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Bring Earthy Elegance Into Your Home

leather couch in rustic designIf you love the outdoors, decorating a room in a rustic style can help you capture that casual, earthy spirit. It’s a versatile design style that can remind you of anything from a European hunting lodge to a cozy mountain cabin. It can call to mind a vacation to Montana or a favorite nature photograph. Rustic is authentic, handmade, mismatched, and comfortable. And you don’t have to sacrifice sophistication.

Whether you want to entertain your friends with a casual get-together or curl up on the couch with a thick blanket and a good book, rustic design can help you create a space that is as relaxing as your favorite outdoor spot.

Here are tips from Susan Prestia, a Kansas-based designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers, for creating a relaxed, rustic space:

Seek out rugged, weathered furniture: Look for furniture made from distressed wood, and don’t be afraid to paint it.

Try metal accents: A metal base with a wooden top instead of glass is just right. Metal accessories such as picture frames are an affordable touch.

rustic design jars

stool with stuffed toy cow and bag of groceriesLook for a leather sofa: The softness helps balance the hardness of wood and metal.

Think natural fibers: Add wool blankets as accents. Hand-woven textiles by up-and-coming artists can be bought for reasonable prices.

Pull in nature: Stones, fresh flowers, and plants help space feel alive. Use art, such as photography, to bring in nature. Windows can serve as pictures in the room, if you have a great view.

Think broadly about a color palate: You’re not limited to the traditional palate of dark greens and reds. For example, while you might not want to use soft yellow, a strong golden could work beautifully. A neutral palette such as cream or charcoal creates a soothing backdrop.

Aim for natural light: Use dimmers and unscented candles to add to the mood.

Remember that less is more: Keep the space uncluttered and tidy. Avoid anything frou-frou.