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 19 inspirational rustic living room, 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 | Canadian Log Homes

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.

Color and pattern are mostly elided in favor of unvarnished wood planks that create a unifying, earthy palette. 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.

Rustic Living Room Design Ideas

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

Rustic Design Ideas

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

Furniture Arrangement in a Living Room

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

Log Home Great Room Ideas

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.

Log Home Living Room Ideas

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

How to Design a Rustic Great Room

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

Modern Rustic Living Room by Marie Flanigan

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

Roger Wade Studio | Log Home Living Room

How to Design Rustic Living Rooms

There are many different rustic interior design styles, from farmhouse to Southwestern and country. Here are a few tips that work in many forms of rustic design.

Log Home Great Room | Locati Design

Image courtesy of: Locati Architects

Log Home Living Room | Roger Wade Studio

Image courtesy of: Roger Wade Studio

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.

Natural Elements in Rustic Home Design

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.

Rustic Living Rooms
Rustic Living Rooms

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

Rustic Living Rooms
Rustic Living Rooms
Southwestern Living Room

Image courtesy of: Jobe Corall Architects

Elegant Farmhouse Living Room

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.

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.

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