What Is Rustic Chic Decor?

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Rustic chic decor is a big trend right now, and it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. But what exactly is rustic chic, and how can you incorporate it into your home?

Rustic chic blends lived-in, nostalgic charm with modern, upscale, and sometimes even outright glamorous components.

It’s a fine balance and can look very different depending on the space and the decorator. If you find yourself gravitating toward old-fashioned and modern components, that’s great news for you. This is a style you can really make your own.

rustic chic kitchen
Photo Credit: Victoria Pearson

All About Rustic Chic Decor Style

Simplicity and Charm

Rustic chic hearkens back to a simpler time.

Each item in a rustic chic home should have motifs that evoke nostalgia, whether that’s in the actual design of a piece of furniture, or just in the details.

This can mean a lot of things, so I suggest sticking to a specific era in each room if your taste in nostalgia varies widely across time periods.

Color Scheme

Rustic chic decor tends to go heavy on white and warm greys.

Layering neutrals keep rustic chic spaces dynamic and interesting without relying too heavily on any specific color palette.

This creates a clean, simple look. But don’t worry – you don’t have to completely forego color in a rustic chic space.

This aesthetic embraces nature, so look for comforting, earthy colors like pale greens and soft browns when you’re craving a pop of color.

Quality Over Quantity

In a rustic chic style, the emphasis tends to be on having fewer pieces, but on having every piece be very deliberately chosen.

Look for furniture that’s sturdy and artfully made.  Antiques are big in rustic chic decor, but even if they’ve started to show their age, that just adds to the aesthetic.

A little wear and tear on a cabinet or table are just fine, as long as it’s still high-quality and in working condition.

Unique Items

One-of-a-kind items and bespoke pieces are the bread and butter of rustic chic.

The style leans away from cookie-cutter, mass-produced items and instead seeks to evoke feelings of a time when everything was hand-made.

If you love thrifting, this style will be right up your alley.  Scouring estate sales, thrift stores, antique shops, and sometimes even Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is half the fun of rustic chic decor.

Look for upcycled antiques, and don’t be afraid to get creative and work with your hands. If you find a piece of gorgeous iron wall art that you can’t find a place for in your home, consider repurposing it into an end table or some other one-of-a-kind statement.

Even if items are starting to show wear and tear, that can just add to the charm. Focus on finding something unique and don’t worry too much about rough edges, blemishes, or stripped finishes. Instead, embrace the quirks.

When styled with a discerning eye, wear and tear give the impression that each piece has had a life of its own before it met you.

On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy thrifting and searching for those second-hand gems, don’t worry.  Rustic decor is becoming a hot trend which means home accents in this style are already being mass products.

A great line to look at if you’re in search of rustic chic decor is Kelly Clarkson Home at Wayfair.

Suggested Post: Is DIY Decor Worth The Effort?

Perfectly Imperfect Natural Materials

Look for untreated wood or woods with transparent stains that still reveal the natural grain.

Stone and metal – especially wrought iron – are popular. Wrought iron gives a country feel and hearkens back to a time when every item was made to last forever, and when iron was still cutting-edge technology.

A Word on Shabby Chic

Don’t confuse rustic chic with shabby chic.  They’re cousins, not sisters.

Rustic chic is the domain of the DIY home decorator.

If you find an item with too much wear and take to incorporate into your home as-is, don’t be afraid to repaint it, refinish it, or replace the knobs to update it.

If you find something you love that’s just a bit too rustic, this is your chance to upscale it with a bit of TLC to elevate it from simply rustic to rustic chic. How you go about that is entirely up to you.

When setting up a whole design for a room, be judicious about the amount of rusticness you allow in.

If every single piece of furniture in your living room is hand-painted and there’s not a hint of glamor in sight, you’re veering into straight-across rustic or shabby chic territory.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, rustic chic and shabby chic are two very different things. If you catch yourself doing this, try adding in a few more modern, upscale components.

kelly clarkson coffee table
Source: Wayfair.com

How to Incorporate Rustic Chic Decor Into Your Home

Let Statement Pieces Take Center Stage

As a rule of thumb, keep “less is more” in mind.

Focus rooms around a single show-stopping antique or one-of-a-kind furniture piece that will draw the eye to the focal point.

We’re talking about a driftwood table, a hand-crafted statement clock, etc.

statement ceiling
Source: Overstock.com

Layer Neutrals

If you’re a fan of neutrals but still want a rich, homey vibe, rustic chic is a great way to achieve that.

