Bring some authentic character and edge to your home with these inspired design ideas
Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More
The modern rustic look is all about celebrating the fabric of a building, from the exposed brick walls to the soaring rafters, and then mixing in tactile textures, earthy tones and chunky, honest pieces. These 10 living rooms have taken that look and tweaked it to suit, with inspiring results.
Go mad for cladding
Timber in all its forms is a central ingredient of the modern rustic look. The owners of this living room in Galway treated its walls to honey-toned wooden cladding, inspired by the décor of a restaurant in northern Sweden.
It works brilliantly as a warm balance to the polished concrete floor. The sofa is draped with hides and sheepskins, too, adding lots of tactile warmth.
It’s possible to create a clean, minimal interpretation of modern rustic by taking one or two key features and letting them shine. Here, simple panelling, antlers and a wood-burning stove form a beautifully pared-down backdrop.
The armchair is a midcentury piece, but its wooden frame and muted upholstery help it slot in perfectly.
Bring in some black
Modern rustic interiors lean heavily on earthy tones, but see here how great a living room can look with the addition of some on-trend black and dark grey.
The glass-fronted dresser is a glorious cabinet of curiosities, each cupboard framed by black, while the band of deep grey, running halfway up the wall, helps anchor the room and give it some punch, too.
Accentuate the modern
This living room emphasises the sleek side of modern rustic style, giving the look a clean, fresh spin. All the key elements are still here, including logs, animal hides and a natural stone floor, but in a neat and pared-back form to suit this contemporary home.
Weave in vintage finds
Vintage pieces, with their knocked-about finishes and lived-in appeal, are a natural fit for a modern rustic scheme. This living space is tucked into a corner of an artist’s studio. It’s a welcoming spot, close to the window and bathed in light.
Lots of vintage finds, including old shutters, a battered leather chair and a cast-iron radiator, give it personality. The stripped boards and exposed wooden ceiling, meanwhile, form a lovely rustic backdrop.
Browse 9 of the most gorgeous shabby chic bedrooms on Houzz
Make a feature of the fabric
The modern rustic look revels in the nuts and bolts of a building, from its flooring to its rafters. This living room in an Italian home puts the raw plaster walls and uneven paved floor front and centre.
The space is then simply decorated with an honest table, made from a length of wood and two rustic trestles, and an unfussy sofa, beautifully dressed with a loose cover in deep, stormy grey.
Mix it up
There’s a well-judged combination of styles in this room, helping a modern rustic aesthetic to feel livable and light. The stone floor, simple wooden armchair, metal trunk coffee table and stone hearth are firmly on the rustic side of the fence, but they’re teamed with velvet-covered sofas to soften the look and introduce some more formal luxury.
Combine with a collection
The raw materials of a room – its roof beams, exposed brickwork or stone floor – are often the main event in a modern rustic scheme, but this good, honest fabric can be softened and punctuated with decorative pieces.
Here, a collection of ceramics lines one wall, bringing lots of personality and colour to a rustic-feeling space.
Check out 11 brilliant ways to use wasted space in the living room
Be big and brave
The unadorned nature of the interior of this Swedish home is really striking and original. The roof is visible, the floor is a vast expanse of polished concrete, and the wooden mezzanine, which contains the bedroom, is beautifully tucked under the eaves.
The scale is impressive, too, with huge wooden sofas and a generous coffee table zoning the living area in this large, open-plan home.
Add folksy elements
Textiles and natural fibres play a big part in any modern rustic scheme, but adding some cultural interest mixes things up and gives the look a modern, eclectic twist.
In this living space, the country basics are cleverly combined with a geometric folk pattern, traditional Swedish horse accessories and warm, spicy colours. The wooden-framed armchair is warm and rustic, but its shape is exciting – a contemporary update of the classic high-backed chair that would sit by a cottage fireplace.
What’s your take on modern rustic living rooms – love them or loathe them? Add your thoughts in the Comments below.