Rustic Interior Design Essentials

The best designs with any effect in mind are the ones that a viewer can’t see. Rooms and other spaces designed well just look natural, as if they’ve always been that way. One design direction where this principle is particularly pertinent is that of the rustic interior design approach. With this kind of approach, a relaxed, casual, and rough-hewn beauty can only be achieved if it looks as if no one worked too hard to get it to look that way.

But, what are the essentials to achieve this; to hide the ‘design’ in order to let the effect and the atmosphere shine? Guest writer Elena Morgan is here to outline them, and help you to get started with creating that rustic look firmly rooted in modern design.


Source: via Sasha on Pinterest

Rustic design brings to mind a quiet cabin, out-of-the-way chalets or peaceful house on a lake. Soft, muted colors like hunter green and deep, rich brown mix with brighter yellows and rust colors to bring to mind vacations where you can get away from the world.

The Modern Rustic design style brings together these great colors together with modern touches. The combination of soft and structured, cool and warm and relaxed and formal is a unique design style for and city-dwelling outdoors fans. Here are six ways to incorporate a Modern Rustic style into your home.

Making a plan

Because you’re pulling together two very different design looks, you’ll need to plan what elements will be rustic and which elements will have a modern feel. For instance, if you paint your walls with rustic colors, use modern furniture. If you have neutral walls, pull in a rustic area rug, wooden accents, or big canvas artwork featuring earthy items like leaves, colorful flowers or tree branches. Decide before you begin if you want one style to be more prominent or would like the styles to be even – this will save you headache and hassle later when you’ve already painted your walls and purchased furniture!

Rustic textures

An easy way to bring the rustic feel into your modern living space is to add rustic textures to your decor. Think about adding a stone backsplash to your kitchen, dark brown wood panels to one wall of your living room, wooden crates substituted for a nightstand or photography of leaves to your office. Any texture found in nature is fair game.

Source: via Jacqueline on Pinterest

Rustic lighting

For the modern rustic look, less is more. Some great rustic design options for lighting are hurricane lamp-type wall sconces, lamps with simple floral designs or accented with twigs, and candelabra-type chandeliers all help bring in a rustic feel. If you’re crafty, use a lighting kit to design your own one-of-a-kind lighting from mason jars or tree bark. Keep the colors neutral – bronze, brushed gold, pewter and dark brown.

Painting with rustic colors

Modern colors tend to be cool and neutral – pale blue, light grey or white – that serve as a base for the rest of your room, especially when you’ll be accenting with rusting lighting or decor. If you’re using rustic colors for your walls, use a mix of warm neutral paint (cream or beige) and brighter rustic colors (red, orange, orange, gold and even lime green), and paint each wall a different color. This will tone down the brighter colors and add a unique flair to your design. Also consider texturizing one accent wall for even more depth. Wall color is the biggest pieces of designing a modern rustic living space, so decide your colors carefully.


As a general rule, the rustic look tends to reflect nature in color and style, while the modern look represents technology and sleek style. In other words, a wood-accented gold couch isn’t modern and a stainless steel bar stool isn’t rustic! This doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match the two styles in your accents. Think about putting pressed flowers in a sleek black frame or a handful of wildflowers and twigs in a tall, silver vase.


If you’re focusing on modern with rustic touches, adding touches of wood, accent lamps, potpourri and leafy or floral patterns for throws and pillows bring a rustic feel to your space. Bringing the outdoors inside is another great way to make your modern space more rustic. Decorate a small, thin pine tree (they aren’t just for the holidays!) with flowers or tree bark, or align several small pots of flowers on your mantle.


Thanks, Elena!

Elena Morgan is an expert on modern bedding, and when she isn’t reviewing the latest and greatest modern beds, she is covering a wide range of topics and providing tips for creating the modern home!



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