From exposed beams and brick walls to sheet metal and vintage timber, the natural materials used in many modern homes combine to create a tactile environment.
This look can be achieved decoratively or architecturally – either way, the key to making a liveable space is to blend the features and ensure you soften them with textures from fabrics and soft furnishings.
Rustic décor is characterised by unfinished or roughly-finished building materials whose natural qualities are allowed to show through rather than being covered with plaster or paint. The result is a home which blends with its environment, and breathes naturally in it its surroundings.
The look can be achieved as simply as exposing the qualities of the original building, such as removing coverings to reveal brickwork, timber joists or flooring. These features can then be complemented with natural fittings such as a reclaimed timber floor, or a zinc or concrete worktop.
This is becoming a popular style for high-end new-build homes, as it creates an appealing, weathered ‘organic’ feel. Older properties also benefit from this approach, particularly when the property has an unusual history that can be referenced through the highlighting of particular elements, where the building is constructed from high-quality materials, or where it bears the marks of a craftsman at work.
However you won’t spend many evenings admiring the fashionable reclaimed church flooring of your living room if the space feels like a cold and empty old warehouse; it’s vital to ensure your home remains liveable and comfortable. Although exposed brick and galvanised metal look great, they aren’t always the easiest materials to live with on a daily basis, so if you’ve introduced rustic elements architecturally try adding tactile elements to soften the scheme.
Deep wool or silk rugs work well on polished concrete or roughly-hewn wooden floors; faux fur throws and cashmere cushions will add a touch of warming luxury, and painted elements and soft lighting (soft yellow bulbs rather than plain white) will help the space feel cosy. And of course a real fire if you have one (or plenty of candles if you haven’t) will soften any scheme, no matter how industrial.
Choose warm colours such as ochre, terracotta, deep coral, scarlet, deep red and olive green. Avoid cool and pale yellow, cool red, pink, violet, blue, grey, black, white, cream. Brown is best added into a scheme in the form of soft furnishings using materials which are also very tactile, such as faux suede or leather.
If choosing furniture look for warm, rich woods like walnut, cherry and oak and avoid pine, maple and lighter colour woods. Go DIY with natural materials by adding cast-iron legs to a wooden table, or using driftwood or stone to create lamp bases.
For fabrics and furnishings to help take the hard edge off your rustic interior head over to Interior Inspirations in Farnborough.
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