Rustic classic

Decorating with Rustic Charm

Style Guide

One of the fastest ways to add a dose of interest to a home is to bring in some texture . Rustic furnishings do that with charm and style.

Rustic used to mean ‘rickety and cheap’, but rustic style is all grown up and now borders unsophisticated and trendy. Beautiful woods, polished logs, and twiggy charm has made rustic one of the most popular styles in the market today. Steven Spielberg has some. So does Sharon, Rick, and Rosanna. And even with all of that popularity and charm, it is, thankfully, one hot trend that is still easily affordable.

If you love the look of rustic furnishings, here are some tips on adding it to your own home.

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  • Since rustic furniture is extremely textural, add it in small amounts. An entire roomful may be too much to take in, while a few pieces allow each item to stand out and be a star. Add some bent willow chairs around an old oak table, or include a few pieces in a fireplace grouping.
  • Warm up rustic seating pieces with cushions and pillows. These will soften the chairs visually and provide an additional level of comfort. Fabric will also serve as a unifying element to tie in a rustic piece with other items already in the room.
  • Traditional formal designs can even be recreated in a rustic style. The unusual and beautiful willow canopy bed shown here, would feel at home in both contemporary and country interiors, thanks to its pleasing Chippendale style lattice work and clean lines. Notice how visually appealing the room is, even without additional color or patterned fabrics. This is the charm of rustic furniture.
  • Consider using rustic accent pieces such as tables, mirrors, coat trees, or other accessories in guestrooms and powder rooms. These smaller spaces can be theme-decorated in a rustic style around a few interesting items, without committing yourself to an entire houseful.
  • Rustic is great for outdoor spaces as well. Arbors, benches, trellis pieces, and chairs, look terrific surrounded by plants and gardens.
  • Porches, country kitchens, casual dining rooms, or covered patios might be just the right spot for a rustic dining table. It’s the perfect backdrop for everything from a family meal to a Fourth of July picnic. Or, picture a cozy rustic Christmas dinner table set with a simple basket of evergreens in the center.


Rustic Retreat: Decorating with Rustic Style

A Twist on Rustic Traditions

Here we have another contemporary take on rustic style. Designer, Katie Bower of Bower Power, and her husband sought to create a modern, masculine space reminiscent of a quiet little cabin in the woods for their little man. The room’s most striking feature, the wooden accent wall, which the couple crafted from recycled pallet wood, gives a respectful nod to rustic traditions while allowing the room to maintain it’s clean, somewhat-contemporary look.

The large wooden sign, a handmade vintage replica denoting a place with special meaning to the family, proved an inexpensive alternative to traditional vintage accessories often used in rustic designs. The faux deer head, which Katie picked up on eBay and spray-painted white to resemble a ceramic mount, also adds a contemporary twist to a classic staple of rustic style.

Western Round Up

When it comes to rustic charm, fans tend to fall into one of two camps: Mountain or Western. While very similar, mountain-inspired designs place more emphasis on nature, wildlife and outdoor pursuits while Western motifs celebrate our country’s rich history, incorporating Native American influences as well as elements of vintage Americana.

This rugged, Western retreat, designed by Jeanie Claughton for a client in North Carolina, is the perfect place for a weary cowboy to rest his little head after a hard day’s play. Wide-paneled, reclaimed barn wood applied to both the walls and ceiling lends an authentic cabin-feel to the design. “Wood paneling makes it cozy and adds character,” Claughton explains, “and the classic, era-appropriate accessories, such as the antique saloon sign, proved to be the perfect finishing touch.”

Modern Influence

This modern take on traditional rustic décor represents a growing trend toward cleaner, more contemporary designs that incorporate elements of rustic style. As with all rustic designs, texture continues to play a key role. Rustic décor relies heavily on the use of a variety of richly textured, naturally sourced materials, such as:

  • leather or suede
  • organic fabrics like cotton, hemp, burlap, linen, wool or animal skins
  • wood floors, wood paneling, wooden furniture, branches, bark or twigs
  • wrought iron or rusted metals
  • pewter or metals with patina
  • stone, slate, or concrete

Despite this nursery’s obvious contemporary appeal, the use of primitive fabric, such as linen and burlap, and the introduction of organic accessories, like the sheepskin area rug, adds rustic charm to the design. Designer, Sherry Hart of Design Indulgence, also fashioned a rustic backdrop for the crib using a stunning pair of antique barn doors, adding another layer of texture, suggestive of the wall-to-wall wood paneling traditionally used in rustic décor.

Written by : Interior Decorating