35 Homey Elements To Include In A Rustic Décor

Defined, rustic style is a design emphasis on rugged, natural beauty. It embraces nature-inspired textures, simple and earthy colors, and ultimately an unpretentious, organic warmth. While rustic style in its most traditional sense might appear heavy and dark today, a contemporary rustic style has emerged over the past few years that feels both fresh and real, light and grounded.

Rustic Style

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If that appeals to you, here are the top 35 elements of rustic style for a gorgeous yet genuine nature-infused home. Some of these may not be possible to implement in your current home; don’t get hung up on what you can’t change. Focus on what is possible to create the charming, rustic space you’ll love to live in.

Things to include in a rustic decor

1. Rustic setting.

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A setting close to nature makes the transition from outside to in (and vice versa) that much easier. Whether nestled in among the mountain pines or perched beside a lake, rustic style just makes sense in a rustic setting.

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Even if you’re not smack in the middle of a rustic location but have a view out the window that qualifies, you can certainly go for a rustic interior. Between the view and the décor, you’ll at least feel like you’re in a rustic spot.

2. Raw natural elements.

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Probably the most important component of rustic style is the raw natural materials used in architecture and décor alike. The more natural these elements appear to be, the easier it is to find and maintain a cohesive contemporary rustic style throughout the entire space.

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Adding raw natural elements to a space – even the kitchen – can give you the rustic vibe you want. Here, not only is the wall paneled in roughhewn wood, the rack for kitchen accessories is made with a real tree branch. Together, the natural elements counter the retro modern look of the kitchen appliances.

3. Wide plank wood floors.

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Because of their simple and solid appearance, wide wood planks on the floors provide an automatic and intuitive foundation for decorating in a rustic style.

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Short or long, wide plank flooring sets the right tone for a rustic space. The finish can be a bit more polished like this one, or have a rougher, reclaimed look. Either one is a good choice and the finish can help push the feeling of the décor further up the rustic spectrum if that’s what you’re looking for.

4. Welcoming fireplace.

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Just as camping isn’t complete without a campfire, so is a rustic styled home incomplete without a warm, inviting fireplace. The fireplace surround made out of visually weighty natural elements (rock, stone, or brick) and a thick, chunky mantel is ideal in a rustic living or family room. (Did we mention that rustic style is as fabulous outdoors as it is indoors?)

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You don’t have to have a big stone hearth to have a rustic, welcoming fireplace in your home. This free-standing fireplace has a modern edge because it looks nothing like the old-fashioned pot belly style that might be associated with the rustic interiors. Nonetheless, when combined with other rustic elements in a family room or bedroom, it created just the right atmosphere.

5. Paneled walls.

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This architectural touch provides a cozy surround for you to enjoy your rustic style.

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This is not your grandparents’ wood paneling!  Today’s rustic paneled walls have a totally different vibe. They can be light, whitewashed, or put together with reclaimed wood. This bedroom’s accent wall is clad with Stickwood, which is an easily installed wood product that strikes just the right note..

6. White walls.

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If you aren’t able to work paneled walls into your rustic interior, no worries. White walls provide an excellent “blank canvas” for you to work your rustic décor magic. White walls are bright, cheerful, and incredibly versatile in helping to create a fresh rustic feeling.

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Image from here.

Lest you think that rustic décor is dark and very “woody” looking, here’s a light air and airy space that shows how white walls can be the perfect base for rustic style décor. Whitewashed wood – in numerous forms – create a very rustic but light interior for a very attractive look.

7. Wooden beamed ceilings.

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Not exactly a canopy of tree branches, but wood beams on the ceiling are evocative of nature at its finest. Often, ceiling beams are large, chunky beams that are an excellent reminder of the great outdoors.

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Whether you expose existing beams or install them, they are a very fitting accent in rustic style home. While rustic beams have traditionally been hefty, roughhewn types, now there are more options that are lighter and more natural in color like this living space. Also, not all rooms need to have a high ceiling to use beamed ceilings, as this lovely space demonstrates.

8. Neutral, natural color palette.

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While nature has its fair share of gorgeous vibrant hues, the typical rustic style is best served with nature’s more muted tones. Think sand-colored furniture, rich mud-brown walls, or pine green accents – these colors are soothing and evocative of the earthiest of Mother Nature’s masterpieces.

