How to Combine Rustic and Mid-Century 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 mid-century 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 mid-century 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 mid-century Rustic—here are 10 chic ideas.

  • 01 of 10

    Mix Rustic Woods and a Mod Light Fixture

    Midcentury kitchen
    Leanne Ford

    In this kitchen designed by Leanne Ford, well-loved woods, seen in the ceiling, table and shelving, 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.

  • 02 of 10

    Combine Mid-century Artwork and Comfortable Pieces

    Midcentury artwork
    Designer: Emily Henderson/Photographer: Tessa Neustadt

    Mid-century 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.

  • 03 of 10

    Think Clean, Sharp Lines

    Midcentury design
    Amy Emery Interior Design/Inspiro 8

    This lake home, designed by Amy Emery Interior Design, is a mid-century dream come true. The living room displays mid-century mainstays like linear accents and furniture pieces from the period, but it’s decidedly a lake house 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 mid-century.

  • 04 of 10

    Use Knotty, Well-Worn Woods as an Anchor

    Interior Design by The LifeStyled Company/Photo by Mrs. Minty

    This dining room dreamed up by The LifeStyled Company looks completely current, but it actually has a lot of throwback details. The hardwood floors, credenza, and table all display knotted wood that looks as if it’s from a long-ago era, while the mid-century pieces bring it closer to the here and now. Mid-century chairs, candlesticks, and other design elements are remarkably ideal partners with well-worn woods. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Make It Cozy

    Jette/Amy Bartlam

    When some people picture mid-century homes, they might envision severe designs, metallic materials, and uncomfortable furniture. On the contrary, mid-century, when brought together with rustic accents, can be quite comfy and relaxed. This room, created by design firm Jette, is the embodiment of cozy with soft textiles, birch branches ready for the fireplace and plush mid-century style furniture.

  • 06 of 10

    Choose a Space-Age Fireplace

    Hughes Umbanhowar Architects/Gibeon Photography

    Who says that a mid-century fireplace can’t find a home in a rustic cabin? This primary bedroom’s fireplace seamlessly brings together the mid-century and rustic styles, and it was designed by Hughes Umbanhower (HUUM) Architects. You can either search flea markets and salvage yards for these galactic fireplaces, or you can have one custom-made.

    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.

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  • 07 of 10

    Implement Mid-Century Design Motifs in Rustic Materials

    Becki Owens/Photographer: Suzanna Scott/Regan Baker Design

    When choosing a mid-century look for your kitchen, you don’t necessarily have to go with mid-century materials, which typically involve shiny, porcelain tile and plastic. If you prefer a rustic feel, pick warm, familiar materials and mold them into mid-century features for your kitchen. In this kitchen designed by Regan Baker Design and spotlighted on Becki Owens, the mid-century-inspired cabinetry is knotty wood, while the light fixture and barstools perpetuate the mod atmosphere.

  • 08 of 10

    Choose a Neutral Palette

    Interior Design: Kim Pearson Design & Decoration, Photographer: Brooke Holm

    You also don’t need to go crazy-colorful if you create a mid-century space. To lean toward rustic styling, consider a neutral color palette, like this one in a seating area created by Kim Pearson Design & Decoration and styled by Sophie Thé. It’s quiet yet modern in whites, blacks, and tans.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Wrap in Warm Details

    Leanne Ford

    To go mid-century rustic, it’s all about the details. Combine mid-century furniture with a simple wooden bowl. Display vintage artwork next to a sleek cement fireplace. Place logs nearby for a fire. These are all accents displayed in this room designed by Leanne Ford.

  • 10 of 10

    Go Cabin Chic

    Designers: Denise Quade Design & Paggie Design Studio/Photographer: Martin Menocal

    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 Denise Quade Designand Paggie Design Studio: plaid throw pillows, a mid-century-inspired coffee table and chairs, a deer head on the wall and strikingly-mod floor tile. This room truly proves that rustic and mid-century can live together in perfect harmony.