How to easily design that perfect rustic look

Rustic decor emphasises living simply and in nature. Most of us feel an instant attraction when faced with a beautifully designed rustic environment that brings forward the warmth and charm of this decor style. 


The basics are simple to understand and fairly instinctive. That said, applying them may be a challenge, as some of these elements are part of the structure of a home. Not exactly something you can walk into Ikea and buy, per se. Take for example the signature exposed wooden beams that are not planed but rather rough hewn and furniture made of logs and irregular shaped branches are mainstays of this style. If you are intent on going “full rustic”, stone and wood floors are a must for this “cabin in the woods” look you are creating.

Old wooden doors make good tables.  An old leather boot can be cleaned and turned into the base of a lamp. The idea is that you make do with what you have and reuse materials creatively. Black wood burning stoves and massive stone fire place hearths are ubiquitous.  The kitchen has a wooden pantry and cabinets, and the counter is made of dark stone or wood, not Formica or marble.

But we said “easily”, right? And so far it’s been about the more expensive and hard-to-install elements of decor.

Do not despair! You can create a warm rustic atmosphere in one or more rooms in your home. Time to move on to decor items that can be more easily incorporated.

Here are some tips and ideas –

  1. The overall color scheme can have one or two non-neutral colors thrown in but practice balance with that. Apart from specific focal points, stick to earthy, warm tones and textures
  2. Upholstery should be earth toned.
  3. Wood furniture should be unfinished or stained without gloss.
  4. Metals should be iron or copper, not shiny chrome or brass.
  5. Straw baskets and wicker furniture are great additions.
  6. The use of antlers for wall decor and chandeliers is common. If you’re really going for that “cabin fever” theme, they may be worth the investment.
  7. Rugs should be fake bear skin and blankets should be wool.
  8. Motifs of deer, bear, and moose are popular rustic decor accents. Try getting items that are made of metal and wood, rather than plastic.
  9. Photos of mountains, forests, rivers and lakes make good focal points.
  10. Patch work quilts and plaid flannel work equally well in rustic decor. Use both, while mixing and matching patterns.
  11.  An old fashioned kettle with a whistle, and a griddle, are the perfect touches for your rustic hideaway.
  12. Flowers and shrubs are great touches and the rustic way to go about them is by getting their dried versions.

More ideas for rustic design tips? Share them in the comments section!

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