Modern Rustic Style
July 2018

I'll be honest: I don't fully understand many of the design terms I hear on HGTV (i.e. "mid-century modern"). But I realized pretty quickly that Dustin and I would need a defined style if we were going to have success in designing our space. What I also learned is that style is amorphous, meaning, two people don't necessarily use "modern" or "farmhouse" to mean the same thing. Given our design taste, Dustin and I knew that we would want clean lines and an open and airy feel. We also knew we wanted wood pieces without the decor being "farmhouse." In the end, we decided to call our style "modern rustic." I didn't really know if that was a recognized design theme, but it spoke to what we wanted, so we ran with it.


Naming our style was the first step. Next we had to define exactly what that meant for us and then put it into action in our furniture and decor.


For us, "modern" meant no ornate couch arms or legs, a simple, cool palette with pops of color (see my post on The Palette), and a mix of textiles. We have two different fabrics (and colors) for our couch and the circle/swivel chair, and we went with a third color for the leather recliner. I thought back to Stacy London on "What Not to Wear": "it doesn't need to match; it needs to go." Modern also meant minimal accessories and wall pieces. 

Then we looked at "rustic." Rustic for us wasn't farmhouse per se; instead it was reclaimed wood and metal. We have several different types and colors of wood in our house, from a warm teak dining table to black wood bar stools around the island. 

In the end, I think our house balances a modern design with rustic elements in a way that speaks to who Dustin and I are as homeowners.


Side note - if you love a true farmhouse look, check out my mom's blog at