Home Decor & Design

Your Guide to Rustic Design for the Home

October 15, 2019

A classic rustic design is defined by natural, raw materials, simple but effective decor and earthy color schemes. Many homeowners love the ruggedness of this style because it’s down-to-earth and grungy. It encompasses the best features of nature, and ironically enough, it can fit into virtually any design.

You may think of rustic chic as having a modest, country-style look, and many rustic homes do, but other spaces incorporate it in less overstated ways.

Turn your house into the definition of farmhouse chic, or add some elements here and there to spruce up a dated design. Whatever your goal is, you can achieve it with these six ideas:


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1. Use Natural Materials

Natural materials create the foundation of any rustic design, whether contemporary or traditional. You’ll find that a lot of furniture and decor consists of stone, metal and unfinished wood, while curtains, rugs and throw pillows use burlap and canvas. Plastic and other synthetics tend to feel out of place in such design schemes, though you can find ways to make these materials work for you.

Plants make great natural decorations, and palm imagery is a popular trend right now for wallpapers, fabric patterns and art prints. Incorporate some real palm plants to bring your rustic vision to life, and complement them with ZZ plants, bird’s nest ferns or aloe vera.

2. Keep Decor Simple

A lot of rustic furniture is oversized. If you want to immerse yourself within this style, you may want to keep the rest of your decor simple to avoid crowding out the room. Woven baskets can sit in your entryway and function as both decor pieces and functional containers for holding shoes and umbrellas. Go for large area rugs with woven patterns to match the baskets, or choose ones with intricate designs of bears, deer and curving plants.

What screams rustic more than the great outdoors? Many area rugs feature these earthy patterns — all you have to do is pick your favorite. Pair them with burlap curtains for an authentic homey feel.

3. Incorporate Warm and Earthy Colors

Colors like burnt oranges, browns, dark reds and greens work perfectly within this theme. Burnt orange provides the warm sunniness and comfort that rustic chic calls for while still fitting into the overall design. Brown and green are colors most commonly found in nature, which makes them perfect for a nature-based look. You don’t have to stick to dark shades, either — try a light green as an accent color.

Hues like light coral, marigold and royal blue can also work with a rustic scheme when following the 60-30-10 decorating rule. Have a marigold chair as an accent within a dark room, or choose light coral for a secondary shade.

4. Search for Reclaimed Wood Pieces

Rustic chic often receives praise for its eco-friendliness in addition to its rough charm. Many furniture and decor pieces are made from reclaimed wood, which gives any home a genuinely cozy feel. Plus, homeowners can search for wide planks with grains and knots that offer quirky character. Floorboard widths between 5 to 10 inches are considered increasingly trendy for a rustic style.

Pine, cedar and hickory are popular choices for flooring, walls and ceiling beams. Buy rustic shelves, benches and tables to make your living room embody “warm and inviting” at first glance. You could even have a kitchen island and kitchen counters made from your favorite wood.

The unfinished matte look is the goal, but you can opt for varnished pieces if buying furniture for a more modern setting.

5. Install Vintage Lighting

Vintage doesn’t have to mean flickering light bulbs and faulty electrical wiring — there are plenty of ways to do rustic chic without completely turning back time. Buy Edison light bulbs and use them with rustic lighting fixtures such as a wooden or beaded chandelier. Decorate your space with a candelabra lantern, or hang a chandelier made from ropes, twigs or even fake deer antlers.

Wall lights look great with wooden sconces, and you can buy a variety of lanterns with outdoorsy etchings for the ultimate natural look.

6. Combine It With Your Current Style

If you don’t want to dive headfirst into the world of roughing it, you can always take it slow by incorporating elements within your current home design. This style’s flexibility is one of its greatest advantages. Try a white reclaimed wood dining table for a beach-themed room, or use Edison light bulbs in a minimalist living room.

The choices are endless — it’s up to you to choose how to merge them with your tastes.

Turn Your Home Into a Rustic Design Dream

The rustic life may be a new world for you, but you can step into it with confidence with these design tips. Transform your home into a rustic-chic paradise with little effort and no stress. Your acquaintances will come to know you as the master of home design.

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