Style Crush: Modern Rustic


Our studio stylists have been exploring the modern rustic trend with timbers and textures – here are our tips to get the look in your home…

Following the mantra of ‘back to nature’, the modern rustic trend is making us take a step back from the hustle and hurry of the everyday and rediscover what matters most – the comfort of home.

A comfortable home balances the best of modern convenience with that cosy feeling we all know and love; it’s a retreat from the rest of the world.

With a little help from our junior homewares and furniture buyers here at Zanui, we’re bringing you the low-down on how to style that oh-so-comfy, modern rustic feel…

Featured: Esperance Quilt Cover from Sheridan, Artisan Acacia serving board from Maxwell & Williams, and the Tropica Woody Mirror from SoundslikeHOME. Available on Zanui.

What is Modern Rustic?

If the idea is to make your house a home, then the modern rustic style is essential.

Modern rustic brings together the clean palette and style-lines of a contemporary space with the homely nostalgia of a country home.

Junior furniture buyer, Victoria Fletcher, says she loves this trend “for it’s timelessness and ‘lived-in’ look.”

“Using simple colours, natural textures, and raw, un-doctored materials that will only look better with age, creates a warm, homely look, that’s still incredibly cool.”

Featured: Elm Square Side Table from Beaumont & BraddockLarsen Light Grey 3 Seater Sofa from Zanui, Bosco Pendant Light, 34cm from Searles Homewares,  Laos Rectangular Coffee Table from Casa Uno, Hampton Linen Cushion from j.elliot HOME. Available on Zanui.

“I love the organic warmth of the style,” says junior homewares buyer, Alanna Joannides.

“There’s something about bringing together rustic charm with modern elements that creates an unpretentious elegance.”

Think of white walls and neutral staples sidelined with chunky wooden side tables. Think of a smooth wooden dining table spotted with natural linen napkins and slate servingware

But more than interior design, modern rustic is about how you live and how you use your space.

Our homes should feel welcoming and lived-in. After all, where else would you rather be at the end of the day?

How to Embrace the Style

The modern rustic style is a fusion of old and new – of country and contemporary. But our lives aren’t black and white. We love the boundary-free world of the ‘grey area’.

And to pull off modern rustic, you’ll need to play with contrast.

“The contrast of pairing modern pieces with older, handpicked elements keeps it creative, with emphasis on up-cycling and reusing to create a more unique space,” says Victoria.

Featured: Elm 2 Drawer Console Table from Beaumont & Braddock, Moroccan Leather Pouf Cover, Tan Brown from Cush & Co, Butterfly Black Leather Armchair from Phil Bee Interiors, Jim Henson Print Art from Americanflat. Available on Zanui.

Natural Textures

Choose signature pieces rich with character to contrast your contemporary staple furniture to balance modern and rustic.

It’s important to use organic texture, Alanna reminds us: “One of the key components to a modern rustic look is bringing the quality of natural materials inside the home.”

Use accent furniture, like side and coffee tables or consoles, and go bold with reclaimed timber – all knotty, notched and handsome. Robust furniture boasting unrefined wood grains bring stacks of character to your space.

To accent with decor, “essentials should include faux fur throws, animal hide rugs and raw fabrics such as canvas and linen,” Alanna says.

Featured: Bread Street dinnerware from Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton, Venice Linen Napkin (Set of 4) from Jenny Mclean. Available on Zanui.

And for organic contrast, try natural florals or artificial plants. Victoria suggests choosing “native flowers and foliage.”

Against the raw timber, opt for fabrics made from natural materials like cotton and linen. For the living area or bedroom, go for soft and simple cushions and lightweight Turkish throws.

In the dining room, we adore a casual tablecloth for a relaxed vibe – channel that always-welcome feeling of dinner with the family.

Neutrals & Muted Shades

With natural textures come natural colours. To fully embrace the potential of the modern rustic style, it’s best to work with a neutral base and complement with earthy tones or dull colours.

It sounds a bit on the bland side, but trust us, your space will be anything but boring (because don’t forget all that texture!).

Featured: Larsen Light Grey 3 Seater Sofa from ZanuiLaos Rectangular Coffee Table from Casa Uno, Basket Weave Peshtemal Turkish Towel from Time Tree TextilesHampton Linen Cushion from j.elliot HOME. Available on Zanui.

Start with simple staple furniture in neutral tones then layer with linens and browns. Use colour sparingly and shy away from brights.

If colour is calling your name, keep it classic by shading it down or toning it up. Deep, broody hues or airy pastels work well with modern rustic and let you play with personality.

Styling Dos and Don’ts

With all this styling advice in mind, it’s easy to go overboard or lose your unique aesthetic. Here are some tips from our junior buyers about what they’ve learned when styling modern rustic…

“Don’t be afraid to mix natural, raw pieces with clean, stark walls,” says Vic. “Contrasting neutrals keeps the wood looking crisp. And remember to be confident in mixing tones of timber – it doesn’t all have to match perfectly!”

“Focus on keeping your space minimal to enhance the features of the natural materials you’ve chosen,” Alanna says. “And steer away from too many colours – stick with earthy textures and moody tones.”

Kyra Thomsen is a writer and editor from Sydney, NSW. She has experience in copywriting, blogging, journalism, and social media. After completing two degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature in 2013 she began work with the content team at Zanui. Kyra was the winner of the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and her work has been published in print and online for numerous sources, including Writer's Edit, Seizure, and Fairfax Media among others.