STYLE FILE: Unrefined Rustic

Rustic design may be the coziest out of all the design styles. It's lived-in, well-loved, and creates a warm invitation that's hard to turn away. Start with an earthy color scheme. Add in found and repurposed objects, quilts and some awesome reclaimed wood pieces and your space will be a natural beauty. 


A little history

Rustic interior design in America is influenced by the architecture and style of the colonial period. But long before European settlers made their way to America, log structures were used widely throughout Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, where natural resources provided the perfect building materials for these dwellings. While the history of the first log cabins is unclear, it is agreed upon that the first structures built with logs were constructed in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia around 3500 BC, otherwise known as the Bronze Age.  Building techniques were perfected in numerous styles, ranging from the primitive pirtti to sophisticated cabins with interlocking joints. 


Rustic style takes inspiration from nature and incorporates earthy colors into a warm, inviting palette. Shades of brown and tan (often in the form of wood) are a beautiful backdrop to burnt reds, sunny yellows, and forest greens. 


Patterns + Materials 

The materials seen throughout a rustic space are masculine in feeling. Cotton and wool fabrics take the lead as well as leathers and suede.  Quilts are a popular choice for  upholstery and when accessorizing. Incorporating florals, stripes, and textural suzani fabrics add a fresh, contemporary feel to your space.  


Rustic style embodies earthy, unrefined beauty. Natural woods and stone are a must for this style. Metals that are weathered and distressed should be chosen over those that are sleek and shiny. Allowing materials and finishes to develop patina naturally is a must, as this adds another layer to this rugged style.


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Furniture in a rustic space often has a handcrafted feel. While pieces that are geometric in shape are the standard here, organic forms are welcomed as well. Wooden tables and chairs often have sanded down edges and are left natural or stained so the intricacies of the grain can still be seen.  Chairs, sofas, and ottomans are often upholstered in leathers and trimmed with nail heads. Furniture selections made out of metal add a sophisticated touch and a break in what can be seen as a wood-heavy style. 

Decor + Details

Found Objects

Similar to industrial style, rustic design embraces found objects. Giving new life to old items is an important part of the history of rustic design- making due with what you have was an important lesson to learn before the age of mass-production. 

Architectural Elements

Architectural elements set the tone for this style. Rough-hewn and unfinished beams are the essential backdrop to a rustic design. The fireplace is equally as important- stone being the material of choice to line the walls and hearth. Doors are often accented in iron and take inspiration from sliding barn doors.

Folk Art

Along with the handcrafted feel of this design style- folk art plays an crucial part in decorating and accessorizing these kind of spaces. Quilts, woven baskets and other handcrafted items are essential to a rustic space. Give a nod to history by incorporating traditional European folk art into your space. 


Get more Rustic room inspiration on my Pinterest Page!

Interested in a Rustic make over of your own?

Peace & Love,