Rustic Backyard Ideas

If you love rustic decor, why not carry it outside to your porch, yard, and garden?  Rustic decor works well with so many personal decorating styles, including Tuscan, prairie industrial, Southwestern, log cabin, and Scandinavian. Here are some pro tips for using elements like natural materials, utilitarian pieces, and interesting textures outdoors on your property.

Rustic Decor for the Porch

Planning your porch decor

Whether it’s on the front or the back of your house, the porch is essentially an extension of your home and the perfect place to use rustic decorating ideas. Rustic decor is by nature less formal, so it’s ideal for an outdoor space.

When planning your porch decor, think about the following:

  • How large of a space do you have to work with? (Consider making a scale drawing.)
  • How much do you need to consider weather or bugs?
  • If the weather is an issue, can you change decor with the seasons?
  • Do you have access to an electrical outlet?
  • What style is your home, and how can you carry that through on the porch?

You also want to think about the function and purpose of your porch. Is it a small space where guests can leave their boots and you can display a few holiday or seasonal items? Or is it an additional seating area where you can watch passing neighbors and nature? Will you be serving food or dining there?

Rustic Backyard Decorating Ideas
Rustic Backyard Ideas

Rustic Neutral Rustic Outdoor Area
Photo courtesy of: Simon Callaghan Photography

A serene neutral seating area with rough hewn beams, earth tone seating and plenty of texture.

Outdoor Decoration Ideas

An Enchanted Evening by Casa Smith Designs
Photo courtesy of: Casa Smith Designs

This design allows you to chose just the right “room” for your soiree. Designed for parties large and small, each “room” has a terrific view that leads into the next. Using symmetry and borrowing inspiration from the historical architecture of the home they created a design that is both time period correct and timeless.

This lovely outdoor space has a focused palette.

“Gardens and exterior spaces designed with unified hues create a timeless environment for year-round consistency.  Simple, unified tones enable an eclectic mixing of form, surface, and heritage and period pieces that contrast against severe and organic modern designs.  A singular palette also provides at-whim opportunities for playful injections of color, providing instant variation.

Monochromatic gardens take their cures from nature.  Grey foliage combines with faux bois furniture and accent pieces with weathered patinas.  Rusted iron, oil-rubbed bronze, concrete, natural wood, and rustic glazes blend seamlessly.  The overall styling speaks primarily to a modern craft with a few traditional pieces.” – Christine Best for Issu

Farmhouse Backyard ideas

Farmhouse porches are known for being a welcoming first impression to any home worldwide. Farmhouse decor encompasses a wide range of styles, from early American to French country and everything in between. One thing all these home styles have in common is that they use rough, unfinished surfaces, natural wood, elements of nature, and bits of whimsy to convey an inviting ambiance.

Farmhouse Patio Ideas

Neutral Farmhouse Patio with Rustic Textures
Photo courtesy of: City Girl Gone Mom

A beautifully designed farmhouse patio with outdoor furniture, root outdoor bleached coffee table and decor from Arhaus.

Popular farmhouse items that can be repurposed into tables, planters, lamps, and other decor include:

  • Milk jugs and butter churns
  • Wagon wheels
  • Metal wash tubs
  • Wooden stumps
  • Wine and vegetable crates
  • Industrial spools
  • Antique signs
  • Stained glass windows
  • Wagons and sleds
  • Chalkboards
  • Ladders
  • Barrels
  • Bottles, jugs, and pitchers
  • Baskets
  • Birdhouses
  • Weather vanes
  • Firewood racks
  • Trellises
  • Barnboard

You can easily mix these items with new rustic furniture, vintage items, and antiques to create a space that reflects your unique style. Aim for a combination of textures using materials like wicker, leather, found antlers, galvanized metal, wrought iron, and burlap. Add vintage tea towels, quilts, straw hats — whatever makes it appealing to you. The execution of your designs and arrangement of items can make the decor more sophisticated or down-home, depending on your tastes.

