A trip to your favorite outdoor getaway can be as simple as giving your living room, dining room, or bedroom a boost of rustic charm. With a heavy emphasis on natural materials, the open air, and traditional furniture making, rustic interior design is all about enjoying the simpler things and creating spaces that are inviting.
Learn how to design a rustic home with this guide, including a look at the basics, what to avoid, and some inspiration for the favorite spaces in your home.
At a Glance:
In an age where everything is factory-made or a reproduction of something original, rustic interior design is a breath of fresh air. Fanatics regard this period style as an embrace of individuality, a celebration of imperfections, and overall, a study in resourcefulness.
It all begins with wood. Since it was readily available, wood was the choice material for the craftspeople who first practiced the style. Since then, wood has remained synonymous with the style and is reused in several new ways. Reclaimed wood is a major component of the style used today, but timber is also used in high-end applications with luxury handcrafted furniture pieces, or as a dash of charm when used with a distressed or whitewash finish.
What it Is
Because rustic design is rooted in nature, the style is big on preserving and honoring organic shapes and silhouettes. Instead of changing mediums like wood and stone into something entirely manmade, rustic décor and furniture highlights the qualities of their design. The ruggedness of wood, the natural texture of stone, and uneven edges are all welcome attributes that style gurus agree are elemental for a successful rustic design.
What Isn’t Rustic Interior Design?
Pursuing perfection might not be a cardinal sin when it comes creating rustic style homes but overdoing it with polished furnishings will have an impact on the lived-in appeal of the rustic look. Go easy on clean lines celebrating unrefined materials, rejecting mass-produced home décor and furnishings, and allowing the essence of each material to shine.
The rustic aesthetic has always been around, but the term really began to take off in the 1900s. Even before then, rustic furniture was being made by pioneers in America who used wood and natural materials from the land to hand-make furniture. Over the generations, furniture makers began to coin their style, forming a new era of builders whose specialty was rustic furniture.
In all fairness, rustic décor has always been around, especially in Mediterranean areas of old-world Europe. However, it wasn’t until around 2010 when restaurants started using the style for a more intimate feel in high-class dining that rustic interior design would undergo a rekindling. Nowadays, rustic interior design is commonly used to add a touch of coziness to spaces from the kitchen to the living room and the bedroom.
You can’t do rustic design without having a love for wood. It’s used everywhere throughout the theme, and its neutral look pairs beautifully with other natural elements regularly used with the style. That includes:
- Stone: Brick, river stones, terracotta, and tile blend effortlessly with rustic décor.
- Metals: Classic rustic design utilizes wrought iron often, but newer variations on the style create a fresh look with bronze, gold, and copper.
- Natural Materials: Even textiles play well with rustic design. Linens and cotton are common, but wool, fur, and pelts have been popping up in variations on the style.
Now that you’re all caught up on the basics of rustic design, see how our interior design specialists use it around the home.
Rustic Living Room
Adding cozy, warm vibes to the living makes the area a perfect spot for gathering around and unwinding. This will most likely be one of the biggest spaces in your home, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the amount of wood you add to the area. Larger spaces can feel cold and distant, so adding a centerpiece like this International Furniture TV stand with solid pine wood and metal hardware anchors the room while giving it a welcoming touch.
Rustic Dining Room
A big trend these days is inviting the laid-back feel of rustic design into the dining room with quality furnishings that add a dash of elegance. Consider combining an ultra-rustic table you and your loved ones can add character to over the years together with an upscale complement like this Style Craft Anaheim sideboard. This sideboard’s clean lines and modern handles all in an ashy gray finish appeal to modern palates while adding just enough old-world nostalgia to feel like an heirloom.
Farmhouse may be a popular bedroom design, but for those with more muted tastes, rustic bedroom furniture is another alley to consider. Rather than going big on details like crossbucks or sliding barn doors with farmhouse décor, rustic design is simple and subtle, and many experts agree that the less cluttered a bedroom is, the healthier it is for your mind. This Bailey six-drawer dresser and mirror set from Elements furnishings is all about that lifestyle, featuring knotted woodwork, brushed bronze handles, and a warm walnut finish.
Expert Tips: How to Create a Master Bedroom
Looking for even more inspiration? Here are four different ways to use rustic design around your home.
Modern Rustic Interior Design
Also called rustic chic, modern rustic interior design utilizes the traditional wood blueprint with contemporary accents, especially when it comes to seating. Traditionally, sofas, loveseats, and chairs were canvases for the wooden motif, but modern rustic style plays with upholstered seating in clean lines, light colors, contemporary shapes, and an open floorplan.
Spanish Rustic Interior Design
Spanish rustic interior décor says bienvenido to the laid-back lifestyle reminiscent of al fresco design found throughout Spain. On this side of the globe, tiles, stucco, and warm tones are regular complements to accents of wood and metal.
Luxe Rustic Interior Design
Take nature’s inspiration and upgrade it to satisfy expensive palates, and you have the essence of luxe rustic design. This look is all about taking something humble and elevating it to the highest level of luxury and comfort with high-end furnishings and materials, of which furs, extravagant chandeliers, and handcrafted pieces are regulars.
Mediterranean Rustic Interior Design
Another variation on European rustic design is by emphasizing Mediterranean influences. From Greece to Tuscany and everywhere in between, this version of the classic design showcases ceramics, iron, and even mosaics of stone together with old-world details from coffered ceilings to exposed wood beams. Go heavy on browns, beiges, and other similar warm colors for a rural feel that is irresistibly inviting.
Boasting the largest selection of in-stock home furnishings in the Mid-South, the Great American Home Store is your one-stop shop to find all the furniture and décor items your home needs. Our buying team is constantly searching across the globe for the next hot style in home fashion products. We go to several markets a year comparison-shopping to ensure you’ll be able to find everything from formal living to casual comfort at the lowest prices. Since our business is backed by the manufacturer, we can promise that we bring you all your furniture needs at prices that are far below our competitors’.
At the Great American Home Store, we also understand the importance of offering a vast selection for any-size budget. We offer many flexible financing options with approved credit so that you can find the perfect furnishings to reflect your unique style.
Shop Rustic Style Furniture at Great American Home Store
The home of your dreams is closer than you think. Shop rustic furniture online or visit us today at one of our furniture stores in Memphis, TN and the Mid-South. Check out our website to shop local furniture sales and subscribe to our email list to be the first to learn about our special offers. Our experts at Great American Home Store are always happy to help you master the rustic look — whether you call us at 800-260-4898 or use our online chat feature.
Learn More: 12 Timeless Interior Design Styles