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Old-Timey Livin’: The Big Roundup of Rustic Design Ideas


Ultra-sleek modern designs are all very well, but you can’t beat a rustic home for creating a relaxed ambiance.

This popular design style isn’t limited to the log cabin look either. The main criteria for rustic design is a rough, aged, casual, and natural look and you can add these elements to any style of home.

In many cases, rustic design ideas incorporate natural materials such as reclaimed wood, making it an environmentally-sound choice too.

These features work well across a host of styles including Tuscan, cottage, and coastal designs, as well as the classic rustic lodge aesthetic.

Check out these rustic design tips to help you embrace comfortable laid-back living.

Rustic Interior Design Ideas

Whether you’ve moved into a fixer-upper or you’re embarking on a home improvement spree, there are endless ways to get a rustic vibe going inside your house.

You might need to do a little construction to achieve some of them, but there are also plenty of less labor-intensive fixes too.

When you choose this type of design for your home, there are three things to remember:

  • Cozy – embrace comforting and comfortable design items
  • Rugged – durable pieces made from tough, weathered materials dominate
  • Natural – choose raw, organic materials

These are the best ways to incorporate a rustic feel into your home’s interior design:

Fireplace Design Ideas


Fireplaces are central to a rustic design. Upgrade your existing fireplace with brick or stone and install a wooden mantle.

Wooden built-in display units or shelving, as seen in craftsman or arts and crafts style architecture, on either side of the fireplace create extra storage and add homey elegance to your room.

A Rustic Color Scheme

Warm hues and comforting textures alone can help imbue your interiors with a rustic vibe. These are your best options when it comes to a color palette:

  • Earth tones like mushroom, chestnut, terra-cotta, and sepia
  • Neutral shades such as straw, cream, buttermilk, stone, and wheat
  • Spicy hues including saffron, cinnamon, chili pepper, baked apple, and pumpkin

Wood, concrete, rough-woven materials, and natural fibers are top choices for creating a down-home, down-to-earth appeal.

Staples of Rustic Storage


There are two must-haves for any rustic room, namely wicker baskets and mason jars. You can replace all your storage boxes and even drawers with wicker versions.

This idea works well in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Likewise, mason jars are a versatile addition to your rustic decor. You can use them as containers for dry foods, convert them into soap dispensers, or display knick-knacks in them.

Simple Furnishings

Handmade furniture works well in a rustic environment as do pallet creations. Pallets are all the rage in furniture design due to their versatility and environmental benefits.

You can use pallets to craft tables, seating, and storage boxes. You’ll find plenty of ideas online, or you can buy pallet creations from specialized furniture builders.

As far as possible opt for untreated wooden furniture when you’re aiming for a rustic look.

Simple, chunky designs are best. Avoid ornate curves and shaped table legs. Benches and stools work well too.

Leather sofas are the best high-end options for rustic living rooms. Other good furniture fabrics include velvet and burlap.

Repurposed furniture works very well in rustic design. You could turn an antique dresser into a bathroom vanity or kitchen center island, or use a bookshelf as a TV stand.

In your kitchen, wooden cabinets are the most authentic way to introduce rustic appeal.

Decorative Elements

As far as possible, keep things neutral when decorating your rooms. If you want pops of color, opt for fresh flowers instead of gaudy artwork or soft furnishings.

Soft furnishings and artwork should reflect a love of nature an the outdoors. Choose faux fur and sheepskin cushion covers, kilim rugs, and Pendleton blankets.

Other decorative and functional elements include:

  • A utensil holder made from an old garden rake
  • A wooden magazine rack transformed into a holder for baking trays
  • Repurposing an old wooden ladder into a wine rack

Almost anything fits into this design as long as it has a simple, well-worn look.

Chandeliers with a wagon wheel shape look great in a rustic room, as do wrought iron lighting fixtures and resin antler light fixtures.

Kitchen Finishes


Keep modern kitchen appliances out of sight to maintain your rustic them in the kitchen.

A large, deep kitchen sink with weathered hardware are staples of every well-dressed rustic kitchen. An overhead pot hanger filled with gleaming copper pots completes the picture.

Floors and Walls

Authentic stone walls are first prize when it comes to rustic living room design, but you can create almost the same effect with faux stone wallpaper.

White walls with wooden accents also work well as does wood paneling on your walls. Every rustic kitchen can benefit from a stone backsplash.

Wooden floors are a must. If your home doesn’t already have solid hardwood floors, engineered wood flooring’s an excellent option and it goes with every design style too.

Rugs and carpets help add a cozy feel underfoot. Choose muted colors and faded fabrics to create a lived-in ambiance.

Exterior Rustic Design Tips

To fully embrace the rustic design theme, you’ll need to make a few changes to your home’s exteriors too.

There’s not much you can do about the materials your home’s built out of. Yet, there are a few ways to add a rustic exterior design look to any home.

Make the Most of Synthetic Wood


Wood’s a major component of rustic design both indoors and out, but real wood’s expensive to maintain when it’s exposed to the elements. Synthetic wooden components are the answer to a wooden look and feel without the extra hassle.

You can use faux wooden shingles on the roof and walls of your house to create a natural aesthetic. A rim of stone around the bottom of your house walls always looks appealing.

Modern manufactured stone veneer delivers an exceptionally high ROI according to the latest NAR cost-vs-value report.

Another top tip for creating a rustic veneer is exterior plastering over bricks to transform your home’s exterior walls.

Porch Accents

Natural wood supports and balustrades on your porch are a must for maximum rustic appeal, as is a table and some chairs for relaxing outdoors.

A porch swing and an informal arrangement of potted plants in buckets add the final touches. You can even go all out with an old-timey rocking chair just like your grandparents used to have.

Lantern-style light fittings either side of your door add a little balance to the informal design of a rustic porch.

Don’t forget the weathered welcome sign to highlight the warm and welcoming atmosphere of your home.

Doors and Windows

If you want to be authentic to your home’s traditional design, wood windows with grilles are the way to go. This historic look’s common in many rustic homes.

Six-over-six casement windows or double-hung four-over-one or six-over-one configurations are your top options for recreating this look. The bigger, the better.

A new front door’s one of the best ways to improve your home’s curb appeal, so change yours up by fitting a craftsman-style door with glass panels and sidelight panels.

You could also opt for a stable door although this works best for a kitchen entrance.

Rustic Landscaping

Ditch the formal garden beds and get creative rock edging. Stone is an integral part of garden design in rustic areas and helps your garden blend in with the environment.

Embrace the natural lie of the land in your garden design, and include a water well or water feature as a focal point. A vegetable garden’s the ultimate rustic garden accessory.

Entertaining in Rustic Style

An outdoor fire pit made from stone with is an important component of any rustic outdoor entertainment area. For a truly rustic feel, you can add some large logs for seating.

Couple that with an outdoor kitchen and grill for hours of relaxation when night falls. As with your indoor kitchen, opt for stone finishes and weathered hardware to complete the look.

Discover Your Ideal Style

You can incorporate a rustic design aesthetic all over your home, implement just a few elements, or confine it to one room only.

Since it’s such a wide-ranging and flexible design trend, you can also blend rustic design with both modern and traditional design styles if you want to.

Whatever your preferences, you’re bound to find food for thought and inspiration on our website. Keep browsing for more ways to fine-tune your home’s design.

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