Decorating terms can be elusive. The same word can mean different things to different people. Just what does the phrase “rustic contemporary decorating” conjure up in your mind? Do you think of a mountain man decorating his log cabin with a few bear skin throws? I doubt it.
No, rustic contemporary decorating refers to a style a bit more civilized. Generally, it is a merging of both rustic decorating (which includes early Americana and Shaker styles) with more contemporary themes.
Types of Furniture
The pieces that are in the home that identify with this style of decorating are pieces associated with beauty and simplicity. Rather than an elegant armchair that might fit into a Victorian setting, think of a simple but highly functional and comfortable Shaker style chair.
Another chair that has a textured rustic feel is the traditional bent willow chair. A few of these around a natural tone oak or walnut table fit right in with the theme.
An armoire that is been converted to an entertainment center might be the focal point of the living room. These can be converted by a DIY homeowner or purchased at a high end furniture store. This is a good example of a piece that has stood the test of time but can seamlessly incorporate all of today’s electronic high-tech gadgetry.
Popular Wall Treatments
Wall paper was popular in more rustic times and was often made out of fabric. Today it is possible to emulate those older styles using contemporary materials. Vinyl wall covering comes in a vast array of both patterns and textures.
If paint is the wall treatment of choice, color is the key. Colors such as a wheat or light gold are very rustic, especially if coupled with a complementary runner at the ceiling level.
For windows, heavier curtains take the place of sleek plastic blinds.
Give Your Floor the Rustic Look
One floor covering that is extremely, popular, affordable, and easy to install is laminate flooring. Pergo used to be the standard in this market but now all the flooring manufacturers are in the market, which helps to keep the price down.
Think about either an oak (contemporary) or a pine (rustic). These floors are visually indistinguishable from the real thing and come at a fraction of the cost.
What goes better on top of a laminate floor to set it off than an oval braided rug? Who had a grandmother that didn’t feature one of these in her living room, in front of the coffee table or the fireplace?
Furnishing the Bedroom
It’s not hard to imagine a large canopy bed in a rustic contemporary setting. Although canopy beds do better in larger bedrooms, a smaller room would do fine with a sleigh style bed. Either one fits right in when topped with a heavy bed spread Other bedroom furnishings? How about a coat tree standing in the corner or a full length mirror in a walnut frame?
The key to rustic contemporary decorating is comfort and texture, not stark, bright lines. And the ability to merge true antiques with modern furniture makes it easy and affordable… if you know where to shop.
Image by Tina Vallès