Fall in Love with Rustic Modern

June 23rd, 2017 in blog, projects     
suewhitney Sue Whitney, editor
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The bones of this room are clearly consistent with the boiler plate definition of rustic modern as are many of the design components. Some however are not. Unexpected elements provide the ah ha factor to your decor.
The gathering room door illustrates a key ingredient of rustic modern design. The preservation of original character is essential. The hand painting adds a little whimsy and modern appeal.
Reclaimed flooring and rustic hooks combine to make a beautiful coat hanger.
I opted for comfy with the sofa versus sleek. This and the cow hide mixed with playful pillows puts a new spin on rustic modern
A trio of soft accessories dress up the black and white print chair. My favorite is the quilt crafted from vintage saris found at Adourn Furniture Rehab in Chatfield, MN.
A perfect example of spontaneous combustion. The table toppers are a combination of finds from thrift stores, garage sales, big box stores and a greenhouse.
The juxtaposition between the vintage concrete stone and the beautiful candles makes for an interesting and textural table centerpiece. The lichen mat adds a desirable organic element.
I picked up these reclaimed bread boards at Adourn in Chatfield, MN and created assemblage wall art with little junk odds and ends. 
Easy to find old windows make excellent frames for a collage of black and white photos.
I highly recommend showing a sense of humor in your decorating. We all need a maids closet at home, preferably one that someone else uses. Nicely dione by the good folks at Iron Horse Outfitters and Inn.
The bones of this room are clearly consistent with the boiler plate definition of rustic modern as are many of the design components. Some however are not. Unexpected elements provide the ah ha factor to your decor.

The bones of this room are clearly consistent with the boiler plate definition of rustic modern as are many of the design components. Some however are not. Unexpected elements provide the "ah ha" factor to your decor.

Photo: Sue Whitney

Thanks so much to Iron Horse Outfitteres and Inn from Lanesboro, MN for allowng me to shoot in their very beautiful Inn. These two have a flair for decor and comfort. If you have not stayed with them you will want to make your reservations today. The leaves are starting to turn and this is the most beautil time to visit Lanesboro.

Also thanks so much to Melissa of Adourn Furniture Rehab from Chatfield, MN for supplyimng some of the beautiful home decor pieces. Both she and her shop are delghtful!







I hail from Minnesota, so I’m taking a wild guess that many of you agree autumn is the best season of the four. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, but at long last it’s just right for the mamas, the papas and the baby bears. That means it’s time not only to relish the final days of the glorious Minnesota weather, but also to get a jumpstart on bringing the outdoors in and prepare to embrace our longer than necessary winter hibernation season. Modern rustic is an excellent design option to do just that. Personally I’m a sitting duck for the radiance of rustic charm and modern amenities, so why not combine the two? It’s a big buzz term right now I know, but there is no reason to follow all of the guidelines set forth in this article or any other for that matter. Many of you know I believe rules were meant to be broken. Pick a few of your favorite suggestions and insert your own special spin. Get ready to unleash your inner designer, JUNKMARKET Style.




Simple and uncluttered has long been a favorite decorating approach of mine. Less is more are words to live by. I adore rustic modern as it offers up plenty of polish without the chaos. This design strategy is easy to love for its timeless splendor and welcoming appeal, not to mention it is 100% doily free. Another advantage of rustic modern is that it is wide open for interpretation. Regardless if you are a fan of country, industrial, modern, mid-century or traditional the clean bones and unassuming color-way of this style option will allow you to put your own twist on the trend. You can rest assured you will be able to move about the design cabin freely when putting your stamp on rustic modern.




Some of the key ingredients to a rustic modern scheme are an open floor plan, clean lined furniture, and exposed natural architectural elements. If you have a timeworn home use it to your advantage. Play off its character and preserve or restore the original architectural details. For example, if you have old brick walls under plaster expose some of it. Grab your hammers ladies and release your stress in a productive manner! A newer home may require some enhancements. Beefy trim, reclaimed wood and natural stone are some essentials you may want to consider adding to your décor. While you’re at it don’t forget your fifth wall, the ceiling. Recycled barn beams are an excellent choice. Large windows are a signature component of this design. Rustic moderns want to be next to nature, and large windows invite the outdoors in to your home. The principal concept of this style is the combination of the warmth and charm of a rustic dwelling with the modern conveniences and style of a modern abode.




The time has come for me to stray from the herd. Imagine that! Fences were invented for livestock not for people so feel free to create without boundaries. Let’s discuss color and pattern choices. Many designers will have you believe that your upholstery, linen and floor covering options should be as neutral as the bones of your rustic modern interior. To that I say pshaw! As you can see in the images, I love to play with color and pattern. I also avoid traditional color schemes defined by the season. I believe uncommon color pops along with unexpected geometric and floral patterns add a little energy to your environment.


Another way to mix things up is the careful combination of old and new. Although I am a big proponent of vintage decor I understand that all old is not practical. My version of rustic modern includes new furniture pieces layered with vintage wares, thrift store finds, garage sale goodies, big box bargains and upcycled projects. I call this approach to interior design spontaneous combustion. The only thing you need to consider is that each piece you select should play nicely in the sandbox with the others. If raising children were this easy we’d all have it made!


Rustic modern truly provides informal elegance, comfortable and contemporary living at its finest. I believe the best feature of this design strategy is its timeless allure. I say do it once, do it right and don’t worry about a thing for the next 10 years other than enjoying your fabulous surroundings.

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posted in: blog, projects, tabletop, furniture, , mirror, window coverings, rustic modern

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