Rustic Décor that Goes Beyond Weathered Wood

A rustic design style is often used for spaces with high levels of functionality, such as a kitchen, dining room, or bathroom. This is perhaps because so many of the details can easily be incorporated from rustic elements. What are rustic elements? Let’s take a look at how to define rustic, and then explore a little deeper about what this means…beyond distressed wood accents.

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Define Rustic.

Unlike other design types, rustic is more of a descriptive style of décor or design than it is an age-identifier. – Carverjunk Company. While thousands of design and décor ideas involving roughed-up wood detailing are indeed labeled as “rustic” (which is okay! They may very well be rustic), there is also much more to this style than simply weathered wood detailing.

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Rustic style can involve (but certainly isn’t limited to) wooden ceiling beams, metal pots and pans, wooden furniture, earth tones, and outdoorsy décor such as woven rugs, faux animal throws, and accessories made from natural materials. – Quora. The following are a variety of slants on rustic style and how to incorporate them into your space, without necessarily turning it into a weathered lumber graveyard.

Artistic Rustic

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Rustic design is often an overall feeling more than it is specifics of a piece or a space. An abstract metal sculpture (large or small), or other pieces of art, can exude rustic sensibilities without having to be made out of actual distressed wood (as a stereotypical example). Certainly this twisted, gnarled metal “table” resembles the natural, organic appeal of driftwood or tree roots. Be creative in your use of rustic elements; let your gut be your guide.

Contemporary Rustic.

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Another way to look at rustic design and décor is through a contemporary lens, which currently involves a modern (mid-century) slant. While the rawness of these wood pieces hint at rustic style, the forms themselves are clean and precise, which leans toward the contemporary side of things. One thing to keep in mind about rustic style, though, is that “it brings a sense of practicality and purpose that is beautiful in and of itself” – Home Portfolio.

Country Rustic.

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Another segment of the pie that is “rustic style” involves being “of, pertaining to, or living in the country; rural”. This doesn’t mean you have to cover everything in burlap and paint your walls with dairy cow spots. Simple, tasteful details – like a chunky, slightly raw wooden vanity – provide a lovely country flair while maintaining style.

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Another example of country rustic décor involves furniture items or accessories that are based on the trunks of trees. Talk about rugged rusticity. Even though the functional surfaces are fully smooth and finished, the “bones” of rustic style are left intact. You don’t have to go crazy with this concept to achieve a rustic style, though – one or two pieces just might be enough to make the statement you’re after.

Uncouth, Rude, or Boorish Rustic.

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One of the definitions of “rustic” involves a sense of rudeness – Dictionary. This can be translated, in design, by the incorporation of unexpected elements, but the end result doesn’t need to be negatively jarring (as the word “rude” implies).

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For example, wicker patio furniture around a branch-holding glass-topped table has all the rude appearances of rustic décor…in the best of ways. It’s unexpected, it’s raw, and I suppose it could be considered uncouth because of its unconventionality, but this sort of rustic décor is delightfully open, honest, and to-the-point.

Simple, Artless Rustic

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Rustic style embraces the concept of straightforward simplicity. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the incorporation of warmly tinted glass. The softer light that emanates from warmer glass light fixtures, such as these pendants, exudes simplicity and a homey feeling.

Sophisticated Rustic.

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While rustic has come to be mostly associated with a sort of clunky and antiquated style, that can be a misconception. Rustic design is more about “free-form shapes, natural materials, and the art of repurposing” than it is about how many slivers you might get from touching an object.

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This dining table, with its natural edging form, is a beautiful example of how rustic décor can also be quite sophisticated and fresh.

Craftsman Rustic.

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In working with wood, many skilled craftsmen are able to achieve a rustic-looking piece simply because it is created so beautifully out of wood using time-honored techniques. The pieces themselves may be modern or contemporary, but the vibe they give off is rustic. For example, wooden stump-slice tables that are put together with the historical, and highly effective and beautiful, butterfly spline.