8 rustic wall decor ideas to add charm and character to every room of your home

How do you decorate the walls of a rustic-style home? We've consulted the experts

rustic wall decor ideas
(Image credit: Mindy Laven / Photography Ryan Garvin / Kara Childress)

The total antithesis to modern, minimalist interiors, rustic decor is an interior design style guaranteed to feel cozy, comforting, and characterful. If you've settled on this warm aesthetic for your home, nailed down the color palette, and ordered the kitchen, it's time to consider the smaller touches that will complete your spaces.

Rustic wall decor ideas celebrate the beauty of natural, weathered materials. Embracing imperfections to create spaces that tell a story. 

Whether you're looking to infuse your home with a hint of countryside charm or seeking to imbue your contemporary spaces with some rustic style, you should find yourself suitably inspired by the rustic wall decor ideas below. 

8 Expert-Approved Rustic Wall Decor Ideas

Rooted in warmth, rustic decor feels like an invitation to slow down, reconnect with nature, and embrace something a little less metropolitan. Think weathered wood, aged metals, and woven textures that all help to make a home feel lived-in. 

Here are 8 rustic wall decor ideas that will fill your walls with texture and tone. Note that the very best rustic interior design styles combine a mix of all of these decor ideas to create a feeling of a homespun embrace. 

1. Source vintage artwork and picture frames

rustic dining room with purple sideboard and rustic vintage gallery wall of art

(Image credit: Neptune)

At the heart of rustic decor is a deep admiration for the past, a recognition of the heritage that infuses every worn surface with reminders of bygone eras. Take your time to collect and curate the artwork in your home to build up a collection of antique pieces that add depth and texture to your walls. Plus, they're a great conversation starter.

'Bring a sense of rustic charm to your wall decor motif by framing art and photos with frames made from organic materials like reclaimed wood,' suggests designer Kathy Kuo. 'Add an extra layer of rustic panache by sticking with a warm rustic color scheme in your wall art; think ochre, terracotta, moss green, dusty rose, and mahogany.'

When decorating with art, always mix and match different textures and materials to create a dynamic display that reflects your style. Don't be afraid to experiment – the beauty of wall decor lies in its ability to evolve over time. Vintage art carries its own narrative, from the weathered patina of the frame to intricate brushstrokes, it's the imperfections that make reclaimed decor so captivating.

2. Add large antique and patinated mirrors

rustic entryway with limewashed walls, a reclaimed wood bench and large antique mirror with patina

(Image credit: Kara Childress)

An antique mirror works wonders in any style space but really comes into its own in a rustic setting. Their aged patina adds depth and character to walls, while their reflective surfaces bounce light, creating an illusion of more space. Particularly useful in small spaces and entryways.

In the space above, designed by Kara Childress, she positioned a large, round vintage mirror above a rustic wooden bench to serve as a welcoming place to perch in a hallway. The subtle distressing echoes the reclaimed nature of the bench and evokes a sense of nostalgia that's hard to replicate with contemporary mirrors.

'An antiqued wall mirror also serves as a nice, rustic touch,' adds Kathy Kuo, who favors adding mirrors to a gallery wall with vintage art. Experiment with decorating with mirrors by trying asymmetrical arrangements or layering a mirror with other decorative elements to achieve a curated yet eclectic look.

3. Hang faux antlers with pride

rustic seating area with three antler mounts hung on the wall

(Image credit: Kara Childress)

Not just serving as a statement piece of wall decor, antlers are a practical choice too. Working as an alternative to hooks and pegs they can be used to hang items like coats, hats, bags, and more decorative items like wooden breadboards if in a rustic kitchen.

'The simple and organic look of using antlers as wall decor creates the perfect balance between modern and rustic styles,' says Kara Childress of Kara Childress Interiors who designed the space above. 'I love creating layers of antlers on shelving or grouping a few mounts together for a fuller impact.'

Their intricate silhouettes and rugged texture bring a sense of wilderness indoors, creating a lovely balance between rustic beauty and more refined elegance. The organic form and dynamic shapes create a silhouette that commands attention, just be sure to reassure your guests they're faux or responsibly sourced. 

4. Wall plates will work in any room of the house

rustic dining space with exposed brick wall and hanging wall plates

(Image credit: Vaughan Design & Development / Photography Chris Snook)

Not just reserved for kitchen wall decor ideas, wall plates offer a touch of unexpected flair to any room of your home. And they provide a welcome respite from typically straight-edged artwork when looking for things to hang on walls that aren't prints. They effortlessly blend with various design styles, from more traditional cottages to modern farmhouse interiors, adding a touch of whimsy and personality.

