5 Rustic Dining Rooms That Aren’t Log-Cabin Living

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on August 18, 2020

Rustic design may bring to mind visions of log cabins, buffalo check flannels, chopping wood, but the style is more all-encompassing than just a mountain getaway. Rustic design can include cabin, coast-side, or city life, but no matter the style or locale, its natural, raw finishes, and casual vibe define the look. 

While getting away to a quaint country retreat sounds pretty fantastic right now (you in?), you can also bring some of that rustic country living to your own space with a few design decisions. Incorporate these key elements for a dining room that feels rustic, relaxed, and oh so cozy.

Rustic design often incorporates a natural color palette. This doesn’t mean you can’t include a bold shade or two, but the selection often includes organic, nature-inspired tones. Look to grays, green, slate blacks, and of course lots of brown woods for a sense of warmth and comfort. . 

The farmhouse table and bench is a quintessential element in rustic dining rooms. Opt for a version with traditional criss-cross supports and a rich wood grain (no splinters though). To create some contrast in the scene, you can always pair with a different style of dining chairs. In this design, a more classic tufted number in soft gray complements the distressed dining table while elevating the mood.

A finishing touch for many homespun spaces includes accents of greenery. It’s simple, natural, and helps bring the outdoors in (the very inspiration of rustic design).

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An element that sets rustic design apart from others is the emphasis on raw and natural fabrics and finishes. Distressed textures can make a dining space feel laid-back and undone, adding a sense of well-loved grit. So here’s your invitation to step away from cookie-cutter perfection and embrace reclaimed features. 

Start with a foundation of distressed terra cotta tiles and add in wood elements like ceiling timbers and this rolling ladder (for any fortunate enough to have such gorgeous built-ins as these). Skip the velvet seating for a set of natural caned dining chairs. Complete the moment with weathered textures like this hide on the floor or hand molded terra cotta vase.

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Contributing to the rougher feeling of a rustic dining room is solid-feeling, reclaimed, and handcrafted furniture. Rustic furniture can often feature detailed finishes and flourishes but feels decidedly more farmhouse than traditional.

Rustic dining sets evoke a sense of craftsmanship, made of solid wood with a few simple molded details into the legs. Oversized wooden tufted dining chairs feel both solid and comfortable and come in natural finishes with distressed touches. 

Furniture can also use reclaimed elements, like a solid wood buffet that feels discovered at a flea market or antique shop. Iron accents further reinforce the rustic charm of this dining room.  Don’t be afraid to bring bulky wooden and homemade feeling furniture–the goal of the room is to feel cozy and cabin-like.   

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Even with rustic finishes and handmade furnishings, you can incorporate modern elements for a contemporary and rustic design. The result is a dining room that feels simultaneously cozy and current. 

A choice that can make any room instantly feel more rustic is the incorporation of shiplap. The textured, rough finish of shiplap on a wall or table brings to mind those cabin vibes.  But then mix it up with modern industrial touches like metal dining chairs and a matte black pendant light.

Working with contemporary and rustic design is all about creating balance. Cold industrial elements are offset with warm furnishings, like a reclaimed wood dining table with matching bench seat.      

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This space is yet another example of blending modern decor with rustic style. An unexpected mounted deer head (we vote for faux) instantly makes guests think of lodge living, while contemporary cabinetry and floating shelves surrounding it keeps the room feeling fresh and on-trend. 

Similarly,the raw edge to a solid wood dining table evokes rustic spirit, juxtaposed with a luxe chandelier for a woodsy sophistication. 

Incorporating rustic design into your dining room brings a rough, raw, and laid back vibe to a central entertaining space in the home. With homespun touches and natural finishes, any dining room can feel as cozy as a cabin.

Ready to take on a rustic redesign? Take Havenly’s style quiz to get started.  

Words by Havenly Staff