The Rustic Look | How It's Re-surfacing

Even though Joanna Gaines and her brand Magnolia Home have managed to capitalize on the rustic look and keep it alive much longer than we expected, every style has it's trend time and rustic is no exception.  That shabby chic, rustic-y look was big a few years ago but has since gone to the back burner with the popularity of minimalism.  Design went more streamlined and cleaner and there wasn't so much of a need for all heavy wood that shabby chic boasted.  However, one thing has survived and has managed to work it's way into almost every style and that's texture.  Texture will always survive because texture is what gives rooms depth and makes them feel comfortable.

The way texture is being represented is coming back in the weather woods and organic grasses.  So much so that it's feeling a little rustic, although not to the extent that shabby chic was rustic.  Instead, weathered wood textures are blending with minimalism creating a rustic-modern motif that we're all loving.  It really appeals to the masses because it ultimately creates a comfortable look that either be dressed up or dressed down for the more glam home owner or the person who prefers more casual-living.

Here's how that modern rustic look is being accomplished in design...Forget the industrial modern that had rustic influences and lots of dark accents, we're eliminating the edison bulbs and talking warm wood textures.

A big distressed farmhouse table is still a big yes! in our book.  We much prefer something with a little visual interest and maybe even a story to a shinny, polished dark wood table that you're afraid to put your drink on. The great thing about a farmhouse table is that it can be mixed with upholstered chairs, or even molded plastic making it such a versatile piece.  It's not so fancy that you're scared to eat at it but it also provides a huge presence in any space, making it a great focal point!

Whether or not you have a farmhouse table or farmhouse feeling kitchen, you can mix a little rustic in with your lighting and still make it interesting.  Large white or black factory lights are casual and sculptural and can be fun in a super modern or rustic casual space.  At this point, they're just sortof a vintage accent instead of forcing the kitchen in a farmhouse direction.

Seagrass and jute aren't going anywhere.  The jute rug is another one of those things that has survived the test of time and just morphed into a more updated version of itself.  But, in addition to rugs, grasses have made huge comeback in lighting.  Woven rattan and seagrass pendants are a sure-fire way to warm up any space and create a feeling of bringing the outside in.  They're warm and inviting which is good for any design!

Aside from a farmhouse dining table, any kind of reclaimed wood is a plus right now.  Reclaimed wood looks expensive and in something like a cocktail table or smaller piece of furniture, it adds a lot of movement and quickly becomes the focal point in the room.  Reclaimed wood shelves are another great way to add a rustic feel without overwhelming the space.  They create an interesting architectural detail and make visible storage interesting, especially when backed with a white wall.

Finally, black and brass accents are surviving even into the minimalist era.  They are reminders of the rustic style but, when used in more streamlined styles, create an interesting accent against distressed woods.

A Little of This and a Little of That | Rustic

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. :)