Farmhouse Backyard Ideas
Farmhouse Backyard Ideas

Farmhouse Back Yard
Photo courtesy of: Liz Marie

A warm and inviting farmhouse outdoor living area with comfy white seating and plenty of greenery.

Farmhouse Porch Ideas

Farmhouse Lavender
Photo courtesy of: Mester Gronn

Nothing says ‘farmhouse’ like textural baskets filled with country-fresh florals and pinecones.

Rustic Outdoor Furniture

Your rustic porch furniture choices will depend on a few factors: the weather in your location, how much protection your porch offers, and how long you plan to linger there. If you want a place to stretch out and nap on a lazy weekend afternoon, for example, you’ll want something more comfortable and substantial than willow twig furniture, which is better suited for sharing a glass of iced tea with a friend.

The great thing about rustic design is that unfinished and scratched-up old pieces look great with this style. Your porch furniture can take a bit of a beating and still look fine. If you’re worried about wear and tear or weather damage, you can always add a coat or two of sealer meant for outdoor use.

If your porch has good protection from the elements, you can get away with including many of the same homey touches you find inside, such as lamps, rugs, occasional tables, and artwork. Expert tip: use an antique chest or armoire on your porch, and it can safely house throw pillows, blankets, quilts, and other items you may need to tuck out of the rain or snow.

While you can certainly use furniture sets on your rustic porch, outdoor decorating often succeeds best when it’s less matchy-matchy. Think about other ways to unify your decor, such as through your color palette or style. Your porch is a terrific place to try out furniture you can’t always use inside, like swings, rockers, benches, day beds, hammocks, and settees.

Shop Rustic Furniture
Rustic Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Living Space in Pearland, Texas
Photo courtesy of: Texas Custom Patios

This beautiful outdoor living space was in the works for several years.  Texas Custom Patios created a stunning custom fireplace built with wood holders and a reclaimed beam as the mantle.  Low voltage lighting was installed to accent the large hearth that also serves as a seat as well.  Brick to match the home was used on the new columns as well as cedar wrapped posts.  The flooring is a stained stamped concrete without a pattern.  Such a calming are to have for entertaining outside!

Rustic Outdoor Furniture

Rustic Outdoor Living Space 
Photo courtesy of: Unique Home Stays

A rustic and serene outdoor seating area.

Plants for your porch

Along with the plethora of solid wood, branches, pine wreaths, and other natural materials that work well on a rustic porch, don’t forget to add some living plants. Your porch is the ideal spot to experiment with container gardening. The beauty of gardening in containers is that you can shift things around to catch the sun and the rain and rearrange them as your plants grow.

Don’t just put plants on the floor. Use them at different heights by placing some on tables or hanging them. Just like with your fabrics, vary your textures for interest with some smooth petals and rough stems, as well as different leaf sizes. Another fantastic idea is to add some plants with nice scents on your porch. Potted lavender, jasmine, and gardenia are just a few species that will make your porch, even more, inviting with their wonderful aromas.

You aren’t limited to flowers and green plants; a farmhouse porch is a nice place to plant pots of veggies and herbs too. Expert tip: invest in a heavy-duty plant trolley or two. This will make moving larger plants around much easier, whether you are trying them in different locations on the porch, exposing them to some needed sun, or bringing them inside to winter over with the onset of cold weather.

Rustic Floral Arrangement Ideas

Gorgeous Outdoor Planter
Photo courtesy of: Chris Brown Photography

A vibrant well-designed floral arrangement that adds a bold splash of color to a front porch or backyard seating area.

Rustic Garden Ideas

Container gardening

You can use the same types of potted plants that you have on your porch in your yard, especially if it’s very small or if you don’t want the work of a larger garden. Container gardening is ideal for people who are new to gardening, for experimenting with new species, and for locales where water or rich soil are at a premium.

Containers are also a simple solution when you need a spot of color here or there. They’re perfect for placing at gates and entrances, dark corners of the yard, or along driveways. When you want to change up your garden with seasonal displays, containers make this much easier. You can plant tulips in spring, geraniums in summer, chrysanthemums in fall, and evergreens in winter, all in the same pot.

