How to Mix Rustic and Midcentury Modern Decor Styles

Living room with rustic and mid-century modern decor

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

When the designers of the 1930s and '40s first imagined midcentury modern homes, they likely weren’t picturing their designs comfortably residing in a log cabin or rustic space. But in today’s world, homeowners can artfully bring together a multitude of styles, and they do it flawlessly.

Two of those unexpected styles that look amazing together are rustic and midcentury modern. It turns out that a room covered in reclaimed wood looks just right when it also has Sputnik chandeliers and a Jonathan Adler couch. Bringing these two styles together makes it unique and unlike other rooms out there.

Although you can marry these styles however you like, you can use a little inspiration to get started. These designers have mastered the art of midcentury rustic—here are 24 chic ideas.

  • 01 of 24

    Mix Rustic Woods and a Mod Light Fixture

    modern rustic dining room

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    In this kitchen designed by Ashley Montgomery Design, well-loved woods, seen in the table and floor, act as an unexpectedly-perfect backdrop for the modern bubble chandelier. In your rustic space, decorate with reclaimed wood, and don’t be shy about choosing an oh-so-mod light fixture as the centerpiece.

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  • 02 of 24

    Combine Midcentury Artwork and Comfortable Pieces

    Midcentury artwork
    Designer: Emily Henderson/Photographer: Tessa Neustadt

    Midcentury artwork is highly collectible (and really cool). You can choose among metal, Brutalist pieces, string art or even classic paint-by-numbers, showcased in a room designed by Emily Henderson. She leaned some vintage artwork on the mantle which pairs well with the rustic elements in the room, like the cow skull, brick fireplace, and warm woods.

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  • 03 of 24

    Use Knotty, Well-Worn Woods as an Anchor

    modern rustic bedroom

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    This primary bedroom room dreamed up by Ashley Montgomery Design looks completely current, but it actually has some throwback details. The hardwood floors, headboard, and bed frame all display knotted wood that looks as if it’s from a long-ago era, while the midcentury pieces bring it closer to the here and now. Midcentury artwork, modern light fixtures, and other design elements are remarkably ideal partners with well-worn woods. 

    About this Term: Primary Bedroom

    Many real estate associations as well as the Real Estate Standards Organization have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as potentially discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

    Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

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  • 04 of 24

    Think Clean, Sharp Lines

    modern rustic living room

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This living room, designed by Emily Henderson, is a midcentury dream come true. The space displays midcentury mainstays like linear accents and furniture pieces from the period, but it showcases farmhouse elements with its abundance of wood and windows that open up to the scenery. In your rustic home, experiment with using sleek, sharp lines in the design for a nod to midcentury.

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  • 05 of 24

    Make It Cozy

    cozy white living room with both modern and rustic decor accents


    When some people picture midcentury homes, they might envision severe designs, metallic materials, and uncomfortable furniture. On the contrary, midcentury, when brought together with rustic accents, can be quite comfy and relaxed. This room, created by COTTAGE+SEA, is the embodiment of cozy with soft textiles, a functioning fireplace, and plush midcentury style furniture.

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  • 06 of 24

    Choose a Space-Age Fireplace

    midcentury living room

    Tyler Karu Design

    Who says that a midcentury fireplace can't find a home next to rustic elements? This living room's fireplace seamlessly brings together the midcentury and rustic styles designed by Tyler Karu Design. You can either search flea markets and salvage yards for these fireplaces, or you can have one custom-made.

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  • 07 of 24

    Implement Midcentury Design Motifs in Rustic Materials

    rustic modern kitchen

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    When choosing a midcentury look for your kitchen, you don’t necessarily have to go with midcentury materials, typically involving shiny, porcelain tile and plastic. If you prefer a rustic feel, pick warm, familiar materials and mold them into midcentury features for your kitchen. In this kitchen designed by Emily Henderson, the cabinetry is a light wood which contrasts nicely with the white walls and ceiling/ However, the light fixture and black kitchen island in the center perpetuate the mod atmosphere.

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  • 08 of 24

    Choose a Neutral Palette

    Neutral living room and dining room

    Jessica Nelson Design

    You don’t need to go crazy-colorful if you create a midcentury space. To lean toward rustic styling, consider a neutral color palette, like these connected living and dining rooms created by Jessica Nelson Design. It’s quiet yet modern in whites, grays, and tans.

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  • 09 of 24

    Wrap in Warm Details

    rustic midcentury modern living room

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    To go midcentury rustic, it’s all about the details. Combine midcentury furniture with a simple vintage trunk. Display vintage artwork next to mod-style decorative accents. These are all accents displayed in this room designed by Emily Henderson.

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  • 10 of 24

    Go Cabin Chic

    cabin style modern rustic bedroom

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    If you are drawn to all-things-modern, but you also love the log-cabin look, you can easily join the two. Take a page from this space designed by Emily Henderson: a bold striped throw, a midcentury-inspired fireplace, exposed wood beams on the slanted ceiling, and a plush white rug on the floor. This room truly proves that rustic and midcentury can live together in perfect harmony.

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  • 11 of 24

    Be Intentional With Color

    colorful midcentury modern and rustic living room

    Dazey Den

    On the other hand, adding rustic elements doesn't mean you can't have any color in the space. The key is to be intentional. In this delightful living room designed by Dazey Den, the pairing of teal and blush pink already make an eye-catching statement amongst the midcentury furniture and patterned rug. However, nods to rustic imagery show up in the midcentury shelving against the wall and the vintage look of the fireplace with a dark wood mantle.

