Western Living Magazine
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With strong connections to our pioneer roots, we have 4 essential tips on how to create a rustic space.
Western Canada has always held ties to pioneer roots—think old log cabins, rough winters, coniferous forestry to prairie fields and rolling hills (and let’s not forget our penchant for plaid shirts). No matter the location, the rustic aesthetic will always hold a soft spot in our Northern hearts, so we’ve searched décor experts to get the essentials tips on how to style and recreate a rustic space. Think wood beam roofs, rough wool quilts, neutral walls and antique lighting, all with a charm that makes you feel right at home.
Reclaimed wood: Rough, exposed wood conjures up thoughts of a crackling fire inside a log cabin. Even if you live in the concrete jungle, you can achieve this look by utilizing reclaimed wood, found anywhere from old floor boards to salvaged driftwood. The more weathered, the better, so try to avoid wood that looks new with a shine in the varnish—you want to use pieces that have a little age on them (less Zac Efron and more George Clooney). For an even more Northern spark, try to use woods from the surrounding area to connect your space with the outdoors (we suggest oak, an age-old classic).
In this West Vancouver home, the staircase was previously damaged by pine-beetles with the underside left unfinished so the tracks remain visible: a touch of Northern history.
Neutral palette: Bold colour can feel fun and add energy to a space but rustic eschews that look for the neutral colour scheme. Think cream whites, light blues, soft greys, buttery yellows or calm browns—the more woodsy and earthy the better. Take your inspiration from natural materials such as soil, clay, sand, bark, and stone.
Though this kitchen from our March 2012 issue mixes fire-engine red appliances and other traces of colour, the rest of the space works around a neutral white-and-wood palette that keeps the room grounded and natural.
Plenty of lighting: With close ties to nature, a rustic aesthetic goes hand-in-hand with lots of natural light and on-theme light fixtures. Bay windows or oversized frames work well with this design, but antique lights can help in places without the option for natural light. To instil a rustic flare, opt for Edison bulbs, exposed pendant lights, brass gooseneck lamps, or mason jar-styled lights.Another back pages piece from May 2012, this Pender Island cabin features the perfect amount of natural light to give this outdoorsy space a modern-but-homey effect.Weathered materials and accessories: Like the old days, work with what you’ve got. Back then, people had few possessions, so try to repurpose materials through DIY projects or thrift for some essential found items like old suitcases, wooden crates, beautiful ceramics or tin objects. If you choose new appliances, try to incorporate nods to the past—think new refrigerator with vintage detailing, or a glossy white stove with a cast iron top – to achieve the rustic effect. Don’t forget textiles like handmade blankets or rough quilts, which add character and warmth.In this Saskatoon kitchen, the distressed-oak stools lend themselves to the weathered look and add a trace of hominess while not detracting from the elegant aesthetic of the room.