Rustic decor ideas – 10 ways to work this timeless trend into every room

Dial up your happiness levels with these comforting and cozy rustic decor ideas

dark painted shaker kitchen with wooden shelves
(Image credit: Sims Hilditch/Neptune)

Cozy, inviting, and full of character, nothing makes a home feel more like, well, home, than rustic decor.

While there’s often a bucolic, farmhouse feel in play, you don’t have to live deep in the countryside to enjoy rustic decor’s comforting homespun charms. The main reason rustic decor ideas are always trending is they are so incredibly versatile and super easy to adapt to any setting.

The secret to nailing this interior design style? We spoke with designers to find out how to nail this timeless trend and what are the key elements to focus on. 

10 rustic decor ideas to create this classic look

If you’re seriously tempted by country decorating ideas or wondering what colors work best with rustic décor, you’re in the right place. We’ve spoken to design experts from around the world to bring you their top rustic takes that can be adapted for any room in your home.

1. Add reclaimed cladding

blue bedroom with timber wall cladding

(Image credit: Raspberry Interiors/Anna Stathaki)

Rustic timber cladding will fast-track all the country feels and can be used in any room to add texture and warmth. Interior designer Tracey Hatch harnessed the power of rustic timber in the master bedroom of this former stable block conversion. Note how she has focused use above the bed so it doesn’t overwhelm the space.

‘There wasn’t much that could be kept after it was all stripped out, so we introduced some reclaimed wood as a nod back to its stable roots. Then layered lots of textiles to soften the polished concrete surfaces,’ she recalls. 

2. Bring in personality with a chalk wall

chalkboard wall above belfast sink

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

A blackboard wall is both practical and pretty cool and is another easy win if you’re embracing rustic wall decor ideas, especially when paired with a wooden pegboard and woven accessories. 

‘We love using blackboard paint for a really interesting and practical kitchen backsplash. Such a great and simple addition and super useful for making lists and leaving messages that cannot be ignored!’ says Jayne Everett, creative director of Naked Kitchens.

‘It works particularly well where there are accents of black within the kitchen cabinetry as it ties everything together. You can paint just a section or the whole wall depending on how much of a statement you want to make. The blackboard paint also has a really gorgeous matt finish so looks great without the chalk as well.’

Jayne Everett
Jayne Everett

Jayne and her husband Jamie founded their bespoke kitchen company 20 years ago. Their vision was to design and manufacture incredibly high specification and beautiful cabinetry at a true value point. 

3. Layer up all the textures

rustic dining table with chair and sheepskin

(Image credit: Marta Nowicka/Voytek Ketz)

Explore material contrasts to ramp up the drama in a rustic-themed room. This coastguard’s cottage, done in interior architect Marta Nowicka’s signature ‘minimalist with rustic charm’ style, is a great example of how to get the look. The timeworn timber cuts a strong contrast against a backdrop of smooth, milky-white walls.

‘Everything has been reused where possible,’ says Marta. ‘The medieval dining table, which belonged to my father, and the Earnest Race Antelope chairs with sheepskins add texture to the dining room while the tongue and groove walls soften the overall style.’

Marta Nowicka
Marta Nowicka

After studying Interior Architecture at Kingston University, Marta worked for esteemed studios such as Sheppard Robson and Land Architects, and now has her own practice, Marta Nowicka & Co, as well as DOMstay, a selection of stunning holiday homes for design devotees to experience first-hand.

4. Choose cozy colors

bedroom with olive walls and plaid bedlinen

(Image credit: Vernich Interiors/Caroline Sharpnack)

Bust out the cozy colors and go ‘full drip’ to create a cocooning sanctuary that’s filled with rustic warmth. You can’t go wrong with nature-inspired shades, like this earthy Sage Green Light by Sherwin-Williams. ‘Sage is the perfect color for a quiet and cozy space. Your blood pressure begins to drop considerably the further you move into this room,’ enthuses Connie Vernich, of Vernich Interiors. 

