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Our 9 Best Tips for Acing the Rustic Decor Look in Your Space

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Learn more about modern rustic style.

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.

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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.

rustic decor

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

rustic attic style bedroom space

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.

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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.

rustic decor

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.

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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

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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.

rustic decor

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Get to Work in These 8 Cozy-Comfy Rustic Home Office Ideas

Home office designs are all about making it easy and comfortable for you to get to work. These days, a lot more of us are working from home either full- or part-time and we need a room that works for work! Choosing a decor style and creating a room to work at home is fun if you like to dabble in interior design! Home office designs run the gamut from charming farmhouse to sleek modern—but have you thought about trying rustic home office designs? Get some inspiration for your space and explore these rustic office ideas to see what it’s all about.

rustic home officeRustic Industrial Nook

This is one of the easiest rustic home office designs to pull off. It shows off a stylish rustic look with natural materials like weathered woods, industrial metals, and organic decor. The layout is compact enough to fit right in the nook under the stairs but also has enough furniture to be totally functional. The ladder bookcase adds an area for storage as well as an opportunity to display your favorite decor and give the office a little personality. Using neutral colors with warm woods helps create a cozy study vibe.

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rustic home officeModern Farmhouse

This is one of our favorite rustic home office designs because it’s all about weathered woods and natural textures. The individual elements give it that warm, rustic vibe and the crisp geometry of the cabinet and desk legs lend it a modern edge. This is a great way to incorporate a home office into a passthrough space in your home. The desk is a large, unfinished wood slab and the artwork brings a pop of color to the space. And the cabinet comes in handy as extra storage and for displaying decorative pieces.

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Mid-Century Modern Meets Rustic

This rustic home office perfectly blends farmhouse touches with mid-century modern styling. Mid-century furniture with tapered legs, like this walnut wood desk, looks great with the rustic materials like leather and jute. A striped rug blends modern and rustic style and adds a cozy base, and using a wall sconce instead of a floor lamp optimizes desk space. Finally, the layered, leaning art adds a stylish and casual touch.

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Traditional Rustic Office

We love rustic home office designs that blend traditional pieces, like the leather club chair, with rustic design elements like natural woods and pops of greenery. The colors are dark and moody so it feels more formal and traditional. This look adheres to a classic office layout with a desk facing a guest chair, so it’s one of the best home office designs if you plan to have meetings at your house often. And the desk is a modern rustic piece but still feels traditional with the oak wood finish.

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Soothing Rustic Greens

This rustic home office strikes a perfect balance between relaxed and refined. The furniture has an elegant and sophisticated feel and the large mirror doubles as wall decor, making the small space appear much larger. The layout is formal, with club chairs facing the floating desk. And the green walls add an earthy vibe and serene touch, complementing the light weather wood pieces in the design.

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rustic home officeModern Rustic Home Office

This work area incorporates elements of both modern and rustic home office design. Modern elements include the clean lines of furniture like the sleek bookcase and desk. And materials like jute and natural wood add a rustic touch. Steer-themed art definitely adds a statement and toes the line between modern and rustic. The office occupies a larger, multi-purpose space, but using area rugs helps to define it as a separate “getting to work” zone. It features ample storage with open shelving, a desk with drawers, and the neutral palette lets the rugged materials shine through.

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Sophisticated Rustic Workspace

This black and white rustic home office look incorporates furniture with rugged touches like natural woods and metals. Then it steps it up with sophisticated details like flowers, delicately carved lamps, and an ornate mirror. The office feels open and airy with slim pieces—even the console has open shelving. Everything is solid except curtains and rug which add a pop of texture and visual interest.

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rustic home office

Minimally Rustic

This style blends minimalist and rustic design elements to create a simple, streamlined look. The bookcase is sleek and has a no-frills vibe, but rustic decor pieces help warm it up. Likewise, the desk is bare and without decor but the weathered wooden surface gives it that cozy, rustic feel. The neutral color palette looks great with both the relaxed natural vibes of rustic design and the cool, contemporary minimalism. And, there is plenty of storage so you can keep this rustic minimalist home office tidy and neat.

