Modern Rustic: Celebrating the Perfectly Imperfect

Modern Rustic may seem like a contradiction in terms. Many imagine ‘rustic’ to mean old, traditional and roughly-made. And ‘modern’ to mean new, clean, minimal and innovative. However, Modern Rustic is a movement that brings together these opposites to surprisingly great effect, they enhance each other, highlight the contrast and celebrate the imperfections…


  1. Charmingly simple or unsophisticated in a manner considered typical of country living.

  2. Made of unfinished or roughly finished wood: rustic furniture.

  3. Having a rough or textured appearance; rusticated. Used of masonry.


  1. relating to the present, current or recent style or trend in art, architecture, or other cultural activity marked by a significant departure from traditional styles and values.

  2. a person who advocates or practices that are a departure from traditional styles or values.

Modern Rustic a bringing together of old and new – the sleek, modern and contemporary juxtaposed with the weathered, rustic and traditional. I love this look and anything that’s been weathered and worn in the most beautiful way: Distressed and stripped back wood, raw plastered walls, old leather sofas. But for me, this raw and rustic look is at it’s best when combined with modern accessories to bring a fresh, contemporary twist. Take a look at these gems:

Interior designers and homeowners are increasingly bringing once-used materials into the home and giving them a new lease of life. It’s a trend that ties in with the current drive towards sustainable living, and an aesthetic that is less about perfection and more about provenance.

The most common example of this is the growing popularity of reclaimed wood. Inexpensive and abundant, it delivers a shot of natural texture and is a key ingredient of the modern rustic look that has come to prominence in recent years.
— Modern rustic: decorating your home with reclaimed timber
Amanda Mulquiney-Birbeck