‘Not only are the walls and trim painted in the same color, we took the color up onto the knee walls and ceiling. With this attic bedroom having lots of nooks and slanted walls it feels like the perfect respite for book reading and quiet moments,’ adds Connie. A leather chair sits neatly beside a walnut chest and the wool plaid draperies and heavily textured fabrics are a perfect choice to cozy up this rustic room.

Connie Vernich
Connie Vernich

Renowned for her tailored, practical, and unique spaces, Nashville-based Connie Vernich has 25 years of interior design experience and has also taught historical architecture for the past decade. Connie blends her expertise of diversified styles with a modern eye for fresh and functional design.

5. Weave in woven moments

white bathroom with rustic accessories

(Image credit: Brad Ramsey Interiors)

You will often find woven baskets and accessories in seagrass, wicker or jute scattered throughout rustic homes. ‘They are great for bringing a touch of rustic charm to balance out a space that might otherwise be too cold or harsh. When done correctly, you don't have to sacrifice the luxe feel of a space to gain the comfort and character these rustic elements provide,’ says interior designer Brad Ramsey

‘The key is to use them sparingly, in the proper scale, and alongside other elements that they connect with. In this primary bathroom, the use of unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures gives a bridge to the woven elements, not only in color tone, but also in its raw characteristics.  Had we done chrome or nickel plumbing fixtures, the whole feel of the space would have been more clean and sleek, but not as organic, and therefore the natural accents would have felt out of place.’

Brad Ramsey
Brad Ramsey

Brad began his design career in 2008 at a Nashville interior design studio, where he helped present the popular HGTV show, Interiors Inc. His namesake firm, Brad Ramsey Interiors, was launched in 2013 and he has been kept busy building and reimagining homes and commercial spaces around the country ever since. 

6. Embrace handmade tiles

blue kitchen tiles

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

Handmade tiles are big interior design trend, thanks to their unique and organic patterns and colors that can provide a home-spun feature with artisanal appeal. Look for tiles with imperfect edges and undulating glazes for extra rustic points, and don’t be too matchy-matchy with your pattern arrangements or fussy about precise installation. They should appear as if they’ve been in situ for centuries. 

‘Hand-painted tiles can deliver on uniqueness and country charm. The bolder and more interesting designs are created by artists, who have the skills to bring to life memories, places and the natural world,’ adds Grazzie Wilson, Head of Creative at Ca’ Pietra.

7. Hit up the salvage yards

rustic sink with curtain in pantry

(Image credit: Fiona Duke Interiors)

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and if you want to introduce some rustic moments in your home, pop a trip to your local salvage yard on your calendar. Try to think outside the box when salvage hunting – an old door could be repurposed as a headboard or paneling, for example. Anything with a sense of history, the more rough and ready the better, is prime rustic fodder. 

For her own pantry, interior designer Fiona Duke sourced a vintage sink made from solid stone, into which her cabinetmaker, Luxmoore & Co, fitted a new brass waste trap. ‘The numerous marks and ‘wear’ on the sink are exactly what I wanted to enhance the authentic nature of this space. The brass pillar taps are also vintage and were beautifully restored to suit modern plumbing,’ she says.

Fiona Duke

Fiona Duke is an award-winning Interior Designer specialising in high-end residential renovations. Using a mix of modern and vintage styles, Fiona creates inspirational, elegant spaces with a relaxed 'effortless' aesthetic. She believes that designing with a mix of styles creates a far more authentic way of living and helps to embrace the beauty of the 'imperfect' into every design.

8. Add industrial touches

rustic kitchen with exposed brick walls

(Image credit: BlueStar/Bond Design Company/Nicole Gerulat)

Rustic homes often include industrial style accents, which help to keep the overall vibe modern and fresh. Think funky loft apartment, not Davey Crockett’s log cabin! For this project in Utah, dubbed the ‘Rustic Speakeasy’, Jennifer Chipman mixed factory-style light fittings and industrial duct pipe extraction against exposed brickwork and reclaimed timber with dramatic results. 