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Three Ways To Get the Oh-So-Popular Farmhouse Style In Your Home

farmhouse interior designWhen it comes to decor trends, Farmhouse style has it all—think texture, contrast, and coziness all rolled into one perfect space. It’s a super trendy style that has taken the design world by storm. You’ve likely seen it everywhere from your Pinterest and Instagram feeds to popular TV shows (we’re looking at you Fixer Upper!). But what exactly does “farmhouse” mean when it comes to interior design?? This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of farmhouse style to give you the full scoop on what exactly it is and how to get the look in your own home!

What is Farmhouse Interior Design?

Farmhouse interior design is a decorating style that takes inspiration from the look of an actual farmhouse and uses decorative elements that you’d find in rural or agricultural areas. Farmhouse interiors are warm, cozy, relaxing and full of charm and character. Generally, the style turns up its nose at more contemporary design sensibilities and prefers to hearken back to “simpler” times.

However, to keep the look from veering into too much “country kitsch,” it’s important to maintain a stylish balance of old and new and to make sure the focus is on a natural look. In other words, farmhouse design isn’t code for going overboard with the mason jars, shiplap, and rooster paraphernalia!

Is Farmhouse Going Out of Style in 2020?

Far from it! While the initial farmhouse craze might be dying down, we’re not seeing this style going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, we’re actually seeing the farmhouse style becoming more nuanced and expressed in several different ways. One farmhouse doesn’t suit everybody!

What are these different types of farmhouse style? The main types we’re noticing fall into three distinct buckets—rustic, classic, and modern takes on the farmhouse interior design style. While all of these looks are popular, they have some pretty distinct differences. To help you sort it all out, we’re breaking down the recipe for each farmhouse style in one home designed in three different ways.

Come along for a mini home tour of these three unique farmhouse style designs to find out all you need to know about farmhouse interior design and which version might be right for you!

rustic farmhouse bedroom

Rustic Farmhouse Interior Design

The Style DNA: Rustic meets traditional with a vintage twist

The Vibe: Cozy and fresh with lots of countryside character

Rustic farmhouse design is all about celebrating the natural and rough-hewn aspects of the farmhouse aesthetic. Think of this version of the style as a blend between rustic and traditional, that even sports a bit of an industrial flair. The rustic elements bring a heavy focus on rugged materials—think raw and unfinished woods, chunky knits, linens, metals, and leather with patina.

The traditional elements play a supporting role, adding the vintage/antique flair that gives this version of farmhouse style its distinct personality—it’s definitely a look that loves a bit of nostalgia! All in all, the look blends streamlined furniture with traditional design influences and tends toward a sharp, grey-scale and high contrast color palette.

The result is a style that strikes a balance of hard and soft, incorporating both traditional and fresh design elements. We like to think this farmhouse decor scheme would make even Chip and Joanna proud.

rustic farmhouse living roomThe Rustic Farmhouse Living Room

Our rustic farmhouse living room is anchored by comfy foundational furniture. The neutral sofa prioritizes comfort and style with a simple form and sleek tailoring. The accent chairs pull in a traditional spindle detail in a fresh new way, for a stylish take on cozy charm. We love how the natural wood tones of the chair, coffee table, and mantle help warm up the grey-scale palette. Details like the animal art, metal accents (peek the light fixtures and decor) and geometric patterns in the rug and pillows offer a subtle, yet curated approach to farmhouse interior design.

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rustic farmhouse dining roomThe Rustic Farmhouse Dining Room

As with the living room, our rustic farmhouse dining space is all about function with a stylish edge. The foundational furniture sets a solid and functional foundation, while also bringing in the key elements of the rustic farmhouse style—distressed woods, unfinished metal, all with a slight antique/vintage vibe.

