The rustic design originated in the 19th century when pioneers moved from the cities and built homes in rural areas. Many of them moved because they were offered land for farming. Since they couldn’t bring much with them on their move, they had to find local things to make their home suitable.
This led to natural accents, including light colors such as white walls and rustic wood elements being brought into the home to decorate it. Rustic interior design has a sense of connection to the past and is far from going out of style. Adding rustic elements to your homes, like old shutters or an old frame or wall sconce, is an easy way to add unique characteristics to your home that will make the interior design charming and hard to resist.
Your creative ideas may overwhelm you.
Table of Contents
- Did you know?
- Living Room Wall Decor
- Rustic Style Designs For Your Living Room
- DIY Rustic Decor for Your Living Room
The rustic style sounds rough. In some ways, it is. It has a certain ruggedness but associates warmly with natural beauty. It can have clean lines for a modern touch. A beautiful piece of furniture can have rustic charm but still inspire nature-filled textures, with simpler earthy colors. This translates into a coziness and warmth that helps carry living room furniture that is unpretentious.
Think about inspirational sayings that could be added to an accent wall. Faux flowers could surround window frames for added earthy tones. A piece of art with natural touches is a simple concept. A fireplace mantel could hold a glass jar, be surrounded by wooden crates, and with a nice warm fire, give off some warm tones or rather rich tones.
Did you know?
Rustic style or rustic living is an organic process. The final look is something that has taken time and commitment to achieve a desired look and feel. Today’s style is far more evolved because of its conservation focus. One of our earlier articles speaks to Cape Cod’s early architects and inhabitants who designed minimalist homes to match the natural environment.
The same thing is happening now. Beyond clean, organized lines, many rustic decorations use “sustainably” harvested woods, reclaimed or even repurposed woods. Today’s conservation-minded, climate-focused, and upcycling generation of homeowners. Their view of rustic home decor considers nature and the natural environment.
Media reports indicate that techniques used to inspire rustic living style became an architectural element and amazing statement piece for interior designers around 2011-2012. Southern California bars and restaurants started using design patterns like an antique wall, wall decor items, French country style, vintage decorations, decorative pillows, or even a barn wall to create a rustic space.
Through advertising partners, living room decor (e.g. white upholstery) adopted this trend as it spread across the United States and the dinner table with ingenious ideas.
Living Room Wall Decor
Decorating the walls of your living room is just as important to tie the entire room together as the furniture was. It is also where you can get the most creative using several things around your home, and customizing your own art pieces to bring your home to life. Below are several rustic wall decor ideas that can turn an empty wall into rustic heaven, without it being too overwhelming.
Moments with loved ones, pets, or friends are incredibly special and sometimes they’re caught in pictures. They remind you of old memories and bring back fun times. There is no better way to showcase these memories than creating your own gallery wall.
An important element of rustic wall design here is not the picture, but the frame. You get to choose what you showcase on this wall. How you arrange these pictures, and what you add alongside them if anything is completely up to you. Even so, distressed frames are a good way to spice up the gallery wall and give it more of the rustic feel you’re going for. Dark-colored rustic frames such as dark brown, or light-colored frames such as a tan color are the best to go for depending on what rustic color scheme you have chosen. Wood frames are also an option for a more natural-looking flame that isn’t too bold, and you can even make them yourself.
Large wall Print/Sign
Sometimes you need some words of wisdom and something to remember. You can frame, in any way you choose, a large print of an inspirational quote. Everyone has days where they wake up and it just feels like nothing is going to go right. Having an inspirational quote hung up on your wall, in a wooden frame, possibly surrounded by other gorgeous accents is a beautiful way to remind yourself that it’s okay to rest and have bad days.
Initial Letter Painting
If you have kids, or someone in your life you miss dearly, painting their initials on a canvas and hanging it up in your living room could be a great way to combat their absence. It’s also a beautiful addition to your rustic living room. If you don’t have children or aren’t missing someone, you can still do this. You can use your own initials. This is a great way to add a new, personalized design while your living room remains in the same theme. You can either purchase a painting or print of these initials or do it yourself. The instructions for DIY projects will follow.