Do you often find yourself with precious plants you’ve nurtured through warm weather? Having them in a container makes it possible to bring them indoors for wintertime protection, so you can use them outdoors again in the spring. If you start seeds in a container that will be the plant’s future home, you won’t have to transfer seedlings to the ground, which is less work for you and less risk that the plant won’t take root.

Don’t feel limited to using pots from the garden store. With a rustic theme, you can make many found objects into containers:

  • Pitchers
  • Cowboy coffee pots
  • Wine barrels
  • Farm buckets
  • Wash tubs
  • Livestock watering troughs
  • Canoes
  • Broken cane chairs with a basket set in the seat
  • Vintage sinks and bathtubs
  • Old fountains and birdbaths
  • Milk jugs
  • Tractor tires

Your container garden will have the best impact if you group plants together with varying heights and textures. Think about pairing complementary colors of flowers, such as purple and orange, to make both pop.

Water features are also easy to do in containers. You can create your own battery-powered fountains or lily ponds in the same vintage containers that hold plants. The water will attract birds, bees, and butterflies to your yard, as well as provide soothing sounds and visual effects.

Wall of Flowers | Landscaping Ideas

Wall of Flowers for Privacy
Photo courtesy of: Home Talk

Rustic Planter Ideas

Stunning Planter in Fall Tones
Photo courtesy of: Momcrieff

Outdoor Herb Garden

Outdoor Kitchen Garden
Photo courtesy of: Roses & Rust

Troughs as Rustic Planters

Rustic Trough Garden
Photo courtesy of: Cynthia Weber

Baskets as Rustic Planters

Garden Bed in Baskets
Photo courtesy of: Daylesford

Rustic Planter Collection

Rustic Planter Collection

I love this contemporary rustic planter collection – it’s the perfect addition to any rustic home. Each pot is handcrafted of terra cotta and glazed for a sleek finish, giving off a patio-friendly appeal that can transform the space in minutes.

Rustic Farmhouse Planter

Rustic Farmhouse Planter

Highlight favorite botanicals in your garden or patio. The Rustic Farmhouse Planter resembles a vintage wood container but is handcrafted of cast stone. It makes a charming base for greenery and florals, adding instant appeal to any outdoor setting.

Rustic Tiered Waterfall Fountain with Lighting

34″ Tall Rustic Modern Bowl Cascading Waterfall Fountain with LED Lights

This 5-tier waterfall fountain lighted floor statue provides a tranquil and soothing addition to your porch, backyard, or lawn.

Rustic Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Farmhouse Garden Glory
Photograph courtesy of: Clive Nichols Photography


Rustic Backyard Landscaping Ideas

If you are game to expand from containers and explore rustic landscaping in your backyard, you will be equally limitless in your creative options. The same principles outlined above apply when working on a larger scale.

Think about how your backyard is used and plan carefully before planting or hardscaping. You may want to zone your yard for different activities, like pet play, vegetable gardening, sun lounging, and dining. It’s a good idea to measure and sketch out a few plans first, and you’ll find a wealth of ideas online to inspire you along the way. Some favorite rustic landscaping ideas include:

  • Raised flower or vegetable and herb beds in old wooden crates
  • Wagon wheels, old gates, and ladders used to support climbing plants
  • Walkways made of antique stones or reclaimed lumber
  • Stone or pea gravel dry “rivers”
  • Slate stairs and wooden bridges to create different levels
  • Old-fashioned arbors, pergolas, and gazebos
  • Sundials and gazing balls

A rustic garden shouldn’t look too manicured or fussy. Paths are often meandering, and surfaces are rough and weathered. Lawns don’t have to involve the painstaking care of a golf course and instead feature native meadow grasses or tiny farm plants like clover. Take your cue from any of the rustic gardens you’d find around the world, such as the small vineyards of France, the ranches of Montana, or the summer cabins of Scandinavia.

