Where to Start?

We all dream of a home worthy of a Magnolia Journal spread. We don’t all have a Fixer Upper budget, but with a few tips we can achieve a polished, cozy, and rustic look for our homes.

If rustic design is a new look for your home, you want to make sure you avoid a few common rustic design mistakes.

We’re going to walk you through five common rustic design mistakes, how to avoid them, and what to do instead. These tips are going to focus on how your home feels while offering you flexibility with your home looks.

5 Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid Clutter

One of the most enjoyable parts of giving your home a rustic-inspired makeover, is scoring fun antique pieces at flea markets, thrift stores, and other home goods retailers. Yes,  it can be tempting,  but try not to get carried away. Too many accessories will make your home feel cluttered. Not cozy.

Take some time to go through some of the accent pieces, furniture, art, and other accessories in your home. Ask yourself if they add comfort to your home or just take up space. This is a good time to put the things that just take up space to a thrift store. You’ll feel more relaxed in an uncluttered home.

Avoid Clashing

Just like you avoid wearing clashing colors, prints, or textures, you need to avoid them in your rustic home either. Yes, there are some ways that some designers mix colors, prints, and textures, but for a beginner it’s best to avoid these things altogether.

Stick with a neutral color palette. Avoid harsh, bright colors (like neon). Bold, bright colors might work with other design schemes, but a rustic home isn’t the best place for them.  Don’t feel like you have to avoid all colors – just don’t let them overpower a room.

Avoid Being Too Trendy

It’s easy to get swept up in the latest trends. Depending on your age, you might look back on pictures of your childhood home and know just what we’re talking about.

If you’re a child of the 70’s, you might remember shag carpet, avocado walls, wood paneling, and honey oak cabinets. If you’re a child of the 90’s, you’ll remember muted, pastel colors, brass lighting fixtures, and polyester furniture.

At the time, these homes were at the height of fashion. Unfortunately, they’re now dated trends.

For style to remain timeless (instead of trendy), look to a different decade. The 1920’s. As a rule of thumb, you can almost always count on making timeless design choices if you could picture your design element in a home in the 1920’s.

Hallmarks of 1920’s interior design include:

  • Wood floors
  • Claw-foot bathtubs
  • White tiles
  • Prints and colors carefully placed

Avoid Harsh Lighting

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this!

Choose your lighting very carefully. Avoid these lighting mistakes:

  • Bright overhead light
  • Fluorescent Light
  • Colorful, bright lights (neon, lava lamps, etc.)

Lighting is what determines the comfort of a room. Soft, warm light will be the glue that binds all your design decisions together.

Poor Furniture Arrangement

How you arrange your furniture will make a big impact on the mood of the room.

You want your rustic home to feel cozy. Don’t shy away from plush couches with blankets and pillows. Just remember that you want your home to feel cozy and not cluttered. You also don’t want your room to feel empty. Think about the number of people in your family. Purchase and arrange your furniture accordingly.

Part of making a house a home is providing an abundance of comfortable seating. As long as your room doesn’t feel cluttered, you’re on the right track.

Bringing it all Together

Rustic design is one of the most comforting and popular design trends today. People who are drawn to rustic design want their house to feel like a home, and not a museum with scores of artifacts or dated trends.

It doesn’t have to be pricey to design the pefect rustic home, but the money you do spend should be spent wisely. Don’t spend money on dozens of trinkets and flea-market finds. Instead, invest in a few quality pieces that speak to the nature of your home.

Remember, designing a rustic home is more about how your home feels rather than how it looks. How your family and friends feel is what makes your house a home.