Wooden Art Piece
Wooden elements are a popular feature of rustic homes because they remind people of nature. Pioneers had to use wood and other natural materials such as stone, to build their homes for suitability. Not only that, but they also used wood to decorate their homes. A wooden art piece with wooden frames can become the focal point of your living room or dining room. There are several ways to create wooden wall hangings and other art pieces that suit your living room. You can create art with any form of wood since all have a pattern. Your creativity is free here, and it is a wonderful thing overall.
The world is a beautiful place, and you can put it in your living room. There are geography maps that come in vintage color, with no bright colors, that add a special new look to your room. Stained, yellow, or tan maps not only offer a look at the entire world on the wall of your living room but can be accompanied by so many different things that still make it work. Vines and fairy lights, if you’re also going for a modern look, accompany an old geography map beautifully and will make it stand out. Although the color palette of these wall arrangements is still incredibly important, you have your freedom, and contrast from the original palette with green and white or yellow is actually very eye-catching. The world can be as beautiful in your living room, as it is outside of it.
As stated before, a contrast between the earthy tones and greenery or flowers is a good way to bring color into your living room so it doesn’t look so dark. Darker colors are an important element of rustic design, but there’s no crime in having an equal balance that isn’t hard to look at. Vines can be placed in so many different places such as your living room wall. They can be placed around a geography map, around a mirror, on window frames, accompanying a rustic clock and so much more. You could find the perfect place for vines or flowers almost anywhere. You can even make a wreath of flowers and vines. This is a good way to make your bare walls look a lot less bare and much more exciting.
While this isn’t the easiest to get, it’s worth it. Corner shelves offer a geometric and interesting design. Not only are they a wonderful design but they’re also good for decorating with other elements you wish to include. On a white wall, a wooden shelf would stand out. You don’t always need old furniture to achieve a rustic look. Sometimes investing in a brand new shelf can offer more than an older one can. Not only will it be more stable, it can be efficient in several different ways while also being stylish.
Seashell Wall Hanging
You can also bring the beach into your home with this wall decor. Seashells are all unique in their very own way, and that makes every single one of them special. There are several ways you can create a seashell wall hanging without purchasing them. Their fine colors, extraordinary shapes, and uniqueness add a wonderful characteristic to your living room. Not to mention, if you’re longing for the beach, it’s the perfect way to bring it to you.
Creating a Cluster of Different Decor
If you like a more creative, possibly more modern look, you can create your very own cluster of decor. This can include everything mentioned above put exactly the way you like it. It can showcase a variety of different things, many of which may tell a story about who you are. It’s the perfect choice when wanting to express yourself because you aren’t restricted. If you’re afraid that creating a cluster wall won’t match with the rest of the rustic decor, you should examine what you’re choosing to put up on your wall. If your frames are a bright yellow, you might want to find frames that are a deeper brown, or amber. Find what feels best for you.
Rustic Style Designs For Your Living Room
Furniture plays a huge role in pulling your entire living room together; especially, if you’re looking for a rustic farmhouse look. A rustic decorating style combines things you might have, decorative items you can find at thrift stores, and things you can make yourself like a wire basket of seashells hangs. Before you begin to decorate, it’s important to select a color scheme you’d like to incorporate and where you’d like everything to do.
We have had great luck finding many of these items at Homesense and we simply love their tagline, “Home of your next discovery”. This is so true. We’ve seen a rebound in farmhouse decor retailers because we’ve seen a lot of new things sold from wooden boards, to distressed wood, to a large clock with roman numerals, large signs, and even a farmhouse sign with a wood frame.
Of course, we found more common items at Homesense like mason jars, photo frames, wicker baskets, and yes, even galvanized wall vase holds. Rustic home decor means you might even find barn doors and white wooden shutters or any other wall decoration like a printed sign. It may be a bit of a hit and miss but any thrift store (depending on where you live) might be a better place to find that large mirror for the guest room or as an accent piece for perfect modern farmhouse wall decor.
