Creating a Rustic and Reclaimed Living Room

Incorporating these design elements into your living room will make it feel warm & cozy – just in time for fall!

The following is a guest post from Kerrie Kelly, ASID

A rustic, reclaimed living room is all about that perfect combination between old and new. Thanks to its unwavering ability to bring warmth into a space, rustic influences have become all the rage by bringing in cozy textures and natural elements from the olden days into modern spaces. They also celebrate the art of reusing, combining flea market finds with salvaged materials from the past. Let’s take a look at a few easy ways you can create an organic oasis complete with farmhouse-inspired furnishings, woodsy wallpaper and chic accessories.

Weathered Materials and Organic Shapes

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What better way to bring rustic charm into your living room than with weathered and organic materials? Texture and patina are essential for adding a sense of age to a living room. Reclaimed wood has become the holy grail of the rustic look—when used on an accent wall or as ceiling beams, the wood can instantly create a space that seems like it has been around for generations.

Contrary to popular belief, your living room doesn’t need to be completely covered in reclaimed wood to pull off that rustic charm. Antique brass and hammered metals also add to the verdigris of a cozy living room, layering well with rougher textures and distressed patinas. Accenting a space with a few organic shapes limits the feeling of everything being mass-produced—wicker baskets are easy additions for newspaper or blanket storage, while hand-turned wooden bowls make great coffee table decor or knick-knack holders. Want to bring in the look of weathered materials without the commitment of nails and glue? We love an accent wall made of removable wallpaper with a shiplap print for a quick and easy rustic touch.

Warm, Earthy Colors

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The rustic living room is all about incorporating warm, earthy tones from the natural world. While many color inspirations can be pulled from the natural materials, others can come from a variety of travel spots to combine into a cozy palette for your living room. We love the look of rusty tones from the deserts of the American Southwest to earthy hues from the Smoky Mountains. Don’t think your living room needs to be a catalogue of all shades of beige—there is room for a sprinkling of vivid color accents like a deep cherry red, prairie golden yellow, chambray blue and faded desert turquoise.

Hearty Fabrics

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Like the rustic look, hearty fabrics highlight both natural beauty and ruggedness. Stray away from light fabrics like silk—their delicateness won’t blend in well with the heartiness of reclaimed pieces. Instead, stick to sturdier fabrics like wool, burlap, cotton and linen, which have a long history in homey rooms. The right pattern can also play a part in tying together your living room—try trendy-colored gingham, flannel or striped pillows for contrast, or a modern quilt for a classic piece of Americana.

Recycled and Reclaimed Accents

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Materials aren’t the only addition to your living room that can be re-purposed. Create a collected look with miscellaneous furniture, lighting, art and accessories for a quintessential rustic and reclaimed living room. Feel free to combine multiple styles into a curated look that screams “you”—industrial lighting, vintage signs, farmhouse accents, you name it. Look for an old-timey rocking chair or consider re-purposing a wing back for a fun take on an old design staple.


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Accessories are the perfect way to add a dose of femininity to a space overwhelmed by rustic wood and deeper tones. Soften a space with a sheepskin rug or a well-loved Persian rug. A dazzling old chandelier will add sparkle, as will a few industrial style reading lamps with antique shine. An old-school bar cart is a great flea market find, and accented with the right metallic barware it can add a fabulous little touch of speakeasy glamour to a rustic room.

Have you ever created a rustic and reclaimed living room in your space? What were your go-to accessories and furnishings?

Developing stylish homes is a hallmark of Kerrie Kelly’s work at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Sacramento, Ca. Kerrie’s advice on rustic spans wall, floor and furniture inspiration. Kerrie writes on interior design for Home Depot, where you can review a selection of wallpaper patterns that could help bring out the rustic look you’re looking for.

Images via Shutterstock

Christian is the Senior Manager of Brand Media for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. In this role, he oversees social media for the brand as well as media planning for all national advertising campaigns. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, building LEGO sets and binging TV's latest hits. He currently resides in Miami, FL.

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1 Comment

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    September 8, 2017

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