Decoding Similar Design Motifs: Rustic vs. Country

ProSource | 6/7/2016 | Expert Advice

The design aesthetics of either rustic or country bring to mind an honest simplicity. While rustic design style is marked by hand-built pieces used over and over again for a well-worn appearance, country designs rely on milk-paint finishes and vintage fabrics to show their natural, worn beauty.

But from the colors, fabrics and furniture to the cabinets, countertops, fixtures and extra elements that add a special touch, there are core differences in these two design themes.

Before you decide which is right for you, read on to decode the differences in these two popular design motifs and get to the bottom of what makes each of them unique.


Rustic: A rustic design is very natural. Think white walls and natural materials such as wood or stone.

Country: Soft, muted colors that speak to elements well-worn with age are indicative of a country design; red, yellow and green are all good options. Touches of cream or ivory keep the look clean and evoke a contemporary vibe.


Rustic: Simple fabrics, sans busy prints, and throw pillows in linen, jute or sisal have a rustic appeal. Sturdy, hardworking fabrics have a place here, too. Think canvas, burlap and denim, and simple patterns of stripes or flannel for a perfectly rustic space.

Country: Hand woven and handmade textiles speak to a country design. Rag rugs and patchwork quilts are indicative of this theme. Patterns might be floral, checked or striped, just remember to keep it simple for a true, clean country space.


Rustic: Furniture in a rustic design is marked by unfinished, weathered wood that shows natural blemishes. Soft, well-worn leather is another welcome addition in this style of room.

Country: Antique furniture is very common in a country design. Comfort is key here, as well. Choose soft, oversized seating that feels welcoming and unfussy.

Cabinets, Countertops And Fixtures

Rustic:  For a decidedly rustic style kitchen, choose elements like a stainless steel farmhouse sink, shaker cabinets, granite, quartz or raw material countertops, antique metal faucets and a subway tile backsplash.

Country: Knotty pine cabinets, a white porcelain apron sink, copper pots hanging from wrought-iron, tarnished brass faucets, a bead board backsplash, and concrete or matte-finished granite countertops speak to a country kitchen design.

The Extras

Rustic: If you’re going for a rustic design, a fireplace is a must. A real wood-burning version is ideal, but a wood stove is also a nice choice. Make a wood, brick or stone fireplace the focal point of your room, with windows to the outdoors on either side and you’ve struck the perfect design chord.

Country: A country design aesthetic simply requires a few carefully chosen and well-placed elements: A handmade patchwork quilt, perhaps, or a set of woven baskets. A sisal throw rug, wildflowers in an earthenware pitcher, and an antiqued mirror are all safe bets for an uncomplicated country room.

Whether your design tastes lean towards the raw, hand-built rustic, or more vintage, homemade country, you can find the perfect flooring, cabinets and more by looking through the product catalog or visiting your local ProSource Showroom.

Also scan completed projects in both designs to find inspiration for your home, and add the images to the myProSource Project Center.

Whichever design you choose, as always, make it your own.

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