At first glance, the idea of a modern rustic living room might seem out of the realm of possibility. After all, modern decor is at odds with a rustic aesthetic, isn’t it? Not a bit. A modern rustic style fuses the two design themes for a simply stunning look.
Changing up your space doesn’t have to be expensive, either, even if you have to introduce several new elements and pieces of furniture into the room. There are numerous ways to achieve a modern yet rustic living room without breaking your budget.
1. Barn Wood Bonanza
Keep an eye out for barn wood sales in your area. Many times, when someone wants to empty or get rid of an old barn or another wooden building, they’ll haul everything out, sell all the items, and then dismantle the structure as a final step.
This gives you an amazing opportunity to snag some rustic barn wood on the cheap. If that’s not a possibility, then you can often find people selling reclaimed wood, as well. It might not be as inexpensive as it would be if you salvaged it yourself, but it should be cheaper than buying it at a hardware store.
Your options for decorating your reclaimed masterpieces are endless. You could decorate an accent wall with barn wood in the classic shiplap style. Reclaimed wood can also be used as trim or wainscoting to give your room a rustic feel. Balance it out with modern touches that still fit the theme, such as wrought iron furniture or sleek leather poufs.
2. Salvage Your Decor
Salvaging your decor from secondhand stores is a fun option that allows you to go on an adventure and play interior decorator, at the same time! While you can always find someone on sites like Craigslist trying to get rid of something, you can also explore antique stores and search out local yard sales to find country-chic pieces that won’t break your bank account.
Sifting through local yard sales and secondhand stores gives you a chance to shop for unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else such as handmade side tables, vintage rocking chairs, and embroidered ottomans. Keep an eye out for wall decor, too!
Books can be a great inspiration for DIY art pieces. Frame the old pages to create your own artwork or hot glue a mismatched stack of books together for a fun, side table accent. Maintain the modern quality of the room with side chairs or lamps in sleek colorful plastic or stainless steel.
3. The Rockabilly Edge
A modern rustic living room is a combination of interesting and eye-catching design aesthetics. It gives you some freedom, as well, because the term can be somewhat subjective. What qualifies as modern rustic for you? From rock-n-roll accents to chic accessories with an industrial flair, edgy decor can fit right in with a modern rustic look. It all comes down to the details you use and how you highlight them in your living room.
Metal elements can add a cool industrial vibe to your rustic style. For you, that may mean scouring thrift stores for corrugated metal pieces like a purposely rusted wall hanging, a mirror mounted on metal, or old-fashioned tin ceiling tiles.
If you want a more retro-than-rustic centered style, consider using record album covers as wall decor by framing your favorite covers in hues of your choice. For something more artistic, think about framing the records themselves or hanging them from the ceiling with string.
4. Try Pickling Your Woodwork
One of the most important aspects of redecorating on a budget is to work with what you have. Do you currently have woodwork in your living room? Pickling your existing wood is one way to give your space a rustic upgrade that simultaneously appears modern and fresh. The best part is you can make this a DIY project without much trouble!
Used to lighten the color of wood, pickling wood has been a design tactic since the 16th century — but don’t worry, it’s much easier to do today! Once upon a time, it was an involved process that required all sorts of nasty substances, including lye. Now, you can use primer paint or shop for a pickling product that can whitewash your wood.
Whitewashed wood not only brightens a room but also makes it appear older in a good way! The weathered wood effect is attractive and easy-to-decorate. This method is particularly effective if your space has cheaper, softer wood, such as pine, or if the wood is already scratched or scuffed.
5. Bring the Outdoors Inside
Bringing the outside indoors is a stylish way to adopt a modern rustic aesthetic. You don’t have to tear down any walls or bring in your patio furniture to make this look happen. Simply take advantage of the windows and natural light in the room. Instead of hiding daylight behind blinds and oppressive curtains, consider leaving the windows uncovered, at least during the daytime. It’s cheaper than installing a skylight or adding more windows, and it packs an unbelievable punch.
Another way to incorporate a rustic touch is to fill your room with greenery and plants. To bring a more modern effect to your room, focus on how you hang your plants and what planters you use. Plant choice makes a difference, as well. For example, exotic leafy plants tend to be more modern, whereas country-cozy plants, such as spider plants and flowering herbs, appear more rustic.
6. Incorporate Natural Elements
A modern living room instantly becomes more rustic when you focus on natural elements and decor. From something as simple as whitewashing brick accents to filling the room with greenery and vintage-inspired wooden furniture, you can transform any room into a rustically chic masterpiece with ease!
Let us know how you would decorate a modern rustic living room. What details stand out as modern to you? How can you mix them with rustic pieces to create a harmonious living space? We can’t wait to hear!