The Rustic Home Decor Guide [Inc. Pictures and Interior Design Ideas]

There is a wide variety of home decorating styles, one of the most popular of which is rustic decor. This style can be seen nearly everywhere, from TV and magazines to your local department stores.

What is Rustic Home Decor?

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Options abound, and it can seem difficult to understand not just what makes a look rustic, but how to accomplish this style in your own home.

Rustic Decor in a Nutshell

Rustic decor is a type of decorating style that incorporates materials that are found in the natural world such as rough-cut, or unfinished wood, stone, metals, and natural fabrics.

The primary colors that are used are those found in nature: browns, grays, cream and white, sometimes accented with greens, deep reds and blues.

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Rustic decor color palette

Furniture is usually large and comfy and crafted from natural materials as well. Vintage and repurposed items and fabrics are common additions when they tie into the overall theme.

Rustic decor is above all comfortable and relaxed, which makes it perfect for everyday living as well as vacation homes.

This style is widely used and enjoyed due to its overall focus on comfortable living. It can be found in deep mountain cabins, western ranches, Southern farmhouses, and even suburban tract homes.

When Did Rustic Decor Evolve?

Rustic decor is an interior design style that has been around in one way or another for centuries.

It harkens back to the times when aristocrats had their high society city homes where they engaged in fabulous social events and large, sprawling country estates where they could escape for relaxation and the comforts of everyday living.

These country homes were often outfitted with slightly more humble accouterments handed down from generations. The rooms were decorated with handcrafted, heirloom furniture from different time periods, upholstered in worn fabrics, and the floors were strewn with high-quality rugs and carpets that had seen decades of use.

Generally designed more for function than form, the estates they were on were the primary source of income for these aristocrats. They supported a massive number of families and staff and were often the main office for running the estate business.

The kitchen, which was (and still is) the heart of the home, was large and highly functional. It had plenty of workspaces, with easy access to the kitchen garden for fresh herbs and produce.

What Does Modern Rustic Design Look Like?

Today’s version of rustic values form and function equally. Warm, soft colors, especially white, cream, and greige (a combination of gray and beige), are used to keep the look modern and clean. The warmth of these colors contrasts perfectly with vintage or rough wooden furniture and accents.

Reclaimed or vintage-looking industrial metal is frequently used in today’s designs to add a little toughness and modernity to the overall look. Light fixtures and trim are commonplace for finding these materials.

Exposed brick or stone is also a hallmark of this style. Windows are frequently left undressed or hung with simple white curtains or wooden blinds to allow as much natural light into the rooms as possible.

This kitchen is a perfect example of how rustic design is used to recreate the feel and look without sacrificing modern convenience. Here, a rough wooden ceiling and reclaimed light fixtures are reflected on the rough-hewn farm table. This warm wood is offset with creamy white walls and paneled doors to keep the space light and airy.

Types of Rustic Home Decor

Rustic decor is a diverse and evolving style that encompasses a range of subtypes, each with its own unique charm and character. These styles often overlap and intermingle, creating spaces that feel both personalized and deeply rooted in nature. As preferences and trends shift, the definitions of these rustic styles can also adapt, blending old and new elements seamlessly.

Country Rustic creates a warm, homey atmosphere through the use of vintage furniture, quilted throws, and floral patterns. It’s akin to walking into a charming old cottage that feels both lived-in and loved.

Western Rustic captures the spirit of the American frontier with elements like leather upholstery, Native American textiles, and rustic metals, evoking the open, adventurous feel of the West.

Modern Rustic strikes a balance between contemporary design and rustic naturalism. Clean lines and modern fixtures blend with raw wood and stone to create a sophisticated yet earthy vibe.

Mountain Rustic is perfect for those who love the rugged beauty of the great outdoors. This style features robust furniture, grand fireplaces, and a palette inspired by the forest and mountains.

Industrial Rustic combines the mechanical edge of industrial elements like metal and exposed brick with rustic wood finishes, creating a look that’s both urban and homey.

