Living a Modern Lifestyle in a Rustic Space

The rustic Americana style is a perennial classic.

By Carly Bush


Home is where the heart is, and when you settle down in the country, your heart becomes more inclined to appreciate the simpler things in life. There’s just something about the wide open sky, untainted natural landscape, and sound of bird calls in the early morning that inspire the mind and calm the soul. It’s not a surprise that classic American farmhouses remain highly sought-after properties; they are charming, quaint, and undeniably rich in history, offering a warm, lived-in feel from the second you step over the threshold.




Benefits of Vintage Decor

The rustic Americana style is a perennial classic that will never go out of style. It’s authentic, real, and comfortable. If you are unmoved by the formality of modern decorating styles, and prefer a bit of clutter to stark minimalism, this style might suit you more effectively. In the same vein, earthy neutral tones complement the Americana style more than bold and bright solids. Think burnished oak dressers, handcrafted Navajo rugs, and lovingly scuffed hardwood.




In addition, decorating your home with vintage decor is affordable, simple, and comfortable, with a focus on signature antique pieces and shabby-chic imperfections. Whether your country home is custom-built or a century old, nestled near the woodland pines of New England or deep in the rural south, you won’t have to venture far to find an antique dealer or an Etsy shop with lots of decorating options.


Striking a Balance

Despite the allure of country living, it certainly isn’t feasible for all of us, and if you spend your days working from your home office in Brooklyn, it might seem like a world away from your current reality. In the digital age many of us live fast-paced, demanding lifestyles that leave us little time to unplug and appreciate our surroundings. In fact, it might seem close to impossible to cultivate a space at home that has all the comforts of days gone by when we spend our days staring at screens.


How can you successfully maintain a down-to-earth life surrounded by so much technological white noise? The key is to cultivate a warm, inviting space that encourages positive thoughts, healthy living, and pure happiness at all times. Interiors matter so much more than you might imagine. While some of us are more adaptable than others, everyone benefits from having a relaxing space to call their own. If your work day is hectic, at least your home can provide a reprise from the chaos.




Color schemes

Colors that look “warm” and rustic are more likely to encourage happy thoughts and make you feel safe and at ease in your personal space. While a bold red dress might help you feel confident, bright hues in your bedroom won’t make it easy for you to fall asleep at night. Calming, earth-inspired shades with brown, orange, and green undertones — those shades that are actually found in nature — are the starting point for any truly excellent interior space with a rural-inspired design. Some options to consider are pine paneling, exposed brick, leather upholstery… and the list goes on and on.




When it comes time to purchase statement pieces, you’ll have to get creative. Decide whether you’d prefer to stick to a pre-established color scheme or dare to mix and match. For instance, if you’re determined to stick to a brown scheme, and you find that your dresser and cabinet are not the exact same shade of wood, you might want to strip and re-paint, or toss one of the items.


Trendy Accessories

The reason that rustic decorating often feels so simple is because it draws so much of its inspiration from the natural world around us. There are many popular trends for rustic decorating that you can easily find on Pinterest. It can be tempting to overdo it, but inviting spaces typically have only a few stand-out focal points.


Pair the standard with the unexpected. Consider some of the following ideas: whiskey-brown cabinetry, ‘70s-inspired mustard-yellow couches, bovine skulls, candles in Mason jars, cozy wood paneling, and — why not? — an elaborate antique chandelier hanging from the rafters.





Images used with permission, courtesy of and

Next: Tips For Refurbishing Antique Furniture