Rustic interiors are hard not to love. That’s because rustic design is all about celebrating natural materials, warm neutral colors, weathered finishes, and the vintage aesthetic. These are all rustic decor elements that play up a deep sense of comfort and charm.
Types of Rustic Decor Styles
There are many different ways to approach the rustic decor look. You can go minimalist with a mix of rustic home decor and Scandinavian designs; or you can add lots of black and white for a more modern take. To help you figure out how to make rustic decor work in your space, here are some popular rustic design looks to get you thinking:
Farmhouse Style. This is classic rustic style. It has all the key rustic decor elements: natural materials and textures, warm wood furniture, tons of fiber textures, and industrial metal accents.
Modern Farmhouse. If you like Chip & Joanna Gaine’s fixer-upper style, this is your look. Think of the rustic yet elegant room with a big comfy sofa, a fluffy white rug, and lots of vintage pieces.
Hygge. Rooted in the Danish concept of embracing life’s simple pleasures, this rustic look is all about comfort. These rooms feature light woods, soft textured pillows, and handmade decor.
Modern Rustic. Mid-century modern designs mixed with rustic decor is what sets this look apart. You’ll find clean-lined furniture, cowhide and leather pieces, and patterns in warm colors.
Essential Decor Tips for Rustic Rooms
Now that you’ve gotten refresh on rustic style, let’s talk about what you need to keep in mind when decorating. Read on for our best tips for adding rustic decor seamlessly into your home.
If you love everything rustic and simply need some inspiration, check out our room gallery for rustic design ideas. Have zero idea what interior design style is right for you? Listen to the first episode of our podcast, The Render, where break down how to find your design style!
1. Invite Contrast
When decorating with rustic pieces, a high-contrast palette of black and white offers a modern edge. It’s great if you love the comfy, earthy vibe of rustic design but don’t want your space to feel classic and stuffy. A high-contrast palette will add depth to rustic and neutral furnishings.
Good Starting Point: Juxtapose furniture pieces, like a white slipcovered chair and farmhouse table, with contemporary black wood chairs, black and white tile details, or a charcoal-color light fixture. If you want a bold modern rustic look, consider painting your walls black.
2. Mix Your Materials
Mixing different rustic decor and natural materials to add interest and depth to your spaces. The key is to create contrast with neutral colors and natural tones, hard and soft materials, and old and new furnishings. Here, we have a mix of weathered wood, shiplap wood, metal chairs, and galvanized metal accessories.
Good Starting Point: An easy way to mix rustic materials is to simply pile linen and textured pillows on a soft cotton slipcover sofa.
3. Layer, layer, layer
Speaking of piling on pillows, lots of layered textiles is an essential rustic decor element. Layers add depth, warmth, and a homey feeling, so it’s key to add layers at all levels in a room—the floor (rugs), mid-level (with furniture like a sofa and poufs), and walls and windows (curtains). Because rustic interiors feature mostly neturals, layering textiles is a great way to play up the few patterns you might have and bring out the softness of light-color textiles.
Good Starting Point: Layering includes rugs, poufs, and pillows. Kick things off with a soft rug. Moroccans, sheepskins, and cowhides are great because they go with almost all rustic decor.
4. Choose Comfortable Foundations
One of the most important pieces every rustic space has is a comfortable sofa or sectional. This means a plush sofa with firm and well-made cushions that provide great support. Sometimes a pair of cozy armchairs that complement the sofa can help round out your foundational pieces, which are key in setting a warm and welcoming tone in your living space.
Good Starting Point: You can’t go wrong with an overstuffed sofa that you can easily layer and build on with pillows and throws. Keep to plush sofas with angular and clean-lined silhouettes.
5. Combine Different Textures
Mixing textures add visual interest and depth to rustic spaces. This country cottage bedroom perfectly showcases the warmth that comes from incorporating varying textures: The iron bed frame is paired with a weathered-wood dresser, a woven basket contrasts with the faded rug and white curtains, a brass mirror offsets the barn-white walls. Different textures are what make rooms feel curated and decorated.
Good Place To Start: A rustic bedroom is the best place to experiment with textures since you can easily mix hard materials with soft textiles. Decide if you want an upholstered or metal bed and go from there. For inspo, check out our rustic bedroom design tips.
6. Embrace Vintage
Rustic interiors have a lived-in feel because they always include pieces that bring a sense of history. It can range from vintage finds to old heirloom furniture and accents to simply rustic decor that have a weathered look or patina to them.
Good Place To Start: Add at least one weathered wood piece to your spaces, be it a raw-wood sideboard for the dining room or a vintage distressed-wood coffee table in the living room. These are pieces that will add instant character and a rustic look.
7. Add Nature-Inspired Charm
For rustic interiors that have the shabby chic aesthetic, layer your space with charming details and nature-inspired motifs. These decor touches will provide both rustic warmth and a bit of romance. It’s a look that’s also a tad more colorful and feminine. try adding nature-inspired
Good Place To Start: Floral patterns in art and pillows are easy additions that can bring this look to your spaces. Just be sure to keep your color palette to pastels and soft shades so that it complements the rustic and neutral decor scheme. Layering in real (or faux) flowers will also help play up this rustic country cottage look.
8. Skip All Formalities
Rustic interiors are casual by design given the neutral colors and relaxed decor. They’re spaces that are meant to be lived in after all. Keeping a casual layout will help play up that relaxed atmosphere in spaces. Instead of formal furniture, keep to simple pieces, which will help make your spaces and layouts feel none too precious.
Good Place To Start: A casual layout comes down to casual furnishings that don’t feel rigid or overly traditional and proper. Try a wooden bench and slouchy slipcovered chairs at a dining table or place a linen armchair slightly off center from a slipcovered sofa that’s piled with pillows.
9. Use Natural Materials
Natural materials provide an organic element that set apart rustic spaces. Opt for natural rustic decor, like raw or distressed woods, woven fiber pieces, galvanized metal accents, and leather that show some patina and wear. The beauty of natural materials is in their textures and imperfections, and those are what really make rustic spaces feel cozy and approachable.
Good Place To Start: Identify leather elements to bring in to your space, like a chair made with tan leather or a cowhide rug. The most layered, textured, and cozy rustic interiors involve decorating with leather. Just be sure to keep it to one or two statement pieces.
See what your home looks like with rustic decor!