Can A Rustic Design Be Contemporary? Absolutely!

ProSource | 4/4/2016 | Expert Advice

Rustic and contemporary styles seem so at odds with one another, how can they possibly be combined? Believe it or not, blending these two designs really works – in kitchens, bedrooms, family rooms, everywhere! No wonder Rustic contemporary (aka Rustic modern) is one of the design world’s fastest-growing trends.

Warmth + Coolness = Perfection

Rustic design is known for its casual warmth. It’s a cozy, comfy style that works especially well for families. But take it too far, and rustic quickly becomes log cabin-ish – invoking images of Little House on the Prairie and John Wayne westerns.

Enter contemporary design. Defined by clean lines and minimalist calm, it is ideal for those who believe “less is more.” This modern style does have the potential, however, to feel too cool.

Which is precisely why combining the two – rustic and contemporary – makes so much sense.

Rustic Contemporary Cabinets And Countertops

Start with key elements of one design and add complementary features from the other. These style anchors might include horizontal slab woodgrain cabinetry or live-edge countertops.

Concrete and natural wood, though distinctly basic, provide a truly contemporary look for countertops, according to Reagan Toal of Federal Brace. “Homeowners can vary the level of rustic from farm (with rougher-hewn, rawer wood or concrete with a rough, decorative edge) to rustic chic (with a sleeker piece of wood or glossier stained concrete),” Toal says.

"For a rustic look, distressed wood or wood with a deep finish can be used for cabinets,” says Mary Beth Fiedler of Case Design and Remodeling. “Pair them with sleek, modern granite countertops to add a modern flair.”

On the flip side, Fiedler suggests paring wooden butcher block countertops with a minimalist aesthetic for drawers and cabinets.” Either way, the result is a pleasing blend of rustic and contemporary, with one style tempering the other.

Fiedler also likes the idea of using natural wood floors with painted cabinets and a simple countertop.

Making The Most Of Stone

Stacked stone accents for a backsplash or a mantle can pull the rustic contemporary look together.  But selecting the right stone can be overwhelming!

“When using natural stone, there will always be variations in color depending on the quarry or field source,” says Mike Wolfe of Delgado Stone Distributors. “For a rustic look, we generally suggest darker colors – brown or rust – with the occasional grey mixed in.”

Stone can be used anywhere and everywhere – from the exterior of your home, to the fireplace in your living room, to the luxurious bathroom in your master suite. It’s rustic and contemporary all at once.

Don’t Forget The Details

It’s the little things that count, they say. While the most obvious places to incorporate rustic contemporary styling include countertops, cabinets, floors, and walls, there are less-obvious ways to bring it in as well.

Cabinet Hardware: If your cabinets are modern, add more rustic pulls and knobs (and vice versa).

Lighting: Add edgy metal wire cage lighting for a conversation piece that’s truly rustic contemporary.

Carpets: A coarsely woven area rug instantly tones down the coolness of a sleek, modern floor.

Tables: Room feeling too woodsy? Add metal or glass tables to balance it out.

Bottom line, rustic contemporary is not a cookie-cutter design style. You can mix and match to your heart’s content, without worrying about breaking any style rules. Need help keeping the elements in check? Expert ProSource account managers and designers can help bring your very own rustic contemporary vibe to life.  Find your local ProSource Wholesale showroom and create a free online account to schedule a visit today.

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