Once you’ve got your foundation, add in some industrial accents like the pendant light fixtures and dining chairs to bring contrast and an elevated look to the space. Notice how the accent furniture has a slightly more industrial vibe, which balances out traditional elements in foundations—a key element in rustic farmhouse style!

Top it all off with fresh, high-contrast artwork. This is where the style most differs from a more traditional approach to farmhouse style. Instead of pastoral scenes or landscape paintings, rustic farmhouse decor prefers non-objective prints and more contemporary black & white landscape photography. Altogether the effect is fresh, inspiring, and will give you room a polished yet cozy look.

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rustic farmhouse bedroomThe Rustic Farmhouse Bedroom

For the bedroom, we took a similar approach to the other spaces—start with your foundations and build up. Here we chose a wrought-iron bed which brings a traditional/antique vibe, rendered in a contemporary way. Paired with the sleek nightstands and bench (which both perfectly balance rustic materials with a contemporary shape), the look is the perfect balance of old and new.

To keep the look from feeling too cold or industrial, we balanced out all the wood, leather, and metal with plush textiles and lots of layers. The neutral rug grounds the space, and we love its traditional pattern in a washed-out antique fade, which adds to the vintage vibe in a softer way. Then, top off the bed with layers of contrasting pillows and don’t forget to add curtains to further soften the look. A few woven baskets bring another pop of natural texture and are a great bedroom storage solution.

Finally, the art in the bedroom is a bit softer than other places in the house—it is your bedroom, after all. We love these vintage-style bird prints, which have an almost eclectic vibe. Together they bring a very traditional, antique contrast to the more rugged elements in the space and totally seal the deal on the farmhouse vibe.

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modern farmhouse interior designModern Farmhouse Interior Design

Style DNA: Modern designs mixed with rustic materials and natural textures

The Vibe: On-trend, a bit dramatic, and effortlessly livable

Modern farmhouse is easily the trendiest version of all three farmhouse looks. It’s comfy, cozy, and full of charm, offering a unique take on comfort and simplicity. If you’re one to shy away from farmhouse interior design because you think it’s outdated, modern farmhouse design will prove you wrong!

In this style, modern design fuses with a comfortable, relaxed farmhouse aesthetic. It’s an eclectic mix of styles and materials anchored in rustic foundations but shows off a more contemporary approach to shapes and decor. Modern design elements like curved or streamlined forms, unexpected materials, and sleek lighting play a big role in this trendy style.

modern farmhouse living roomThe Modern Farmhouse Living Room

Our modern farmhouse living room look features a mix of materials that make for a dynamic space. This design features everything from wood to linen, velvet, brass, marble, ceramics, and seagrass! While we incorporated a range of tones to give the room contrast and warmth, the key to mixing these materials (and acing modern farmhouse look) is sticking to a neutral and cohesive color palette.

In this take on the style, our foundational furniture is still comfy but features slightly more modern appeal than traditional farmhouse-style shapes. For example, the sleek sofa with piping detail, the velvet armchairs, and the round coffee table, all play with rustic design elements in a completely modern way.

Overall, the accent furniture and decor take more risks and are the pieces that pull in the texture that makes for a cohesive look. The brass and marble side table is super mod and the velvet club chairs provide a familiar silhouette in an unexpected material. There’s also some fun play with geometry at work, like the sputnik pendant, side table, lamp, vases, and art that nods to a mid-century modern influence.

The secret to keeping this look from straying too modern? The symmetrical layout! This more formal structure to the room anchors in a more rustic/traditional aesthetic and keeps it from straying too far down an eclectic path.

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modern farmhouse dining roomThe Modern Farmhouse Dining Room

To get the modern farmhouse look in your dining room, stick with traditional undertones in your furniture but look for pieces updated with a modern edge. For example, here the dining table offers a streamlined take on the antique trestle table and the schoolhouse chairs feel vintage and mod all at once.

