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6 Rustic Dining Room Ideas

A rustic dining room is a place where you and your guests can feel completely at ease. With weathered wood, antique furnishings and stone walls among its possible features, it embodies that classic, countrified look that never goes out of style. Think old farmhouse tables and slatted back dining chairs, with plaid linens and napkins and personal touches for a warm and welcoming ambiance. Like the sound of a relaxed, homely place to dine? Read on for our 6 favourite ideas for creating a rustic dining room.
Design Inspiration Hints & Tips
Rustic Dining Room

1. Introduce natural materials

For that feeling of relaxed country elegance that every rustic dining room exudes, you want to bring the outside world in. That means including materials such as wood and stone.

You can think in terms of these when choosing a rustic dining room table. For a classic feel, try an oak dining table and chairs. The rustic theme is all about character, and while the wood will develop more of this over time, you can start now by choosing furniture that embraces its natural beauty. Look for pieces that are handcrafted in particular and where the grain of the wood is on display in all its glory.

There are other natural materials you can eat your dinner off – a marble dining table might be a possibility. Upholstered dining chairs covered in leather might work, or for a seating arrangement that really focuses on the wood, choose a dining bench instead.

Another way to introduce wood is through sideboards and storage units, flooring or even wood panelling for the walls or ceiling. Stone adds natural character to dining room décor too.

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Keating Kitchen Unit

2. Embrace the country vibe

Picture a country cottage or hunting lodge (minus the stag’s head), and you can start to visualise what you might need to create your rustic dining room.

Think about what will add to the ambiance – wooden rocking chairs, candles and old lanterns, handcrafted furniture, linen tablecloths and placemats, and crockery shown proudly in open shelving or a display cabinet. Accessorising in this way will start to help you channel that slightly eclectic, rustic vibe.

Let these ideas work their way into the surrounding décor. A vintage-style floral wallpaper or exposed beams in the ceiling are ideal for that classic, countrified look. A wooden dining set fits in to this setting perfectly.

Avoid any modern furniture that might seem out of place. Instead of slick, sharp and clean edges, go for classic, worn and embodying a natural charm.

3. Find pieces with a story to tell

A rustic dining room should feel warm and inviting. Furnish the space with pieces that have a sense of history, either repurposed or sourced from vintage stores and flea markets.

There is a lot of fun to be had scouring the classified ads or online. You might end up with an oak refectory table from an old monastery, with the knots and holes of the wood clearly on display, or some rustic dining room chairs courtesy of a 1940s café. There are endless possibilities, and whatever you find can become the main focal point of your space.

You can take this approach with accessories and accent items also. For example, source handmade linens, some pretty illustrations from a famed local artist to use as your wall art, or an attractive vintage lamp.

These objects will look worn and well-used, and each will have its own story of how you found it and where. Consider a display cabinet or sideboard to showcase your various treasures.

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Bea Table Lamp

4. Consider a rustic colour scheme and décor

A rustic dining room is unified by the colours and materials used. Pick out colours in a pretty wallpaper print, or in a pattern in curtains and tableware. Decorate with colours that channel those found in nature, such as warm brown, hazelnut cream and mustard yellow. The colours of old metal – gold and deep red, work very well in a rustic dining room.

You don’t need to overthink the look, keep it simple and breezy, with an oak dining table and chairs as the centrepiece. Vintage and classic lighting is the perfect finishing touch.

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5. Think old, even when buying new

You can buy new furniture for your rustic dining room that looks and feels old, or is at least in a more traditional style than designer modern pieces. That way you can find something that fits the overall aesthetic, despite being a few decades younger.

Perhaps find a round dining table with a pedestal base that echoes the styles of the previous century, but will not seem out of place next to authentic vintage pieces. Or pick items from companies – such as Ercol or Old Charm with their own long history of tradition and craftsmanship.

Think about the furniture that may have been around in decades gone by – timeless pieces, such as oak frame chairs or sideboards, chandeliers or a particular piece or wall art. Buy quality items that stand the test of time, and they could someday be sought-after vintage pieces themselves.

Take the same approach with your accessories. Buy new, but look for items that could pass for old. Candlesticks in a certain style, or crockery and plates, could all be made to work.

Keating Sideboard
Cavendish Rustic Shelving

6. Display personal artefacts

We want a rustic dining room to exude feelings of warmth and history, and that can come from your choice of rustic dining chairs, table and other décor, but there is also the history and warmth that stems from you and your family.

That means putting personal items and heirlooms on display. These could be prized possessions that have been in the family for generations – perhaps a special handwoven table cloth, an antique ornament or an old photo or two. Maybe even items that relate to domestic everyday life, from antique pots to dinnerware.

Try to get these items on display. Look to a gorgeous sideboard that matches the aesthetic of your rustic dining table, or try display cabinets and bookcases. If these items tell the story of your family, then you should feel proud.

Shelves and bookcases suit the rustic vibe, especially filled with old books with leather spines. Modern floating shelves on the wall might seem too out of place, but a hanging style with metal brackets could work beautifully.

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