Rustic Modern: How to Make Two Different Styles Work Together

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the term Rustic Modern? Do you think, “How in the heck can two completely different design styles work together in the same room?” or do you picture a modern ski home with its rustic beams and natural wood floors mixed with modern furniture, clean lined cabinetry, and floor-to-ceiling drapes? If you are confused, we are here to help you understand how the two styles not only work together but can blend perfectly together in your home.

So, what exactly is Rustic Modern? 

The key to making this design style work cohesively is to combine natural architectural elements i.e.: wood beams, a stone fireplace, with modern furniture, accents, and lighting. Rustic Modern designs often have large expanses of glass and metal framed windows looking out to a gorgeous outdoor view, allowing for an abundance of light, accented by the clean lines of a roller shade or modern drapery.

Rustic Modern Living Room Drapery.jpg

Where Do I Start If I Want a Modern Rustic Look?

A Modern Rustic space normally starts with the architecture of the home. Elements that give the space its natural rustic feel include:

  • Reclaimed wood beams
  • Stone walls or fireplace
  • Natural countertops
  • Wood tone flooring
  • Tall ceilings
  • Large windows

Add Natural Fabrics for Softness

With all the rugged and hard surfaces of the rustic architecture, the perfect place to add softness is with your furniture and window treatments. This is also the way to add the “modern” element to your space based on the style you select for the furniture and drapery. Furniture with clean lines upholstered in light natural fabrics brighten up the space, and draperies in a clean lined style like ripple fold, give softness to the space and help with sound absorption in a room with high ceilings and lots of glass.

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Accent with Texture

While rustic reclaimed beams add texture, the addition of baskets or woven shades made from natural grasses, reeds, and bamboo add another interesting layer of texture and connect the interior with the view of nature outside. Don’t forget you can add texture with soft items too, like chunky, hand knit throws, natural nubby rugs, or faux fur hides. Layered in with all the hard surfaces and rustic architectural elements this touch of texture adds a comfort level and welcoming style to the space.

Layering Window Treatments: The Perfect Way to Blend Two Styles

Incorporating a layered look into your window treatments is the perfect way to blend the two styles of rustic and modern. Try these combinations.

  • Textured woven shades with soft drapery panels
  • Natural, heavily textured drapery, combined with sleek modern roller shades
  • Modern dual sheer shades, combined with a nubby solid drape or rustic print design
  • Wood shutters in a natural stain color with modern options like no tilt rod and wider louvers, that are motorized to open and close with the light.

The additional benefit of mixing your window treatments is the ability to control the light. Enjoy it when you want to and filter it for privacy and energy efficiency when needed. Adding motorization is the ultimate in convenience especially for large, tall windows. The ability to control the window treatments when you are not at home adds a level of security and additional energy savings, as well.

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Natural Light Mixed with Modern Light Fixtures

Large windows are wonderful for natural light but can fade furnishings and cause glare early in the morning, or as the sun is setting. Hence, the need for window treatments. You can also add layers of lighting to enhance your interior spaces. Layering lighting in a rustic home allows for a balance of light and comfort. The addition of modern light fixtures to the rustic space is one of the hallmark elements of the “mix” of styles in Modern Rustic design. This is a place to have fun, mixing modern chandeliers with lamps featuring rustic textured bases and modern shaped barrel shades. Add rustic metal pendant lights over a modern clean-lined kitchen counter. This layered light allows your home to stay comfortable and bright even if your window shades are closed to keep out harsh light or uncomfortable temperatures.

What Colors Work Best with Modern Rustic Style?

Natural colors come to mind first, as a base for the room. The use of creams, beiges and natural wood tones set the stage for accents of green and shades of autumn colors like oranges and golds. Blues are also good accent colors. From the denim blues of a comfortable worn-out pair of jeans to the deep inky blues of a winter night sky.

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How Do You Mix Rustic and Modern Furniture?

The key is to mix one modern piece with a rustic accent piece. For example, choose a modern style sofa, and use a rustic reclaimed piece of furniture as an accent piece. Vintage finds or family heirlooms with their patina add coziness and nostalgic comfort to the clean modern lines of contemporary furnishings. Another idea is to mix a classic leather sofa with a modern shaped coffee table. The secret to the blend is a good design eye and not too much of one style over the other. As in life, it is a matter of good balance.

Need help creating a blend of modern and rustic in your home? Start with updating your window treatments! Budget Blinds offers the latest in woven shades, custom drapery panels, plush rugs and accent pillows. We are experts at helping you find the right style for your home and your budget.

Whether your style is Modern Rustic, Modern Farmhouse, Traditional or Transitional we have options to update your windows with a style that fits your home and budget.

Need inspiration? Check out our new Design Guide or to find your local Budget Blinds design consultant visit our website at

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