by Kimberly Blackford
It’s the perfect fall day as you wake to a crisp, clear sunny morning surrounded by the golden and vibrant fall leaves. You take a look out over your surroundings through your massive living room window and smile just as the aromatic scent from your coffee mug enters your senses. What could be more perfect than waking up to a new day in your gorgeous rustic home surrounded by nature’s awe-inspiring beauty? Well… Actually, nothing.
Whether your dream log or rustic home is small, cozy and quaint, or a large home filled with a combination of modern conveniences and old-fashioned lodge style living; one thing is for sure, a rustic home is meant to reflect the environment it dwells within and take in all of its surrounding beauty through the use of color, textures and other focal points.
Photo above featuring Home by
REAL LOG HOMES®, www.realloghomes.com,
Photographer James Ray Spahn
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Rustic decorating used to seem primitive and outdated in many ways, but now homeowners are seeking the comfort and style that rustic homes exude for everyday living or for chic mountain or lakeside getaways. Many of these homeowners are heavily involved with the design of their homes making sure all architectural rustic elements and materials are used, and that the interior design and décor also reflect their reverence to nature while also showcasing a refined attention to detail. These homes are homage to their surroundings and all the beauty that our world has to offer while including many natural elements that create a place of peace and tranquility. Rustic and log homes must be decorated to blend seamlessly with their surroundings without, at the same time, sacrificing modern sensibilities. It is important for the landscape surrounding a rustic home to be kept natural so as to perfectly integrate and not work against nature.
Photo to the left featuring Home by
REAL LOG HOMES®, www.realloghomes.com,
Photographer James Ray Spahn
Colors and Themes
There are many things to consider in order to take your rustic home from the feeling of a primitive pioneer cabin to a lavish rustic retreat with an abundance of comfort. One thing to consider right at the start is an overall theme and choice of colors for your home. There are many interesting ways to decide on a theme. Perhaps your family is avid snow skiers, then select an alpine theme that takes your rustic home and transforms it into a ski chalet. Or, is your rustic or log home situated on a lake where your family loves to sail? Then, select a sailboat inspired theme that adds elements of your favorite hobby for relaxation. Of course, wildlife themes are extremely popular and often include deer, moose, bear and elk motifs. Other very popular choices include nature inspired themes that feature pinecones, pine trees and maple leaves.
Another interesting twist on a theme includes selecting a regionally inspired decorating scheme such as Western Ranch, Lodge Style, North Woods, Southwestern or Adirondack Style. All of these regions feature popular color palettes that reflect the beauty of the area and many feature traditional fabric patterns that will suddenly transport you to these special destinations.
Those fortunate enough to own a rustic or log home often choose color schemes directly from nature to create an authentically decorated interior space. Obviously, the dominating visual is wood, so the warm wood tones will take precedence when selecting your entire color palette. Many people select muted earth tones such as tans, greens and browns to compliment the wood’s natural color, or they opt for a more bold choice and select brighter colors such as red, golden yellow or plum that offset the neutral color of the wood backdrop. Either way, your selection will help your home mesh with its surroundings by spotlighting the colors that already surround your home. Using a cranberry red inside will create awe especially when the leaves surrounding your home each fall turn a similar color. Or, your color palette of sage green and taupe will make your home appear perfectly blended with the hundreds of flourishing trees that might happen to surround it.
Interior Finishes: From Floors to Walls
One factor that needs to be addressed right from the start is the material choices you need to make for your interior spaces. The goal of many rustic homeowners is to have a home with the feeling that the dwelling has been there for decades, has stood the test of time.
