Rustic Living Rooms
Have you seen all of those gorgeous images of rustic living rooms with beautiful views, cozy furniture, a roaring fire and warm lighting and wondered how do the designers do it?
This article features inspirational rustic living rooms, from traditional and modern rustic to farmhouse, Southwestern and log home great rooms. View stunning images with tips on how to achieve a similar look in your own home. From the furniture choices to the accents, this is how to take a trend and personalize it to your own vision.
Rustic Living Room Ideas
The best rustic living rooms combine quality and function and boast the correct architectural details. From exposed wood ceiling beams, to stone fireplaces and hard wood flooring. This sets the foundation of a rustic retreat. The next step is comfy furniture and the right mixture of textures and materials, as well as cozy layers such as pillows and knit throws.
Rustic living rooms can still embody grace and elegance. The image above shows the living room in the Rothchild’s French ski chalet, designed by architect Alain Mazza and decorated by Nathalie Oddo and Anne Gernez. The sofa is by Caravane, the cocktail tables are by Sempre, and the armchairs are from a Paris flea market. The space is brimming with light and open-ended rooms that treats the architecture as an equal.
Rows of picture windows overlook the celestial panorama. The warmth and simplicity of the design is born of respect: In an environment such as this, imbued with enough natural beauty to impress the Rothschilds, it’s best to let Mother Nature’s landscaping be the center of attention.
Image courtesy of: Elle Décor
Before I get into covering elements of a rustic living room, here are some basic principles in living room design.
Create Conversation Areas
The layout of the furniture should encourage conversation. Guests shouldn’t have to raise their voices to talk, so its important to keep a reasonable distance between seating. Arranging seats side-by-side and slightly facing each other allows for open communication.
Image courtesy of: Locati Architects
With the focal point being the fireplace, this living room looks like the perfect place to enjoy a great conversation. The furniture looks very comfortable and the bench provides extra seating.
Image courtesy of: Locati Architects
Located in front of the large expanse of window with a stunning view of the mountains, the designer placed an additional seating area. This would be perfect for two people to reflect on the beauty of nature together.
Image courtesy of: Architectural Digest
In a large great room, you don’t need to limit yourself to creating only one conversation, especially if you do a lot of entertaining. An additional intimate conversation space can be created simply by setting two sofas back to back.
Don’t Forget the Flow
It’s important to think about the traffic flow and how you want to enter and leave the room. Furniture placement should ensure that there aren’t any unintentional traps. The general rule of thumb is to provide approximately 1’-6” between the sofa and coffee table. This also applies if chairs are located across from the table. For other large pieces in the room, you can leave approximately 2’-6” to 3’-0” as space for traffic flow.
There is adequate room for the home-owners and guests to freely move around the space. The two chairs are curved inwards to promote conversation, and an accent table has been provided for beverages or books.
Image courtesy of: Katahdin Cedar Log Homes
Take Note of Scale
No two living rooms are the same, but there are some guidelines in the selection of furniture. Larger rooms are perfect for large pieces but stick to small-scale furniture in smaller spaces. Play around with different configurations until your find the perfect arrangement for your own family.
The image above shows a beautifully designed living room with a sectional and two chairs. The scale of the furniture creates a living room with balance and symmetry.
Image courtesy of: Locati Architects
Pay Attention to Proportion
Proportion is a key element of interior design. As living rooms are a place that people gather, it’s important to address. A designer tip is to incorporate the 60-30-10 rule to achieve balance and harmony in any room in the home. Have you ever taken note of a living room where everything just seamlessly comes together? When you understand the Golden Ratio, it becomes clear how this worked into the design.
All interior design elements have an interplay. This design rule applies to everything from incorporating color, to furniture placement within a room. For example, furniture should take up no more than 60% of the floor space to prevent the room from looking visually incomplete. Higher than 60% and the room can feel overdone and crowded.
The rule also works as a guide to choosing your color palette. With the 60-30-10 rule, it suggests that to create a beautifully balanced space, 60% of should be a dominant color. This is generally applied in areas such as walls and flooring. This is followed by a secondary color, which takes up to 30% of the space, and is usually used for furniture. The remaining 10% is the accent color and is used in the décor.
In the image above, the predominant color chosen by the designer is white, the secondary color is shades of brown and the accent color is gray. All elements in this sophisticated living room work to create a warm, relaxing and inviting space. It’s also another example of the importance of layering and incorporating texture and pattern.
Image courtesy of: Marie Flanigan Interiors
How to Design Rustic Living Rooms
Incorporate Plenty of Wood
Rough-hewn wood beams instantly add rustic charm while adding architectural interest. Wood beams can be used to frame ceilings, delineate doorways. They also work well to surround fireplaces and windows. Wood that reveals its beautiful imperfection with knots and grains are the perfect addition to a rustic living room. From flooring to furniture to home décor, wood adds warmth and country charm. Reclaimed wood furniture makes a great addition and adds natural beauty. Reclaimed wood features variations inherent to salvaged materials such as a rustic distressed finish, visible nailheads and knots.
Choose Natural Elements
Rustic spaces connect us with nature, and natural elements such as wood, stone, cotton, leather and seagrass are the perfect complement to a rustic-style living room. Choose natural elements that reflect your own style.
