Rustic theme: Why it’s best for your interiors

Warm neutral colours, soft furnishings and naturally finished wood are some intrinsic characteristics of rustic decor. These physical attributes together create a raw, fuss free and organic environment that makes us feel closer to nature.
BY Nandita Agrawal on August 25, 2020

Warm neutral colours, soft furnishings and naturally finished wood are some intrinsic characteristics of rustic decor. These physical attributes together create a raw, fuss free and organic environment that makes us feel closer to nature. This is the intangible part of the mesmerising rustic theme. The “feel” is what I feel matters the most. If you have the common preconceived notion that rustic decor has to look shabby or completely raw, then I’m about to change your mind. It can look elegant and classy and it can be used to style any place! Intrigued? Read on to find out more.

How to create rustic theme?

The right way to go about this is to decide that you want to go completely rustic or you would prefer to blend rustic theme with another style such as vintage, classic or even contemporary. Yes, it’s possible! The trick here is to start off with a color palette and mood board. Think furnishing materials, wood finishes, wood types, ornamentation such as rattan, bone inlay, woven jute or coir etc. I have created the mood board shown below especially for you. A mood board helps you organise your scattered thoughts and limits your options thereby giving you clarity and cohesion in design. Once you have decided on the key elements, materials and colours the next step is to look for furniture, upholstery and furnishings that match your theme. 

rustic decor mood board furniture kernig krafts
Rustic theme mood-board Courtesy Kernig Krafts

What materials can you use to create it? 

Since rustic theme is all about going natural so solid wood is the preferred choice of material. Other natural materials like stones, coir, jute, linen and cotton blend well with this theme. Reclaimed and sleeper wood are the ideal choices. They have stood the test of time as they have already been in use for years. Reclaimed and sleeper wood look extremely graceful and unique. Furniture made from these woods will not only last you generations but will also be maintenance free. It hardly needs any finishing, just a coat of lacquer and you’re good to go. Their natural beauty is so striking that furniture made from these woods doesn’t need to be enhanced. If you plan to use a different kind of wood then distress finish is also a great option. For a contemporary rustic look, go for a live edge dining table. It will add such a special touch and increase the old world charm of your place manifold.

For upholstery, cotton and linen are the best materials. Textured fabrics, compliment this decoration style to a T. You can also go for subtle prints or woven designs in pastel or neutral colours such as ivory, off white, white, cream, pale blue, ecru, grey and beige, avoid loud colours unless you want one as an accent.  

To keep the look fresh I would suggest that you add either bamboo wicker furniture or some hand carved or woven jute/coir pieces. Hand carving can look glorious with this theme if executed well. A distress finished carved sideboard can make the look rustic boho and a dark stained one can make it classic rustic. Exposed brick walls also add a lot of interest to rustic themed spaces. Remember, too many elements can make you space messy so stick to a few chosen ones and refer your moodpboard when in doubt!

Why should you go for rustic theme?

  • Warm, welcoming feel : Rustic themed spaces have an endearing old world charm. They have such a friendly vibe that anyone would feel instantly at ease when in a living room decorated with the rich, warm colours of this theme. This is primarily because of the materials and color palette. Earthy browns of wood, organic ecru and textured whites almost make you feel nostalgic! 
  • Natural look :  Since this theme is all about using natural materials it gives the space a very organic feel. The furniture is always handmade which adds to the handcrafted, unrefined characteristic of the place. It is a well known fact that being close to nature helps us feel calm and rejuvenated. The serene setting is also the perfect backdrop to display potted plants and classy earthenware. 
Chris Everard The White Company rustic decor kernig krafts
Image via Chris Everard, The White Company
  • Mother Earth Friendly : A rustic themed space looks the best when furnished with reclaimed and/or sleeper wood. You will be thrilled to know that both these woods are sustainable and hence reduce your carbon footprint! Furniture such as coffee table, dining table, chairs, sideboards and cabinets, cupboards etc made from these woods, looks absolutely breathtaking. Both reclaimed and sleeper wood are great investments as they have low maintenance and last decades but to some their cost might seem a little on the higher side. If you look at the big picture, you will feel that the money invested is totally worth it. 

Not too keen on spending big but want a similar look? Mango wood is a wonderful option and it’s sustainable too. It can be beautifully carved and stained to create one of a kind furniture. When you opt for a rustic themed place you also reduce waste which is good for the environment and hence for you and your coming generations. Another way you are doing your future generations a favour by decorating in this style is by choosing solid wood furniture that is eco friendly as compared to engineered wood products that can be carcinogenic and harmful to nature. 

TVCA24260 Aara Finish Mango wood TVC kernig krafts
Aara Finish Mango wood TVC by Kernig Krafts
  • Based on quality and not quantity : When you select pieces such as a woven jute & mango wood bench or a bamboo rattan dining chair you will realise that only a few exquisite furniture items are all you need to create an organic, rustic look. This theme unlike other themes doesn’t need you to stock up on furniture and decor items. Basic furniture, finished minimally but designed carefully is the key to cracking this look. 
  • Can be dressed up or down : The beauty of rustic is that it seamlessly blends with any space. It can be dressed up with chic lamps & lanterns, ottomans, vases, modern art, potted plants, organic sculptures, wooden clocks, wooden frames etc and dressed down by keeping only the bare minimum. The best part is that if you choose to keep only the essentials even then this theme will come together and won’t look incomplete.
rustic decor jacques grange kernig krafts
Rustic decor by designer Jacques Grange. Image courtesy Jacques Grange
  • Suitable for cafés, hotels and residences : This theme can be adapted to decorate a café, bar, bistro and my favourite, hotels! I have had the pleasure of staying in a rustic themed hotel in Bali and trust me it was heaven on earth. There is so much you can do with this theme if you own a hotel. You can create open roof bathrooms, pebbled bathroom floors, concrete walls, wooden room flooring and so much more. If the idea of a rustic themed apartment is too much for you then mix it with another theme or create a rustic themed patio. I am telling you this place will become your favourite nook of the house in no time.  
  • You can get custom made furniture : The furniture is going to be handmade so you can design it and get it custom made. This is such a fun part of interior decoration! Bespoke or custom made furniture is not only unique, it is made using high quality materials and makes your space look so stylish and chic. You get exactly what you want, in the materials you want, with the finishes you want and in the budget you want. What more could you ask for?  Click here to read more about bespoke furniture.                   
carved handmade rustic storage unit kernig krafts
Carved handcrafted rustic look sideboard by Kernig Krafts

Rustic design style is a gem and quite underrated. If it is executed well then you will be showered with compliments every time someone enters your home, bistro, resort, coffee house or farmhouse. For more information and advice about this phenomenal style you can write to me at info@kernigkrafts.com. Hope this article helps you in creating your dream space and it gives you comfort and happiness!

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