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Image from Kevin Carpenter Interiors

A major element of rustic style décor is a neutral natural color palette. The combination of wood, stone, metals and botanical materials is a naturally neutral collection of hues. Combining features such as a stone fireplace, wood walls or ceilings and plenty of windows to the natural landscape are key elements in rustic style décor.

9. Large, chunky pieces.

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Rustic style tends to favor the masculine, hearty side of décor. Dainty, feminine pieces will get lost or, at the very least, feel very out of place within a rustic styled space. Opt for nature-inspired details that provide distinct presence and drama.

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Hefty, chunky pieces are right at home in rustic style décor. They have visual weight that fits with this type of interior. Large or small, these types of pieces anchor the space and connect it with the earth, which is the inspiration for and reason for being of this style.

10. (Faux) animal hides.

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Of course, snakeskin and crocodile bumps are animalian, but they aren’t the best choice for a rustic setting. Consider the hides that would naturally be found on, say, a form. Like zebra or cowhide rugs and sheepskin throws.{found on adlsf}.

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Leather feels right at home and is a common element of rustic style, but furniture and accessories that feature hair-on hides are too. This type of leather – cowhide – includes the hair and natural colors and patterns from the animal hide. These types of pieces are made from animal hides that are a byproduct of the beef industry.

11. Balanced white & neutral.

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While wood is a gorgeous component of rustic décor, it would seem pretty somber and heavy if not balanced out with some lightness. White furniture, paint, or accessories are important in creating that pleasing balance and lightening things up.

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Image from Denman Construction

Most rustic interiors strive to balance natural, neutral materials and white. This particular room is a great example because it has plenty of off white in the walls, rug and linens, which offsets the very rustic ceiling, beams and reclaimed wood trim. This type of balance creates a rustic and casual, yet sophisticated space.

12. Non-painted wood.

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Rustic style embraces the natural state of things, and the opportunity to see and feel the knottiness of wood, its grain, and its natural tones is a big deal. This helps to keep the textures of a variety of woods (pine, oak, walnut, birch, to name just a few) separate, individual, and interesting.

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Letting natural wood shine – including all its flaws – it a. key element in rustic décor. This particular cabinet highlights the ragged, live edge of the wood pieces, going so far as to make the gap in the front a major feature.

13. Natural, solid fabrics.

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The best fabrics for the foundation of rustic style are unprinted and textural. Linen, wool, burlap, and canvas are automatic choices.

14. Non-shiny metal.

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Rustic style isn’t about shine and sheen; it’s about the true grit of nature. Think rusted metal industrial hardware (old tractor parts?) or punched tin lampshades. These add an old-time feeling to a rustic setting.

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Metal is a common element of rustic style but it won’t be the shiny type that you find in other types of décor. Matte, muted and weathered, the types of metal used in rustic décor is distinctive and can run the gamut from galvanized metal to rusted, painted metal.

15. Pieces provide visual weight.

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You want each element in rustic décor to contribute to the overall effect, so don’t shy away from larger scaled pieces. Consider that 10-person dining table or large leather sectional because rustic style can, even wants to, accommodate such things.{found on lisagutowdesign}.

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Most major pieces of furniture in rustic style décor are not light, frilly or feminine. They have visual weight that draws the eye and makes the room feel solid and substantial. This country table is heft on its own, but when adorned with a massive vintage pot of dried flowers and leaves, it goes to a whole new level of dominance.

16. Natural state.

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Keep things as close to their natural state as possible for the ultimate rustic style.

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Image from Brilliant! Lighting & Design

Wood left in int natural state or form is a distinctive element of rustic style. Instead of using the standard type if interior support columns you find in many homes, this kitchen features tree trunks, with some branches, that have had their bark removed so that they coordinate with the other wood elements.

17. Woven baskets.

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Baskets are an excellent way to contain miscellaneous (or ugly) items, organize items, or set off a design scheme. In rustic décor, woven baskets do all of that. You could keep a basket of logs on the fireplace hearth, or baskets of small miscellany on the shelves, or even a basket on the coffee table to hide the remote controls. (Notice the contemporary drawer pulls here keep a contemporary vibe amidst the rustic components.)

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Baskets are ubiquitous in most homes because they’re so useful for storage, so they should certainly play a role in rustic style décor. Of course you can go the all-natural route, but for a little more flair, try including a woven basket that has some pattern or embellishments.

