Rustic dining room ideas can work within most homes – whether new-build or listed, apartment or barn conversion. A rustic look is a great way of mixing old and new furniture, adding warmth and creating an inviting space for entertaining friends and family.
If you are looking for dining room ideas, then a rustic dining room is an easy look to style – with its mix of textures and materials creating a relaxed space. Likewise, a rustic dining room is ideal for family living – nothing is too polished or perfect, with knocks and bumps often adding to the charm of your scheme.
When it comes to country dining room ideas, texture is key, as Emma-Louise Marston, Store Leader, Neptune Fulham, explains; ‘It can create a comfortable, intimate space. Try using rugs, cushions and throws with linen in the warmer months, swapping for wool and velvets come wintertime.’
Rustic accessories can also make a dining room feel very personal; mix flea market buys with different materials and finishes, plus artisan-style pieces on the high street.
Rustic dining room ideas
Keep things simple, natural and texture-rich for a rustic-style dining room that’s warm and hygge-rich, perfect for creating memories with friends and family.
1. Try a Scandi rustic look
Rustic style doesn’t have to mean dark and heavy; it can work with a softer dining room colour scheme too. Be inspired by Scandi style, teaming those natural wood and painted finishes with shades of cream, terracotta and soft grey. Look for unusual shapes – whether for your dining room lighting ideas or tableware – adding to that artisan country feel. Pampas grass in a large vase makes a simple table centre that gives a lovely, soft feel.
When choosing textiles for a rustic dining room look for linen and cottons, with ticking and striped fabrics the perfect choice. Don’t miss an opportunity to work in more texture – cushions with fringing and tassels are made for this look.
2. Give rustic an industrial edge
Try mixing galvanised with wood, for a rustic dining room with a touch of industrial. This is a great way of making a rustic look work in a newer property. The natural wood finish of the table and seat pads balance the coolness of the galvanised metal perfectly. But it’s not just the table and chairs that benefit from this material mix: Add wooden storage boxes to a metal display cabinet to bring in the same rustic warmth.
A log storage idea is a great way of adding rustic style; why not fill an empty fireplace or stack in an alcove? Look for logs that have plenty of texture and colour variation.
3. Bring in colour
Rustic schemes can still be colour-rich; while natural materials are a thing to celebrate, it doesn’t mean your dining room can only use neutrals. If you are looking for a dining room colour scheme that works with a rustic style, then try a lovely denim-inky blue – it’s a colour that’s been trending for a while, featuring on stoneware ceramics, painted furniture and Ikat textiles.
Simple oak furniture is a great investment for a dining room, providing a neutral base that will improve with age. Try teaming a bench with chunky ladder-back dining chairs to play to the rustic dining room vibe.
4. Mix wood and painted furniture
Too many different wood tones going on in your dining room? Painted furniture works brilliantly in a rustic dining space and can help create more of a coherent look. Try a charcoal grey and use on chairs and a sideboard. Bentwood framed dining chairs can be picked up inexpensively at most secondhand furniture shops. Try a chalk paint finish, such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which doesn’t even need any primer.
Find a dining room wall décor idea that works for your rustic look: anything inspired by nature is ideal, like the butterfly wall mural from Surface View, which are echoed on the choice of tableware.
5. Make the table the heart
In a rustic dining room, the table is key. Try a large farmhouse-style table that has plenty of room for relaxed gatherings. If space is tight, pop a bench against the wall and push the table back – it’s easy enough to slide onto a bench and will take up less space than pulling a chair out.
Slate flooring and a modern rustic panelling idea provide the perfect backdrop to the natural wood furniture, while a pair of rise-and-fall ceramic pendants above the table, help create plenty of atmosphere.
6. Find a country-style pattern
Looking for a dining room décor idea? Wallpaper can bring a rustic dining room to life – look for a design inspired by nature, such as a tree or floral print. Panel below the dado, painting in a colour picked from your wallpaper design hung above. A large textured lampshade – such as wicker, rattan or bamboo – creates a great rustic feature, even when turned off. Once lit though, the light will be diffused through the textured weave for a soft glow.
A display cabinet provides chance to show off a collection of artisan-inspired tableware and glass. Look for unusual glazes, hand-thrown shapes and patterned pieces, all of which should echo your wallpaper for a coherent look.
