While the modern look has been a go-to décor formula for a number of years, it doesn’t fit everyone’s lifestyle or meet the needs of an active family.
That’s why many people, from coast to coast, are leaning towards a more rustic style. Without spending a lot of money, any home can easily be transformed with a modern rustic styling.
You won’t need to throw out everything you have to get started on your rustic transformation. What you want to do is take a careful inventory of what you really love in your home, and then add to that. Whether it’s luxury you want to convey in your space or simplicity, you can have it all and still add a rustic angle.
Going rustic means stepping back in time a bit. How far back is up to you, but the growing trend towards a more sustainable living and growing your own food has also affected furnishings. For instance, adding just a few pieces of hand-hewn wooden chairs or tables can portray a more eco-friendly look and feel, even though they are along-side your favorite electronics. Keep your programmable kitchen appliances and smart TVs – they can fit right in! If they’re a part of your comfortable lifestyle, there’s no need to give up on them to add the rustic look.
In other words, keep what works. We’ve put together a few simple steps to help you make your decorating decisions. Here are some of the simple items to add to your existing style. The first step is accomplished by the simple task of bringing some of the great outdoors into your home.
This might be the simplest step of all, which involves getting rid of fluorescent or harsh lighting. Try to bring the natural outside light indoors. Open up your curtains and blinds and let it shine inside. If you’ve gone the route of bright, white lights, you can simply replace the bulbs with a softer, yellow lighting. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep a bright bulb for reading in the lamp that you sit under with your favorite book, but don’t bathe your rooms in it. Enjoy bringing the natural light right outside your windows into your home.
To get the warm lighting you want, keep an open floor plan. Go for large picture windows with curtains that are light and airy. Forget the heavy draperies that close out the view. This will not only bring in light from outdoors but will allow you to enjoy the outdoor scenery.
Look outside your home to check where you can add lighting that you’ll enjoy in the evenings. Take an interest in planting greenery and shrubs in full view of your windows, which can be seen from the inside. You don’t want to make your home feel like a cocoon, but rather a large open space that incorporates what is outside your windows.
Many of us are used to the sharp and angular lines that are all around us in this modern world. While there is still a place for modern lines, we don’t have to carry them into our homes. Look for materials and textures that will support your modern rustic style, such as natural woods, raw stone and pillows and upholsteries that use natural fibers. Just by using natural materials, you already go a long way towards softer lines and hues.
For instance, compare the looks of a hand-built table next to a table made from glass and chrome. There’s no comparison if you’re interested in the characteristic rustic look. Be careful of the shapes you choose as well. Not everything needs distinct lines and corners. Look for objects that have softer shapes with natural colors, such as those you would find in nature.
Do you need to cover up, or hide your smart TV set from view? Instead of going to the nearest store and buying a large shelving unit, try hitting a neighborhood yard sale and buying an old set of shutters that you could build into a clever cover-up. Old windows and doors from buildings being torn down could make great shelving or partitions for your rustic-style home.
Nothing says rustic quite like wood and reclaimed wooden objects, or those that have been worked by hand, say it even better. Similar to a modern kitchen, a rustic kitchen does not showcase clutter! You want clean and neat lines, even when you go rustic.
Once that’s established, take a look at the centerpiece of most kitchens, which is the kitchen table. The kitchen table is in a class of its own. It’s the place that most often brings a family together for meals or friends and acquaintances for coffee and conversation.
However you use your kitchen table, it’s one of the first places you can customize your home. For rustic, you can get rid of the chrome or man-made materials and go with solid wood. The shape and size is up to you and your needs, but pay attention to the materials and workmanship. Add some matching chairs and you’ve created the perfect spot for hanging out with friends and family.
When moving around the house, evaluate where you could replace end tables or a central coffee-table with one made of wood. Again, keep the clutter off so your solid wooden piece will get the attention it deserves.
Looking up at the ceiling, could you add some natural wood beams for added charm and character? What about pulling out that carpet or tile flooring and replacing it with a wooden floor. Wooden flooring combined with soft lighting could give you the exact modern rustic feel you are looking for without going any further!
Distressed metals take the shiny glow of modern décor and bring it down a notch. Moving into a rustic atmosphere involves distressed metals that are warm and inviting. You can add vintage items you discover in a street market to add just enough metal highlights to relay the message.
Think of all the places where you can replace your existing items with rustic:
Look at what you have in your home and think about which items could be replaced with wood or old metal. This is how you can add depth to any décor. It’s no longer just about modern and shiny furnishings that give a minimalistic approach. Anything you can add to your home that will make it feel more rustic can balance out the modern versus vintage.
One of the best features of natural stone in a rustic style home is the soft colors it adds. Bringing in items hewed from stone, or even raw chunks of stone can help add the outdoorsy look that you want with rustic styling. There are many places in your home to add stone, including the bathroom. Think of natural stone counters and wall coverings.
One of the quickest ways to turn any bathroom into rustic is by adding a stone sink with distressed metal hardware. A beautiful sink from stone is an eye-catcher for anyone stepping into the bathroom. Of course, you can think of the flooring and walls as well, by covering it them with natural slate or any other stone you like.
Besides stone in the bathroom, it can be added to any room of the house. Stone floors or counters in the kitchen can be beautiful as well as stone accents in the living room. Rather than full stones, you can adhere stone veneer to most walls – either all the way to the ceiling or halfway up divided by a chair rail. Using a pale-colored stone can make the whole room feel larger and lighter.
One of the trademarks of a modern rustic style is the soft color scheme. Besides having large, airy rooms with open windows, add to that effect by using colors that feel soft and natural. A warm color palette can go a long way in creating a unified scheme throughout your home. Of course, this starts with the color of paint or paper you’re using on the walls. Keep it soft with colors and textures that can blend into the background. The wall color is a place to jump out and scream, “Look at me!”
Beyond the color of the walls, carefully select the pieces of furniture that have clear and clean lines that don’t demand attention. With this sort of “vanilla” backdrop, you can then accessorize your rooms and furniture with small touches that bring it all together. Find a hand-crocheted afghan to drape over the back of your favorite chair. Look for throw rugs that will add just the right amount of accent without drowning out your color scheme.
Purchase or make throw pillows that add to the comfort and rounded curves of your furniture. Scour flea markets and vintage shops for antique lacework, crocheted doilies and embroidered tablecloths to hang on walls or make into pillows and throws. Use natural upholstery fabrics and fibers to accentuate the rustic look and feel you’re going for.
When you are ready to go rustic, you can take as much time or as little as you please to create your perfect atmosphere. You don’t have to gut your house and start over – begin with what you have. Remember that going rustic is about making where you live look natural. If you want to begin that route today, then go ahead and bring in some antiques or nice wooden pieces that you pick up in your grandmother’s attic or at an estate sale. Even if it’s small, put it in a prominent place where it will be seen upon entry into the room. And then go from there.
Remember that you don’t have to do this all in one day. It can and should be an organic and natural process. Let your home develop as you find rustic pieces that you love. Besides some wooden or metal furniture and accessories, highlight your windows with curtains that will let the light shine through. And at night, turn on soft outdoor lighting that can be enjoyed from indoors.
Enjoy the transformation process and add to it as you go along! Modern rustic is all about loving the stuff around you – both indoors and out.