Rustic and Refined Style: How to Emulate the Mix?

My personal style at home is a mix of European country, modern French, and California barefoot elegance with bits of rustic and refined white and natural touches. It is quiet, understated, and not singularly formal or informal which is what works for our lifestyle. Today’s exploration of Rustic and Refined Style celebrates contrasts and will likely stir up more inquiry than explanation. After all, there is no magic proportion for getting the precise balance of rustic and refined. If there is any magic at all, surely it flows from years of trial and error, design and art study, and training the eye.

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
In a corner of my living room, a club chair (RH) with classic, simple lines is paired with a wonky rustic industrial style side table I made from a $1 garage sale find. 

Rustic and Refined Style: How to Emulate the Mix?

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What is rustic decor?

Rustic decor primarily brings to mind unfussy, unpretentious country style or what is more commonly called farmhouse style. Wood, rugged textures, and chunky items with heft often serve important roles. For example, the rustic knotty alder wood doors throughout our home are consistent with a more casual, laid back, informal decorating scheme.

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
Knotty alder door with oil rubbed bronze egg knob hardware leads to our master bath with more refined design elements.

What is refined style?

The buzz words for this design style include: elegant, subtle, polished, cultured, tasteful, purified, and chic. We typically reserve this adjective for spaces with thoughtful, classic, formal, and more ornate or delicate design elements.

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
Rustic textures including reclaimed pine on the statement wall, beadboard on the panel bed, and burlap pillows, mix with the more refined French matelassé and collected antiques.

Why mix the styles?

Too many reasons to list here! The livability factor is high as well as interest and character. There’s a harmony that happens, and let’s face it, our brains appreciate contrasts.

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
Rustic and refined style as well as resources to learn more.

How can I give my room a rustic refined look?

Here are trusted resources with plenty of visuals to guide you as you train your eye:

Milieu magazine

Founded by Pamela Pierce, this source of elegant design is a MUST SUBSCRIBE and makes the perfect gift…you will thank me!

Pink is the word on my kitchen counter with an assortment of Rose wine, Milieu magazine, and an expanse of white from my Viatera MInuet quartz countertop - Hello Lovely Studio. #roseallday
Hello Lovely Studio

Sophisticated Simplicity

Sophisticated Simplicity by Suzanne Kasler book cover. #bestseller #interiordesignbooks #decoratingguide
Sophisticated Simplicity by Suzanne Kasler

I reviewed Suzanne Kasler’s incredible book HERE, where you’ll get to see brilliant examples of the work.

Suzanne writes, “I am always looking for beauty–for what is chic, what is pretty, and what is refined–for new ideas about style, and for fashion that is timely, but timeless too. Sometimes the simplest things give me great pleasure.”

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
The rugged Belgian sideboard is at home with the cleaner classic architecture.

Patina Farm

Patina Farm by Brooke Giannetti & Steve Giannetti

Brooke’s blog was one of the first for which I fell, and she and Steve share all their secrets! Interviewing them a couple of years ago was a delight.

See more of Patina Farm HERE and HERE to be inspired by the work of the Giannettis.

Brooke writes, “Steve and I designed this space to evoke a sense of calm.
We wanted our friends and family to feel comfortable when they visit. Nothing is precious.
All of the accessories around our home have meaning to me. Most of my accessories are antique pieces that Steve and I have found during our travels.”

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined

Timeless Interiors

Timeless Interiors by Kathryn M. Ireland book cover. #interiordesignbook #bestseller #timelessdesign
Timeless Interiors by Kathryn M. Ireland

“Real decorating is back in—colors, textures, a mix of old and new. Repurpose things. Shuffle artwork around. Move furniture to another room. Re-accessorize what you have rather than starting over. Keep the pieces that have meaning.”

-Katherine M. Ireland in Vogue

I’m crazy about Kathryn’s work! See THIS for a glimpse of a recent design within a showhouse.

Thibaut Lizette wallpaper has a silvery background and gorgeous butterflies. This is our bathroom with a DXV Oak Hill modern farmhouse fireclay console sink. Hello Lovely Studio. #consolesink #hellolovelystudio
The wallpaper is Lizette from Thibaut.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Lovely Pairings

If I have learned anything at all over the years, it is to trust yourself and not overthink.

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined

Louis Style & Leggy Campaign Table

Rustic and refined lovely finds are explored in this story with interior design inspiration from my own home as well as decor suggestions. Fans of modern rustic, vintage style, and shabby chic will be right at home! #hellolovelystudio #modernrustic #rusticdecor #rusticyetrefined
Simply quieting the color palette can offer refinement.