‘The custom range hood was fabricated to be reminiscent of an industrial ventilation system, which paired perfectly with the BlueStar custom range’s mixed metals and the vintage copper faucets that incorporate industrial-era commercial ball valves and plumbing unions,’ says Jennifer.

Jennifer Chipman
Jennifer Chipman

Professional trained interior designer and ASID member Jennifer Chipman founded Bond Design Company alongside Grant Thorsen and Chelsea Minton. The Utah-based studio strives to deliver unique and ambitious design solutions. The name “Bond” refers to the connection between people and spaces based on shared emotions, interests, and experiences. 

9. Go for gingham


(Image credit: Chasing Paper)

If you are wondering which pattern works best in a rustic home, the answer is always gingham, without doubt. You cannot go wrong with checkered prints, or plaids for that matter. Use them on walls, cushions, curtains, and tablecloths – anywhere you need a nod to rural living. 

‘Gingham is a classic print that complements a rustic country cottage aesthetic beautifully,’ agrees Elizabeth Rees, Co-Founder of Chasing Paper. ‘By enlarging this typically dainty print and installing it on your walls in a larger-scale format, this relatively “neutral” print becomes the perfect backdrop for antique furniture and country-scapes that are quintessential to a rustic vibe.’

Elizabeth Rees
Elizabeth Rees

Elizabeth Rees is the founder of Chasing Paper, a pioneer and leader in the home decor industry, innovating beautiful, clever solutions for the modern home. Launched with her brother Michael in 2013, Chasing Paper offers an affordable, fun way to transform spaces of all sizes via removeable wallpaper and high-quality peel-and-stick vinyl flooring.

10. Expose original features

colourful bed with exposed flint wall behind

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

Create the perfect blend of old-world charm and contemporary design by exposing rustic architectural details such as original beams, flagstone floors and stonework. 

‘In this bedroom scheme, we wanted to showcase the exposed flint walls which had been carefully restored, and allow them to bring the history and character that came with the property. The upholstered headboard we used features a tall, statement silhouette and adds a striking contrast that elevates the space whilst bringing in a burst of color and pattern,’ says Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director, of Kelling Designs.

The rugged texture of the walls provides a rustic backdrop while the cleaner lines of the furniture inject a fresh, modern feel with lots of warmth and personality. ‘It's about creating a harmonious balance where the rough-hewn beauty of natural materials harmonize with the sophistication of classic design, resulting in a bedroom that is beautiful, inviting, and full of color and pattern,’ adds Emma.

Emma Deterding
Emma Deterding

Emma Deterding established her international design firm, Kelling Designs, in 2006, and has since spread her love of color and pattern around the world, bringing joy to residences from London to Delhi. Her shop, Kelling Home, stocks a treasure trove of original and quirky homeware curated by Emma and her team. 


How can I make my house look more rustic?

If you are not blessed with existing rustic features, go right ahead, and fake it. Add a rustic oak beam over the fireplace, use wallpaper or brick slips to recreate brick wall ideas and check out wood ceiling ideas

Choose nature-inspired paint colors with earthy undertones like sage green and terracotta and go heavy on the textural finishes. Distressed, reclaimed, rough-sawn – as long as it’s rugged, you’ll be well on your way to rustic success.  

Finally, accessorize your socks off. Switch out modern hardware for vintage designs with antiqued finishes, source salvaged light fittings with old-school charm and load up your shopping basket with baskets in every weave imaginable. Stop when you’ve reached your preferred homeliness levels – you’ll know it when you walk through your front door and feel immediately at home. 

However you embrace rustic features in your next renovation, you can be certain they will result in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Are you ready to make your home feel like the sanctuary you deserve?

Linda Clayton

Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism.