“Rustic elegance” is a phrase that’s gaining traction in interior designing circles around the country. The term refers to a style that’s homey yet chic, heart-centered and sophisticated, comfortable yet fashionable. It’s a year-round design choice that makes you proud to show off your house while also letting you relax in it.
What Is Rustic Elegance?
When you hear the word “rustic,” visions of log cabins may spring to mind. After all, in the past, the word “rustic” often was used as an upscale term for “dilapidated.” And certainly, standing alone, log cabins rarely are elegant and actual dilapidated spaces can in no way be considered elegant.
In reality, rustic elegance combines all-natural elements to create a look that’s warm and inviting even as it’s imperfect and distressed in its old-world elegance. The design blends the high style and classic aesthetic of quality antiques with the modern desire for comfort, convenience and beauty. It employs intricate detail work, earthy colors and natural materials.
Using Rustic Design in a Luxury Home
You can design a room or your whole house in rustic elegance, as fits your personal style. You can use rustic pieces to accent your luxury home or make it the centerpiece of your family space. It’s up to you. Here are several examples of elegant rustic interior design in a luxury home:
Contrast Provides Interest
Interior design in a luxury home has room to play. Place elements that tie the room design together or add continuity throughout the house. Each room needs a central focus, but if the accent pieces don’t add visual interest, then they aren’t complementing the overall ambiance. Contrast — in color, style and/or material — provides visual interest to support the central focus.
Rustic elegance is not shabby chic. It is an upscale arrangement of repurposed antiques, tasteful color combinations and an abundance of natural materials. It’s the contrast inherent in mixing a natural material like wood with an artificial material like metal or crystal that provides visual interest to an individual piece or the room as a whole. Just as a large-screen television set can sit next to a potted plant, an antique mirror on a stark white wall makes the entire wall more interesting.
Embrace Rustic Design in Your Luxury Home
By planning ahead and seeking out rustic accents that complement your own style, you can make your home a more comfortable, more interesting place to spend time. Look for original art and high-quality antiques. Bring in the beloved antiques your family has passed down. Find ways to combine the modern with the rustic with the elegant aged pieces, and you’ll create a personalized look of rustic elegance that will never go out of style.
Find out more about how to incorporate Matt Tommey's sculptural art baskets in your home.
Matt Tommey is a sculptural basketry artist working in Asheville, North Carolina's River Arts District.