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The Principles Of Rustic Design

Angelica Angeli
Jan 13, 2016 · 5 min read

Rustic design is often described as simple, coarse, and strikingly beautiful. Natural materials such as raw wood, stone, and metals dominate in these designs as the main challenge is to create an interior that resembles the simplicity and beauty found in the outside world.

The philosophy behind rustic design is relatively simple: embrace an organic aesthetic that will infuse your home with comfort and warmth. The following design principles help in the creation of a rustic aesthetic.

Organic Textures

Wood is a primary element used in rustic homes. Reclaimed wood is an ideal choice that is sure to offer the room an earthy and natural look. Wide, wood plank flooring is usually seen, complementing the wood beams typically used to support the ceilings. Pine, cherry, alder, and hickory are great choices for emulating a rustic feel.

Metals are also expected to be seen in these designs. Wrought metals may be incorporated into your space in various ways depending on your taste. Pots and pans tend to be seen hanging in the kitchen while cast iron bands are spotted wrapped around staircase posts.

A rustic look may be achieved simply by choosing the right accessories and finishes for your home. Aim for items that have a hand-crafted look and match the rustic style; you will most likely find that these details make all the difference. For example, metal door knobs and handles will match the exposed woods in a bedroom while a distressed faucet and a matching towel ring will provide your bathroom the desirable look.

Finally, stone is regularly used to balance the interior and completing the rustic design. Exposed walls are typically seen surrounding fireplaces allowing nature’s elements — fire, stone and wood — to unite and beautify the room.

Natural Color Palette

When referred to a natural color palette, many people think of brown, beige, and cream. However, a natural color palette also includes shades of green, blue, and red. As long as the colors tie in with the other elements and lead to a warm and earthy aesthetic, there are no limitations.

To help capture the distressed and basic feel of a rustic home, large surfaces such as the walls, floors, and furnishings are typically left raw and unpainted. However, color is often included to accessorize and compliment the natural materials of a room. If selecting colors proves to be challenging, white is the safest solution. From fabrics to porcelain vases, you can rest assured that white will not fail to support the desired look.


Rustic homes incorporate sturdy fabrics that evoke a natural aesthetic. Different textiles are often placed side-by-side, leading to a complex but stylish room. This design is meant to look effortless, which means the floor needs nothing more than a weaved rug or a faux animal throw which is a good way to instill the bedroom with a sense of warmth and coziness.


Since most surfaces and objects are kept simple and unrefined, patterns are responsible for arousing interest. Ikat, buffalo check, patchwork, and calico are traditionally seen in such homes. From pillow cases to floor rugs, these patterns match the surrounding weathered elements.

A rustic home can be enhanced with a handmade, patchworked quilt — or at least, one that looks handmade. In vibrant colors and various patterns, these quilts do not fail to support the right look and feel. Hanging quilts on the wall is an interesting way to bring down-home comfort to a space.


Rustic furniture is often made from recycled and reclaimed materials that reinforce the sense of repurposing. Unlike contemporary or traditional furniture, a rustic style has no predictable lines or patterns. Often, unrefined tree trunks form tables and bed frames, offering an authentic feel of comfort. An easy way to soften the coarseness created by the furniture is to utilize previously mentioned white shades.

Raw woods make solid, minimalistic furnishings that are, or at least look, handmade. One does not need to limit their wood furniture to only tree trunk material, as twigs, branches, and driftwood, are also typically used for furniture and accessorizing.

Rustic design is a great way to connect or reconnect with nature’s elements and benefit from her soothing powers. If you seek to return to a warm and comfortable home, then look no further than rustic.

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