Bench & Mirror

In the hall near the front door is a rustic oak bench (which started life as a children’s art table in a church found on the curb) paired with a huge silver leaf framed mirror which cost me a pretty penny.

The combination is sort of like this one:

Ladder & Luxe Throw

There are oodles of examples on Pinterest of blanket ladders leaning in a bathroom. Have fun and heighten the interest by choosing luxurious textiles to display on the weathered piece (as opposed to shabby chic granny square quilts).

Cashmere Throw
Cashmere Throw – I have one from Italic in Heather Gray
Luxury white and charcoal gray Turkish Towel with terrycloth side for added absorbency
Turkish Towel (with terrycloth side)

Crusty Clock & Classic Wallpaper

A rustic wall clock may strike you (ahem) as your granny’s 1980s country style, but it may read fresh and edgy paired with a more classic or chic backdrop.

Modern Rustic Pairings

See this recent story with modern rustic inspiration for more ideas. In a guest bedroom, I paired a grisaille mural with a rustic accent table and modern lamp.

Conversely, you could mix this modern table with something rough like the candle in a heart shaped wood dough bowl.

Heart shaped candle in wooden dough bowl - LiveYoungCandleCo on etsy.
Candle by Liveyoungcandleco on Etsy

The rustic yet airy console table (below) could be right at home in an entry. Rather than clutter it with objects like the image below, a more restrained look could follow with just the tall vase with floral.

Accessories

Shelves and tabletops are so much more interesting when they feature a mix of rustic with refined! The best accessories are at flea markets and antique markets!

Shortcuts to Get the Look

Plenty of pieces have both rustic and refined elements so there’s no overthinking to do at all.

Decorating & Collecting is Pleasingly Subjective

I love how there is no design rulebook! Plenty of pieces simply cannot be categorized as too rustic or insufficiently refined. For example, I find this handmade speckled cup beautiful and can imagine it serving all sorts of purposes.

Handmade hand thrown tea cup / mug in clear glossy image 0
Handmade Speckled Tea Cup from JustClaybyJulie on Etsy

Unfussy R & R

Don’t you love it when rustic/refined design is easy to live with and isn’t hands off?

Boheme Bon Vivant De Upholstered Sleigh Bed
Tap image for Buying info

Mirrors With Rusticity

Alix Distressed Wood Accent Mirror
Alix Mirror (perfect over a bathroom vanity)

Since these snagged lots of engagement on my Facebook Page, I thought you might like to take a peek:

Pin me!
Hahahahahaha! Pin me!

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Kubu Basket Set
Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
French Country Settee
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Upholstered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
30″ French Storage Basket
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile (My Backsplash)
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
French Country Wall Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Distressed White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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8 Comments

  1. Joanna
    January 16, 2019 / 9:42 am

    I was going to say, pick a soulmate, as money doesn’t keep you company, laugh with you, play alongside, love you. A time machine is only good if you want to escape to another period in history, leaving all those you love behind. On second thought, I have my soulmate and love my life. I’ve surprised myself and would pick the $100 million dollars. I’m not a greedy person, nor a shallow one. Now, what to do with all that money?

    • michele
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 5:50 pm

      Browse my site thoroughly and see where you can spend some! My mind went to a different place. Since I know where to find my soulmate, a time machine is tempting since there are folks I’d like to visit throughout history. However. The conundrum is how to conceive our children at precisely the right moment…not likely to happen. Yep. I have my soulmate. Show me the money.

  2. January 16, 2019 / 10:51 am

    Lovely finds today Michele! I’m glad that you’re in the sunshine. I hope your Mom makes a quick recovery. Most people who have knee replacement are glad they did it!
    xo
    Holly

    • michele
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 5:47 pm

      Thanks, Holly. I know you understand the rehab well. It’s pretty brutal at the moment, but we are thankful for what this means for her future. xox

  3. January 16, 2019 / 11:07 pm

    What a wonderful collection of eye candy in this post, I could gaze forever at the serene gorgeousness that is your home. Of course I love what you call the rustic refined pairings, I think I unconsciously make those choices too.
    Sending love and healing to your mom. I’m so glad she’s got that surgery past her now, everyone who’s done it is so pleased with the results. Hugs to you for being such a caring daughter too.
    xo
    Leslie

    • michele
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 3:58 pm

      What a treat to hear from you, my friend! Thanks for the love and healing. So much pain with the rehab, and we’re trusting that things will slowly improve. She is so grateful and is working so hard – I am doing my best to help. xox

  4. Kathleen
    January 13, 2021 / 12:50 pm

    Where are the alder doors from?

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Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Kubu Basket Set
Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
French Country Settee
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Upholstered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
30″ French Storage Basket
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile (My Backsplash)
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
French Country Wall Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Distressed White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing