A rustic living room is full of warmth and charm. It is one of the coziest and most welcoming room you can find as it is dressed in natural materials. Rustic interiors are still trendy, and it blends well with a lot of other interior decorating styles like mid-century modern, Scandinavian, industrial, farmhouse and cottage. Here are some decorating tips to achieve a rustic interior for your living room:
- Add exposed beams.
Exposed timbers add natural warmth and beauty to a rustic living room. Actually, exposed woodwork that is left rough and unpolished is one of the most distinguishing elements in a rustic interior. Use beams to frame and decorate ceilings, to surround windows and fireplaces, or to line walls as an accent. Use rounded logs if you want, to achieve that classic cabin charm.
- Incorporate warm and earthy colors.
Leave the bold colors, vibrant tones, and flirty pastels behind. The rustic living room favors the subtle and distinct colors from the natural world. Use colors that are related to wood, stone, and soil. It doesn’t mean you have to stick to brown for everything – you can inject brighter and clearer colors as well. Modern rustic homes typically have white walls with wooden accents. Use traditional tones for your upholstery, like golden yellow or graphite gray. Use accent colors in deep red, denim blue, orange, or faded turquoise.
- Look for old and worn accessories.
Rustic interiors have that rugged appeal that is favored by some people, rather than having a clean and shiny new look. This appeal comes from the sense of connection to the past that looks genuine and hard to resist. Achieve the rustic look with distressed or tarnished metals, reclaimed wood, and seeded and wavy glass. Look for console tables, side tables or coffee tables that show a little age. Search for mirrors with ornamental and distressed frames. Go for pendant lighting with visible patina. The rustic look is also about displaying natural materials with imperfections, so go to your nearest antique shops or flea markets to search for your “new” items.
- Repurpose salvaged items.
The beauty of the rustic style lies with being creative with what you have and what you find. Feel free to repurpose woven, wooden and metallic objects to serve a new purpose. A collection of woven vintage baskets can serve as storage that you can place underneath a console table. A vintage galvanized metal watering can be used as a vase to display flowers. An old wire basket can be transformed into light fixtures. A couple of wooden crates can be mounted on the wall sideways to serve as floating shelves for light items. Some chipped-paint once-golden candlesticks and candelabra can be used as decorative items for the fireplace mantel. With rustic style, you can be self-sufficient and inventive, even without being whimsy and artsy.
- Use planks on the floor and/or brick or wood panels on the wall.
The rustic interior is distinctively full of warmth and texture. If you have a fireplace, decorate the hearth, as well as your columns, with brick paneling. Exposed brickwork is one of the common defining features of a rustic interior, but your house doesn’t have to be made in bricks. You may use brick veneer walls or brick panels to create the look. Wooden panels and boards are also popular for walls in rustic living rooms. Make an accent wall out of it for more impact. And finally, a discussion of living room ideas would not be complete without wide-plank floors – they are essential to the rustic look.
- Add textural fabrics.
Soft and silky drapes, silk and lace throws – these have no space within a rustic living room. What you need are sturdy fabrics that can survive for a lot of years, like linen, cotton, wool, and burlap. Quilts are often used as well for couches. Now for rugs, choose those that are made from natural plant fibers like sisal. Sisal has a nubby texture that anchors the rustic look altogether. Make sure the rug is big enough to let at least the front feet of the couches and chairs plus all the legs of the center table rest above it.
- Recreate the cabin look.
If you want an all-over rustic look, recreate a cozy cabin’s interior. Use horizontal tongue-and-groove boards made of pine and cover all the walls with it to wrap the space with warmth. If there are exposed knots, don’t worry – the imperfections and real texture of the woods make the rustic style truly rustic. These walls would also make a stunning backdrop for your vintage decorations.
- Use barn-inspired elements.
The classic barn is another design inspiration for rustic decorating, besides the cabin. Try adding bare barn wood on the ceiling for a fantastic natural appeal. Have fun with your hardware by adding some sliding barn doors on the door that separates the living room from the kitchen, or by replacing your front door with Dutch doors that are extra functional. Make them stand out by painting or staining in a color that contrasts the walls.
- Place an antique door or shutter to the wall.
Adding architectural salvage items brings a unique charm to any rustic living room. Get an antique door that displays coats of old peeling paint and coat it with clear polyurethane to preserve its antique beauty. But make sure you choose a flat or low-luster sheen so the door would still look old. Lean it against your white rustic living room so it can surely pop out. You may also find old wooden shutters that are worthy of display. Also coat them with low-luster or flat, transparent polyurethane for preservation. Mount them on the wall horizontally or vertically for decorative purposes.
- Add an unexpected piece.
Complete your rustic living room look with unique treasures, like a three-dimensional piece of artwork hanging in your wall. Suspend an old iron pulley from one of your beams and make it pop against a creamy white wall. Mount an antique water buffalo skull on the wall above a mirror. Use a weathered and chiseled timber as a mantel for the fireplace. Use a small butcher block trolley as a side table. Place a trio of tree stumps in the middle of a chair arrangement as a coffee table. Be creative using natural and antique items to achieve a certain amount of rustic flair.