Design & DIY

5 tips for creating a more rustic design

Turn your home from square and modern to farmhouse chic with these five easy design elements. And don’t worry: you won’t have to add floor to ceiling wood-paneling to achieve the look.

Reclaimed wood furniture

Even if you live in the concrete jungle or deep in suburbia, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the great outdoors in. Add instant charm to your home with furnishings made of reclaimed wood, which is made from material that would usually be headed to the landfill. Reclaimed would can be sourced from everything from barn houses and old century homes to bowling alley floorboards and salvaged tree trunks. Given the wood’s previous life, reclaimed furniture often has a rustic, worn-in charm – complete with delightful imperfections and a storied past that’s great for dinner party conversations. We love reclaimed wood headboards, consoles and dining tables. Look for furnishings that have a modern twist to them, like a table aluminum base painted hot pink or metal accents.

Antique lighting

Crystal chandeliers add beautiful elegance to any room, but if you want rustic flair, think brass gooseneck floor lamps, hanging pendants made of vintage mason jars, and Edison-style bulbs. Opt for a chandelier with real candles instead of regular light bulbs. Many furniture stores now carry remakes of these vintage fixtures. If you want the real deal however, spend a day scouring antique shops, flea markets and estate sales for the best stuff.

Keep the walls neutral

The easiest (and cheapest!) way to transform your home is with a few coats of paint. Your wall colour can do so much to define your décor style – dark hues are modern and edgy, pastels are playful and whimsical, whites are minimalist and clean. For the rustic look, try keeping your wall palette in the neutral range with warmer tones like buttery creams, pale blues and soft greys. Rather than the walls bursting with colour, let your furniture, accessories and accent pieces do the popping. On the other hand, if you love bright colours, a well-selected accent wall can work wonders.

Quirky, vintage accessories

Now that your walls are a blank slate, accessorize with vintage, quirky pieces. Once again, flea markets and antique shops are treasure troves for fun accessories like vintage tins, wooden crates, beautiful ceramics and collections of glass jars of varying sizes, perfect for displaying flowers. Don’t forget to look for textiles too – handmade quilts make charming living room throws paired with colourful pillows. If you fancy yourself a DIY-er, bring your Pinterest board to life with fun homemade accessories. Turn an ornate frame into a chalkboard by painting the glass with chalkboard paint or update an old dresser with a few chevron stripes.


Nothing gives a house a cozy atmosphere quite like fireplaces do. If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, consider giving it a rustic makeover. Instead of a mantel, opt for raised stone that reaches all the way up to the ceiling or cover outdated brick with a coat of white paint.


Want to put these tips to use in your home or cottage? Find everything you need to love your space here: