I was speaking with someone in his early 20s a few weeks back who was lamenting the glut of what he considered “modern” design and the seeming disappearance of “rustic” style. He referenced a couple of Canadian interiors magazines as his evidence. (The magazines, in fairness, tend to focus on more transitional and contemporary designs due to their readership demographics.)
I have to respectfully disagree – I don’t think rustic has disappeared. I think it is more prevalent in certain markets, Toronto not being one of them. I also think that rustic style has adapted to suit changing preferences. What I see a lot of might be more accurately described as “modern rustic.”
Rustic design typically encompasses “unrefined, natural elements that together look and feel quite cozy.” Common design elements include wood with knots and imperfections, possibly reclaimed and well used. Natural stone, either as floor tiles or left more rough and irregular. Worn, matte metals, perhaps with a hammered or punched finish. Colours are subdued and natural, reflecting the great outdoors – the entire spectrum of browns and greens, as well as deep oranges and rusty reds.
With modern rustic, pieces tend to appear more sophisticated; they reference rustic styles but incorporate more “modern” materials. Or, conversely, meld more modern styles with reclaimed materials, such as the wood used in the headboard, above.
While colours remain earthy, they step outside the typical spectrum; they can be brighter and more alive. Metal choices, as shown in the sconce above, need not be aged or tarnished looking. The style is much more playful and relaxed, but still natural and rooted.