18. Found objects.

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One of the appeals of rustic style is that it can be exceptionally green – found objects that have a used, worn aesthetic are often prime accessories in a rustic-styled home. Consider vintage wooden barrels or even an interesting branch to create the feeling of down-to-earth, back-to-your-roots living.

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Found objects are perfect accessories for rustic style rooms but you can add larger pieces too. A weathered old table is great as a sideboard or console. the accessories on top are ideal accents for any furnishings, old or new.

19. Textural emphasis.

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Roughened textures such as jute, sisal, or braided rugs, (faux) animal hide throws, even butcher block countertops and driftwood lighting fixtures, are perfect choices for rustic home décor.

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Rustic décor typically features plenty of texture and this setting has loads. The cushy sofa has a wood frame and the surrounding elements range from wicker to burlap and metal. The mix is interesting and very welcoming.

20. Understated seating.

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While seating certainly doesn’t have to be confined to a stump or a hard rock (the epitome of “natural” seating, no?), it’s best kept neutral and understated in a rustic space. Clean lines, simple textiles, and comfort are prime considerations for rustic seating furnishings.

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Dining table seating in a rustic home is typically understated, but that doesn’t mean it’s made from lesser quality materials. This chair is handcrafted from wood and leather, striking the right note and having the potential to be a family heirloom.

21. Accents that mimic nature.

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For small changes that make a big difference in the overall décor scheme, you could select accent pieces that mimic nature. Think of a birch bark lamp or brass drawer pulls in the shape of twigs for some great nature-inspired details.{found on tamaramackdesign}.

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Adding accents that mimic nature are great for any space but particularly for rustic homes. This natural wood piece has been transformed into a planter for succulents and would be ideal for styling a coffee table.

22. Reclaimed barn wood.

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There’s something about a piece of wood being roughened up over the years by natural elements – rain, wind, sun, snow – that is inspiring and comforting. Barn wood in particular tends to show its age in a humbly chic way. Consider finding a way to incorporate reclaimed barn wood (or driftwood, or similar) into your space.

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Repurposed or reclaimed wood has a place in rustic style décor that goes beyond the architectural. Furnishings constructed of reclaimed timber are another way to add an element of rustic style. These types of pieces can be used to transform a regular space into a rustic one, especially if it doesn’t already have a strong rustic feel.

23. Bold, simple patterns.

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Most rustic style interiors are going to shy away from the frilly and fussy patterns (think floral and toile). Rather, in keeping with the simplicity of nature, rustic style will benefit from bold, stable, and simple patterns such as buffalo plaids and mattress ticking stripes.

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Rustic patterns like buffalo checks are easy to incorporate in a number of ways, including in the bedroom. Upholstered headboards, bed skirts and cushions are all options.

24. Woven textiles.

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Nothing says “rustic” like a handcrafted piece. (Or, at least, the perfectly imperfect appearance of having been handcrafted.) Woven blankets in a southwestern pattern, for example, would look great folded and stacked neatly on a wooden shelf.

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Since texture is so important, woven textiles are a key element of rustic style décor.  Most often the textiles are neutral and earthy, but it possible to incorporate some bolder colors in the form of ethnic wovens. They may tend a little toward boho, but used judiciously they fit right in.

25. Modern-rustic combo.

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Combining the earthy elements of rustic style with a clean modern design is like marrying the best of both worlds. Keep an open floor plan, maintain exposed natural architecture, and pull in some modern furniture to start things out. Large windows are key to creating a seamless transition from outside to in.

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Image from Centre Sky Architecture Ltd

Oddly enough, the combination of rustic and modern works very well. A rustic location, wood walls, ceiling and floor are paired with a modern dining set and beautiful chandelier to create a spectacular space.

26. Rustic decorative signs.

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Hanging signs on walls is a nice and simple way to add character to a space. A rustic sign made out of wood with a nice message on it can help to make your guests feel more welcome into your home or can help to fill out a blank spot on the wall. This is a really nice fall-themed design which you can easily make using white paint.

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Some may consider word art passé but the right vintage signs still have a place as elements of rustic style. Old or reproduction, signs that har back to another era – even those that include neon – make interesting accessories for these spaces.

