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Rustic Decor

Updated on December 11, 2009

Rustic Style

Rustic style is the interior design style for nature lovers. If the city is to sterile and modern then maybe a little touch of rustic at home will bring you one step closer to the great outdoors. The current technology, all smooth shiny surfaces, plastic and chrome is a big contrast to the rustic style which features natural, organic surfaces.

Rustic style can be quite a simple style to achieve. Here knocks, mis-matching pieces and fading - are a feature not a problem! Although traditionally the rustic look has featured in cabins and lodges its starting to make its way into city homes as well, after all who more needs to get away from the shiny and smart than the city dweller? A rustic design in even part of your home can provide a great contrast to the modern, fast-paced world we all live in. Antler lighting anyone?

Good pieces of country furniture often look like they have survived years of love. It may not be a perfect piece anymore but every ding and dent will have a story to tell "this is where Janie ran her skateboard into the table when she was 5". Not all of us are lucky enough to inherit such pieces but today its possible to buy new pieces which have been distressed to have the genuine "old look". The things to look for is the lack of straight lines. While contemporary style is about cold, straight bold lines, country or rustic style is about warm, soft, imperfect lines. Good country furniture should never look mass-produced, every piece needs to be different and have its own character

The classic rustic look complete with stuffed animals
The classic rustic look complete with stuffed animals

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Rustic Furniture

Pine is a common wood used for rustic style furniture. The nature of the wood is that it may still have knots and other imperfections which makes each piece unique. Some furniture may still feature the tree's bark as well. At the extreme end of rustic the furniture may not be completely square and even have a slight wobble. Table tops are often cut to follow and enhance the natural lines of the wood rather than a standard size and shape. Pieces are often finished with a clear covering so that the natural beauty of the wood is enhanced.

Rustic Decor - Details

Rustic Accessories

This is the key to the rustic look - and as is common with all country styles -this is very much the more is more approach. Whether you are looking for antler lighting or cute bear accessories this is where you go to town. Natural and wood is big - but often you can get the same look for less using faux materials. For example real deer and elk antlers used for lighting and table legs are expensive and heavy. Its possible to get fake antler light fittings which not only cost less but are a lot lighter as well.

Rustic Soft Furnishings

Here you have a range of styles to choose from traditional American patchwork to Indian influenced rugs and colors from the southwest. Again layering is critical - one blanket will look wrong in this style - layer a bed with two or three contrasting covers in different colors and materials. Predominate colours are soft and natural colours: warm reds, traditional greens and soft yellows. The contrasting metal is often brass rather than bright shiny modern metals.

Rustic Style Is Not for Everyone

Rustic style can be done to the extreme and can be very overwhelming! Designed to work on a large canvas - if you are decorating an urban room you may have a smaller space to deal with - and large antler light fixtures and stone fireplace surrounds maybe a bit too much.

Done with taste and constraint though the style can work in a lot of spaces.


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    • Linda Tadlock profile image

      Linda Tadlock 

      7 years ago from Atlanta

      Love rustic decor. Looks so cozy and comfortable. Enjoyed your hub.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I sort of love rustic decor. It gives out a musty feel and look and adds on lots of character to any given space. Great hub.;)

    • Catznjammers profile image


      8 years ago

      I especially like the pairing of rustic with elegant and polished. I too do not care for the stuffed animal heads or the overall look of one style of decorating. I think it's much more interesting to mix styles, periods and patterns. Thinks should go together, but not match.

    • JHE Log Furniture profile image

      JHE Log Furniture 

      8 years ago

      I loved your hub! You are exactly right in that chrome and plastic décor might not be for everyone. As more and more people live in urban and suburban areas, they can still get the feeling of being closer to nature with rustic home décor. It can be as simple as adding a log swing to a front porch or decorating a bedroom with a log bed.

    • Craftsmith profile image


      8 years ago from India

      good good good...i love the rustic look..:D it looks very nice and soothing, bt agreed tht it isn't everyone's preferred loook, bt m so much in love with rustic and country decors that i wonder how can smone pass by without appreciation !! its a pleasure the sense of sight to look at rustically done living spaces !

    • profile image

      Kathy Shepherd 

      8 years ago

      Very nice hub. I agree that this type of decor is very appealing except for the animal heads. But there are people who love that kind of wall decor. It's just not my style.

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 

      8 years ago from Kansas

      Lissie this is a very nice post, and I appreciate what you have to say about a rustic style of decorating with all the good home feelings it can bring, but I must say that I don't think I could look at the poor dead animals every day. I guess I would like that for a get away but I want my animals live in the back yard or the woods nearby.

      Loved your hub though

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 

      8 years ago from UK

      Yes there is that feeling of suffocating drabness city life, architecture, and space arrangements can give off. Many have mentioned it to me, and those people find relief in the vacation homes they have in the mountains. Rustic it is. There is that warm glow - ranging from deep warm brown to a cozy yellow - that rustic interiors provide. It's like, how else to say, a home-coming. Good hub. I love the pictures. ^ ^

    • werebear profile image


      9 years ago from UK

      I really love the rustic style of interior its really popular in the uk at the moment.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Mireille - I have a soft spot for hubpages - I made my first $ here. Personaly I can't stand "country" as we call rustic inmy part of the world - too much dusting for my taste LOL

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lissie, nice stuff and well done. I like this site a lot. I like the rustic look but I probably prefer it in someone else's home. Like you I think that anything over done get overbearing. Regardless the site is nice. Two thumbs up.

    • mandybeau profile image


      9 years ago

      Now you're talking, these type of things can suit rustic they go with straw bale adobe which is also rustic in it's finish,.

      I just hate taxidermy I think it is disgusting, and I agree it doesn't suit contemporary, EEEw I can't even imagine How bad that would look.

      A Hunters hut is the only place I would ecxpect to find dead animals trophies, and the people I know that have these get told.

      So it isn't personal It is just that I have a total revulsion for trying to turn something dead into a furniture item, or a bag, or a coat.. Haha

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      LOL Mandy - I've done a bit of my own interior design but I personally can't stand "country" which is what we call "rustic" in my part of the world. The photo: I searched "rustic decor" on and that photo was on the front page. I think most people realise that stuffed animals aren't compulsory, or antler chanaliers -which was actually what caught my eye - but I thought as an extreme example of the style its a good picture! So no I don't think we do all agree that dead animals aren't rustic - lets face it they certainly aren't art deco or minimalist are they?

      The point is that any extreme of a design is probably too over the top for 99% of people - but elements of a style can be attractive - I don't like the style but I love Mexican artisan rugs and ceramics!

    • Violette DeSantis profile image

      Violette DeSantis 

      9 years ago from Broomall, PA

      LOL, yeah with three crazy girls that are more active than a house of ten boys my furniture has a lot of stories to tell. Great hub.

    • mandybeau profile image


      9 years ago

      My friend is an Interior designer, and I am qualified, both in interior design and hold papers in Landscape Architecture. Rustic does not include dead stuffed animals, so why say that these are rustic, Rustic is a worn look a look with a patina of richness, that has survived, the various times, and has that feeling of agelessness, perhaps better defined as unpolished or maybe even lived in.

      We all agree dead animals are not rustic. To say so is ridiculous and to say I am not a fan of rustic is also similiarly ridiculous. I can still appreciate the rustic qualities of say an old barn without hanging a taxidermised hoot owl from the roof.

      I would love to know how you base this assessment of rustic, on what rule of thumb?????

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Not keen on the stuffed animals - but I do like a 'lived in' look without too much which seems to be what rustic is about.

    • sarahonweb profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice one Lissie.

      for sure i will add somethg to ma living area from this hub.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      I take it you are not a fan of the rustic look then mandy LOL! Thanks for visiting

    • mandybeau profile image


      9 years ago

      I absolutely hate what were once beautiful animals stuffed and put on walls, as for the Beanie it is absolutely gross.

      The whole room looks like the room The black nurse of austwich lived in.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes the scooby doo antler beany caught my eye to! Thanks for visiting Whikat

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lissie, I enjoyed this hub. I am a fan of the rustic look, very hard to come by these days, By the way did you notice your ad for the scooby Doo beany baby with antlers? I better not let my kids see that.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Jerry - my taste runs more modern - but I think any extreme style can be off putting - i'd hate to do the dusting of room in the picture

    • Jerry G2 profile image

      Jerry G2 

      9 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Nice hub. I personally love the rustic look. My brother and I were raised on it with great furniture all around the house. I just don't see anything synthetic or modern that can hope to compete, IMHO. Great subjet, thumbs up!


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