5 approaches to rustic interiors

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Going for a rustic aesthetic is certainly not limited to those lucky enough to have a holiday house tucked away somewhere in the wilderness. This kind of style can bring a touch of much-needed escapism even to apartments located in city skyscrapers. And there are as many different ways to incorporate rustic elements into design as there are personal tastes and styles. “Rustic” doesn’t necessarily mean open fires, hunting trophies on the wall and no indoor toilets (though it can, of course, mean that, if that is what you like). It can also be highly modern and polished, even verging on minimalist. Basically, all that is required to summon a sense of the rustic in interior design is a visual acknowledgement of the influence of a pastoral way of life. That can mean using natural, unrefined wood and stone prominently, accenting your interior with traditional textiles, including exposed beams in your design or any other number of small nods too old-fashioned ways. The different spins on rustic interiors seen here vary from 100% old-school to cool, controlled and contemporary.

​The hunting lodge

This comfy-looking bedroom marries a strong traditional influence with the clean lines of modern comfort, appearing reassuring without being outdated. The tartan fabrics have been perfectly chosen to accompany the wood ceilings, walls and flooring, while the subtle checked wallpaper at the back adds something a little more unexpected to the room. Although this room is distinctly rustic, it’s worth noting that it’s also simple and completely unfussy, featuring none of the clutter and distraction sometimes associated with the rustic style.

​The escape from chaos

Everything about this space conveys a sense of discipline. The clean, straight lines of the beams; the restricted colour palette; the functional selection of furniture. It’s a very modern room, and it comes with minimal baggage. However, the decision to use wood so extensively warms the atmosphere up and prevents it from veering too far towards utilitarianism. The soft, golden hue of the lighting also helps to create a sense of comfort.

​The modern farmhouse

Sometimes, all you have to do is look at a space to get a clear mental image of how a family would lead their lives there. That is the case with this friendly living/dining area. The key elements of the room are fairly stripped back and linear, but there are touches of personality throughout – the painted kitchen chairs, the squishy sofas, the jumble of items on the shelves – that make it clear that this home is very much lived in.

​The countryside warren

This home is classic rustic all the way, right down to its wooden mantelpiece. It gives the impression of having come together organically over the years rather than being holistically designed. It makes no attempt at elegance or moderation, instead prioritising interest, cosiness and character. There is a lot to look at within the very small area seen here, and one imagines that a whole day could easily be spent exploring the house in its entirety while still finding plenty of objects to capture the curiosity.

​The idiosyncratic kitchen

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It would be hard to convey the predominant style of this delightfully eccentric room in just one word. However – despite its chrome lamps and unconventional ornaments – there are plenty of rustic elements at work here. The jumble of traditional china crockery works well with the many wooden surfaces to make it seem a little like this space was curated by someone’s exceptionally cool and slightly batty grandmother.

Do you have a soft spot for the rustic aesthetic? How does it show up in your home?
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