'My favorite form of rustic wall decor is an antique or vintage treasure,' agrees Kara Childress. 'From antique mirrors to vintage baking tins and plates, I love finding new ways to creatively display these pieces.'

Whether it's a collection of vintage-inspired plates in muted tones or a single statement piece with bold patterns and motifs, the key is to choose plates that complement the existing decor while adding a layer of intrigue. You can choose to go with a gallery wall-style grouping or showcase one as a standalone piece.

5. Try limewash or a polished plaster finish

rustic vignette with limewashed neutral walls

(Image credit: Mindy Laven / Photography Ryan Garvin)

Aside from wall decor that hangs on your walls, consider adding a finish to your actual walls that will wrap around the entire room. Limewash, an ancient painting technique that involves applying a mixture of lime, water, and natural pigments to walls, creates a subtle, mottled effect that enhances the texture and character of any interior.

Interior designer Mindy Laven recently completed a rustic-style Palm Springs project where she used limewash in the majority of the home. 'I think this gives such a lovely, lived-in feeling,' she says of the space seen above. 'It lends history and gravitas to a home by adding a rustic feeling to the walls. I love working with limewash. It's a very old process that has come back in such a big way. It adds texture and depth of color without standing out too much!'

Reminiscent of centuries-old European villas and countryside retreats, a limewashed or plaster-finished wall creates a soft, weathered look that complements both modern and traditional interiors. From soft neutrals like taupe and beige to more dramatic tones like charcoal and indigo, the key is to choose a hue that harmonizes with the overall color palette of the home while enhancing its natural, imperfect beauty.

6. See wall lights and candle sconces as art

stairs with rustic iron wall sconces

(Image credit: Kara Childress)

Wall lights and sconces play a vital role in setting the mood and ambiance of a room and should be treated with as much importance as hanging artwork. Whether electric or candle-powered, sconces are beautiful decorative accents that help to determine the success of an overall scheme.

From wrought iron sconces with intricate scrollwork to simple lanterns crafted from reclaimed wood or patinated brass, the key is to choose fixtures that enhance the rustic aesthetic. You can incorporate sconces into dining areas, bedrooms, and living rooms to create a sense of warmth and intimacy or, use them to frame mirrors, highlight artwork, or line a staircase. Think strategically about placement to create layers of light that enhance the overall ambiance of the space.

'When considering wall decor options, wall lights are an innovative solution,' says Mara Rypacek Miller, managing director and founder of Industville. 'These pieces function not only as sources of ambient light but also as works of art. Designed with creativity and precision, wall light diffusers can mimic natural patterns, casting shadows and light that animate the room. Their subtle glow can soften a space while highlighting the rustic textures and materials.'

7. Hang wicker baskets and bowls

rustic entryway with upholstered bench and hanging vintage baskets and art

(Image credit: Neptune)

As an alternative to adding plates to your walls, try hanging rattan, wicker, or woven baskets, bags, bowls, and even lanterns for a unique blend of textures. They can be added to hooks at your entryway or hung from open shelving in the kitchen. Either way, they're delightfully rustic and add organic warmth to any space. 

Instead of keeping your collection of woven baskets and bags behind closed doors, consider putting them on display with a hanging rail, hooks, or pegs – they can always be taken down for you to use them when required.

This can be done in a variety of ways with both form and function in mind. Struggling for storage in the boot room or kitchen? Hanging a small vintage shopping basket allows for a neat place to store loose gloves or cloves of garlic. Flowers, foliage, and small plants can also be hung in them for a nature-inspired display in any space, but this works especially well in a guest bedroom to welcome friends and family.

8. Lean up a reclaimed ladder

rustic living room with wall plates and a vintage ladder with a blanket

(Image credit: Cathy Nordström / Photography Fanny Radvik)

A reclaimed ladder leaning against a wall with a cozy blanket draped over its rungs is a quintessential rustic wall decor idea. This charming display, often crafted from salvaged materials, adds a touch of charm while offering a space to display blankets and throws.

Reclaimed ladders are an incredibly versatile piece of decor. Whether you're using them to store and display blankets, hang towels in a bathroom, or showcase plants in a sunroom, they work to create both a practical and decorative vignette. 

In this rustic sitting room, seen above, they've used an eclectic mix of paneling ideas for walls, wall plates, and a vintage ladder accessorized with a vibrant quilt. It's a simple yet genius way to implement the vertical decorating trick which draws your eyes upwards, giving the sense of more height in the room.

However you wish to decorate your walls, know that with these rustic ideas you can be sure to create a warm and welcoming space. Whether you seek out reclaimed art, mirrors, or hanging baskets, let these expert-approved ideas inspire you to start collecting pieces with a storied past. 

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome