Modern Rustic Decor

Combine old-world elements with contemporary design to create modern rustic appeal throughout your home.

white kitchen

Modern rustic decor brings warmth to monochromatic spaces, adds timeless profiles to contemporary designs, and allows homeowners to create eclectic spaces that reflect their personalities. When smartly selected and properly placed, modern rustic decor fashions breezy spaces that enhance today's lifestyles while establishing charming looks sure to endure for ages to come. Here's a look at how you can use weathered and refined furnishings, fixtures, and finishes to create modern rustic spaces.

Materials Matter

Spacious Master Bath

Think honed, hammered, and distressed when selecting finishes and fittings to create a room that's both modern and rustic. This spa-like bath presents a classic material, Carrara marble, in high-impact ways. A statuesque trough sink crafted of honed marble sits atop a wood base, while the same type of marble appears as tidily aligned tiles in the shower and behind the tub. The bathtub is copper, and its shape feels very today, while the wood floor sports a natural finish that highlights imperfections and grain patterns.

Unfussy Silhouettes


Modern rustic decor works best when presented in minimalist arrangements that allow individual elements to be seen and appreciated. In this eating area, beamed ceilings sound a rustic note echoed by a handsome farm table and a noteworthy wide-plank floor. A fashion-forward light fixture provides a progressive profile in tune with the style of curvaceous white chairs and an abstract painting that adds understated color and pattern to the mix.

Smart Designs


Nothing says modern better than rooms that present familiar forms in unexpected ways. In this casual eating area, a wood-clad ceiling and lighter limestone floor bookend a picnic-like trestle table and wicker chairs boasting gray-washed finishes. A streamlined hearth sits at eye level so the warmth can be enjoyed by everyone at the table. The light fixture's bright white shade in a modern shape stands out against the rustic finishes.

Playing with Angles


A variety of geometric shapes and architectural details create rooms that please on every level. Vaulted ceilings outfitted with reclaimed wood beams heighten interest, while also making way for tall modern windows. Round mirrors and a circular chandelier soften the room's harder wood surfaces, including a timber mantel that ties to the ceiling beams and echoes the window details. Orange furnishings and art pieces on the mantel introduce a punch of vibrant color.

Point, Counterpoint

Decorating Gallery

In this living room, a brick fireplace and a barn door on a heavy iron track contribute rustic dimension in modern ways. Teal paint on the door and white and black paint on the fireplace update the classic structures. The colorful finishes convert the functional features into focal points that further the room's color scheme and complement natural wood floors, sleek metal furnishings, and a stone-top table.

Unexpected Touches


Think yin-and-yang when fusing finishes and fabrics. Here, gray-washed beams, exposed rafters, and wood-clad ceilings and walls supply an airy (but still rustic) framework that showcases posh fabrics and glitzy accessories. A capiz-shell chandelier surprises and delights, while casting a glow across a table dressed in a vintage cloth. A velvet-clad bench provides a plush counterweight to chairs wearing informal linen slipcovers while staying in tune with a traditionally upholstered bench on the opposite side of the table.

Contemporary Colors

Cottage Cabinets

Celery green and aqua blue--who knew they could work so well in a country scullery? When you want rustic to read modern, weave in on-trend colors that pop against rough-hewn woods and shiplap walls. Stained concrete countertops and old-fashioned bin pulls keep these base cabinets from feeling too contemporary. An aqua blue finish does the same for the range and range hood, which combine with green cabinets to give the kitchen an unfitted look and collected character.

Harmonious Rhythms

Modern Rustic bedroom

Organic materials and man-made fittings collaborate to create appealing bedrooms. In this old-world bedroom, concrete floors, rock-clad walls, white-painted woodwork, and glossy ceilings supply an engaging medley of raw and polished finishes. Sheer bed curtains, a striped headboard, patterned pillows, and a formal chaise give the rustic bedroom flair. A cowhide rug, hay rake, and ladder-like structure by the windows supply barnyard character in an understated manner.

Fine-Tuned Forms


Rethinking, repurposing, and recycling are key to designing modern rooms with rustic appeal. Look closely at the wood beams and lantern-like fixtures in this kitchen; the traditional elements present weighty designs in surprisingly streamlined shapes. The beams seem to float across the room's upper reaches, while pairs of pendants provide both ambient and task lighting in interesting ways. Contemporary barstools, a pendant wearing a classic drum shade, and wicker chairs at the table bring city-chic silhouettes to a kitchen that offers a fresh take on farmhouse style.

Go Gray


Continuing its reign as a favorite neutral, gray makes a fine starting point for rooms that showcase the best of yesterday and today. This monochromatic bathroom impresses with a backsplash that employs barn boards instead of tile. The medium gray backsplash gives way to a charcoal-color countertop that caps a sleek floating vanity rendered in pearly gray lacquer. Attend to the details, mixing in accessories from different periods. Note how the contemporary sconces and textural baskets work together to reinforce this bath's modern-rustic leanings.

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