rustic-chic touch is to use an antique wooden hutch from the cabin as display storage in the kitchen. The reclaimed hutch offers enclosed shelving to protect fragile glassware. Its timeworn patina adds character and nostalgia.

Hanging Pot Rack Shows Off Cookware

Rather than hiding pots and pans in a drawer, an industrial ceiling-mounted rack puts them on full display. The metal wire design suspends cookware in midair, freeing up cabinet space. The exposed rack transforms functional storage into an interior design moment while keeping essentials conveniently accessible.

Wood Crate Filing System Organizes Pantry

Inside the walk-in pantry, old wooden crates stacked sideways on shelves turn into DIY pull-out drawers. Labeled with chalkboard paint, the crates organize dry goods and keep the pantry tidy. The re-purposed fruit crates link back to the cabin’s agricultural surroundings.

Repurposed Cart Adds Multi-use Potential

A wheeled wire cart, like old-fashioned shop examples found in cabins, offers flexible storage and workspace. Staging it in different spots provides extra landing space for food prep, serving, or party bar needs. The industrial aesthetic complements the materials mix.

Open Shelving Creates Airy Display

While upper cabinets provide essential concealed storage, open iron rod shelving introduces useful display space. This keeps pretty china, accents, and cookbooks creatively arranged at eye level without closing items in. The visibility adds utility while enhancing the room’s design.

Achieving Balance Between Urban and Rural Design

When conceptualizing this kitchen remodel, Flynn set out to strike the perfect balance between the sleek lines of modern urban architecture and the raw, organic authenticity of timeless Midwest cabins.

Blending Textural Elements

Thoughtfully blending reclaimed barnwood, honed stone, polished metals, and painted cabinetry creates depth and dimension. The mix of tactile surfaces helps anchor the kitchen to the outdoors. Each material brings unique character into the space.

Weaving in Natural Color Connections

Connecting the color palette and finishes to the surrounding Wisconsin landscape ties the urban kitchen to the pastoral cabin aesthetic. Neutral grays and woodsy browns reflect colors seen outdoors. Pops of sky blue add airiness.

Mixing Old and New Fixtures and Furnishings

Incorporating antiques like the hutch and wire racks infuses heritage into the new kitchen. Combining these with fresh contemporary pieces like the statement hood pendant prevents a strictly vintage look. The balance makes a room with depth.

Allowing Some Imperfection

Rough-hewn pieces like the unfinished brass and barnwood bring organic realness into the sleek kitchen. Signs of aging and wear add authenticity. Patinas, natural markings, and irregularities reflect the passage of time, for a relaxed vibe.

Minimizing Visual Clutter

Editing out clutter while adding purposeful accents and clean lines allows the beautiful room itself to shine. This keeps the space feeling tranquil rather than overstimulating. Simply highlighting raw materials achieves an inviting, not overwhelming, aesthetic.

By thoughtfully blending elements from two different aesthetics—modern urban and rustic rural—Flynn’s custom kitchen design achieves the ideal balance of sleek and cozy. This harmonious mix provides a heartwarming space to gather that combines the best of both worlds.


What are some key features of this urban kitchen design?

Some standout features of this kitchen include:

  • Statement wall of reclaimed gray-toned barnwood
  • Honed quartz countertops with brass fixtures
  • Rustic river rock backdrop behind cooktop
  • Glossy white Shaker-style cabinetry
  • Walnut open shelving with LED lighting
  • Antique hutch repurposed for glassware storage
  • Industrial ceiling-mounted pot rack
  • Suspended cluster pendant lighting over island

How does the kitchen bridge urban and rural design?

The designer blended raw, organic finishes like wood and stone with sleek urban elements like minimalist cabinetry and contemporary lighting. The colors reflect natural hues seen outdoors. Incorporating antiques adds heritage. The mix achieves balance between cozy rustic charm and refined city style.

Why use barnwood on the backsplash wall?

The reclaimed barnwood adds natural texture and a sense of history, evoking the character of traditional cabins. The gray-brown tones reference the outdoors color palette. Its lightly weathered patina lends a relaxed, organic look contrasting more polished surfaces.

How does the lighting enhance the kitchen’s style?

Unique lighting choices like the clustered hood pendant, open shelf downlighting, and bespoke island fixture add handcrafted personality with raw textures like brass. The varied styles blend seamlessly for visual cohesion tied together by the warm color temperature and organic materials.

What finishing techniques connect the space to a rustic cabin aesthetic?

The designer opted for unlacquered brass rather than polished fixtures. Wire-brushed wood, honed stone, and matte finishes avoid glossy surfaces. The natural, unfinished look of these materials contrasts sleek cabinetry for balance. Their raw authenticity references rural cabins.

How were storage solutions designed to suit the blended style?

Repurposed antiques like the hutch and wire carts echo rural heritage while adding function. Open shelving introduces display space while keeping items visible. The hanging pot rack utilizes vertical space. And customized crates provide organized storage with a homemade vibe. These creative solutions blend storage with style.


This urban Atlanta condo kitchen renovation proves that a little rustic flair can go a long way in creating inviting warmth even in a contemporary city setting. By taking inspiration from an authentic Wisconsin cabin, interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn crafted a unique space with character, functionality, and connection to nature.

The strategic blending of salvaged materials, organic textures, purposeful color schemes, and custom lighting solutions results in a kitchen that feels both freshly modern and comfortingly timeworn. Every detail has been thoughtfully curated to achieve the perfect balance between sleek lines and raw, wholesome finishes.

This kitchen will undoubtedly become the cozy heart of the home through its skillful harmony of urban and rural design. Its welcoming charm demonstrates that you can bring pastoral style into the heart of the city with the right mix of authentic materials and crafty customization.