Your home is more than just the roof over your head. It’s your own personal space. It is your retreat from the pressures of work and the realities of modern living. It’s where you can kick off your shoes, throw back your head and relax. It’s also an expression of your own personal style.

It should be a place where you can well and truly be yourself, altering the decor to your tastes so that your home gives visitors a welcoming snapshot of who you are. Get your decor right and you’ll draw admiring glances from passers-by, enthusiastic gasps of appreciation from guests and you’ll even benefit your family’s mental health.

 

Of course, personal tastes are as singular and diverse as people are themselves. Even two people who share very similar tastes in interior design can end up with wildly different homes. Broadly speaking, however, homes tend to favor a traditional, rustic approach or a contemporary approach.

Debate rages over which is better and most homes will probably fall somewhere in between, choosing to cherry-pick elements of both to render their own personal tastes in wood, stone, and steel. A contemporary aesthetic offers a sense of hope and optimism, embracing the myriad technological changes of the modern age.

A rustic aesthetic, however, eschews the clean lines and sterile color schemes of ultras modernity to create a home that focuses on comfort and offers a sense of escaping to a simpler past. In an uncertain and chaotic world where politics, culture, the economy, and technology seem in such a constant state of flux, a more traditional home can be a place where you go to escape the wild oscillations of modern living and engage with the simpler things in life.

If you decide that you want to bring some rustic charm to your home, this article will help you to add a splash of comfort, nature, and tradition to any home, from the outside in…

Exteriors and transitions

One of the defining traits of a rustic aesthetic is its reliance on natural materials. The use of wood, stone, and iron can all help to create a sense of oneness with nature and tend to have a relaxing and calming effect. Thus, where better to focus our attention first than the exterior of the home and the transition from outside to inside. You don’t have to live in a rural, sparsely populated setting to pull off a rustic exterior. Even a few statement touches can help to create a rustic feel.

Patio chairs- There’s something Old West-y about the idea of sitting in a comfortable wooden chair or rocking chair, watching the world pass you by. It’s the perfect place to sit and enjoy your first coffee of the day amidst the morning dew or chug a cold glass of lemonade on a hot, lazy Sunday afternoon. If you want to go super rustic you can build these yourself, although they are also readily available at places like Target.

Barn lighting- Your exterior lighting is more than just an important security measure, it can really make your rustic design pop. A gooseneck barn light adds a touch of class and elegance to your rustic aesthetic and Cocoweb helps rustic home design to choose the style and size of barn lights to take house lighting to the next level.

Copper roofing– If you’re really committed to your rustic aesthetic, a few copper accents in your roofing design can really make your exterior pop with a warm and earthy finish that will last for years to come without any need for maintenance. Indeed, copper roofing actually looks better with time.

Front door– Nothing sets off your home’s exterior more than your front door, so if you want to embrace a rustic concept, use reclaimed oak or a split, farmhouse style front door.

As your guests enter the porch they’ll transition from the outdoors into your rustic home, so make sure they see something that makes an impression and hints at what’s to come. Vintage rugs, copper kettles, boot scrapers and mounted plaques can all help ease the exterior into the interior.

Take it to the kitchen

A huge part of the appeal of a rustic aesthetic is its sense of anachronism. A rustic home is almost like a time machine in that it allows us to live within our memories. If the rustic design appeals to you, it’s more than likely that you have some treasured memories that took place in a busy, well worn and rustic family kitchen.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the kind of kitchen you relished spending time in as a child is forever out of reach, but you can easily bring that timeless feeling back with some of these additions…

Reclaimed wood feature walls- There’s nothing better for creating a rustic, log cabin feel than a feature wall clad in unique reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is not only an environmentally aware choice, it’s unmatched in its ability to create a rustic look for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it helps to create the natural, lived-in country aesthetic that can only come from naturally aged wood. It’s extremely versatile, but also easy to install with peel and stick wood planks. Not only is it more environmentally sustainable than newly processed wood, it has a whole lot more character.

Stone flooring- Since the rustic look is all about natural materials, using stone can offset the overabundance of wood. Natural stone flooring is not only hard-wearing and durable (an essential in a busy kitchen that sees a lot of use) it also lends a sense of timeless class to the room. Choose a non-porous stone like granite or slate and your kitchen will look amazing for years to come.

Don’t be afraid to accessorize- While the walls and floor are what makes your kitchen’s aesthetic, your accessories can make it pop, while also letting some of your personal quirks shine through. Woolen textiles twig-effect furnishings and Navajo rugs are all safe bets and can be replaced quickly and easily as the seasons (and your tastes) change.

Or to get distressed- let’s face it, the kitchen is never going to be the place where you display your antique china. It’s a place for chopping, hacking, boiling, frying, eating, drinking, loving and laughing. While it’s the center of memories for your family, a good kitchen is always going to show signs of wear over time.

Why not make this part of the look by using distressed materials like countertops made from reclaimed stone or time-worn aged, painted furniture. Get in touch with a local architectural salvage company and see what they can offer your kitchen.  

In the kitchen, the kind of woods you choose are doubly important. In a room where most of the time is spent cooking, the use of warm, dark colored and red tinted woods can really accentuate the sense of warmth and comfort of the kitchen. Use dark woods on your walls, ceilings, furniture or cabinets for a kitchen so cozy you won’t want to use the dining room.

Old meets new in the living room

If your tastes are ostensibly old fashioned, but you still want a 55” 4K OLED TV in your living room, this might be the perfect place to align the old with the new. That way your living room retains all the warmth and charm of the home’s rustic look without making any of the mod cons that are essential to 21st century living too jarring.

Again, you should use natural materials to your advantage in the living room, especially wood. An old-fashioned rocking chair makes a great statement piece, especially when adorned with an antique throw and pillow. Wood’s versatility makes it perfect for a range of looks. For example, you can use natural, untreated wood to create modern looking furniture which adds a rustic touch to a contemporary piece.

Wide plank wood floors create a beautifully rustic look on your flooring while you can use pure wool rugs on areas that require a little more warmth and comfort underfoot. If you’re able to use some more of that reclaimed wood from the kitchen, this can be used to create a statement all that tops off the rustic aesthetic in a more subtle way.

When it comes to furniture, the more you can restore, revamp and upcycle reclaimed pieces or those purchased at thrift stores or charity sales the more you’ll be able to reinforce the rustic look without transforming your living room into a log cabin. Very often sanding down and refinishing your existing furniture is a far more affordable alternative to buying new.

Exposed stone is especially welcome in the living room. Of course, stone walls always look great but if you’re not lucky enough to have a home that uses them, they can be put to use around the fireplace. After all, nothing says “rustic home” like a roaring fire. A single beam of oak atop a hearth of stone is the perfect statement piece in any rustic living room.

 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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