27. Handmade accessories.

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The entryway is a great spot for a variety of different DIY crafts and projects. For instance, something useful that you can make is a hanging coat rack. To keep things simple try a rustic design. You can just use a thin strip of wood or a piece of board for the back panel and some wire hooks. Paint or stain the wood if you want to or let its natural color show through.

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Handcrafted accessories are perfect in any style of décor but when it comes to rustic style, they are a must-have. The care and skill put into these pieces part and parcel of the soul of rustic décor style.

28. Exposed bark.

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Another great way to include some subtle rustic details into your home décor is by incorporate wood into some projects and letting the bark on. This can work for things like log side tables or smaller items like this wood cake stand which is perfect for cupcakes and other treats. The bark really helps a lot to add character to this piece.

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You might not want large swaths of bark in your rustic home, but touches here and there are very fitting with this particular décor style. An accessory like this bank-covered planter are very versatile and add just enough bark as an accent.

29. Wood slice decorations.

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Wood slices, especially those that have bark around the edges, are an excellent for all sorts of interesting and beautiful crafts and projects. If you want something pretty that you can display around the house, perhaps you’d like to make a rustic garland that you can hang in front of a window, sort of like a wind chime.

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Sure, you can use wood slice décor accents, but why not elevate this small element to a larger role in your space? This console from Global Views is faced with wood slices, giving it a very earthy, natural look.

30. A wood Christmas tree.

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This tree would look great if made from scrap wood, driftwood or reclaimed boards because then it would have a stronger rustic look. Nevertheless, a modern wood Christmas tree with a clean and simple design like this can also look magnificent as a decoration for the mantel or a shelf. It’s easy to put together once all the pieces are cut to size.

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Another version of a wooden Christmas tree is this one that’s rustic but made in a whole different style. In any case, a wooden tree, no matter its particular construction, is a great addition at Christmas. Some can even be used beyond the holiday season.

31. Wooden Halloween pumpkins.

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There’s also a lot of cool projects that you can do with wood around Halloween, like these rustic pumpkins for example. They’re quite… abstract and they’re not really shaped like pumpkins but they sure look like it. It’s all in the details like the stem and the little burlap leaves. The orange color also really helps.

32. A tree stump table.

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This is probably one of the easiest pieces of furniture that you can craft yourself at home. You can make this entire project even easier if you leave the bark on the stump instead of taking it out and cleaning and sanding the entire surface. Either way, what’s important for this is to find a log and try to get it as flat as possible. You don’t even have to add the casters on the bottom, although that really helps with mobility given how heavy this stump table is.

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Tree stumps are ideal pieces for stools and tables. This one from Sawkille is big and substantial, but particularly distinctive is its light coloring. The most attractive feature may be the wood rings, grain and natural imperfections.

33. Rustic accessories with a modern twist.

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This is a more modern version of the rustic cake stand we mentioned earlier. As you can see, the design is simpler and cleaner and the wood is carefully sanded and has no exposed bark round the edge. Of course, if you prefer a stronger rustic vibe, you can change that for a more rough-looking wood slice and still use the repurposed bowl as a base.

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Some rustic accessories can actually be a bit modern, like these dark and dramatic pieces by Jim Szemanski. The organic shapes and matte finish make them perfect for a rustic home.

34. Hairpin legs.

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Hairpin legs are very versatile and look great on lots of different types of furniture of different styles. They really suit a lot of the DIY furniture pieces including ones with a rustic design, like a wood slab side table for instance. It’s more lightweight and slender than a tree stump table but similar to one in more than one way.

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Hairpin legs fit right in as an element of rustic style. This stool has not only the texture of fur but also the hairpin legs that go with many styles of décor, including rustic. The light metal curves are gentle and are a good counterpart to some of the hefty pieces that are typical of rustic décor.

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Floral accents work in any room, and natural, casual arrangements work best in a rustic setting. The loose bunch placed in a basic jar or simple vessel make a fitting element of this type of style. Just stay away from the overly prim and meticulously styled arrangements that fit into more formal settings.

35. Floral accents

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Decorating with flowers suits all styles so it’s more about the types of flowers you choose and how you display them. This is a nice rustic display, a vase made using thick wood rounds with bark on and styrofoam. It’s a 4th of July table décor but of course the theme can be adapted as needed.