Whether you like sophisticated, simple or traditional design, our relaxed rustic living room ideas have a style for you. Characterful rustic design traits can create a countryside feel for any style of sitting room, welcoming a cosy warmth with rough luxe textures and tactile fabrics.
What makes a living room rustic depends on the style of property and whether it's the architecture or the attention to detail of how the room is dressed. In a cottage, farmhouse or barn conversion it's most likely exposed wooden bean structures and original hearth fireplaces will make the living room feel rustic. But that's not to say in a more contemporary space you can't achieve a pleasing rustic decor simply through thoughtful design choices.
Rustic living room ideas
From modern rustic to more rural country vibes the aesthetic remains the same, a celebration of simple and unrefined beauty. With handmade furniture and beautiful imperfections at the heart of this trend, it offers an effortlessly stylish appeal for a relaxed living room space.
Follow our styling guide to add a touch of rustic charm to your living room idea...
1. Add woodland inspired wallpaper
Choose a colour palette that grounds the feel of the room, with every element working together harmoniously. Earthy hues of brown, stone and clay helps to create a calm and comforting colour palette that effortlessly welcomes warm touches of wooden furniture and elements of structural architecture – such as exposed beams.
Follow the popular woodland trend and take your inspiration from nature when it comes to your living room. Team gentle colour on walls and floors with muted accent colours in earthy tones of chestnut and burnt umber, then bring in lots of pretty woodland prints on wallpaper and soft furnishings, mixed with bold checks in rusty orange and grey. Finish off with lots of quirky animal-themed accessories.
2. Keep it timeless in white
A rustic decor doesn't have to be all about earthy tones, it can still be considered for more contemporary. Make an all-white decor feel cosy and rustic with a layered approach to texture and textiles. White-wash original wooden floorboards to retain an air of natural rustic beauty within the space.
To further the country-style pair slubby linens with aged metals and weather wood for furnishings and accessories. Ambient lighting choices will enhance warm undertones of the best white paint shades used on walls and floors to create a cosy aesthetic.
3. Expose characterful brickwork
Create a feature wall of sorts by exposing the original brickwork of a chimney breast. This simple task will instantly welcome a touch of rustic charm to any scheme. This grey living room proves how the rustic nature of brick doesn't have to overwhelm a more modern decor, it merely balances the look.
If removing plasterboard that has been covering up the fireplace you will probably need to clean the bricks up, to make them look back to best. A gentle clean with a hard bristle brush will remove any crumbling mortar and excess dust. Choose to add another rustic touch with reclaimed wooden shelving either side, for a smart alcove idea.
4. Balance bold accent colour
Be bold with accent colours for a modern rustic feel. 'Earthy, dark, natural colours are proving popular when it comes to selecting a bold shade for an accent wall, tiles or furniture in the home' says Jules.
'This year will see many go for a dark blue or dark green colour to make a statement – the trick is to keep it subtle and not overdo it, so choose one part of the room décor, such as one wall, a rug or the sofa cushions to introduce the colour, making sure that the rest of the accessories in the room complement it well.'
This blue living room idea is balanced by the natural tones of the rustic brickwork either side of the chimney breast. Layers of tonal rich colours feature on the velvet furniture choices and classic country checked accessories.
5. Team wood with leather
An easy wy to welcome a rustic edge to your interior is by introducing classic country materials, such as worn leather, reclaimed wood and aged metal. From hearty leather sofas to a reclaimed wooden coffee table there are key staples that instantly signify a penchant for rustic style.
This cosy living room idea features a rich jade green on the walls to enhance the hues of the natural materials, adding further warmth to the overall look.
6. Welcome organic materials for window treatments
When dressing your rustic living room idea consider the look from floor to ceiling. Window treatment ideas play a huge role in tying a decor scheme together, offering a coordinating pattern or colour to dress the windows to suit your chosen theme.
In this understated living space the custom-made organic, rustic textured brown roller blinds add the perfect finishing touch to windows – incorporating earthy tones and tactile textures to the look.
7. Keep it contemporary
For a modern living idea looking to welcome subtle rustic touches opt for thoughtful furniture choices. Simple organic shapes and imperfect wooden pieces add a hint of rustic charm to even the most contemporary of sitting room settings.
