Rustic Interior Design Styles

By Interior Designer TRACY SVENDSEN | Published on June 03, 2019 | Updated August 2023

Are you looking to add a touch of warmth and charm to your home? Look no further than rustic interior design styles. With their cozy and inviting atmosphere, these design styles can transform any space into a rustic retreat. Whether you’re a fan of the farmhouse aesthetic, cabin vibe, or vintage or coastal charm, a rustic style will suit your taste. 

This article explores ten rustic interior design styles to inspire you. From exposed wooden beams and distressed furniture to natural materials and earthy color palettes, these styles all embrace the beauty of imperfection and celebrate the simplicity of nature. So, if you’re ready to bring the rustic charm to your home, keep reading to discover the perfect style that will make your space feel like a cozy sanctuary.

Rustic interiors evoke a simpler time and provide a sense of connection to the past that’s hard to resist. Although it’s common to blend different elements of each of the rustic styles, it does help to be able to identify the core aspects of each one.

Rustic interior design is unpretentious, emphasizing organic textures and shapes. It incorporates homespun, timeworn, handcrafted, earthy colors, re-purposed objects, barn-inspired elements, and weathered materials. Rustic style has natural overtones that parallel exterior and interior spaces. While rustic style in its most traditional sense has appeared heavy and dark, a more contemporary approach has emerged that is far more light and fresh. Feature image above courtesy of Locati Architects

Rustic Design Ideas

Rustic Interior Design Styles | Jackson Wyoming Design
Image courtesy of Architectural Digest

The History and Origins of Rustic Interior Design

Rustic interior design has a rich history that dates back to the early days of human civilization. It originated as a way of life for people living in rural areas, focusing on functionality and making the most of available resources. The simplicity and practicality of rustic design soon caught on, becoming a popular style in rural and urban settings.

One of the key elements of rustic interior design is using natural materials. Wood, stone, and other organic materials create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The color palette is typically earthy, with shades of brown, green, and beige dominating the space.

Rustic design also incorporates elements of nature, such as plants, flowers, and natural light. Another characteristic of all rustic interior design styles is the celebration of imperfections. Distressed furniture, exposed wooden beams, and rough-hewn finishes are all standard features of rustic spaces. These imperfections add character and charm to the design, giving it a unique and lived-in feel.

Rustic interior design has evolved, incorporating influences from different cultures and design movements. Today, various rustic styles cater to different tastes and preferences. Let’s explore some of these styles in more detail.

1. Log Cabin & Lodge Design

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, rustic cabin style might be the perfect choice. Inspired by log homes and mountain retreats, this style embraces the rugged beauty of nature. Rustic cabin interiors are cozy and inviting, focusing on warmth and comfort.

Log cabin style in design refers to a rustic and traditional architectural style often associated with cabins or cottages in rural areas. This style typically features a simple and symmetrical design, with a rectangular or square shape and a gabled roof.

The exterior of log cabins is often made of logs, which provides a natural and earthy feel. The interior typically features exposed logs, timber, and stone or brick accents. Log cabin style is often used in vacation homes, hunting lodges, and other rustic settings.

The log cabin and lodge design style combines the rural charm of mountain living with natural elements, natural fabrics, and weathered metals. Try layering warm colors, patterns, textures, vibrant quilts, warm cabin rugs, and leather to achieve this look.

Rustic charm is about retaining a natural look and works well with handcrafted, rough-hewn wood, organic materials, and wrought iron. Create a color palette inspired by nature using subtle browns, greens, reds, and sandy tones to give the interior space an earthy and rustic feel.

Get the lodge look by pairing rich leather with rustic wood elements and classic tartans. Look for earth-toned accessories, earthenware containers, colorful quilts, and lodge-style lamps.

Opt for a wooden bed frame, cozy flannel bedding, and warm lighting to create a cabin-style bedroom. In the living room, choose comfortable seating like leather sofas and armchairs, and add plush rugs and throw blankets for extra comfort. Complete the look with rustic accessories like antler chandeliers and vintage signs.