Common color schemes used in rustic living homes include brown, golden tan, maroon, and black. These colors all fit really well together and aren’t a large contrast from one another. Having the colors all match a scheme and not clash leads to your home not looking too busy, which gives it a neat and overall put-together look. Below are some rustic decorating ideas, and other decors you might incorporate into your living room to achieve this look:
If you have one of these laying around in your attic, it’s time to put it to good use. An old, worn-out trunk could be a good piece of decor or furniture for your living room, even if it’s a small space. A trunk can also be an efficient table for books in your home office, and a gaming set if you’re mixing modern decor and rustic decor for the right place. Even if the trunk is not worn out and distressed, it will fit in perfectly with all other aspects and give that rustic vibe. Antique stores and thrift shops may carry old farmhouse-style items such as this; however, as your know, it can be a treasure hunt looking for an oversized clock, wall arrangement, window frame mirror, or that old window frame. It’s a great idea to look in thrift shops before investing in an expensive trunk or drive-by neighborhoods (typically weekends) as most people tend to clean out their homes on their personal time.
If you hand-make pottery, it adds an element of yourself into the home you are decorating. This can make the home feel a lot more inviting to yourself, and bring you a sense of comfort. Pottery can be vases, bowls, plates, etc. So many things can be done with this in a living room. Greenery or flowers can be added to a vase, and candy to a bowl or plate. You can place this on a coffee table or a trunk. This is an easy way to incorporate different elements into your living room.
Decorative elements like a large or small rustic clock can be a perfect addition to the living room. If you have a smaller space, you might want to stick to a smaller clock. These can be efficient while also serving as a decorative items. This paired with other decorative assets such as picture frames that have a white frame, or greenery can be a staple moment in your living room. The clock can be placed on a wall as a wall hanging or on top of a shelf, or fireplace.
You can do your own little recycling project by taking an old ladder and using it as a decorative piece in your home. It’s very unique and all on its own could tell its own story. You can lean it up against a wall and have some potted plants beside it on a window sill or even hanging from the steps. This way, it can be efficient and decorative. Depending on other furniture in your home, this piece could really stand out and attract a lot of attention. Vintage ladders can be found at thrift stores but again, anything with a rustic touch or a mix of textures is a sought-after treat.
Wood-Stained Coffee Table or Console Table
To keep the color scheme going, you might want to invest in a stained coffee table or stain it yourself. This makes the wood darker and helps brighter colors stand out. This is one of the best ways to make something special on your coffee table stand out above all else while also making sure that your living room doesn’t look too busy and is well put together.
Any vintage coffee table is going to be made of wooden materials, and either has dark colors or a neutral color palette. You can add rustic decorations like flower vases with artificial flowers. Spruce up the table with family photos surrounded by a rustic frame.
Just don’t get carried away with this and decide to wrap the table in chicken wire. Haha.
Adding potted plants into your home could really bring everything together. As stated before with your coffee table and ladder, they add a new element to something larger that makes it look, not only rustic but just downright beautiful. But the pots are just as important as the greenery or flowers you choose to put inside of them or any flower vases.
Getting a plain black vase might seem like a good idea until it doesn’t stand out the correct way or doesn’t exactly fit with the look you’re going for. You want to avoid items that are totally black as they may distract from other elements. Instead, look for items with other colors within the scheme that have black elements. Wooden or clay pots have a hand-made look, even if you personally didn’t make them, and can add a natural look to an otherwise country-style rustic home.
This is a creative idea that is not only stylish but also efficient. Your living room is a place where everyone gathers to watch movies and to have fun. Thinking about rustic living room ideas, you need to have extra things on hand for those nights where you need something to play or you’re cold and need a blanket. A woven basket made of wood materials adds pattern and style to your home while also offering storage when and where it’s needed.
Mirrors are a great way to not only add an antique item to a simple wall which will make your space look larger, even if it’s a smaller space. Mirrors come in all different forms of beauty. Some have patterns, frames, and floral engravings that make the mirror so much more exciting. You might have, create, or have a mirror that is elegant, rustic, and can fit into your space perfectly. Some mirrors are separate in rectangle or square form that will add a unique element while still creating more space. Keep in mind that some mirrors need to be hung up, such as the square or rectangle mirrors, but standing mirrors are just as stylish. On another note, you can add several accent pieces to the mirror. Such as vines down the side of the mirror, or a banner hanging above it.
Although it might not be as obvious, one of the best choices you can make is to find throw pillows to add to your couch. You wouldn’t want to decorate your entire living room and keep your tan couch the way it is. It would throw it off quite a bit. Adding blankets, or throw pillows is a good idea to bring it all together in the end and leave no space left out. Your throw pillows should still match the color scheme of the entire room, possibly contrasting natural elements with rustic elements. For example, your tan couch could benefit from having wood brown pillows with a contrasting color intertwined such as green or white. It will make your living room much more interesting. Consider framed white photos.