Handmade furniture pieces crafted from reclaimed materials by skilled joiners is at the heart of this look. A hearty living room console placed behind the sofa is the ideal place to pop lamps, on-trend dried flower arrangements and decorative objects of interest.
8. Seek a colour palette inspired by nature
Grounding, earthy hues have become the new neutral for modern day living - as we seek more warmth and comfort from a blank canvas of colour. Dulux's Brave Ground flexes in tone depending on the time of day and setting, meaning it's more than a flat neutral - it creates a sense of warmth at different times of the day. Creating a subtly responsive environment to the natural world around it gives a wall colour versatility in how it feels.
A colour with warm undertones pairs beautifully with so many different colour palettes, adapting to its surroundings. Perfect for a rustic, country living room idea to feel content and comforted by the use of colour.
9. Adorn the walls with rustic-look wood
Wood-effect wallpapers are hugely popular to add interest to walls without the expense of wall panelling ideas and cladding coverage. Covering the walls with engulfs the room in rustic charm, in essence surrounding every design element within the room into the countryside scheme.
This idea is not for those looking for a subtle hint of rustic charm, this is daring. You could soften the approach by wallpapering merely a living room feature wall idea, to dip your toe in.
10. Create a raw finish with paint effects
Create a stripped back rustic feel with plastered wall finishes. Whether you leave freshly plastered walls as they are to get the look or use a creative living room paint idea to get the look plastered pink walls lend a beautiful base to build a country-style decorating scheme over.
The muted colour and textured effect creates an effortless ground to build on with bolder accent colours, such as striking charcoal black or warming tones of rust or bootle green - all colours derived from nature.
11. Focus on the fireside
A cosy fireside setting instantly becomes the focal point of a rustic living room scheme. For a traditional feel make all your decor choices focus around the fireplace – a blazing log burner instantly makes the room feel warm and inviting with furniture arranged centrally around it.
Rich, earthy colours feel naturally at home for this look, so try a warm, russet red on the walls to set the mood. Expose original brickwork and treat wooden beams to restore them to natural glory. Team original surfaces with textured linens, chunky knits and accents of copper and burnished orange on sumptuous fabric choices. A dreamy winter living room setting.
12. Embrace cottage vibes
This charmingly rustic living room has all the ingredients for a traditional cottage feel. The inglenook fireplace and exposed beams set a rustic tone, while modern design touches such as the squashy sofas, metallic side tables and a bold mustard velvet armchair bring the look up to date.
The dark furnishings and soft textures in this living room create an intimate space, ideal for entertaining on cosy nights in.
13. Update country classics
Look to add a rustic undertone to your modern living space with the simple addition of reworked classic design pieces. From a skilfully crafted wooden framed rocking chair to a plush button detailed sofa or footstool. Choose a cocooning dark colour palette for walls to create an ambient atmosphere. Add colours of nature with brick-coloured upholstery and olive green velvet soft furnishings.
Dress a mantlepiece or console table with lanterns and assorted pillar candles to add a warming glow to enhance the tonal colour palette.
14. Fake a feature wall
Cheat your way to a cosy rustic scheme. Fake an exposed brick or stone wall with a clever lookalike wallpaper that will give your scheme instant warmth and texture. Carry on the country-house look with plenty of tweed, tartan and wool on furniture and soft furnishings teamed with vintage-style leather armchairs and storage trunks.
15. Celebrate rustic architecture with modern design
Let the structure bear the rustic element to a living room, leaving freedom to opt for more modern design in terms of furnishings and furniture. Traditional British farmhouse style shakes off its twee image with this look, which mixes contemporary furniture, modern prints and cool greys with warm neutrals and rustic wood.
Combine pale grey walls, warm oak accessories and neutral fabrics in a mix of prints for a warm, country look.
16. Bring in warm accent colours
Give an all-neutral scheme some heat with warming terracotta tones. While neutral makes a great background colour for walls and floors, it can feel a little cool on its own, especially when you want to exude a rustic feel. Introduce a wash of warming accent tones through with furniture and accessories - perhaps a cheery rug, cushions, lamp and artwork.
