With HGTV cranking out more home renovation shows than they know what to do with, there’s one interior design style that seems to remain consistent in popularity across the board: rustic decor. But what exactly is the rustic style? Put simply; it focuses on the use of raw, natural elements to make your home feel just a little wilder without sacrificing that warm, cozy, comfortable environment.
If you want to learn a little more about the rustic American style — or incorporate some elements into your rustic home decor — keep reading for an introduction to this classic school of interior design.
Bringing the Rustic Outdoors In
The easiest way to achieve such an aesthetic is (logically!) through the use of nature. Unpainted, natural wood should be all over the place: running along your ceiling in exposed beams, in your furniture, and even in a variety of accent pieces that mimic nature’s untouched feel. Use a massive tree trunk slice, complete with its original bark and unprocessed rings, for your dining room table, or include a birch bark lamp in your sitting room. You can even re-purpose a barn door or another piece of reclaimed wood to use in your renovation.
Stone and leather are also great natural elements that can contribute a great deal to the rustic style. Consider slate floors in your kitchen or travertine (a form of limestone) tiles in your bathrooms. Rustic leather sofas are as long-lasting as they are beautiful (provided you clean and condition them every six months or so) and provide physical comfort as much as aesthetic value.
Let’s not forget about the implementation of real animal products in your home furnishings. Statement pieces, such as antlers over the fireplace, can have a significant impact on a room. If that’s a bit much for your taste, there are dozens of other ways to bring antlers — one of the most natural products in existence — into your home: unique designs include candle holders, light fixtures, table legs, even the handles in your cutlery. You don’t need to go huge to achieve the rustic aesthetic. Additionally, animal furs and pelts can provide warmth in its most natural form; convert them into blankets, rugs, or display them proudly on your walls.
Nature’s Color Palette
Choosing a neutral, natural color scheme is equally as important as your rustic home decor & furnishings; color has a psychological impact on the mind, so picking the right combinations that match each other as much as your moods is essential. Focus on the nature theme: your kitchen can be a bright, sandy color to wake you up in the morning, your den can be a relaxing pine green, and the rest of your home can possess bits of muddy brown to complete the look. Don’t forget to balance the earthiness with crisp, stark whites — the clean color serves to keep your home refined and classy, rather than losing it to the wilderness.
Rustic Prints for the Home
You’ve chosen to adopt the rustic home decor style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your color! Rustic prints are a great way to incorporate bold colors into your home. Rustic prints can be used to great effect in your bedding, wallpaper, and rugs.
Native-American inspired art and design can offer a pop of style that fits effortlessly into the natural environment you’ve created. Consider bedding in the chevron pattern, boasting deep reds and yellows — something reminiscent of the desert that can match the warmth of your wood fire and wood stains. If you want to focus more on that woodsy feel, consider the addition of flannel furniture upholstery (nothing says wilderness like comfortable flannel shirts, which are as durable as they are cozy).
When you redecorate your home in the rustic home decor style, replete with all the wild and natural home furnishings you could ever imagine, you’ll no longer need to travel out to a cabin in the middle of the woods to feel close to nature; the peace will come to you instead.