Rustic Outdoor Pergola

Outdoor Retreat in Kingwood, Texas
Photo courtesy of: Texas Custom Patios

This magical freestanding outdoor retreat provided the home owner with the ability to keep their yard full of old growth trees.  It is a total of 424 SF with 2 different rooms. This front room is 280 SF with space for dining, cooking and relaxing.  The outdoor kitchen is equipped with a grill, storage drawers and a refrigerator.  The stone fascia matches the stone at the base of the columns.  The flooring is a stamped concrete with wood bridge plank design.  The second room has a gas fire pit as the central focus, and there is a seat wall for additional seating.

Pergola | Backyard Ideas

Modern Rustic Outdoor Retreat 
Photo courtesy of: Kingwood Renovations

An elegant and sophisticated modern rustic outdoor retreat in soft neutral tones.

Rustic Farmhouse Backyard Ideas

Rustic Texas Farmhouse Retreat
Photo courtesy of: Bevolo Gas & Electric

A rustic, yet refined Texas farmhouse by Architect Michael Imber is adorned throughout the exterior with handcrafted copper lanterns from Bevolo. Airy, light-filled, & set amid ancient pecan and sycamore tree groves, the architect’s use of materials allows the structure to seamlessly harmonize with its surroundings, while Interior Designer Fern Santini’s clever use of texture & patina, bring warmth to every room within. The result is a home built with a true understanding and love for the past.

Log Home Outdoor Ideas

Log home porches

A log home is the epitome of country style that makes a beautiful backdrop for rustic porch decor and rustic gardens. Log homes range from cozy European-style cottages to three-story luxury homes, so there’s plenty of room to adapt rustic decor and landscaping to your personal taste and property size.

Renowned for their stunning porches, log homes offer a special warmth with so much natural wood. You can highlight the qualities of your log home’s wood by using furniture that provides some contrast in color and texture. White, bottle green and red furnishings look particularly sharp on a log home porch.

Other rustic log home porch features you might wish to incorporate include:

  • Rustic-style ceiling fans
  • Antler chandeliers
  • Old-fashioned lantern-style light fixtures
  • Decorative antique flags, oars, and quilts as artwork
  • Braided rugs
  • Stone fireplace or hearth with wood-burning stove
Rustic Backyard Ideas | Log Home Landscaping Ideas

A Rustic Floral Garden in Full Bloom
Photo courtesy of: Rocky Mountain Landscapes

A picture-perfect landscape designed by Rocky Mountain Landscapes with vibrant florals scattered amidst the stone.

Log Home Backyard Ideas

A Refined Rustic Outdoor Living Room
Photo courtesy of: Pearson Design Group

A tranquil outdoor living room with rough hewn furniture, wood flooring and majestic view.

Rustic Outdoor Living Area

Outdoor Lounging Area
Photo courtesy of: HGTV

Log home gardening and landscaping

Like any rustic home, a log home garden should pair well with the property’s style and level of formality. You can carry the log theme into the backyard by using logs in your landscaping, especially if you have leftover wood from the home’s construction. Log ends and stumps can be set in the ground just like pavers to make charming walkways. You can also use logs to fashion:

  • Gazebos, arbors, and sheds
  • Fountains and water features
  • Fencing and gates
  • Borders and edging
  • Raised garden beds
  • Planters (hollowed out)
  • Swings and outdoor seating
  • Outdoor lighting posts
  • House number and name signage

You will love how your log home’s character is carried out into the yard for you and your visitors to enjoy for years to come.

Rustic Outdoor Decorating Ideas

Southwestern Outdoor Area
Photo courtesy of: Robinette Architects

A beautiful Southwestern-style home designed by Robinette Architects.  They are a boutique firm focused on producing unique and creative homes that are responsive to their owner’s lifestyle and respectful of the Sonoran Desert.

Serena & Lily

If you are looking for high quality outdoor patio furniture, Serena & Lily have a stunning selection of outdoor sections, sofas, chairs and dining tables.

I hope this post helps you create the oasis of your dreams! For further rustic outdoor design ideas, check out my article on Log Home Rustic Outdoor Ideas.


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