Choose sumptuous fabrics for furniture, such as this velvet sofa to offer tactile appeal. Choose woven rugs in natural tones to add texture and depth to flooring.
17. Dress with definitive country pattern
Dress a traditional sofa with checked cushions and cable knit throws to instantly add a hint of rustic country charm. A plaid armchair is a great addition to compliment a co-ordinating sofa, or can be used as a standalone piece to make more of a statement of heritage country pattern.
Paint walls in a soft sage green to contrast accent touches of russet, brown and burnt orange within the patterned pieces.
18. Add elegant rustic touches
In a more contemporary, polished interior look to add more subtle rustic touches. In this modern country living room idea the blue painted furniture feels elegant, while the raw wooden tops welcome just a dash of rustic charm. The lighter aqua tone on the walls paired with a country-style white sofa help to make the look feel sophisticated.
Welcome touches of floral pattern on soft furnishings and texture rugs to soften the look.
19. Make mid-century feel rustic
Mix mid-century-style pieces with contemporary furniture in unfinished wood and plain upholstery for an unfussy rustic look. Un-arranged displays of unusual accessories and books give the room character without being contrived.
To get the look team soft grey with contrasting warm, textured neutrals. Choose simple furniture in weathered, grained wood and formal, tight upholstery - period and style don't matter here. Offset the simplicity with your own personal mix of books, china and knick-knacks.
20. Stack a log pile
A log pile is the definition of cosy, country style. Creatively welcome a stacked pile of firewood to make an effortlessly charming feature wall. Whether you have an open fire or log burner having dried fire wood on hand to keep the fire burning is invaluable during the colder months.
21. Decorate with woodland motifs
Ring the change in seasons with a cosy country scheme in charcoal and cream. Make your hearth the focal point of the living room with tongue-and-groove panelling and a wood-burning stove centre stage. Team with a pretty botanical-print wallpaper in shades of biscuit and cream to lighten the mood, with warming accents of olive green dotted around the room.
Bring in warm olive-wood furniture and rustic woven basketware to cosy up even more.
How would you describe a rustic room?
Who better to ask than Andrea Childs, the Editor of Country Homes & Interiors. 'A rustic room is rich in natural surfaces and textures. It may be that structural materials are left exposed to bring a sense of authenticity. Think exposed stone, brick or plaster walls, beamed ceilings, and wooden or natural stone flooring.'
'Then there could be another layer of rustic decor – design details you'd associate with a rural property such as a barn conversion, farmhouse or cottage. That might be wooden wall panelling, unpolished and unvarnished wooden or metal furniture, such as a farmhouse table.'
'Then soft furnishings would bring comfort and colour – inviting sofas, soft rugs and curtains, all made with natural fabrics like wool, linen and cotton.'
What makes a living room rustic?
'A rustic living room has a real comfort factor – think of it as a retreat to relax in after a day spent out in the countryside' suggests Andrea. ' The fireplace or woodburner will probably be a focal point, with the natural stone or brick of the chimney on show and a wooden mantle.'
'Sofas and chairs will be rounded and inviting, not the stiffer, formal shapes associated with more urban styles, and will be covered with natural cotton and linen - or even velvet, to add a touch of luxe to the rustic look.'
The key to perfecting rustic style is to mix traditional prints and iconic pieces with fresh, modern country designs. Choose beautiful furnishings to create a relaxed, comfortable and easy-to-live with feel. Invest in classic designs such as an elegant Knole sofa or vintage-style sideboard. Mix rich wood and distressed finishes on furniture to add a relaxed, vintage feel to your living room.
Add accessories such as a gorgeous throw, or knitted pouf, and keep the colour palette soft, muted and inspired by earthy tones. Be inspired to add a country-style feel to your home with our pick of the best buys.
What is rustic modern style?
Modern rustic style is simply where more contemporary design elements are mixed in with more traditional styles. Andrea shares her thoughts, ' A modern rustic, farmhouse style would feature a paler palette of creams, greys, taupes and soft blues and greens.'
'But pattern and colour is often a big part of a rustic living room – think botanical or floral designs, gingham checks and ticking stripes. Rugs, warm lighting from lamps and candles, and fresh flowers and foliage that bring a sense of the outside in complete the look.'
Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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