Marry the casual warmth and comfort of rustic style with the clean, serene and fresh look of contemporary décor and what do you get? The answer is modern rustic, and there’s a good reason it’s taking the decorating world by storm. Modern rustic isn’t Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin, and it’s not the stark look of minimalism, either. It’s a hybrid that takes the best of both worlds and turns them into a style that celebrates natural elements without ever becoming cluttered, uncomfortable or cut from the cookie-cutter mold of mass-produced furnishings.
By definition, something that is rustic is made from natural materials left in a raw or near-raw state, or weathered by age back into a near-natural look. And it’s that emphasis on natural materials that brings so much tranquility to any rustic decorating style. The coarsely woven wool rug, headboard made from repurposed, rough wooden boards and the aged brick wall shown here would work in many rustic themes. It’s the contemporary bed frame and bedding that add the modern touch. This bedroom is a great example of how well the two seemingly diverse styles complement each other.
While wood-clad, brick or stone walls are a hallmark of the rustic style, not all of us are lucky enough to live in a home where that’s a possibility. But never fear, even if you rent, you can still give your bedroom walls a touch of rustic flair. The answer is wallpaper – but not yesterday’s wallpaper, with fussy florals and impossible-to-remove glue. Instead, choose a contemporary paper that hangs easily and removes with little more than a tug and a scrape.
You’ll find a huge range of patterns that imitate rough-hewn wood boards, logs, tree trunks, old brick, or aged stone, as shown here. And there’s no need to cover all four walls with wallpaper, although that’s certainly a cozy look. Just one accent wall at the head of the bed is enough to transform your room from brand new to well loved.
Modern rustic is not as spare as minimalism typically is, but it’s also not the cluttered, lots-of-knick-knacks style so common with traditional lodge or cabin rustic styles. Instead, it’s clean and airy, yet with just enough personality and individuality to bring the owner’s personality to life. The room shown here is a wonderful example: the rolling distressed wood barn door, wide-plank wooden flooring and rustic nightstand and bed frame set the tone.
The contemporary bedside sconce and simple gray-and-white bedding add a cool, sophisticated touch that is very of-the-moment. But it’s the large vintage American flag (notice that it only has 48 stars, and thus is from before 1959) that is the real star of the show here. No need for a traditional headboard when you have a large, powerful piece of art, poster, or tapestry to hang over the head of the bed.