Striking the Perfect Balance: The Art of Modern Rustic Decor

modern rustic interior decor in dining room at manhattan 0ne57 by jasmine lam

On the surface, it would appear that modern decor and rustic schemes have very little in common. After all, modern design is all about minimalism and sharp clean lines. Rustic, on the other hand, is personified by rough, rugged, and natural.

Despite this presumed difference, though, these are designs that work incredibly well together – as long as you know how to do so. Pull this project off and you will have a balanced home that is the perfect blend of coziness and chicness.

Below, you will find all the tips and tricks that you need to wield these schemes and bring them together in perfect harmony.


6 Tips to Master Modern Rustic Decor


Opt for Neutral Paint Colors

Paint is often the foundation of the decor scheme for any room or space. Thus, this is where you need to begin. Now, the great thing about neutral hues is that they work equally well for both modern and rustic decor.

modern rustic decor Interior design by Audax (Photo by Erik Rotter, Shai Gil)
Interior design by Audax (Photo by Erik Rotter, Shai Gil)

Traditionally, a modern home would utilize cooler colors, while a rustic space would invest in warm colors. A powder blue or light grey would be great for a stronger modern theme. A beige taupe or lighter mocha is a good place to start for a more obvious rustic base.

While you can go with one of these options, it is also possible to find shades that would work well for either scheme. For instance, greige – a mix of beige and grey would offer the best of both worlds. Or, you can choose to go completely outside the box and select a beautiful light mauve/pink color.

Create a Muted Color Scheme

The paint colors are just the beginning – what about the rest of the color scheme? Well, it is best to go with a more muted color scheme. This way, you will be able to tick all the right boxes for both rustic and modern.

Neutral hues work well. These don’t have to be the same color or shade as what you have on the walls. Nevertheless, they should complement one another. You should also be mindful of the fact that you can add texture to any space simply by using different shades of the same color.

St. Tropez kitchen by Stephane Coutas - Photo by Francis Amiand
St. Tropez kitchen by Stephane Coutas (Photo by Francis Amiand)

More to Love: 5 Striking Neutral Room Ideas


Go with Wood Features and Fixtures

Most people imagine wood to be an innately rustic element. After all, it is derived from nature and has a rather warm feel to it. The truth, however, is that wood can be used to encompass both a rustic and a modern vibe. This is why you should incorporate wood accents in your home.

Manhattan One57 project designed by Jasmine Lam (Photo by Marietta Leung)
Manhattan One57 project designed by Jasmine Lam (Photo by Marietta Leung)

There are several ways to do this. While furniture may seem like the most obvious option, this doesn’t have to be the case. Sculptures, artwork, and even flooring can be considered an excellent wood accent, adding a balanced feel.

The one thing that you should pay attention to, however, is the wood tones. If you are looking to balance out a modern vibe with rustic features, then opt for brown, rich colored wood. On the other hand, if you are trying to inject modern elements, look for grey or dark wood tones instead.

fleur nightstand by koket - wood inlay

Soften Up Harsh Lines

Modern design often involves a lot of clean lines and angles. While this can certainly be soothing to the eye, it can also feel rather harsh at times. This is especially true if you are also trying to add a rustic vibe to your home.

Modern Rustic Decor Living Room Design by Staprans Design - Photo by Brad Knipstein
Interior design by Staprans Design (Photo by Brad Knipstein)

This is why you should look for ways to soften up these harsh lines. For instance, if the lines are due to your furniture, use fabric textures in the form of pillows, throws, and rugs to add a sense of coziness to the room.

Or, if it appears that you have plenty of lustrous metals around the room, offset this with natural materials. This includes rounded wood pieces and smooth stone. Just make sure that the shades of the materials complement one another for a more cohesive look.

A fun and unusual way to soften harsh lines is to alternate between upholstered and non-upholstered furnishings in the room. For instance, if you have a rounded, fluffy couch, have chairs with a more stripped-down or bare design.

Extend the Trend to the Outside

Your decorating efforts shouldn’t end inside your home. You must take the modern rustic decor theme outside as well. In this space, you will need to consider the surrounding details independently.

modern rustic decor Pool house and spa retreat in Amagansett, NY designed by ICRAVE (Photo by John Muggenborg)
Pool house and spa retreat in Amagansett, NY designed by ICRAVE (Photo by John Muggenborg)

To begin with, consider the fence or boundary around your garden or backyard. Is it made of concrete or another material that looks distinctly man-made? In this case, the furniture needs to be a contrast. Opt for pieces from a store such as the Amish Outlet Store, where you can find wooden chairs and tables, with round and soft edges.

If you have a wooden fence, it will be more prudent to opt for garden furniture that is made from metal. In this instance, you will have to make sure that the furniture still works well with the surroundings. Thus, you should opt for dark or warm metals. Look for elements that have a more dull glow instead of being lustrous.

Bring Nature Indoors

Greenery is a universal furnishing element. This is something you will find in minimalistic and rustic homes. It makes your home feel lighter and more comfortable, all while adding a gorgeous pop of color. Once again, it is all about making sure that the rustic and the modern elements balance each other out.

“Meditation Space” by Touijer Designs at the Holiday House NYC 2019 Showhouse (Photo by Regan Wood)
“Meditation Space” by Touijer Designs at the Holiday House NYC 2019 Showhouse (Photo by Regan Wood)

Now, if you would prefer minimalistic plants, go for ones that have a bit more structure to them. You can choose easy to maintain ones like succulents. Or, look for plants that grow tall without too many parts branching out. Make sure to grow them in planters that have a rustic aesthetic.

Rustic plants look a bit wilder and can have colorful flowers as well. Plants that appear to grow in bunches are certainly a cute touch. You can create equilibrium by opting for neutral-colored planters with simple lines.


More to Love: Fashionable & Functional – How to Decorate Your Home with Plants


As you can see, it is fairly easy to create this gorgeous balance of designs. All you need is the right guidelines and then you, too, can recreate the modern rustic home of your dreams.

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