Log and rustic homes offer uncompromising beauty and charm mainly from all the textures they offer in their design. The rough-hewn timber walls, rounded log walls and ceiling beams can be stained in a variety colors or kept in their most raw and pure form. Also popular is the idea of having some walls dry walled and plastered in a heavily textured fashion or adding bead-board walls that can be painted to give some added depth to the space. If you choose to paint some spaces or stain your logs, be careful not to go too dark. And, be sure to use low-VOC paint on your interior. Keep in mind too that stains look best when they are satin or semi-gloss. Often a high gloss stain makes the wood suddenly look like plastic. Far from the “natural” look a homeowner is going for! A satin finish appears like a hand-rubbed oil finish, which is extremely attractive for maintaining an old-fashioned rustic style.
Rustic flooring options are many including bare wood, hardwood planks, slate or the choice of earth toned tile or flagstone. These flooring choices are highly durable while instantly creating the sensation of your home stretching itself into its natural surroundings in a seamless fashion. If your choice of flooring is flagstone, for example, then top it with faux skin carpets or Navajo rugs for warmth and then use the same flooring for your surrounding outdoor patio spaces perfect for the ultimate transition from indoors to outdoors.
Photo to the left featuring Home by REAL LOG HOMES®, www.realloghomes.com, Photographer James Ray Spahn
One of the most enjoyable things about rustic home design is the unexpected focal points that many of these home’s possess. When designing the interior for your home think about adding a particular focal point that will allow you to decorate around this particular element. Whether it be a massive stone fireplace with a log beam mantle in the great room, an old-fashioned wood burning stove in the bedroom, or an old-fashioned antique island in the kitchen painted in an unexpected color, building in a focal point will make decorating more fun and effortless. Another great option to consider, as a focal point is a fantastic chandelier that will help illuminate the spectacular beamed ceilings, woodwork and other natural surfaces throughout your home. Popular choices include antler chandeliers, log chandeliers, antique brass or nickel varieties. Other popular focal points include unique railings that use wrought iron with timber and logs. Their strength and rustic simplicity combine offering a stylish rustic twist. Window walls become great forces within a rustic home that merge an exterior with its surroundings. Large logs are natural load carriers and allow the walls to be opened up to the outside by these massive expanses of glass.
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Details, Details, Details: Finish the Look with Special Furniture Pieces and Accents
Log and rustic interiors are all about texture. From the rough wood timbers to the chiseled stone fireplace, these interiors are rugged and natural. But, like all things in nature there must be balance. Visualize throwing a soft faux fur rug over those cold, stone floors for warmth and coziness. Make sure if you choose rustic unfinished cedar, aspen, hickory or pine furniture for your bedrooms, that there are many beautiful as well as soft layers of bedding, quilts and pillows to offset all those rustic wood furniture frames. Even within the bathroom, stick with ultra-plush towels on a wrought iron towel bar. Another popular option with furniture choices includes using furniture made of reclaimed wood. This is a “green” choice that provides tremendous character throughout a rustic home.
Consider using the approach “less is more” with some of these unusual log home furniture pieces. Filling a room to the brim with all log pieces is too distracting to the eye. Carefully select a couple of unique pieces that can really shine.
Photo to the right Photo Featuring Home by
REAL LOG HOMES® wwwrealloghomes.com, Photographer James Ray Spahn
Sometimes it’s the smallest of details in a home that make it stand out from the rest. Find special elements like antler cabinet hardware to accent a bathroom or unique old-fashioned metal heat registers to accent all the rooms. These little things can mean a lot in decorating and show true attention to detail. Frequent some flea markets for truly one-of-kind unique pieces that will send the interior of your home back in time. Whether it’s an old chessboard or timeless lanterns for the bedroom night stands, these small extras will make your rustic home transcend time.
Now that the finishing touches have been put on the interior of your rustic home it will be easy to merge those similar traits to your outdoor living areas. Use like color schemes to enhance your patios, wooden decks and covered porches. Build in stone fire pits or outdoor fireplaces to add the same warmth you would feel in the interior spaces.
Embrace the outdoors so it has the same character your interior spaces have by winding a path around a large tree instead of cutting the tree down. Integrating nature both inside and out provides a harmonious balance that will create tranquil rustic living at its best.
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