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Essential Design Tips for a Rustic Style Living Room

There’s something warm and inviting about interiors with a rustic edge, which is one of the main reasons why this particular décor style is so popular today. The combination of dark wooden features, mixed with rich colours and traditional details gives an overall austere look that adds great character to any room. Rustic décor is both timeless and classic, as well as very easy to incorporate into your own home. By following these simple yet effective design tips, you’ll have your own rustic style living room that’s homely and cosy.

Bold Wooden Features

The main element that really emphasises the rustic feel within this décor style is dark wood. You often find that oak is the most popular material to use within rustic décor, with its deep colour and unique character. There are many different ways in which you can incorporate oak into your interiors and when it comes to rustic décor, you can never really have too much oak. One of the most popular ways to introduce oak into the décor is through the flooring. Dark, solid oak flooring is the perfect way to set the tone within the room, creating a bold base for you to dress with stunning rustic oak furniture and richly coloured finishing touches. Not only will the oak flooring stand out and look the part, but it is also durable and easy to maintain.

Introduce Antiques

Rustic interiors are well known for their shabby chic feel and distressed finishes, which is why bringing in antiques is so beneficial to this trend. Antique furniture is always going to carry a distressed, tired look that will enhance your rustic décor and make the room feel warm and homely. You often find that wooden furniture pieces are ideal for rustic décor, especially oak tables, sideboards and even dressers that may have scratches or dents from general wear and tear. These slight faults in the material add extra character and show just how much the piece has experienced throughout the years. You can also look at other antique pieces such as candelabras, vintage mirrors and books from previous generations that will really add to the overall look and feel of the room.

Essential Design Tips for a Rustic Style Living Room

Nice and Natural

Whilst rich, dark materials are ideal for the furniture and bolder features within the room, introducing lighter, natural materials help to add a more homely, personal touch. Using items such as throws, cushions, rugs and curtains to finish off the room is perfect as it creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Materials such as leather, faux fur, linen and burlap work really well and are also really comfortable for living areas. Accessorising your furniture, such as a soft leather sofa, with a thick throw and a stylish cushion will create the perfect spot to sit back and relax, there are plenty of ways to create rustic oak furniture, even if you start off with pieces that don’t seem old or distressed.

Lighting Options

When it comes to selecting the lighting for your rustic style living room, there are so many different options to choose from. Rustic living areas are often much darker in order to create that cosy, warm feel. Allow as much natural light to filter through the room as possible, as this will help keep the décor fresh and bright throughout the daytime. Introducing plenty of lamps around the room will help to keep a nice balance of light throughout the room once the sun has gone down, as the darker colours used for this décor style and result in the room feeling darker than normal.

Warm Touches

One of the first thing many people think of when they imagine rustic décor is grand open fires and candles dotted around an oak filled room. Introducing a log burning stove or fireplace to your living area will certainly help to enhance the rustic feel, as well as make the room really cosy and relaxing. You can also look at adding some candles to the room, which will help keep the atmosphere warm and welcoming.

What is your top tip for making a place look more rustic?


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This article has 64 comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I love it! I’ve always adored that rustic style, but it’s not as easy to pull off as it looks. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Mars

    Rustic design matches my personality I guess. This is what I want my living room to look like. I love it!

  3. Jeanette

    I like the rustic look. I think my favorite thing is the barn doors they make everything look so pretty. I’ll definitely take a couple of these tips to decorate my house.

  4. Rosie Corriette

    Whilst my style at home is all white i’m a big fan of playing with textures to help give a room a rustic/cozy feel. For me this means layered throws positioned throughout the house and baskets of logs…

  5. Deborah Nicholas

    I love wooden furniture, my style is modern shabby chic!

  6. Terri Beavers

    I really love a rustic style. I’m going to see if I can’t use some of your ideas to include some rustic pieces in my apartment.

  7. Becca Talbot

    I love these tips Sarah – thanks for sharing. The rustic, countryfied look is exactly how I want my living room to be (as soon as I find a house to buy!) x

  8. Ali Rost

    I grew up on an Iowa farm and love anything rustic. In fact, my father is a woodworker and has made a few pieces out of reclaimed barnwood. The cool thing with this kind of look too is that anything goes as far as accessorizing. Fun post .. made me smile to think back

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      Oh wow I bet that was an amazing place to grow up and how cool your father is a woodworker, I can imagine he has made some lovely things.

  9. Ana De- Jesus

    I am a fan of rustic decor and I like what you said when you stated that you don’t have to buy distressed decor. Mixing textures like burlap and oak is a good idea x

  10. Elodie

    I definitely agree that rustic details give that “homely” feeling to a place, which is probably why my parents went for something similar in our family home. I have to say, I love all the natural materials and textures they used. It’s just so cosy.

