The Design Elements of a Modern Rustic Home Remodel

Modern Rustic Home Design When Remodeling

If you've ever taken a road trip that meandered through the countryside you've probably noticed that simple house sitting at the end of a dirt road. It looks cozy and has a rustic charm that reminds us of a more straightforward way of living. A warm, cozy fire on a chilly fall evening, or sitting on the farmers' porch enjoying a cold iced tea at the end of a long summer day. 

Today, as more of us are beginning to appreciate the warmth of that rustic setting, one design style is rapidly growing in popularity. Known as “Modern Rustic” it provides homeowners with the warm, natural, and inviting style of that rural farmhouse, along with the clean, simple lines of modern design.

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This style is ideal for homeowners looking to improve their quality of life by adopting a country lifestyle, while still enjoying the pleasing lines and “clean-ness” associated with the Modern aesthetic and the character and warmth of the Rustic aesthetic. As a result, the Modern Rustic style has become a growing trend.

Modern Rustic Design Characteristics: Design and Furniture

With its modern flyover and textured stonework, this contemporary Prairie style home presents one example of Modern Rustic Design.

One of the characteristics of the Modern Rustic design aesthetic is that is evidenced by both the physical rooms, as well as in individual pieces of furniture within the space. The primary design components of this style are the warmth of natural materials and the texture those material provide. 

Exposed wood and stone or brick are often used to add character and the appearance of warmth to the aesthetic. These are textures typically found in old hand-built country homes, as these were the building materials available at the time. Woolen objects like rugs and blankets are used as décor to add warm textures to the space. Modern Rustic also uses smooth textures, for example, counter and chairs surfaces and cabinetry. These are the textures that provide the clean and modern feel.

Shape and architecture play a significant role in the overall design environment. Natural elements like stones and wood are typically rough and asymmetrical in their natural state. A Modern Rustic design combines these natural shapes like tree branches, antlers and river stones with rectangles, spheres, and sharp angles. Think Cathedral ceilings, large prominent stairs, huge natural beams, and beautiful stone fireplaces.

Another major element to this style is functionality. While this aesthetic has many aspects, each one is also functional. There is no component a room that does not serve a purpose. Fireplaces provide warmth, beams support the structure, and stone forms the fireplace surround, and the furniture should be inviting and comfortable!

Five Key Elements of Modern Rustic Design

Rustic Modern was the theme these clients were looking for when mixing the salvaged Chicago brick, metal ceilings, and hopscotch floor tile for their basement finishing project.

While texture and material are essential elements, there are five main design elements to consider when creating a Modern Rustic aesthetic. 

1. Organic Shapes and Colors

Base furniture, for example, your sofa or bed frame should offer simple, clean lines. Modern Rustic is a no-frills look. Think organic shapes like those found in nature. Skip the ornate details or decadent finishes. That carries over to the color palette as well. Start with earthy neutrals as a base, like warm woods, creams, shades of green and browns. This will help to establish a calm, cozy space with a distinctly rustic style. Pops of bright color, for example, a gorgeous red armchair can add elements of “modern” to your design.

2. Layer Patterns and Textures

A large element in the Modern Rustic style is building layers of patterns and textures. Try mixing several different patterns in one space, whether it's your rug, pillows, art or other decorative elements. Opt for organic patterns to keep it looking rustic. Skip things like chevrons, polka-dots or anything that is too “perfect.” Rustic is all about the natural flaws in patterns, like a rough stone, or aged wood. As we mentioned earlier, texture plays a big role. Again, gather your inspiration from nature and opt for a mix of organic textures to bring the rustic element into your design. 

Closely related to modern-rustic, this contemporary home mixes in rustic elements such as the stone and wood siding along with more industrial-oriented elements such as the cable railing and exposed steel beam work.

3. Choose Weathered Elements

Patina is perfect for this style. Pieces that show their age and history are the keys. Think worn leathers, unfinished wood, anything with a vintage feel. Weathered materials not only bring in extra texture, but they also give it the touchable quality that makes rustic interiors so visually interesting and inviting. 

4. Find a “Mid-Century” Influence

To introduce the fresh, current feel, infuse your rustic style with several choice mid-century modern pieces. Think about the midcentury taste for organic shapes, and natural materials, furniture designed to hug the body, and warm earthy colors like Danish teak. Adding an element like a mid-century tripod lamp, a curvy Eames recliner, or a carved wood coffee table will give your space a retro-modern edge.

This one-of-a-kind Storybook home includes rustic elements such as the beamwork and salvaged flooring, interspersed with large windows and a modern open floor plan.

5. Don't Forget to Keep it Cozy!

One of the essential elements of the Modern Rustic style is it's warm, comfortable and inviting feeling. Add plush textures, piles of pillows, and layered chunky knit blankets. The organic and weathered materials, combined with comfortable furniture and sift warm textures work together to turn your home into the perfect blend of clean, sleek lines and warm, inviting comfort.

When it's all put together, Modern Rustic design is a beautiful, simple, warm aesthetic that brings the warmth and texture of nature and the clean, sleek lines of contemporary together. It's a style that provides homeowners with the warmth and comfort of that farmhouse at the end of the dirt road, with clean, sleek, modern functionality. 

This article was updated by Abe J Degnan on 6/17/2019.

If you'd like to learn more about Modern Rustic design or are considering a home remodeling project, give the expert designers at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel a call. We've been helping Madison, Wisconsin area homeowners to achieve their creative vision for years!