These are great year-round accent items that do last a long time and do not require a lot of maintenance which is what you really want. You only need to do a quick spray of water for general maintenance. Boxwood adds that natural element we’ve already discussed to your rustic decor. A simple country charm can go a long way to giving off that cozy, homey feel. Boxwood garlands can be hung from the ceiling and you can even consider centerpiece items like boxwood balls. Yes, even boxwood mats work.
You may be thinking about other boxwood accent ideas. Consider boxwood for your gallery wall. Size is up to you but it’s perfect for rustic living room walls during a winter refresh if you’re dressing things up for Christmas. Other areas include your windows, the front door, the interior of any door, food trays, coat-rack hooks, and a chalkboard.
DIY Rustic Decor for Your Living Room
Hand-making things are special. You’re taking your time, effort, and creativity and putting it into something you and possibly other people could see almost every single day. Throughout this article, there were wall decorations that you could create yourself. Below are how-to instructions on how to create this decor for your living room.
Sea Shell Wall Hanging: Materials Needed
|TWINE OR ROPE|
|A WOODEN STICK OR DOWEL|
|HOT GLUE GUN|
How to Create a Seashell Wall Hanging
- Take two pieces of twine, about 12 inches each and tie them together.
- Once you’ve tied them together, you should grab your dowel or stick and tie the free-hanging ends of the, now longer, rope or twine around each end of the dowel. The end result of doing this, while holding it up by where you tied the strings,should look like a large triangle.
- Cut Several more strings, enough to tie across the entire rest of the stick or dowel hanging downward toward the ground when you hold it up.
- Take your hot glue gun and seashells. Put a dot of hot glue on the ropes hanging down where you’d prefer the seashells be placed.
- Then, firmly press down on the seashells until you know they’re secure. Once you’ve finished gluing all the seashells onto your rope, it should look like a triangle at the top with a bunch of strings hanging down that have seashells attached. The perfect choice for decor.
Note: Be sure you don’t touch the hot glue directly. It is extremely hot and can lead to injury. Wait for it to dry before handling it, and hold the gun itself in such a way that you are protected from any glue dripping anywhere other than the project itself.
Initial Painting: Materials Needed
|PAINT (COLORS OF YOUR CHOICE)|
How To Create your Own Initial Painting
- Grab your canvas and your masking tape. Place your canvas down flat and use the masking tape to create the initial you wish to paint. The tape should resemble that letter(s).
- Once you’ve placed the masking tape down you can then choose how you’re going to paint around the masking tape. The masking tape is serving as a shield to your initial, which you will get to paint specifically once you’ve finished the background.
- After painting the background and letting it dry, you can slowly pick up the masking tape to reveal your initial.
- If you so choose, you can then carefully paint your initial however you’d like it to be.
Wooden Clothing Hook: Materials Needed
|A PIECE OF WOOD AS LONG AS YOU’D LIKE |
TO ACCOMPANY THE AMOUNT OF SPACE YOU HAVE FOR CLOTHING
|A DRILL AND HAMMER|
|HOOKS (BE SURE THEY HAVE PLACES IN WHICH YOU CAN NAIL THEM INTO THE WOOD)|
- Take the piece of wood and determine how far apart you’d like your hooks to be.
- You should then take your drill and create holes where your hooks are going to be placed. You can use the hooks that already have drilled holes in them as a reference. If the hook has two holes, you must drill that many.
- Once you’ve drilled the holes you can gather your hooks and place them onto the board. Grab your nails and your hammer and attach the hooks to the slab of wood.
- The next step is to mount the wood onto the wall where you wish it to be placed. For this you would need to drill holes on each corner of the wood, and use nails to hammer it in the same way you did for the hooks.
NOTE: Use every safety precaution you can while using drills, hammers, and nails. Wear the proper protective gear and if you’re unsure how to use or operate these tools, please find a professional to help you.
You can still have rustic style home decor while maintaining your freedom. The home is yours, after all. The most important element of a rustic home is a put-together look and the color scheme.
When pioneers moved into their new homes, built from the world around them, they had to improvise and use what they could to make their homes look beautiful and interesting. That beauty is still alive today in many homes and never fails to be good on the eyes because it’s so unique.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.