Many people are stuck in the "what style is this?" mentality. I like that piece but does it fit my style or does it go with the style that I have? This thought process is good to go through because you want to be conscious about what you're putting in your home and how it all works together but there is also a sense where you don't have to be that worried. You want your home to be well-styled and pretty but you also don't want it to look like a model home...it should feel comfortable, almost collected so that's inviting to guests and exudes warmth rather than stiff style. Nobody likes stiff style. So don't be scared to mix a little of those things that you just like. Things that are pretty or interesting or that you've actually collected! These things are important too. Today, we're specifically going to talk about rustic pieces and how you can incorporate them in any style.
Rustic really feels like a dated term. I guess it's accurate when it comes to describing the way these items look but it feels so constraining. Almost too specific. I think I like "distressed" or "weathered" better. Those terms are more about being worn-in or well-loved rather than just outdoorsy. Outdoorsy can fit under the "distressed" umbrella but everything that's "distressed" doesn't have to be outdoorsy...you know?
Anyway! Distressed pieces often have a more casual feel so people don't think they can use them in very clean modern settings or even a more traditional, dressy setting, but both of these statements are false. Distressed pieces actually have a place in both of these styles because it helps balance them. Regardless of your style, there needs to be a good balance and if the style itself doesn't balance out on it's own then you might have to enlist elements from other styles!
For example, a big woven basket is a great accessory in almost any type of space. It's functional, earthy, and comes in a variety of shapes and styles. Throw a big basket in a more traditional family room as a catch-all for blankets & pillows or for kids toys, or use it as a sculptural piece in a more modern space. Baskets work in kitchens, bedrooms, even bathrooms. Their functionally and styling impact are endless when used right so don't write them off just because they're not polished and clean.
A farmhouse table would also be appropriate in many different styles of space. Dining tables in particular can really mix well in a number of different spaces because they are normally paired with chairs and the chairs can help tame down the casual feel of a weathered wood table. Pair an ultra modern chair with a rustic, farmhouse table and don't look back!
Exposed shelving is a great way to add an earthy, warm element too. Because shelves are typically clean, straight lines, a little bit of warm wood just makes the space more interesting. Wood has a way of adding visual interest and warming things up which is great of really stiff spaces. In the same way, a worn leather or antiqued mirror can almost make something feel more expensive because it gives off the impression that this item is old and expensive and worth keeping around.
Finally, an interesting piece of antiqued furniture can work well in a number of design styles. It can be painted to highlight the distressing or mute it but something with a lot of character is always a conversation piece worth having. So many people forget the importance of the old and get caught up in having everything new. There's something to be said for a piece that can withstand the test of time. :)