Blend gray, cream, black, brown, or white in the same room.

This adds visual texture while keeping with the rustic, old-world vibe – and lets you focus on playing more with decorations.

When you don’t have to worry about mismatching colors, you have more flexibility with the actual decorative components of a room.

Blend Old and New Pieces

Instead of sticking exclusively to modern or rustic motifs, lean into the contrast. Try putting modern art pieces next to antique furniture – see what works.

If you’re unsure how to get two contrasting styles to play nicely together, start by keeping a consistent color scheme throughout. You can get away with a lot if the color palettes agree.

Embrace the Eclectic and Eccentric

Part of the entire charm of rustic chic is to eschew the conventional and cookie-cutter. Play with what pieces you already have. If you stumble on something quirky that you love, bring it home and see where it fits.

If you’ve never seen anything like it, you’re headed in the right direction!

eccentric decor
Source: Wayfair.com

Rustic Chic Bedroom Ideas

Rustic chic was practically made for bedrooms. They’re the coziest rooms in your home, and that’s exactly what rustic chic exudes.

Decorative Scallop Wood Distressed Accent Mirror
Sleek glass against the distressed wood frame perfectly embodies everything rustic chic is all about.

I’d pair this with a metallic decorative item like a gold picture frame or a glass vase, but you could just as easily hang it above a reclaimed-wood table.

rustic chic decor
Source: Wayfair.com

The Gray Barn Farmhouse Arch Wall Decor
Bedrooms are all about coziness and comfort, and that’s exactly what this dainty wall hanging delivers. It could easily be hung on its own as the sole focal point.

Or, dress it up or down by pairing it with other wall hangings as well. It’s a fantastic starting point.

farmhouse chic wall decor
Source: Overstock.com

Gemma Pouf – Opalhouse
The natural fibers, handmade feel, and distinctive patterning on this pouf help it toe the line between stylish and inviting.

To avoid leaning too far into boho territory, I’d pair this with pieces that are more on the “chic” side of “rustic chic.”

jute pouf with tassels
Source: Target.com

Mason Jar Set
This is designed as a bathroom set, but it would look fantastic on a shelf or as a desk organizer in a bedroom.

It plays on the mason jar trend, but the addition of the matte paint adds a distinctive touch that elevates the whole look.

rustic chic bathroom accessories
source: Etsy.com – BlessedIsLoveInBloom

Rustic Chic Decor For The Living Room

The living room is where you generally spend the most leisure time in your house.  It’s a gathering place, so it’s no wonder rustic chic thrives here.

Nava Table Runner with Tassels
Warm, 3D textiles give a cozy feel, but can still feel very glam.  Embrace that contrast!

This runner is a good example.

The geometric pattern and black-and-ivory palette feel very modern and upscale.  But the tassels are a classic homespun, boho touch, and the texture feels very homespun.

rustic table runner
Source: cb2.com

Rustic Wood and Metal Farmhouse Window
These windows are a perfect example of everything rustic chic is all about.

You could easily hang these up as-is. I’m thinking above a mantlepiece or as a backdrop to a dining table.

But they’re also full of DIY possibilities.  You could repurpose them into something completely different by repainting them or tinting the glass.

rustic chic decor wall decor
Source: Etsy.com – VintageTampaGirl

Lavender Distressed Wooden Box
The simplicity of rustic chic doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid ornamental items.  Just be sure to choose decorations that make a statement and a voice all their own.

I love the relief design on this box.  Alongside the distressed cream and brown paint, it perfectly toes the line between elegance and lived-in comfort.

rustic table decor
Source: Etsy.com – RusticTouchBoutique

Mason Jar Wall Sconces
Mason jars are big in rustic chic, and with good reason.  They feel like they’re from another time, but are also very practical and versatile (Recommended Read: Versatile Decor: Why The Mason Jar Is King).

And the sleek glass finish can go a long way in adding just a bit of gloss and sheen to an otherwise purely rustic decoration.

I love the addition of fairy lights in these sconces. They give the coziness of a candle with a modern touch.

rustic chic wall sconce
Source: Etsy.com – Themasonjarfarmhouse

Rustic Tile Pattern Wall Hanging
Here’s a perfect example of a piece that looks like it was salvaged from an old country cottage – which is exactly the feeling we’re going for.

rustic chic decor
Source: Etsy.com – ATouchofChic


Rustic chic decor– do you love it or hate it?  Do you have a few favorite rustic chic pieces?  Tell us about them below!

For more rustic chic style decor inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board.

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