Coastal Rustic uses elements like weathered wood, soft linens, and ocean-inspired hues to bring the calmness of the beach indoors, perfect for a serene and breezy environment.

Farmhouse focuses on practicality and comfort, incorporating barn doors, wide plank floors, and farmhouse sinks to create a space that’s both functional and welcoming.

Primitive Rustic harks back to earlier times with its focus on handcrafted, utilitarian objects, distressed furniture, and simple, earthy colors. It’s all about honoring the past through décor.

Each of these rustic styles provides a unique way to bring the serenity and raw beauty of nature into our living spaces, proving that sometimes, the old ways can blend beautifully with the new.

What Are the Main Elements of Rustic Decor?

The incorporation of nature is the most important design construct in rustic decor. Key elements include wooden accents, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, or fur, and open, airy spaces with lots of light that showcase the outdoors.

Handmade, artisan, or vintage items add finishing touches that make the rooms homey and comfortable without being stuffy.

What Materials Are Used for Rustic Home Decor?

Since Rustic Decor leans so heavily on natural elements, these are the most commonly used materials to achieve the look.

  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Metal
  • Natural Fabrics

Wood

Wood is the most important material to use in Rustic Decor. It can be rough-cut and aged or new and untreated.

rustic basement living room with wood paneled walls

It is most commonly used in flooring and millwork, as large beams are installed on ceilings, shiplap that covers walls or ceilings, cabinetry, and even countertops.

To keep the look elevated, pair rough wood treatments with more refined materials like granite and marble or walls and upholstery in crisp, clean colors that pull out the undertones of the wood.

Handcrafted wooden decorative accents are also a great addition. Repurposed window frames that have been decorated, painted signage with cute sayings or scriptures, and large wooden clocks are all popular choices.

Flea market finds are really great too, and can really add a personal element to a room.

Stone

Incorporating stone into your rustic home is a must. The most common place to use stone is the fireplace. This can be crafted from painted or exposed brick, locally sourced river stone, or stacked stone that you found at your local hardware store.

Stone can also be used to good effect for flooring, especially in entryways, kitchens, and baths.

It makes an excellent alternative to traditional tile. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you might even consider using it to replace the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

Metal

Metal accents are very commonly used in modern rustic decor, especially for light fixtures, decorative touches, and furniture trims.

Repurposed items that have been transformed into light fixtures or lamps are very popular and can be found in powdered black cast iron, bronze, and even copper.

Galvanized metal or old aluminum containers or objects are great for decorative accents and plant holders.

Natural Fabrics

In keeping with rustic decor’s natural, comfortable feel, the best fabrics for dressing beds, windows, and furniture will have a natural, almost raw feel. Linen, cotton, burlap, leather, suede, and wool are all great choices.

Cover your sofa in a creamy white duck slipcover, then add some beige and white buffalo check overstuffed pillows, and you will have captured the look with minimal effort.

And what is better than falling into a bed covered in crisp white cotton bedding at the end of a long day?

What Color Schemes Are Typical of Rustic Home Decor?

Rustic Decor emphasizes the use of natural elements in the home, and the color scheme follows this same trend. Muted colors that are echoed in nature, including bright white, creams, grays, muted blues, and browns, are all commonly used.

Pops of red and brighter blues and greens can also be found to add interest but are used sparingly.

As you can see here, a beige living room gives way to a bright white kitchen. The white is accented with grey stools and decorative items, as well as natural wood elements. Everything is simple and bright.

The stand out from this rule is primitive decor, which as I mentioned in that section, incorporates a lot of muted navy, cranberry, and black, usually against a darker cream background.

To keep this look modern, make the most of natural lighting and lighter furniture and wall colors, like in this bathroom.

Four Quick Tips for Decorating Any Room in Rustic Decor Style

  1. Keep it light and bright. Paint using natural colors like white, cream, greige, gray, blue and light green.
  2. Make the most of your natural lighting. Keep your windows bare, if you can. If not, then use sheer cotton curtains or wooden blinds that can be left open whenever possible.
  3. Add wooden accents. Hardwood floors, shiplap walls, and rustic wooden cabinetry are great to incorporate. If you are on a budget, you can also add smaller wooden decorative items with a vintage feel, like rough wood picture frames, reclaimed window frames that have been decorated, or even handpainted signs.
  4. Transform your furniture with natural fabrics and define spaces with area rugs woven from natural fibers.

