Strike the perfect balance: 4 ways to master the rustic modern aesthetic in your home

Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Kristen

rustic modern bedroom

Photo by Steve Rice

Sleek, modern interiors in recent years have dominated the scrolls on Pinterest and Instagram. But over this past (extremely trying) year, many of us have craved more comfort and coziness than an all-white, super-slick interior can provide.

While I do love a modern look, I’ve been craving rustic touches to warm things up and bring in a nostalgic vibe. Whether it’s a hand-carved wooden vessel on a white Saarinen table, a live-edge kitchen island offsetting a wall of white cabinets, or a shiplap backdrop to an abstract painting, there’s a real charm in the rustic-modern juxtaposition.

If you’ve hopped on the modern minimalist bandwagon in recent years but want to mix things up with some rustic accents, it can be as easy as bringing in a few new accessories. Or, if you’re up for a project, we’ve got some ideas for you, too.


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A post shared by Makayla Jividen (@fashionablykay)


From the floors to the rafters, wood will always evoke a rustic vibe, and you can highlight the wood already present in your home or add new accents to complement to any decor style. Refinishing old wood stairs or floors, or stripping the paint from an old built-in can have a huge impact. Or, if you’re feeling like your wood is dominating the aesthetic too much, try painting portions of it like the beautiful black shiplap above.


The quickest way to make your home look like it’s been ripped right out of your favorite period drama is to maximize the trim. There are dozens of ways to do this, including:

  • Wainscoting
  • Crown molding
  • Adding baseboards
  • Adding ceiling medallions
  • Case molding

And you don’t have to limit trim to the floor and ceiling. Adding it around doorways, windows, and even wall mirrors can make a new home look vintage.


Wallpaper is probably the best example in recent years of vintage style colliding with modern trends. No longer relegated to grandma’s house, gorgeous, creative prints have made wallpaper a go-to design element for any style. If wallpapering a whole room seems too drastic a design leap, you can always limit it to one wall as an accent. And it’s the perfect way to make a small bathroom pop.


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A post shared by Athena Calderone (@eyeswoon)

Antiques and thrift

Mixing antiques and thrifted items has become a full-on trend. It’s a quick and easy—not to mention affordable—way to imbue your home with a modern rustic aesthetic.

Keep scrolling for more ideas for achieving the perfect combo of rustic and modern!

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