Imagine if you can recapture the moods, colors and sensations in an exotic situation, such as a vacation, to the experience of first entering a room. Your heightened senses are stoked by the sounds and sights of a new place, and suddenly you are aware of everything--the way the light hits the floor, the way the floorboards whisper and creak, and how shadows collect in corners. Perhaps it is like when we play dress-up; when we deliberately take ourselves so far out of the ordinary and we find ourselves suddenly exhilarated and uninhibited. In the same way, a vacation out in the wilderness, or any other exotic locale, will always have that potent power to make us forget who 'we are' and maybe even forget our cares.
Evoke the feeling without being too literal.
The allure of a rustic interior resides in this very promise. Forget eccentric overstatements of woodland and coastal conceit, decorated with antlers or a huge wooden sailfish above the mantel. The better way to do rustic is evoke the feeling without being too literal. Nothing must seem contrived or overstated.
Capture the theme without being too literal. Pair an intentionally roughed-up/rustic piece with clean-lined, contemporary pieces for opposition. The contradiction makes things more interesting. Just a touch of something is enough. Side tables made of antlers (the naturally shed ones), branches and driftwood, topped with cool glass, add an extraordinary element to the rest of the regular furniture.
Above, top to bottom, l-r: Antler Coffee Table, www.artedemexico.com, Twig End Table, www.westelm.com, Driftwood Coffee Table, www.crateandbarrel.com
Below, top to bottom: Kilim Coffee Ottoman, www.restorationhardware.com, Kilim Throw Pillows, www.potterybarn.com
Photo credits: Right, www.westelm.com, Below, left: www.elledecor.com
Wood and the natural landscape colors dominate a rustic interior. For accent, make the colors pulse through the space like a beat, rather than overwhelming the room with it. An ottoman table or a few pillows covered in kilim weaves add very mountain-cabin feel.