Rugged Roots

Rustic interior design uses its simplistic roots to create a comfortable, low-fuss home environment.

By Moe Godat 

Design by Courtney St. John Studio

Photography by Gibeon Photography


Rustic Background: Rustic interior design was born from necessity. When travelers set up homesteads far outside city limits, bringing heavy furniture from previous homes and far away stores wasn’t possible. Instead, they crafted much of the furniture themselves or with a local artisan and used local materials. This created a less polished and perfected aesthetic, but created a new brand of comfort and charm.

Celebrating Character: This design style doesn’t rely on clean lines and bright whites! Rather, search for furniture and materials that reflect their origins. For example, embrace the natural knots in wood or the rust that forms on metal accents. These imperfections lend a rugged feel to a space and create a sense of comfort.

Forest Color Scheme: All you have to do to find your rustic color scheme is look to the great outdoors! Forest greens, rich browns and every shade in between evoke a natural and warm feeling. Even better, these colors don’t show everyday dirt as easily!

Natural Accents: If green and brown are overwhelming your space, consider using other natural accent colors to bring depth. Look to colors such as muted reds, blues and blacks to add interest. Aside from wooden pieces, be sure to include metal finishes such as iron, copper or brass for an additional layer of texture.

Comfort is Key: There’s a reason many rustic home designs center around a cozy statement fireplace! Pay attention to rugs, pillows, blankets and furs for added comfort for guests. Warm textiles are especially important in homes with all wood floors, large stone fireplaces and many metal accents.