How to Create Rustic Home Decor

A collection of vintage home decor items against a wood wall.

Rustic home decor is still a popular trend in home design, and it's easy to achieve since it doesn't often center around expensive furniture or accessories. Many pieces in this style can either be DIYed or found secondhand. Wood and stone are great building blocks for this look when it comes to structural design. With a focus on soft colors and and some antique or vintage accessories, you can recreate the whole look of your home while staying on trend and on budget.

Color Choices

The color options for creating a space filled with rustic home decor should include hues that are muted and soft. This is not the time or place for neon colors. Think sage greens, light blues, and creams or whites. These pastel colors can be contrasted with dark tones of wood and metal accents and furniture to balance everything out. If you do want to branch out, consider reds and navy blues that you may find in typical cabin decor, such as in plaid blankets and rugs.

Furniture Style

A rustic dining room with a brick wall and wood table

Furniture should be simple and not too modern. It should also be basic in utility. Large cabinets with a weathered look are ideal, as are cozy arm chairs in a classic fabric pattern such as plaid. Go with choices that read more farmhouse than modern apartment. For instance, a long wood dining table will fit into the rustic decor scheme better than a sleek white table from Ikea. Consider making your own furniture, where you can easily create a rustic aesthetic with repurposed wood and other materials.

One such project is a rustic wood bench made from repurposed pallets, which would work in an entryway, at the foot of a bed, or alongside a long farmhouse dining table.

Wood pallets are generally easy to come by from shops that receive large shipments and just want to get rid of them. Take apart a pallet so that you have several long and short pieces of wood. Use the long pieces as the support for the bench. Decide how wide you want your bench to be, and cut the shorter wood pieces to that length. Attach the short pieces so that each end can be secured to the longer support boards. Decide how high you want your bench and cut four boards to that length. Attach the leg boards to the bench seat. Sand the entire piece and then paint or stain it to match your rustic home décor.

Wall Treatments

If you have a room that needs a little TLC, consider installing a wood plank wall, which adds a warm rustic feeling to any space. After measuring the wall to know how much space you'll need to cover, decide if you want to use repurposed wood, such as from pallets, or distress new wood yourself to make it look old. When you begin installation, work from the top down, making sure the boards fit snugly together. A nail gun makes this job much easier to complete. When the wall is covered, sand the surface slightly and apply a coat of stain to the boards.

If you want to simply paint your walls, consider different techniques you can do to alter the look of the paint. From whitewashing to dry brushing, a rustic-looking wall is easier to achieve than you may think.


A rustic wood wall with antlers on it.

Carry the theme of rustic decor throughout your home with well-chosen accessories. Visit flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores, and estate sales to find items with some wear to them. Look for anything from antique lighting fixtures or wood-framed art to a collection of old glass bottles. Also consider throwing in some natural elements that will play well alongside any wood in your home. Think antlers or collections of pine cones or feathers. Medium-sized rocks can act as bookends while a collection of twigs can look artistic in a vase as a centerpiece. You don't have to spend a lot of money to accessorize your home with a rustic theme in mind.