Ideas for Rustic Interior Design
Rustic interior design draws its inspiration from natural elements and textures, creating a comfortable, welcoming feeling that envelops you the minute you step in the door. Use as many of these rustic interior ideas as you like. With them, you can bring the spirit of the North Woods into your home almost as fast as you can say, “Throw another log on the fire, it’s time for hot chocolate and a game of checkers!”
Rustic Style Checklist
Earthy color palette
Warm wood accents
Textural stone features
Let’s begin by building your rustic color palette. These colors will be your guide as you choose fabrics, surfaces, finishes and furniture for your space. An earthy palette totally in tune with nature is ideal. Browns, rusts, greens, grays and neutral shades will fill your home with a sense of the great outdoors while keeping it warm and cozy.
That’s not to say that you can’t inject your room with other colors to create a specific mood. For example, pops of bright colors interspersed throughout a rustic room will provide a sense of energy, rhythm and visual interest.
Natural Wood Accents
Nothing says rustic like natural wood accents. These ideas are sure to give even the most contemporary room a rustic vibe.
First of all, avoid wood paneling—the look is just too dated and will overwhelm a room. Wainscoting is a great compromise that is always in style. Natural wood wainscoting looks great in a study, great room, or even a bedroom.
Rough-hewn wood flooring is almost a must for a rustic home interior. The warmth of a wide-planked wood floor layered with gorgeous, plush rugs is irresistible! Prices of real wood flooring got you down? Psst! You can find great deals on wood laminates that will fool even the most discerning eye!
Do some snooping and find local sources for reclaimed barn wood. It’s the perfect choice for furniture pieces, fireplace mantels, and even flooring!
If you are blessed with high ceilings, consider rough wood ceiling beams to recreate the look of a rustic lodge. Oversized wood beams don’t come cheap, so try faux wood beams to cut material and labor costs. Polyurethane or extruded foam beams are lightweight and much easier to install, and are a fraction of the price of real wood. I promise, I won’t tell a soul that it's not the real thing!
Feeling overwhelmed with wood surfaces? Create a sense of balance by using stone features in your rustic environment. Create a stone accent wall, backsplash, hearth or fireplace surround with stone veneer. If you are adept at tiling vertical surfaces, stone veneer products offer a cost-effective way to add the look of real stone to any room.
You can also opt for river rock veneers if you prefer smooth versus rough textures. River rock surfaces are suitable for foyer or bathrooms floors and even shower enclosures.
Textiles and Upholstery
You are obviously not going to use silks and chintz for your rustic interior. So, what’s the best fabric to convey that casual and natural feel you want to achieve?
For large upholstered pieces like sofas and chairs, durable cotton duck or canvas is a logical choice. Better yet, commission slipcovers made from these natural, easy-care fabrics. That way, you won’t need to worry about dirt and spills. Just toss them in the wash and they’re good as new!
You can also look for furniture and pillows covered in nubby synthetic fabrics like chenille. They wear well and can be pre-treated with a stain guard for easy spot cleaning.
What rustic cabin or lodge would be complete without throw blankets? Camp blankets in rich stripes. paisleys or plaids will add lively pattern to solid color upholstered pieces. Another suitable choice is faux fur—a single throw or couple of pillows is all you need.
Leather is also a great idea for upholstery. It looks right at home in a natural setting It is comfortable and develops character as it ages. Deep, rich tones with a distressed finish add an authentic touch to your rustic interior. And there’s nothing like the fragrance of real leather for a sensory boost!
Choose large area rugs that provide texture, color and softness underfoot. Just imagine exotic wool Dhurrie, Ikat or Kilim rugs used around the house. If you want a literal take on the rustic theme, you can find beautiful braided and rag rugs that harken back to colonial or pioneer days.
Curtains should be made from substantial fabrics like velvet, heavyweight cotton or linen—preferably lined and interlined to keep the winter chill at bay. Of course, if you live in a milder climate you can go with lighter-weight fabrics in solids and patterns that coordinate with your rustic color palette.
Avoid purchasing an entire furniture collection. You can pick two from the same collection, but keep things interesting by mixing pieces. Also use a variety of wood tones. If you like light wood, go with pine, poplar and birch in a room with neutral upholstery colors for a lovely monochromatic effect.
Reclaimed wood furniture is a great eco-friendly way to add rustic charm to your home. To me, there's nothing more striking than an oversize harvest table crafted from old lumber. You can buy these natural treasures ready-made or contract with a local carpenter to create a custom piece of furniture. Accents of wrought iron will make your reclaimed furniture pieces all the more special!
Use log and twig furniture with a measured hand. You don’t want your rustic theme to end up looking too kitschy! Instead, incorporate a couple of faux bois chairs or tables as an elegant twist on traditional handcrafted log furniture.
Let your imagination run wild with this one. You can go in a number of directions depending on your personal preferences.
Is your rustic dream home a hunting lodge? Faux or naturally harvested antlers make great chandeliers, wall accents and even sculptures. A pair of riding boots and an urn filled with silver-handled walking sticks add a classic touch to a rustic hunting lodge.
What about a ski cabin? Vintage snowshoes, skis and poles are fun accessories that can be picked up at your local antique mall. Also hit up local “junk” shops for vintage ski photographs. Go online and purchase reproductions of old travel posters with a ski theme for big impact, colorful artwork.
Thinking more along country lines? An oversized grapevine wreath above the fireplace makes an eye-catching statement. Handcrafted twig picture frames add a homespun touch to your country cabin. Baskets are a wonderful way to add rustic texture and give you plenty of extra storage. Plein air paintings bring local woodland landscapes right into your room!
Rustic Autumn Candle Idea
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Linda Chechar