7. Be bold with accent colour
Try a few bright accent colours to give your rustic dining room a vibrant touch. With wooden furniture and flooring, it’s easy to change accessories for a mini makeover. If you are looking for small dining room ideas, then try this: reclaimed wood makes the perfect rustic storage bench, which also clads a storage cupboard. The exposed hinges used on the cupboard enhances the rustic look, while echoing the burnished gold effect café-style chairs.
Swap a tray or placemats for a large wooden chopping board – great for protecting your tabletop, while adding rustic style.
8. Extend your storage space
Open shelving is brilliant for a modern rustic dining room as you can show off your collection of tableware, adding to the relaxed vibe. Use crates and baskets to store smaller pieces while still adding texture to the overall look. Vases and cakestands look great on show – why hide them away behind closed doors?
Copper makes a lovely highlight to add to a rustic dining scheme – it’s warm tones will match any natural wood furniture. Try a pendant above your dining table, or a vase or jug dotted throughout your open-shelving display.
9. Dress up a rustic dining room
A rustic dining room is easy to style for gatherings – you’ve all the basics in place, such as a big table, a mix of chairs and/or benches, lots of tableware, and plenty of dining room storage ideas. Use baskets to keep essentials together, while candles are a must to add a soft glow to the event. Use a tablecloth or runner to protect your table, while a woollen rug will cosy up a stone floor.
A vase of eucalyptus makes a great table arrangement throughout the year, and its festive scent is just right for a rustic tablescape.
10. Display textures
Rustic wooden boards are a simple, yet oh-so-effective dining room wall décor idea. Group a set of three together in varying shapes and hang from cup hooks fixed to the wall. Against a soft grey background, the grain looks beautiful.
If an open dresser or shelving unit isn’t for you, then a hall cupboard, painted a dark colour, can still provide plenty of rustic style. Add a few baskets above to soften the look. Likewise, if you aren’t a fan off wooden furniture, painted wicker or rattan chairs add a softer feel.
What furniture is best for a rustic dining room?
The dining table is the heart of a rustic dining room, but that doesn’t mean an imposing farmhouse one that dominates the space. Find one that suits your needs and the size and shape of your room, as well as in a finish that you love. Wood is a great choice – it will improve with age, and minor knocks add to that ‘loved’ feeling. But you can also paint the legs of your table to give a fresher country feel, look for one with metal legs for an industrial-rustic style or even hide the legs under a linen tablecloth.
When it comes to chairs, rustic dining style allows you to mix and match, teaming chairs with benches, wood with upholstery, metal with wicker. The look you are aiming for is a relaxed dining space; a place where you can imagine sharing food with friends – without any stress or pressure.
Don’t forget storage – whether that’s a dresser, console or display shelf. You need a place to display lots of textures, which will add to that rustic feel. ‘We are seeing a rise in dressers with glass doors showcasing rustic crockery and pots with beautiful linens,’ says Rukmini Patel, interior designer at Rukini Patel.’
What does modern rustic look like?
Modern rustic style is a hybrid of country, Scandi and industrial looks, all of which share similar properties: they are relaxed, easy to live with and suit most types of home.
Texture is key, with natural materials an essential component of a modern rustic dining room. From wooden furniture to stone floors, wicker baskets to glazed tableware, linen napkins to sheepskin, a rustic dining room is all about layering.
Colours tend to be warm neutrals, but you can also find sage greens, inky blues and blush pinks in rustic dining room schemes, while brighter accent colours can be used to add a vibrant touch.
Lighting is one of the most fundamental elements of a modern rustic home – especially in a dining room. Go large with your dining room lighting ideas with a wicker lampshade, while wall lights create a soft glow. Just as you layer your table, think about how you are layering your lighting sources, with overhead, wall and even candlelight deserving of careful consideration.
Personal touches can really complete a rustic space, so think about what you have on your walls, how you arrange a collection and what flowers or foliage to arrange on your table.
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Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning editor, writer and stylist, with over 25 years’ experience writing, styling and editing home interest magazines. Jennifer was the deputy editor of Ideal Home from 2008-2010, before launching Ideal Home’s sister title, Style at Home in 2010. Jennifer went on to launch several craft magazines and websites, before going freelance in 2016, with a client list that includes John Lewis, Dunlem and Nordic House. Today, she writes for Ideal Home, Real Homes, Waitrose, Woman & Home, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Homes & Gardens. But it was during lockdown that Jennifer realised her dream of publishing her own magazine – Simply Scandi.
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