If you follow home design trends, you already know that rustic home designs are hugely popular right now. Unlike the farmhouse look, which relies on painted wood and light colors, rustic is a darker aesthetic. It’s less “cheery” and more “warm and cozy” — think ski chalet, not cottage.
The rustic style trend evokes feelings of warmth and charm due to its reliance on natural materials and textures. But this look is not just for mountain lodges or log cabins. Today’s rustic homes combine these natural elements with modern amenities and a minimalist look that make the style suitable in urban and suburban homes as well.
By focusing on a few select elements, you can obtain a rustic look for your new home regardless of its age, style, or location.
Core Elements of Rustic Design
How do we define rustic design? Here are some core elements:
- Plentiful use of natural materials like wood and stone, and even textured fabrics like canvas, burlap, twine, or rope.
- Simplistic designs focusing on nature and evoking feelings of stability and strength.
- Lack of modern materials such as plastics, synthetics and metals.
- Natural colors, particularly shades of brown, green, and gray.
- Handcrafted materials, décor, and design elements.
- Repurposed products and materials.
Next, let’s look at ways to incorporate these elements into your home to achieve the look.
10 Ways to Add Rustic Touches to Your Home
A must-have element in any rustic design is reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood incorporates several rustic elements: It’s natural, it’s got texture, it’s the right color, and it’s been repurposed. The wood may come from old barns, ships (shiplap), or even bowling alleys. Use it to panel a wall or just a portion of it. It also works well for cabinets and flooring or even dining sets and headboards. This material is so popular that you can find authentic reclaimed wood (not faux reclaimed wood) at most major home improvement stores or you can shop online.
Open shelving made of chunky wood serves the dual purpose of storing necessities and displaying knickknacks. For a truly authentic rustic look, display rustic accessories like Mason jars, crockery, and stoneware.
Butcher Block Countertops
Yes, more wood! Back in the day, wood was in plentiful supply while stone, tiles, and synthetic materials were not available. Butcher block is easy to find, it’s practical and relatively inexpensive compared to other countertop materials, and once sealed properly, it’s a workhorse in the kitchen. Options range from classic birch to maple, oak, and even hickory or walnut.
Exposed wooden beams are classically rustic. Gabled roofs have these beams hidden beneath the ceiling; expose them, sand them down, and stain them to add warmth and height to a room. If you don’t have beams that you can work with, add some! Simply attach wooden beams to an existing ceiling to add character to what is otherwise a pretty boring surface.
Sliding Barn Doors
The hugely popular sliding barn door just might be credited with making the rustic look mainstream. They are a great choice in large rooms when you want to create a sense of separation and are also a smart solution in small spaces where there just isn’t enough room for a door to swing open. Choose dark hardware and barn-style door designs for the most authentic rustic effect.
Stone and Brick
Too much wood can be overwhelming, which is why most rustic designs add stone or brickwork. The lighter colors and different textures offset wood colors and textures and prevent a design from feeling too monochromatic, opening it up and making the space feel lighter and airier. You don’t have to use real stone or brick, as today’s faux materials look and feel completely realistic, plus they are cheaper and easier to install.
Natural fabrics like wool, linen, jute, burlap, leather, and twine add texture and warmth to accessories and furnishings.
Materials like wrought iron and finishes in black, copper, and bronze all harken back to the olden days. Use dark metals in lamps, on cabinets and doorknobs, and on faucets.
Select classic and cozy furniture to complete the rustic look. Thick rugs made of natural materials, chunky tables, deep armchairs, leather upholstery, and plenty of throw blankets are options, but don’t feel pressured to use them all.
“Coco Chanel used to say to remove one accessory before you leave the house,” designer Jill Goldberg says. “It’s the same with interior design. Sometimes one or two vintage pieces is all you need to get the look you want.”
We can’t neglect to mention the fireplace. It is often the showpiece of a rustic home and it can feature stonework, brick, or tile, and wooden mantels. Transform an existing fireplace by redoing the surround with faux stone or brick, or add a gas or electric fireplace if your home doesn’t have one.
It’s all about What You Want
There are many options and many different styles that can be considered rustic. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but as Jason Lenox, a designer at Antèks Home Furnishings in Dallas, Texas, reminds us, it’s all about what works for you.
“First, you’ll need to spend time considering what type of design you want for your space. Do you want a Northern lodge, or a Western cabin? Is something with a Native American flair more to your liking, or do you prefer the classic aesthetic with rustic furniture influences? There are no ‘right’ answers here; it’s important for you to decide what you want. Then you can start making decisions that will move you toward your goal — a rustic home that’s reflective of your style, taste, and personality.”
Rustic homes are hot and in demand right now. Explore rustic designs and get décor ideas by visiting HomLuv today!
Liyya Hassanali is a Project Manager and Content Strategist for Kinship Design Marketing, a boutique agency that provides marketing strategies and content for architects, interior designers, and landscape designers. She is a 15+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry, working closely with her clients to provide written content that meets their marketing goals and gets results.
Liyya is passionate about home design and décor and is a confessed HGTV and Pinterest addict. When not providing content writing services for her clients, she can be found browsing home décor sites or spending time with her family.