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Rustic Modern A Way of Life, A State of Mind

What's white, light, and airy but has some serious black iron vintage allure? It's rustic modern, a great style that combines the bones of an old country farmhouse with contemporary design aesthetics and Machine Age materials.

Let's just take a look at dem words, shall we?

Rustic: "of, relating to, or suitable for the country;" "made of the rough limbs of trees."

Modern: "of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past;" "of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from the relevant remote past to the present time;" "involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas: up-to-date;" "of or relating to modernism: MODERNIST"

(Thanks, Merriam-Webster!)

So these two smash together to form an interesting contrast. Contrasting ideas that haven't been combined before always leads to new things.

Rustic modern is about combining tactile feelings with nostalgic vibes. Creating a space to ground oneself back in the real world after a day of digital immersion. It looks great, and it feels great, too.

Spaces that are easy to relax in because they let the mind and eye rest, and also because things are chosen for their comfort as well as their visual grace.

The paint is where it starts. Choosing a good paint, putting different glosses next to one another and applying layers—that's where it happens.

Taking an old farmhouse with good bones, stripping it back, removing any of the layers that don't serve it from previous inhabitants and their renovations, and then painting floors, walls, beams, moldings in calming neutrals prepares the canvas. It's not just the color choices but where you put them that conveys a contemporary sensibility. White wood floors? They never used to do that. That particular shade of grey? Voila: modern.

The "rustic" part is evident in the environment. Clear country house elements, generous natural light, wood and stone, and an open spaciousness. Together, they set the scene for beautiful items with character to stand out, a few different textures to add visual depth and a sense of invitation to the space.

Let the textures do the work. Keep things sparse. Each piece sings, given the space to be itself and be seen, uncluttered.

In particular, it seems lighting fixtures with dark finishes, with weight, and with iron textures play beautifully against these serene spaces. They can also deliver the Modernist or contemporary aesthetic in spades.

Here are some key factors in a rustic modern space.

  • sparse decoration

  • spaciousness

  • exposed wooden beams

  • simple color schemes

  • fireplaces and stacks of wood

  • black wiry forms and Industrial touches, especially in the lighting

  • natural light

  • wooden floors painted a light color

  • soothing textures like linen and faux sheepskin throws in neutral hues

  • a balance of new and antique objects, perfect and handcrafted items

  • cozy furniture spanning a range of epochs

Okay, a bit luxe, but sliding barn doors,anyone?

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