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  • 12 of 24

    Mix and Match

    midcentury modern rustic dining room

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Blending midcentury and rustic styles can feel tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Experimenting with bringing the styles together can create surprising combinations. This dining room by Emily Henderson showcases a white circular dining table and white cylinder light fixture that radiates midcentury vibes, but the four chairs surrounding the table are sleek wooden additions that add a more rustic feel. The balance between the two is perfection.

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  • 13 of 24

    Keep The Scheme Cohesive

    rustic kitchen with midcentury modern smeg fridge

    Design: Jess Bunge for Emily Henderson Design/ Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    While neutral colors aren't exactly required, it helps to keep a color scheme consistent if you're bringing in two different styles. The white open shelf cabinetry and light wooden countertop give off a rustic appeal in this kitchen designed by Jess Bunge for Emily Henderson Design. Yet, the SMEG brand fridge—an iconic midcentury modern piece—seems to fit right in. By keeping the color scheme similar across the board, even strikingly different concepts can still feel cohesive.

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  • 14 of 24

    Try Exposed Wood Beams With Wood Midcentury Furniture

    modern rustic living room

    Design: Emily Henderson/ Photo: Ryan Liebe

    Nothing gives off a rustic farmhouse vibe like exposed wooden beams. In this living room by Emily Henderson, the dark wood pops against the high white ceilings—but other rustic touches can be found if you take a closer look. The vintage trunk used as a table and the brick fireplace are notable additions. The rest of the room seems to lean more modern—the couch and accent chairs have sleek, rounded appearances, and the wooden coffee table's unique shape make the room feel like a work of art.

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  • 15 of 24

    Make a Statement

    cobblestone fireplace in rustic, midcentury modern living room

    Erin Williamson Design

    This cabin-style living room by Erin Williamson Design has its share of statement-making pieces. The bright pattern rug and the iconic Eames lounge chair are undeniably midcentury modern inspired. The backdrop of cobblestone accent walls and fireplace add a more rustic appeal that doesn't contradict or overwhelm the pieces already present.

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  • 16 of 24

    Go Mostly Rustic With a Small Tough of Modern

    modern bathroom with rustic touches

    Jessica Nelson Design

    Combining these two concepts doesn't have to be a perfect, 50/50 balance. In this bathroom by Jessica Nelson Design, rustic is the main style present—the wood panel walls, wood vanity, and wicker baskets make a case for it. However, the Edison bulb sconces and starburst tile flooring add a dose of midcentury to the mix.

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  • 17 of 24

    Go Mostly Midcentury With Small Touch of Rustic

    modern bathroom with rustic accents

    Jessica Nelson Design

    On the flip side, Jessica Nelson Design proves that you can also keep a space mostly modern with small rustic touches. The white square subway tile, freestanding tub, and hexagon tile floor are all decidedly modern. Yet the small wooden stool serving as a table and the vintage rug bring a bit of rustic to the room.

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  • 18 of 24

    Try Statement Pieces

    modern bathroom with rustic sliding barn doors

    KG Designs

    It's all about the transition in this bathroom by KG Designs. While it's easy to see that the bathroom has midcentury modern elements—the starburst light fixture, tile floor, and freestanding tub, just to name a few—the sliding wooden doors are unarguably a rustic touch. The statement piece makes a strong first impression, but doesn't clash with the rest of the decor.

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  • 19 of 24

    Use Painted Brick to Bring the Styles Together

    midcentury modern bathroom with rustic accents

    Mid Century Jo

    While rustic and modern have their own distinct personalities, some design concepts overlap between the two—making an ideal bridge to bring them together. Painted brick is a perfect example, giving a clean slate that brings either style to life. This bathroom by Mid Century Jo proves our point with a white-painted brick wall serving as the backdrop to sizeable midcentury art, a clawfoot bathtub, wicker baskets, and a vintage full-length mirror.

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  • 20 of 24

    Add Dark Wood Mirror over Black Tile

    modern black bathroom with rustic mirror

    Mid Century Jo

    A surefire way to bring rustic and modern styles together? Dark wood and tile. Whether in a kitchen, or a bathroom like this one by Mid Century Jo, the black subway tile gives a sleek, polished look. Yet the wide wood frame mirror is a rustic addition that certainly captures your attention.

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  • 21 of 24

    Pick Decor That Fuses The Two Together

    bedroom with warm wood accent wall

    Arbor & Co.

    If you want to take things a step further, opt for decor or furniture that is a definite fusion of each style. This bedroom designed by Arbor & Co. already has a rustic edge to it, especially with the wood plank accent wall. Take a closer look at the side tables on either side of the bed—the materials are a well-worn wood, but the style is undeniably midcentury.

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  • 22 of 24

    Use Midcentury Styles With Rustic Materials

    living room with tree trunk coffee table

    Arbor & Co.

    Midcentury styles, like this tree trunk coffee table, leather accent chair, and geometric pattern rug, all get a rustic feel due to the natural and rustic materials present in this living room by Arbor & Co.

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  • 23 of 24

    Pair Subway Tile and Wood Accents

    kitchen with white tile backsplash and rustic kitchen table

    Arbor & Co.

    Another pairing that can help easily bring rustic and modern vibes together? Subway tile and wood accents. This kitchen by Arbor & Co. has a marble tile backsplash that looks posh and modern, yet the dark wooden dining chairs and counters create a rustic contrast.

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  • 24 of 24

    Pair Marble With Shiplap

    bathroom with modern marble sink and rustic shiplap walls

    Becca Interiors

    This bathroom by Becca Interiors would be considered entirely rustic, based on the hinged shutters, white shiplap, and brown wood vanity. However, the striking black and white marble sink is a gamechanger, introducing an artistic, modern feel that wouldn't be present without it.