Rustic Log Cabin & Lodge Design Ideas
Rustic Log Cabin & Lodge Design Ideas

Rustic Interior Design Styles | Rustic Cabin & Lodge Design
Image courtesy of Jake Arnold Design

2. Modern Rustic Design

For those who prefer a more contemporary and refined look, rustic modern style might be the perfect choice. Inspired by the fusion of rustic and modern design, this style combines natural elements with sleek and clean lines. Rustic modern interiors are characterized by their sophisticated and timeless feel, focusing on quality and craftsmanship.

In a modern-style interior, you’ll often find a mix of natural materials like wood and stone with sleek finishes like glass and metal. The color palette is typically neutral, with shades of gray, white, and black creating a minimalist and refined look. Rustic modern kitchens often feature sleek cabinetry, quartz countertops, and high-end appliances.

To create a rustic modern-style bedroom:

  1. Opt for a platform bed with a leather or upholstered headboard, crisp white bedding, and minimal accessories.
  2. In the living room, choose streamlined seating like leather sofas and armchairs, and add modern accessories like abstract artwork and metallic accents.
  3. Remember to incorporate natural textures like wool and linen to add warmth and depth to the space.

Modern rustic design combines old-world elements with contemporary ones and works best when presented in minimalist arrangements. This style combines the warmth and charm of a rural home with the style and convenience of a modern dwelling. It provides the best of two words, allowing homeowners to create an eclectic space that reflects individual personality.

Modern rustic design often incorporates natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal, neutral colors, and simple, clean lines. The result is a cozy, inviting, stylish, and functional space. Whether you’re looking to create a rustic-inspired living room, bedroom, or kitchen, modern rustic design offers endless possibilities for creating a timeless and contemporary space.

Incorporating honed, hammered, distressed finishes and objects into the space elevates a modern, rustic room. Add miscellaneous items such as industrial décor, bold kilim patterns, natural wood finishes, dark leather chairs, reclaimed furniture, and ottomans to achieve a modern rustic approach.

Key elements of a modern rustic space are an open floor plan, exposed natural architectural elements, and modern furniture. The color scheme is generally simple and evokes an informal elegance.

Modern Rustic Interior Design Style

Modern Rustic Interior Design
Photo courtesy of AMB Design

Modern Rustic Decorating Ideas

Modern Rustic Dining Room
Photo courtesy of: Brownstoner

In the Clinton Hill apartment of jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato, original details meet vintage furniture and vibrant textiles to make a home that feels both classic and contemporary. The apartment is filled with a collection of artwork and objects picked up by Fortunato on her trips abroad, many of which have ended up in the designer’s line of lifestyle and home goods recently curated with her twin sister and business partner Kathryn.

3. Rustic Industrial Design

For those who prefer a more edgy and urban look, rustic industrial style might be the perfect choice. Inspired by old factories and industrial spaces, this style combines rustic elements with raw and unfinished materials. Rustic industrial interiors are characterized by their natural and gritty aesthetic, focusing on functionality and practicality.

You’ll often find exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and metal accents in a rustic industrial interior. Natural palettes are used, combining a mix of grays, neutrals, and rustic colors. Most industrial spaces incorporate weathered wood, exposed brick, concrete, and industrial lighting fixtures.

Mechanical components in lighting are often reminiscent of steampunk culture. Floor lamps with metal finishes fit well with this style. Rustic industrial kitchens often feature stainless steel appliances, concrete countertops, and open shelving.

To create a rustic industrial bedroom, opt for a metal bed frame, industrial-inspired lighting, and a mix of textures like leather and metal. Choose a comfortable sofa in the living room with a distressed leather finish and add vintage-inspired accessories like steamer trunks and metal storage bins.

The aim is to create a functional, practical, and visually appealing space. It is a great way to add a touch of modernity and sophistication to any home or commercial space. Industrial interior design is an excellent option for creating a cozy living room or a modern office space. Rugs are faded or combine dark tones rather than being vibrant or having geometric patterns. Large sectionals help close off larger spaces and help divide the living areas.

