Rustic design has dominated the pages of almost every home design magazine for the past decade. It’s that home decor that people just can’t get enough off. It is a design that uses natural materials and attempts to give a rough and aged but ultimately earthy feel to a home.

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But there is a new variety of rustic design that is becoming more popular: contemporary rustic. In this guide to achieving a contemporary rustic design in your home, we go through what it is and how it can be achieved in any home at any given budget.

What is contemporary rustic?

Contemporary rustic is a riff off the original rustic design that combines the feel of rustic with the ethos of modern design. That means combining the use of natural materials like wood and stone with the use of neutral colors, newer materials, and a lot of light. 

While this may sound confusing as it directly puts two design styles together that contradict each other in theory, the contrast between light and dark, and old and new actually creates a home that is well-balanced and thoughtful in design.

How can it be achieved?

There are multiple routes that can be taken with contemporary rustic, and you can choose to incorporate one element of contemporary rustic into your home for some visual interest or combine all tenets for a full transformation.

Modern floors with rustic design elements

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An easy way to combine modern and rustic is to choose a modern flooring material and give it a rustic treatment. Concrete floors are the #1 flooring choice for modern homes but they can be very easily customized with decorative concrete techniques. 

Stamped and stained concrete can look beautiful but may clash with the rest of the home’s design, so we suggest getting polished concrete that will look sleek, modern, and expensive.

After the modern floors have been installed, you can choose rustic furnishings like rustic rugs and chairs to contrast with the floors and create a contemporary rustic character.

Light up the space

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Rustic design is often quite dark and cozy, but if you’re looking for a way to modernize that design, choose to open up the space to bring in more natural light and airiness.

If you have windows, strip off its curtains and leave them bare for maximum sunlight in the day. Or in a room with no natural light, incorporate light fixtures that can artificially brighten the room.

Bring in neutral colors

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Many rustic homes already have their fair share of neutral colors in their designs, but modern design demands for neutral colors in larger scales. 

For example, if you have a bathroom or kitchen that has been designed in neutral colors, take it a step further with black painted walls. Or choose cabinets and tables that are painted a sleek matte black. 

But if you have reservations about using black in your home, a white palette is a modern and fresh way to design a home with rustic elements.