Meanwhile, the dark metal accents add an industrial edge that adds much-needed contrast against the natural wood, which works overtime to warm up the design. Then to combat all the modern-ness happening in the furniture, we added an abstracted landscape print to soften up the look and tie in more “traditional” farmhouse vibes. Don’t forget the patterned rug underfoot, which enlivens the space and makes the room a little more fun and playful!

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modern farmhouse bedroomThe Modern Farmhouse Bedroom

For the bedroom, we started with traditional shapes and gave them modern updates, like the spindle bed frame and seagrass bench. These pieces are classic and draw on traditional design elements, but here are given sleek modern facelifts with their streamlined forms. The nightstands feel traditional, but the touch of brass hardware warms up the look with a modern edge.

This take on farmhouse decor has a bit more color to it, with the pillows and rug. And the abstract line art is a fresh addition to the space and helps pull the whole design together.

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classic farmhouse interior designClassic Farmhouse Interior Design

Style DNA: Classic designs mixed with countryside charm

The Vibe: Refined cottage style with a warm and timeless appeal

Classic farmhouse, in contrast to rustic or modern, is the most traditional of the bunch and leans into a more “French provincial” aesthetic. This style would be the closest example of “shabby chic” and is a much softer, more feminine approach to farmhouse design—think classic cottage chic. The look starts with comfy foundational furniture, but pushes more classic than rustic farmhouse, and then layers in accents of washed-out wood or painted decor for a more antique vibe.

Classic farmhouse also depends on a light palette of whites and creams with added pops of green and blue. The overall look skews more pastel and avoids contrast—think light, airy fabrics, and white-washed wood tones! This look should blend seamlessly together for a light, feminine look with few instances of metal or darkness.

classic farmhouse living roomThe Classic Farmhouse Living Room

At first glance, it’s easy to see how our classic farmhouse living room differs from the previous versions. While the rustic and modern farmhouse looks are all about form and material, classic farmhouse style puts much more emphasis on classic details, like button tufting, nailhead, ornate carvings, and applied ornament. Here the space is grounded by a French country-style rolled arm sofa and armchair duo for a super comfy, classic style. The linen upholstery feels very countryside charming, which is perfect for this look.

Our accent furniture in this design features classic details like flutes and spindles—it all has a carved, ornate decorative quality. Botanical prints warm up the space and bring a natural touch and accents like whitewashed wood, antiqued surfaces, and distressed finishes bring in the charming countryside quality.

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classic farmhouse dining roomThe Classic Farmhouse Dining Room

For the dining room, we again started with classic foundational furniture. The substantial and ornate pedestal stable grounds the space and features intricately carved details for a classic touch. The linen slipcovered chairs keep the look comfy but sophisticated, while the smaller scale of the dining table keeps the overall vibe more intimate and cozy.

All of the distressed wood finishes in the space give the room a homey vibe. Nature-themed art, like the bird gallery wall, along with a few curated pops of greenery give the space that classic cottage look. The whole space is tied together by the traditional, yet delicate, patterned rug, which adds a slight pop of texture to the space.

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classic farmhouse bedroomThe Classic Farmhouse Bedroom

Nothing says “classic farmhouse” more than an upholstered headboard with tufting—it’s an important detail for classic style. The antique style rug has a washed-out oriental pattern that offers warmth and texture without overpowering the room. The lamps, bench and nightstands all have a classic shape and a serene, neutral color palette keeps the room cohesive and elegant.

We love the traditional art above the headboard! The cottage landscape painting is a purely traditional take on a farmhouse motif that feels right at home in this style. The hanging planters on the wall and the leafy green tree give the room subtle pops of color while bringing a little nature inside.

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Work with an interior designer to see farmhouse decor in your home!

Not sure which type of farmhouse style is right for you? With our design services, our designers can help you find your personal design style—whether it’s classic, rustic, or modern farmhouse interior design. Learn more about our design services on our Interior Design 101 page.

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