  11. Karissa @WithOurBest (@withourbest)

    I like your ideas! I feel like you know what will make a room go together. I need a lot of help decorating!

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      It can be hard working it all out can’t it, I have to admit in reality I have a bit of mismatch as I just pick bits I like rather than bits that go together.

  12. Marysa

    I love a more rustic look. We have a lot of natural colors and wood fits well into our theme. I also want to get some decor kind of like those wood letters that are in the first picture.

  13. Jessica

    I love that rustic style.Its so lovely,natural and homely.Thanks for sharing this .

  14. Kelly Hutchinson

    I am a sucker for rustic decor. And I agree about the fire in the fireplace. There is nothing like it and it does bring rustic to mind.

  15. Joely Smith

    Totally agree with you – especially on the warmer lighting. This is how we decorate our home!

  16. Jennifer

    These are some great tips that I am working on doing in our home. Our bedroom is done but we have the rest of the house to go

  17. Heather

    I didn’t think I’d like rustic. I like it with pops of white. I think the chair next to the door looks really nice.

  18. Dogvills

    I love the rustic style. It’s warm and cozy. Thanks for sharing these tips with us.

  19. ricci

    Rustic is really in right now and I love all of these tips! Great post!!

  20. MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    I totally agree with having wood. We have oak floors and they really do stand out and look beautiful. The rustic look is great I do love it myself.

  21. danik

    Loving these rusty desgins. Really goes well with oak 🙂

  22. Karlyn Cruz

    Rustic style is really unique, I love your living room. It looks so cozy and great designs.

  23. Victoria Heckstall

    I’m planning to change my living room style to rustic style, starting from the floor will change it in a oak woods to stand out the beauty of rustic style.

  24. Jenni

    I love rustic style houses! But I don’t think I could do it at mine, it’s a bit too modern

  25. Bradley C Finnearty

    My wife is always going for the Rustic look. This is such a great post about making your home rustic. I am going to point her to this one. She will love it.

  26. Michelle Waller

    We are redoing our living room/ dining room with a rustic feel. We just got our first piece and it is so gorgeous. I love your design tips.

  27. Stephanie Merry

    I do love rustic designed rooms, i’m in the process of moving into a new place at the moment and plan to have quite a rustic feel to the place. Thanks for the tips! x

  28. Rose Cottrill

    I always admire country style homes. The rustic look is very appealing to me.

  29. Melanie

    For me bold wood and antiques are a great choice, can look so good when done right 🙂 x

  30. Vicky

    I love the rustic look because it is so cozy and comfortable. Especially in winter I am always cold and rustic touches just make a room feel warmer.

  31. Donna

    Ah some great ideas here! My lounge is modern and sleek which I love but then I really appreciate walking into a lovely rustic, cosy room too!

  32. uprunforlife

    I am not good at decorating. We have a hodge podge of living room furniture at the moment. It works though. I would love to invest in some new furniture but it is on the back burner.

  33. Whatlauraloves

    Rustic wooden furniture is absolutely ESSENTIAL for a rustic style living room! xxx

  34. Stephanie Cummings

    There are so many great accessories out there atm, i need to rein myself in. We’re currently in the process of decluttering my grans house for sale and it’s making me want to live a minimal lifestyle and get rid of everything i own, but yet i find myself buying little ornaments to make things cosy!!!

  35. Natalie

    You can never go wrong with wood to get that rustic feel. Adding antiques also adds to the overall vibe as you say!

  36. shannon ritchie

    When I eventually have my own house, I want to decorate it with a rustic theme! I love antiques 🙂

  37. francesca

    This is lovely!! I also think that dar woods are essential to rustic style living. and yes to log fires!!! I love them and they are so lovely in a living room setting!

  38. Lynndee

    I have always loved a rustic styled living room because it’s warm and cozy. And allowing as much natural light in a room is a must for me.

  39. Tim B

    I really like this look for a room. Some very nice tips that I’ll keep in mind next time we are redecorating.

  40. Hayley

    I’d love a rustic living room one day, they’re always so cosy looking!

  41. Laura Findlay

    I love the rustic look. Thanks for the tips x

  42. Amanda Botterill

    great ideas, now to make my hubby love them too!

  43. Dani

    I can’t wait to own my own home so I can create a cosy living room with big sofas and an open fire 🙂

    Dani x

  44. Yaya

    I always admire when a house is done up properly in a rustic style. I’m not a fan of it in my own home, but there’s something so lovely and cosy about seeing it done well. x

  45. Jeni Hawkins

    I have always loved the rustic style. I really want to incorporate it into my house somewhere!

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