Rustic Furniture By Type

Rustic Farmhouse Table

This stunning six-piece dining set from WE Furniture is the perfect foundation furniture for your rustic dining room. Crafted from solid wood, it has a distressed finish that will fit right in with your decor.

Click here to see more on Amazon.

Rustic Couch

American Furniture Classics offers the perfect addition to your western rustic living room. It is made of microfiber that looks like worn leather, with a southwestern print tapestry across the seats and back.

Click here to find out more on Amazon about this lovely sofa.

Rustic Chairs

Incorporate a couple of farmhouse style armchairs to give your living room a rustic vibe, like this navy blue and white buffalo check print armchair from Christopher Knight.

Click here to purchase this item on Amazon.

Rustic Bed

A bronze metal bedstead is just what you need to give your bedroom a rustic feel. This oiled bronze bedframe from Tribecca Home has the look of a turn of the century antique without the cost.

Click here to find out more on Amazon.

Rustic Decor Items

Rustic Lamps

What is more rustic than antlers? Check out these matching antler lamps from Ashley Furniture. These are sure to make any room feel like a hunting lodge in the mountains.

Click here for more details on Amazon.

Check this for more rustic lamps ideas: 15 Rustic Lamps That Will Light up Your Living Room

Rustic Rugs

A braided rag rug is practically the rule for a primitive rustic room. This black and brown braided rug from IHF Home Decor will pull the room together, adding cozy charm with its whimsical star border.

Click here to find out more on Amazon.

Rustic Wall Decor

Vintage Window Frame

Repurposed window frames are a commonly used item in rustic decor. The vintage look with worn white paint provides a perfect frame for mirrors, which will help make any area look larger and lighter. It is also adorable!

Click here to find out more on Amazon.

Wall Art

A charming piece of wall art can really make a statement in your rustic farmhouse. Look for something like this wood and metal frame ‘flower’ wall art from Stratton Home Decor. It is hand-designed and hand-painted, which are qualities that really shine in this type of environment.

Click here to learn more on Amazon.

Mason Jar Vases

Utilizing mason jars as decorative items are very common in farmhouse decorating. These little mason jars have been mounted to rustic wooden backs for easy installation on your walls. Hang them up and fill them with fresh-cut lavender or roses from your country garden!

Click here for more details on Amazon.

You might also be interested in these 20 Rustic Wall Decor Ideas for the Living Room.

Comfort and Elegance is Key in Rustic Decor

Now that you know that rustic decor is not just for cabins in the woods, you can feel confident that decorating your home in this style can look classy and elegant as well as comfortable and homey. Take your time to find elements that you love and that express who you are as a family, and you can be sure that your home will be a masterpiece.

See how you can make your home more rustic with these picture posts:

30 Awesome Rustic Basement Ideas (Photo List Inspiration)

23 Rustic Bedroom Ideas (Pictures, Guides and Shopping Links)

Looking for more home inspiration? You might want to check these other articles:

Coastal Home Decor: The Complete Guide

Industrial Home Decor: A Practical Guide

Minimalist Home Decor: The Complete Guide

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4 Comments

  1. It was helpful when you explained that rustic decor usually uses colors that are bright and natural like cream or light green. My husband and I want to buy some round nesting boxes we can use to complement the rustic decor style in the cottage-style home we purchased about three weeks ago. Thanks for sharing this info I can keep in mind to buy boxes in the right color to fit the theme of the home!

    • Hi Rebecca. We’re so glad you found our post helpful! We have plenty of posts that pertain to the rustic aesthetic — be sure to check those out for more ideas and inspiration!

  2. This is so awesome! I love how you broke everything down with materials and colors that you would recommend to tie the room together. So great! Thank you!

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