Industrial Style Design

Gorgeous Modern Rustic Downstairs Bar Area
Image courtesy of: Jauregui Architects

Industrial Interior

Loft 9b By Dimitar Karanikolov
Image courtesy of: Home DSGN

Industrial Design Ideas | Rustic Interior Design Styles

Industrial Design in a New York City Loft
Photo courtesy of Kathy Kuo Home

Vintage and American industrial furniture from Kathy Kuo Home.  Stemming from the Industrial Revolution, this look combines exposed brick, reclaimed wood tables, leather sofas, and metal furniture—all in nature’s homey palette. It’s bold, refined, and functional for the whole family.

4. Southwestern Design | Rustic Interior Design Styles

Southwestern interior design draws inspiration from the desert landscapes of the American Southwest and often blends Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences. As with most rustic styles, Southwestern design features wood, earthy colors, texture, wrought iron, handcrafted furniture, and terracotta.

This style often incorporates adobe walls, wooden beams, and wrought iron accents. Southwestern design also features traditional Native American patterns and motifs, such as geometric shapes and bold colors. Southwestern interior design’s overall look and feel are cozy, comfortable, and inviting.

Colorful textiles such as sturdy woven fabrics, suede, and leather add vibrancy to the space. The colors used reflect hues found in nature. Mix graphic weavings with calico and plaid, soft leather, and natural hides. 

Take color cues from the vibrancy of the sunset, cactus flower blooms, and the eye-popping colors of Mexican art, or go subtle with shades from the desert, the prairie, or gentle mountain valleys. Southwestern décor is natural and warm with a hint of rugged appeal. Wrought iron, hand-painted pottery, and sculptures are typical decorative accents – Terra cotta tiles or light wood flooring help to achieve this look.

This style uses found objects like horseshoes, antlers, saddles, and other rustic paraphernalia. Furniture is upholstered in leather with extra details like fringe and nail head trim, but it is also regularly covered in thick, hand-woven wool textiles. Cowboy memorabilia from the 1950s adds a whimsical touch.

Decorate with throw pillows and blankets in cactus green, terracotta, rust, blues, bright reds, and yellows for a Southwestern outdoor oasis.

Rustic Interior Design Styles | Southwestern Decorating Ideas

Southwestern Interior Design Style
Image courtesy of Architectural Alliance

5. Farmhouse Design | Rustic Interior Design Styles

One of the most popular rustic interior design styles is the farmhouse style. Inspired by traditional farmhouses, this style combines rustic elements with modern sophistication. Farmhouse style is characterized by its warm and welcoming atmosphere, focusing on comfort and functionality.

You’ll often find exposed wooden beams and reclaimed wood furniture in a farmhouse-style interior. The color palette is typically neutral, with shades of white, cream, and beige creating a light and airy feel. Rustic farmhouse kitchens often feature open shelving, farmhouse sinks, and large wooden dining tables.

Farmhouse design is comfortable and cozy, incorporating vintage accessories, handcrafted furniture, and an eclectic mix of fabrics, textures, and treasured possessions. Use vintage textiles, family heirlooms, simple furniture, antiques, and down-to-earth accessories.

Fabrics on sofas and chairs are usually solid white or cream, accented with pillows and throws with floral themes, stripes, checks, or plaid. Add wooden crockery, plenty of baskets, and pottery. Farmhouse furniture is characterized by distressed wood, upholstered linen, and large scale. Add lots of greenery, carefully arranged pots and vases, and planters to stylize your home.

To create a farmhouse-style bedroom:

  1. Opt for a wrought iron bed frame, vintage-inspired bedding, and cozy textiles.
  2. In the living room, choose a comfortable sofa with soft, natural fabrics and add decorative throw pillows for a cozy touch.
  3. Remember to incorporate natural elements like plants and flowers to bring the outdoors inside.
Rustic Interior Design Styles