Rustic style is a design concept that highlights the rugged, natural attractiveness of a space. This approach incorporates textures inspired by nature, along with modest and earth-toned colors, resulting in a genuine and unpretentious organic warmth. Although traditional rustic style may seem somber and dark in present times, a new contemporary version has arisen in recent years that exudes a vibrant and authentic feeling, while also being luminous and down-to-earth.
Here are the top 20 elements of rustic style that can help you create an authentic nature-inspired home if you’re interested. It may not be feasible to incorporate all of them into your present home, but it’s important not to fixate on what can’t be altered. Instead, concentrate on what can be done to construct a delightful and rustic atmosphere that you’ll adore residing in.
Things to include in a rustic decor
1. Rustic setting.
Being in a natural environment facilitates the transition between being inside and outside. Whether situated within the midst of woodland trees or positioned next to a body of water, a rustic aesthetic perfectly complements a rural locale.
2. Raw natural elements.
The primary feature of rustic style is likely the use of unprocessed natural materials in both architecture and décor. A consistent contemporary rustic style can be achieved by incorporating elements that have a truly natural appearance and are easy to acquire and sustain.
3. Wide plank wood floors.
Wide wood planks on the floors make for a natural and instinctive starting point when it comes to decorating with a rustic aesthetic due to their straightforward and sturdy appearance.
4. Welcoming fireplace.
A campfire is a crucial element for camping, just like a cozy fireplace is integral to a rustic themed home. Optimum for a rustic living or family room are fireplace surrounds constructed of substantial natural materials such as rock, stone, or brick, complemented by a sturdy, sizeable mantel. It’s worth noting that the rustic style is equally stunning outdoors and inside.
5. Paneled walls.
Wood paneling has undergone a transformation and is no longer reminiscent of the styles popularized by older generations. Rustic paneled walls nowadays carry a distinct atmosphere with options ranging from light, whitewashed, to structures constructed from reclaimed wood. An accent wall in this bedroom is adorned with Stickwood, a simple-to-install wood product that exudes the perfect ambiance.
6. White walls.
Don’t worry if you can’t incorporate paneled walls into your rustic interior. White walls offer a fantastic “blank canvas” for showcasing your rustic décor skills. They are bright, pleasant, and highly adaptable, and contribute greatly to creating a renewed sense of rustic ambiance.
7. Wooden beamed ceilings.
The wooden beams adorning the ceiling provide an allusion to the natural world, reminiscent of a forest canopy. These sizeable and sturdy beams serve as a striking representation of the great outdoors.
8. Neutral, natural color palette.
Although nature boasts stunning bright colors, the rustic style is most suitable for the more subdued tones found in nature. Consider using furniture in shades of sand, walls in deep mud-brown, or accents of pine green. These colors offer a sense of calmness and recall the most natural creations of Mother Nature.
9. Balanced white & neutral.
Although wood adds a beautiful touch to rustic interior design, it can appear quite dark and weighty without incorporating some lighter elements. To achieve a harmonious balance and inject some lightness, it is essential to include white furniture, paint, or accessories.
10. Non-painted wood.
Embracing the natural states of materials is a key aspect of the rustic style. A crucial aspect is the ability to appreciate the natural textures of wood, including its knots and grains, as well as its distinct tones. By doing this, the textures of diverse woods, like pine, oak, walnut, and birch, are kept apart and engaging.
11. Natural state.
The natural state of wood is a defining feature of the rustic aesthetic. Unlike typical interior support columns found in most houses, this kitchen utilizes tree trunks, complete with branches, that have been stripped of their bark to match the other wooden elements.
12. Found objects.
Selecting rough textures like jute, sisal or braided rugs, (fake) animal hide throws, butcher block countertops and driftwood light fixtures are ideal for achieving rustic home decor.
13. Understated seating.
Although the seating arrangement for dining tables in rustic homes is generally simple, it is important to note that the materials used are not of low quality. This handmade chair, constructed from wood and leather, strikes the perfect balance and has the potential to become a family heirloom.
14. Accents that mimic nature.
Including natural accents in any space can enhance its overall aesthetic, especially in rustic homes. This specific piece, made from natural wood, has been repurposed into a succulent planter and would make a perfect addition to a coffee table as decor.
15. Reclaimed barn wood.
The natural wear and tear of wood over time due to elements such as rain, wind, sun, and snow can evoke feelings of inspiration and comfort. Barn wood, in particular, demonstrates its age in an unpretentious yet stylish manner. It may be worthwhile to explore ways in which you can add reclaimed barn wood (or driftwood or comparable materials) to your surroundings.
16. Woven textiles.
A handmade item exudes a rustic vibe due to its appearance of being perfectly imperfect. For instance, neatly stacking woven blankets featuring southwestern designs on a wooden shelf would enhance the space’s look.
17. Rustic decorative signs.
Decorating walls with hanging signs is an effortless and pleasing method to infuse individuality into a room. A wooden sign with a pleasant message can enhance the ambiance of your home, making your visitors feel more comfortable or embellish an empty spot on the wall. This beautiful design is suitable for autumn and can be effortlessly created with white paint.
18. Handmade accessories.
There are various DIY crafts and projects that you can do in the entryway. One of the useful things you can create is a hanging coat rack with a rustic design. To keep it easy, you only need a thin strip of wood or board for the back panel and wire hooks. If you prefer, you can opt to paint or stain the wood, or you can leave it as is to show its natural color.
19. Exposed bark.
To add a touch of rustic charm to your home decor, you can incorporate wood into various projects and leave the bark intact. Whether it’s a log side table or a wooden cake stand for displaying cupcakes and other goodies, the bark adds a unique character to these items.
20. Wood slice decorations.
Wooden slices, particularly those with bark on the edges, are ideal for creating a variety of fascinating and exquisite crafts and projects. If you desire a decorative item to showcase in your home, consider making a rustic garland reminiscent of a wind chime that can be hung in front of a window.
BONUS: Modern rustic decor – top designers reveal their secrets for styling the trend
The charm of modern rustic decor is its ability to captivate people of all kinds with its use of natural materials and warm, comforting atmosphere. The design aesthetic creates spaces that feel both stylish and cozy, like being hugged by a room. It’s hard not to fall in love with this type of decor.
Some of our preferred designers excel in a recurring interior design trend. Our Instagram feeds are filled with modern rustic ensembles that are beautifully layered and eclectic; they seem to have been carefully curated with unique finds that these designers adore.
Although these areas may seem relaxed, achieving this aesthetic is not as effortless as it appears. It necessitates combining and harmonizing components while striking a balance between contemporary and rural textures. We consulted the professionals on how to successfully execute a modern rustic design, and they provided us with their top suggestions.
What is modern rustic decor?
To begin, what are the primary features that define modern rustic decoration? Typically, this design style entails a few prevalent characteristics. The interior spaces fashioned in this style generally possess neutral color palettes, spanning from white to brown, with a few additional earthy tones included. Additionally, furniture and decor items are infused with personality, such as a weathered patina or the natural attributes of a material.
Design schemes featuring linen and textural fabrics like boucle often favor solid fabrics over patterns and prints. Wood, encaustic tiles, and terracotta floors are ideal for a modern rustic appeal, while woven rugs add a cozy touch. The design also emphasizes biophilia, incorporating the outdoors through materials, foliage, plants, and trees.
1. Contrast rustic pieces with modern elements
Despite the perennial popularity of rustic design elements, how can one create a design that feels innovative and captivating while preserving the warmth and character these elements bring to a space?
Jin Chen, the founder and director of Ecru Studio (opens in new tab), suggests that incorporating unexpected modern elements can enhance a rustic design aesthetic.
Jin Chen clarified that they attempted to combine different materials for this assignment. They introduced sleek black components to create a contemporary feel, in addition to the traditional wooden and white beam items.
The modern rustic living room obtains an edge from the artificial color and finish, creating a bold and interesting contrast against the natural textures.
2. Create a rustic backdrop with the right plastered finish
You may have noticed that the modern rustic style does not typically utilize bright paint hues or patterned wallpaper. Rather, the focus is on achieving the appropriate texture for walls that embody this design philosophy.
Sarah Solis, the founder of Sarah Solis Design Studio and an interior designer, considers hand-trowelled plaster as the central element of a contemporary country-style design. Sarah professes her love for plaster, which not only creates an easygoing wabi-sabi ambiance but also adds texture to the walls that reflect light and add dimension.
Modern rustic spaces can achieve minimalistic interior design by avoiding excessive art and decor on their walls. As a result, the organic quality of the softer and less precise lines provides a sense of serenity and relaxation to your home without leaving the walls feel blank.
3. Introduce woven textures
Incorporating woven textiles into a contemporary rural interior design can introduce a distinct charm with their varied textures and lovely natural hues.
Interior designer Jake Arnold expresses his fondness for woven textures, such as wicker, rush, jute, and abaca, which he has been incorporating into all of his projects. Although jute rugs may be more commonly associated with interior design, there are other ways to introduce woven textures into a contemporary rustic aesthetic. Lighting and rugs are typical options, but rush furniture frames have become increasingly popular with Jake. This material is ideal for creating seating arrangements that are both cozy and visually stimulating, regardless of the property’s style.
As demonstrated by this contemporary dining room concept, incorporating rush chairs into a rustic dining table design creates a visually intriguing pairing. The chairs boast a nearly identical color scheme while introducing a distinct, tactile texture to the overall aesthetic.
4. Use reclaimed wood
To achieve a modern rustic ambiance in your area, opt for utilizing reclaimed wood for your furniture and accessories; this will not only add the charm you’re after but will also enhance your commitment to sustainable living. Sarah Solis, an interior designer, advises that reclaimed or repurposed wood is commonly utilized in rustic decor, but to maintain a contemporary and streamlined look, it’s essential to avoid overcrowding the space with too many elements. Balancing the materiality is key.
Achieving equilibrium in a contemporary yet rustic setting requires juxtaposing materials from opposite ends of the rusticism spectrum. Sarah recommends pairing salvaged wood with concrete or plaster walls with marble as examples of modern and rustic fusion. The contrast between natural elements and brutalist ones, rough textures versus luxurious finishes, is what infuses a rustic theme with modernity and novelty.
5. Seek out vintage pieces
Vintage furniture can enhance the appearance of even the simplest decor with a contemporary rustic touch. Nevertheless, to achieve an authentic look, it’s necessary to become familiar with sourcing and discover pieces that captivate you. According to Jake Arnold, “research is crucial for sourcing vintage.” He advises starting with upscale galleries and identifying the vintage designers whose pieces appeal to you. Afterward, conduct further searches of these designers on other platforms to see what emerges. It’s vital to have adequate knowledge of sourcing to differentiate between good and poor quality options.
The modern bathroom design showcases how vintage pieces can be repurposed for new functionality. According to Sarah Solis, a vanity can be made unique by utilizing a vintage chest or incorporating salvaged wood. Even if the vanity is built in a contemporary style, the rustic element adds charm to the space.