Rustic interior design is unpretentious, emphasizing organic textures and shapes. It incorporates items that are homespun, timeworn and handcrafted as well as earthy colors, re-purposed objects, barn-inspired elements and weathered materials.
Bring in Natural Sunlight
Natural daylight can transform a space. Architects and designers have been using natural daylight for centuries in their designs. Natural light allows you to create a space that feels larger, and it keeps color looking deeper and more pleasing to the eye.
The image above is the modern farmhouse home belonging to Film Director Shawn Levy, and is situated in New York. Bonetti/Kozerski Studio renovated the New Paltz, New York, residence of Los Angeles–based filmmaker. The living room features a sofa and cocktail and end tables by Restoration Hardware. In another view of Levy’s living room, French doors open to the terrace. The Sergio Rodrigues leather armchairs are from Espasso, the woven blanket is by Calvin Klein Home, and the floor is paved with Italian limestone.
Image courtesy of: Architectural Digest
Image courtesy of: Jobe Corall Architects
Feel Free to Combine Styles
There are many different rustic styles, and it’s perfectly fine to take different design elements from each of them. From traditional rustic design to modern rustic, industrial, farmhouse and Southwestern – each style has natural overtones that creates a parallel between exterior and interior spaces.
Be Sure to Add Plenty of Layers
A rustic living room should be warm and inviting. Effective layering includes everything from textiles (pillows, area rugs, throws), lighting (overhead, table lamps, ambient features), furniture (sofas, chairs, coffee tables, accent tables), wall hangings (artwork, mirrors, photos), wall treatments (paint, wallpaper) and décor (vases, floral arrangements, books). All of this works to create a cohesive design, especially in a rustic home. It’s important to anchor the furniture with area rugs that will define the seating area. It’s also a perfect way to introduce color and texture.
Plants are also a great way to add warmth to a space. For those who travel often, or struggle with keeping plants thriving, faux plants can be a good alternative. I recently ordered three faux plants after spending hours reading hundreds of customer reviews. I chose the three in the images below as almost everyone wrote that it was very difficult to tell that they weren’t real. I have received the Ficus, and loved it so much, I placed an order for another. The other plants will arrive later on in the month.
This is the Ficus tree that I ordered and received. It looks gorgeous in a plant stand that I bought from Crate & Barrel. It looks great as is, but I needed a plant for the stand that I had purchased several months ago. I bought faux moss and used it to cover the top of the basket that was visible. What I really like is that the leaves don’t look fake on either side.
This the second tree I ordered. It won’t be delivered until December 19th, and I will provide an update then. Again, spectacular reviews on the plant, although a few people commented that although they love this item, it wasn’t as tall as they expected. The dimensions read as 68″ high.
I have a feeling this will be my favorite purchase. I love the hammered silver pot, and the reviews say it looks so realistic that one might think it needs to be watered. It’s a bit expensive for a smaller plant, but many wrote it was worth the cost. I ordered 2 – one for the console in the entrance way, and another for the master bedroom.
Faux Ficus in Plant Stand
Here’s how my Artificial Ficus Tree looks in the Wesley Large Metal Plant Stand. Plant stands are the perfect way to elevate houseplants and look beautiful when a multilevel display is created by grouping other plant stands of various heights.
You can see the basket is coming up a little high on the brass pot. I just set this up today, and plan on adding a bit of faux moss to the base to level it out over the weekend. It does need a little leaf adjusting and has a height of 48″.
Add in Rustic Accessories
Accessories provide the opportunity to infuse the room with elements of your chosen design style. The pack a powerful visual impact. Given that rustic spaces revolve around natural materials, bring in decorative pieces that complement rustic design.
I recently created a page on the Canadian Log Homes website called Cozy Home Decor, that has a beautiful selection of area rugs, throws, lighting and home decor that are perfect for log homes and rustic spaces. If you’d like to check it out for inspiration, here’s the link: Cozy Home Decor
Here are a few of my favorite items on the list:
The Faris Ceramic Table Lamp was crafted by skilled artisans in a women-owned factory. Variations along the edges and subtle markings add a subtle antique feel and make each lamp one of a kind.
Chunky yarn makes a statement throw that’s extra stylish and extra cozy, yet surprisingly light and soft.
Crafted by hand, these ceramics bear the gentle distressing of the artisan who made them. Fill with fresh or faux botanicals and branches. I fill mine with faux autumn branches and leaves in the Fall, and red berry and pine branches during the Christmas holidays.
With unrivaled softness, this best-selling collection is what faux fur dreams are made of. The short, dense pile takes on a more modern look, and feels alluring when styled on a sofa or armchair.
Solid rattan contrasts with the textural body, shaping a decorative rim and handles. The underlying metal frame helps keep the basket sturdy even when filled.
Light and fluffy, the fine, plush pile has the look and feel of genuine sheep’s wool. The fleecy texture reverses to a sheared side that you’ll love to cuddle up under. I received this as a Christmas gift last year, and it looks fabulous draped over the sofa. It also has a great weight to it – perfect for cuddling up in on chilly nights.
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