Rustic Contemporary Interior Design: 6 Key Principles

Rustic kitchen

Contemporary home design does not have to be confined to modern lofts or city dwellings. For older homes, homes in wooded or rustic areas or for people who enjoy a mix of interior design styles, rustic contemporary design can be the perfect fit.

What Is Rustic Contemporary Interior Design

Rustic contemporary design is a blend of modern and contemporary features in a rustic, log cabin, older or farmhouse style home. The term could also be used to describe interior design practices applied to some modern and contemporary homes that incorporate rustic or farmhouse style features. The result is a warm and inviting home with modern amenities, conveniences, furnishings and materials.

Principles of Rustic Contemporary Design

rustic interior design style

If you want to create a rustic contemporary feel in your own home, learn the basics behind the design to incorporate into your own.


The flooring in a rustic contemporary home is one of the most important components, because it can be carried through the entire space, unifying the various rooms. The flooring in rustic contemporary homes also tends to be a blend of the two styles, which help set the stage for the rest of the design.

Look for any of the following as a good base for the home:

  • Wide plank wood floors. Good choices include bleached wood with a matte finish and very dark wood, but any wood tone can work if paired with other features of this style home.
  • Honed French limestone tiles like Fontenay Claire or Beaumaniere Light. These incredibly durable tiles have a unique texture, but with a clean, crisp edge that works well in this style.
  • Honed or cleft-faced slate tiles in gray or black. Avoid tumbled finishes and look for tiles with a clean edge, but textured face.


The kitchen is one of the best places to display a mixture of rustic and contemporary designs in one room. Mix modern countertop materials like concrete, honed granite or engineered stone with cabinets that have a beadboard door front. Use a white or cream colored paint on the doors to keep things light, and use a neutral backsplash like white ceramic squares or subway tiles to unite the two areas.

Rustic contemporary kitchen

Another option is to use beadboard on the walls, rather than in the cabinet doors and use shelving, rather than cabinets on at least one wall. Have the shelves made out of material either matching the counters, or another modern material to tie the two areas together.

In either case, keep the appliances modern and the flooring from the other rooms.


The walls in a rustic contemporary home should be a blend between the clean, neutral designs of a contemporary home and the more textured, patterned and decorative walls in rustic homes.

Avoid things like beadboard or wallboard and keep the walls smooth, but consider a warmer color than just off white. A patterned wallpaper in a modern or abstract design in one or two rooms, like the bedroom can help to add some interest to the space.


Much like the kitchen, the bathroom can be a blend of rustic and contemporary features in one area. Combine a shaker style bathroom vanity in oak, clear maple or natural cherry with modern plumbing features and sleek chrome faucets. Use a textured tile like slate underfoot and pair it with a handmade ceramic on the walls in a solid color.


Keep your furniture contemporary; this should be the ultimate contrast to the rustic style flooring, warmer walls and rustic cabinetry. Look for clean, sleek lines and modern materials.


Rustic contempoary home

Accents can go a long way toward finishing a style. Add in any of these to help cement your design:

  • Contemporary style wood stove or fireplace insert
  • Heavy, stained woodwork including baseboards, doorframes and moldings
  • Textured throw rugs in solid, neutral colors
  • Large windows framed in colorful and heavy drapes
  • Faux ceiling beams in a stain that matches the woodwork or flooring
  • An open floor plan
  • Fieldstone or slate fireplace surround

Incorporating Rustic Décor into Your Home

The following online retailers are excellent resources for finding accessories and decorating ideas that will be perfect for your new rustic contemporary décor:

Blend Slowly

The key to achieving this style of design is balance. Moving too far in one or the other direction will result in a home that has some items that appear out of place. Blend the two designs slowly, choosing one feature at a time from each design style until you have exactly the look you are after.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Rustic Contemporary Interior Design: 6 Key Principles