Shorter days are coming, temperatures are falling. By any chance, are you looking to add a touch of warmth and coziness to your next interior design? If so, we think rustic interior design might just be the perfect fit for your client. It's a style that captures the essence of nature and country living, bringing in natural elements and textures that make a space feel inviting and beautifully lived-in... What's not to love?
In this article, we will take a deep dive into understanding rustic interior design, its origin and evolution, and key characteristics that define it. We will also provide you with essential elements to achieve the rustic look, including natural materials, earthy color palettes, and unique furniture pieces. Additionally, we have curated a list of suppliers with beautiful rustic interior design products so that you can transform your clients' space with ease. For more professional interior design content curated by experts, check out our Journal.
Understanding rustic interior design
In a similar way to Japanese Wabi sabi, a rustic home is characterized by a cozy and inviting atmosphere that prioritizes natural imperfections over a manicured look. Generally, rustic designers use organic materials like natural wood, stone and burlap, in order to achieve this homely vibe. Its color palette is usually warm and earthy, focusing on a minimalist and simple approach to clean lines and natural textures. Vintage furniture, accessories and ceiling beams often add a touch of design nostalgia, blending traditional and contemporary elements for a timeless aesthetic.
The origin and evolution of rustic interior design
Rustic interior design finds its roots in the humble and unpretentious aesthetics of rural living, particularly in Europe and North America. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, urbanization and industrialization were rapidly changing the way people lived. In response to the increasing industrialization, there emerged a romanticized nostalgia for simpler times and a desire to reconnect with nature. This led to the development of rustic interior design as a distinct style that celebrated the charm and authenticity of rural life.
One of the significant influences on rustic interior design was the Arts and Crafts movement, which emerged in Britain and later spread to the United States. This movement, led by figures like William Morris, promoted handmade craftsmanship, natural materials, and a rejection of mass-produced goods. Rustic interior design embraced these principles by incorporating elements like handcrafted furniture, wooden beams, stone accents, and a focus on functionality and durability. Additionally, in the United States, the Colonial Revival movement celebrated early American architectural and design styles, further fueling the popularity of rustic aesthetics by emphasizing traditional and rustic elements in homes and interiors.
Over time, modern rustic design has also taken from farmhouse design too. This meant embracing modern styles in appliances and layout, and also borrowing some key elements from contemporary design, such as the use of sustainable and cost-effective technology and building methods.
How to achieve the rustic interior design look
Natural materials and textures
Incorporating natural materials like wood, stone, and linen is key to achieving a rustic look. For example, you can add organic and visually interesting textures such as rough-hewn wood and woven jute in your rugs and carpets, reclaimed or salvaged materials in your wood floors or high ceilings, and linen and cotton in your bedding. By taking inspiration from the natural world, your design will feel balanced, harmonious and calm.
Earthy color palettes with a native twist
Earthy color palettes featuring warm browns, deep greens, and muted yellows are characteristic of rustic design. Neutral color palettes with earthy tones create a calming and beautiful ambiance. By using natural colors inspired by the surrounding environment, you can bring the outdoors, feel indoors. Depending on where your client is located, we recommend adapting the tones to the natural landscape, thus adding that extra magic touch. If the result is too monotone, we also suggest adding pops of color from natural elements, such as flowers or plants.
Weathered and handcrafted furniture and accessories
Weathered furniture with a distressed finish can help when creating a rustic atmosphere. You can source these object first-hand, but for a real lived-in look we suggest going to charity shops and thrift shops. However, if the objective is to create a rustic yet luxurious space, then we recommend going for handmade furniture, which showcases artistry and craftsmanship like nothing else.
How do you source rustic products online?
To source rustic products, all you need to do is join Portaire for free, enter the platform, and go to the Trade Portal. There, by using the filters, you'll be able to find hundreds of rustic products. All of the suppliers you see below can be found on Portaire.
Suppliers with beautiful rustic interior design products
Renowned for their unrivaled attention to detail and craftsmanship, Armac Martin is a trusted supplier of luxury hardware. Their extensive collection showcases an array of knobs, pulls, and handles in various finishes, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your rustic space. With Armac Martin's commitment to quality and design, you can add a touch of elegance and functionality to your rustic interior, elevating its overall aesthetic.
Artisans of Devizes
Introducing Artisans of Devizes, a trusted supplier offering high-quality natural stone and tile products for rustic, luxury interior design. This stunning British supplier has been providing world-class natural stone, tiles, and other surfaces for residential and commercial projects since 1990. With their beautiful materials, you can build anything from a lovely textured flooring, or a stone fireplace with a rustic feel. It's all up to you!
Croft is a renowned British manufacturer of premium architectural hardware. Established in 1868, it continues to operate as a family-owned business, placing immense value on the art of crafting, manufacturing, and intricately hand-finishing their products in the heart of England. Part of their incredible range covers hardware with a rustic feel, so don't hesitate to source from them!
YesColours, a renowned sustainable paint brand offering design services, has gained acclaim for its unwavering dedication to sustainability and innovative practices. At its core, their mission revolves around reducing paint waste while promoting personal well-being, creativity, and inclusivity, thereby leaving a lasting imprint on the interior design industry. Among their range, you can find beautiful earthy tones galore.
Dowsing & Reynolds
Leeds-based Dowsing & Reynolds is a love letter to interior design and decor, with their product range covering everything under the umbrella of architectural details and finishing touches, which includes lighting, switches, sockets, handles, taps, paint, and much more. Forget the idea that the little things come last and make details the protagonists of your rustic design – just as they deserve.
Northern Lights provides unique lighting fixtures that add character to any space. Their handcrafted chandeliers, sconces, and lamps, made from natural materials like wood, and metal, create a warm and cozy ambiance. For those seeking an eclectic look, Northern Lights also offers bespoke solutions hit for your rustic style needs. Whether its a statement dining room chandelier, pendant lights over your entryway or a sconce by the bathroom, you're in great hands with Northern Lights.