How to Decorate a Rustic Home

Posted In Design - 10/21/2019

When most people think of rustic style, their minds usually conjure up a cozy log cabin in the woods or a home filled with antique farmhouse decor. Although these are good examples, there are many different ways to incorporate rustic elements into your design by bringing the raw beauty of nature indoors.

Our tips and tricks can help you achieve the perfect rustic setting, whether you're furnishing a studio apartment in the city or a house in the suburbs.

Designing Your Rustic Space

Though the finished look may seem effortless, putting a rustic bedroom, kitchen or living room together takes careful thought and planning. As you browse for the right pieces, it's important to imagine how the color, material and texture of each item will coordinate to form a cohesive theme.

A Natural Palette

Focus on hues inspired by nature for a rustic living room or bedroom. Colors for this style should evoke a warm, inviting vibe. Channel the allure of the great outdoors by using shades of red, beige, brown or green throughout your layout.

Picture of a brown leather living room set with wood and metal end tables.

Painting walls in earthy tones like rich mahogany or deep moss creates contrast with rustic furniture in neutral tones. Alternatively, beige or white walls promote an open, airy feel that blends well with distressed wood tables and weathered metal accents.

Whether you choose to follow a monochromatic palette or combine complementary colors for variation, always favor warm hues to establish a truly harmonious rustic space.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

When choosing rustic home decor, consider pieces made from raw materials. Weathered and organic elements play an important role in achieving this look. Real stone fireplaces, distressed metal side tables and rough-hewn benches add charm and authenticity to these layouts.

Image of a white distressed accent bench with a beige cushion.

Textured or patterned items have a distinct visual impact on otherwise humble settings. For example, rustic decor like a jute or sisal rug is a simple, effective way to highlight a breakfast nook or conversation set. You can also create a focal point with simple, bold accents like plaid blankets or striped pillows arranged on a leather sofa.

However, you should avoid over-decorating. Each piece of furniture should serve some practical purpose, whether it acts as impromptu seating, a convenient place for remotes and device chargers or just a little extra storage. An over-furnished space can seem cluttered or cramped.

Materials Matter

Skip sleek, glossy finishes and opt for imperfect, organic ones. For rustic kitchens or bedrooms, cabinets and credenzas made from reclaimed wood can store cookbooks or display keepsakes. Want bold lighting for the foyer? Consider a gorgeous chandelier made of interlocked antlers or a copper pendant lamp with an authentic patina.

Picture of a chandelier made of antlers.

Additionally, most rustic home decor materials are extremely durable. Floor lamps and counter height stools made of brass, iron or aluminum provide character as well as stability. Pine, birch, walnut or oak tables and chairs have that built-to-last, heirloom quality about them as well.

Certain materials also promote a relaxed atmosphere. Leather sofas and upholstered sectionals deliver the ideal blend of luxury and comfort in rustic living rooms. Make your seating even more cozy with wool throws or a crocheted afghan.

Rustic with a Twist

Before committing to a complete makeover, experiment with natural accents in your current layout. If you have a modern living room sofa, pair it with a rustic coffee table made with unfinished wood. You can also try out a rustic kitchen design by adding a weathered olive green accent cabinet or a butcher block island to a traditional setting.

Using rustic wall decor, lighting and rugs is another easy way to try out this approach. For example, lantern-style lamps, a distressed wood-framed mirror, and a cozy quilt can shift a coastal master suite toward a more rustic bedroom motif.

Picture of a brown lantern floor lamp.

Keep It Warm and Natural

Rustic design embraces the beauty of the outdoors, weathered and repurposed furniture and laid-back comfort. Whether you want to transform an entire home or just one room, keep to a warm color palette and search for pieces that have an authentic, well-loved appearance to capture the same feeling in your house or apartment.

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