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vintage furniture modern room

Vintage items can help to boost modern home decor. Turn cold contemporary decor into a charming space with a touch of rustic from the farmhouse.

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If you’ve ever looked at a fully modern, minimalist decor and thought “hmm, well, this room looks nice, but isn’t a little… cold?”, then you’re not the only one. Although I love the modern style, it can sometimes be a little impersonal and, yes, cold.

There are plenty of ways to make a modern/contemporary style more warm and welcoming. A judicious choice of colors, the use of soft textures and angles and other techniques work well. But here’s something else worth exploring: incorporating rustic, farmhouse-style items in your space.

Curious? Here are a few examples where rustic items really make a difference in the feel of the space.

Put a rustic chair to use

They are easily found in thrift stores and at garage sales: the traditional, rustic wooden chair that has served the family for decades. Sadly replaced by more modern cousins, it sits on the sidewalk, forlorn and forgotten.

Adopt a chair and give it a new life by adding it to an otherwise contemporary room. You don’t have to use it as a chair in the kitchen; it can serve as a magazine or book table in the living room, a towel holder in the bathroom, or a bench in the entrance.

Beach Style Bathroom by Mount Pleasant Interior Designers & Decorators Amy Trowman Design

If the chair is painted, consider repainting it a more suitable color, or stripping the paint and staining the wood in a dark brown. In any case, the style and shape of the item will draw the eye and make any room more welcoming.

Eat at the farm table

If you want to give your industrial, sparking clean kitchen/dining room a reason for people to stick around the table, consider switching your sleek metal and glass table for a heavy, rustic farm table made of unpainted wood.

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home, and without a welcoming space for people to sit down and enjoy their meal, you’ll soon find your family fanning out in the living room, their bedroom or their office to eat. Counter this with a large, welcoming table that encourages conversation and the enjoyment of home-made food.

Contemporary Kitchen

A large, comfortable farmhouse-style table becomes the beating heart of your home. You can mix it up with sleek, contemporary chairs for an interesting visual contrast.

Use unmatched items

Often, contemporary decors can seem a bit too “matchy-matchy”. Using small but deliberately unmatched items, you can add some needed visual interest and give the room a ton of personality.

Bathrooms are easy to leave behind when we plan a decor, but they can become fascinating experiments in decor. Try setting up two different mirrors framed in natural wood, or hand-woven wicker baskets of different shapes and sizes on each side of the sink.

Shabby Chic Bathroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Godrich Interiors

The bathroom is a great space to experiment with decor ideas because we don’t spend as much time in them as living rooms or bedrooms. Try something new by adding rustic items to your sleek, contemporary white bathroom

Brighten up with white wood furniture

If your preference is more towards the darker shades of modern and contemporary decor, you can add a daring dash of farmhouse hospitality by painting your wooden furniture a clean, sparkling white.

This reminds us of the white picket fence, of the round white table and its white chairs, of our uncle or grandparents living in the country. It certainly has a beautiful, rustic feel to it.

Shabby Chic Kitchen by London Furniture & Accessories Cabbages & Roses Ltd

If you’re not sure about using this technique indoors, try it on your patio or outdoor dining room instead. The outdoor setting will make easier to incorporate a rustic look.

Say yes to rustic

It’s become more than acceptable nowadays to mix and match styles and influences to get just the right kind of look. If your industrial, modern or contemporary decor lacks warmth, adding even just a tiny touch of rustic influence will make a big difference.

What do you think of these ideas? Do they work for you or should we send them back to the farmhouse? Let us know in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.