Design Ideas > Rustic & Relaxed

Rustic & Relaxed


Rustic brown bedroom set

Rustic Roundup || Natural elements bring warmth to your space

When you enter a space that’s rustic, it makes you feel instantly relaxed. Think of a lake cabin, country cottage or mountain lodge with a cozy stone fireplace, exposed ceiling beams, and furnished with leather sofas and chairs. Rustic is a style of décor with a strong affinity for nature, and natural textures and finishes. It’s uncomplicated, casual, warm, and inviting.

Rustic style has a lot of vintage character with a focus on well-crafted wood furniture pieces. Furniture that shows off natural wood grains really brings this style to life. If you decide to use a reclaimed wood piece, you’ll likely see knots, waves, swirls, spirals, and other natural characteristics. The rustic look is a bit rough around the edges with distressed tables and chairs, and upholstered furniture that emphasizes comfort and simple designs.

Rustic color palettes are neutral, muted, earthy, and may include either light or dark elements. You probably already have some rustic style in your home, especially if you have vintage furniture that hasn’t been refinished over the years. It’s easy to create a modern version of rustic with new pieces that are intentionally distressed to look like antiques. And, you’ll find few styles that feel as winter-cozy as rustic.

Rustic also mixes well with other décor styles, such as industrial, boho, and especially farmhouse. For example, you can use a rustic cabinet that features metal edges and hardware to add an industrial vibe. For a boho eclectic look, use a freshly painted server that’s accented with unfinished wood hardware. Rustic rooms can also borrow styles and motifs from places around the globe. Think of a rustic Tuscan villa with rough stone surfaces or a Mexican hacienda with clay pottery, tiles, and striped textiles. Simple Southwest geometric motifs like zigzags can also have a natural rustic appeal.

Rustic is a style of decor with a strong affinity for nature

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Furniture || The idea behind rustic furniture is that each piece has subtle variations in surface appearance, so no two are exactly alike. Pieces with surface imperfections are desirable for that instant lived-in look, with beautiful variations in color and finish. In addition to wood, other materials, including metal, glass, stone, and even plastic, can be made to look distressed and rustic. For an intriguing contrast, some sleek modern furniture pieces are accented with rustic hardware. A variety of upholstered furniture pieces will complement a rustic space. Leather furniture mixes especially well with this style and gains more character as it ages.

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Area Rugs || We often picture rustic interiors with natural hardwood floors, or maybe tile and other natural surfaces. A great way to complement your rustic floor is with an area rug. A rug with an antique Persian design will add intricate pattern to your rustic space. If you prefer a more subtle look, you can still go for a rug with a traditional design, but that’s faded with age or is intentionally distressed to look faded. Alternatively, you can use a plush, minimalist-style rug such as a Moroccan tribal rug with a hand-drawn geometric pattern on a neutral background. Today, you can find new rugs that have worn patches of faded color that truly look vintage but are deliberately created using special manufacturing and finishing techniques. Most rugs are built to withstand plenty of wear and tear and can become more beautiful as they age.

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Accessories || There are many ways to add the finishing touches to your rustic space. Mirrors, clocks, woven baskets, architectural salvage, metal gates and grates, stained glass window panels, books and other items can all be found in true vintage distressed form. Or, you can buy attractive reproductions made to look as though you’ve curated them from years of global travel. Ideally, your rustic-style rooms will look more unique if you mix true vintage items with newer items. It’s even more interesting if you mix styles and time periods for an eclectic look that tells your personal design story.

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