6 Elements of Modern Rugged Decor

Modern rugged-themed room with wooden dining table and colorful artworks

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

There's a common stereotype that people who identify as men don't care as much about interior design or decor as people who identify as women. And perhaps that is, in part, because interior designers have historically focused on serving and pleasing women customers. Whatever the case may be, there are ways that you can create a space that is both bold and stylish while bucking the stereotype that interior design is "feminine" territory. Let's take a look at six great approaches to creating a strong and robust environment in your home.

  • 01 of 06

    Bold Colors

    Beautiful home office
    phototropic / Getty Images

    No matter what room you're decorating or what style you plan to decorate in, it's always a good idea to make choosing the color palette your first step. Of course, a bold room isn't one where you're likely to find a lot of bright shades of yellow or pink (though you may find some). Stronger colors tend to run a different gamut, ranging from moody shades of darker colors to warm neutrals.

    Classic neutral palettes such as black and white work well in just about any space. Given the tendency toward darker tones, pops of color are an important way to break up color blocks. For this role, warm metallics like gold or brass are always a good way to go.

  • 02 of 06

    Geometric Patterns

    Living room interior with orange armchair
    ExperienceInteriors / Getty Images

    It's hard to pinpoint just one pattern that suits everyone's tastes and expectations for what a bold room might look like, but some patterns make a better argument for inclusion in mature rooms than others.

    Generally, you can't go wrong with a strong geometric pattern. This sort of bold style is all about clean lines and sharp edges, as opposed to curves and softer colors. Having geometric patterns on textiles and accessories allows you to weave that aesthetic all throughout your space.

    A great way to achieve that patterned effect is with a rug. Beni Ourain rugs from Morocco, with a beige and black color palette that is fast becoming a classic, are a perfect choice for more sober spaces. The neutral colors and diamond geometric pattern are ideal for fitting into a neutral heavy space or brightening up a moodier one. Depending on the size of the rug, the scale of the pattern can add visual interest to the entire room, alleviating the need for other patterned textiles.

    If you're feeling really creative, look for furniture pieces that have some geometric design built in, like the stylish yellow credenza shown above.

  • 03 of 06

    A Mix of Textures

    log cabin fireplace
    YvanDube / Getty Images

    Perhaps even more than pattern, stand-out mature spaces are a mix of textures, with an emphasis on hard, rough, or weathered surfaces. Natural materials such as stone and unfinished wood are always the first choices for creating a space with a rough-hewn feel. Brick walls are another perfect fit, adding color as well as texture.

    Also, on the machine-made side of the equation, metallics continue to be a preferred texture. A smooth-finished counterpoint to rough stone, brick, or wood, metallic finishes can be used in small doses through accessories and lighting fixtures, or on larger pieces, such as a credenza.

  • 04 of 06

    A Range of Accessories

    Interior Living Room
    Nikada / Getty Images

    Just because the room you're decorating is meant to convey a bold style doesn't mean your accessories options are limited. Look for pieces that add to the texture of the room, such as stoneware, statues, or pottery. Books are another great choice, particularly older works with interesting or vintage hardcover bindings. Finally, textile pieces such as throw pillows remain an excellent option for adding color and pattern to the space.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Colorful Art

    North American Luxury Condo interior
    Sisoje / Getty Images

    Art is the perfect finishing touch to any space. It is one of the easiest ways to add spots of bright color to a moody or neutral space. Gallery walls combining multiple pieces will create eye-catching statement walls while offering opportunities to include other non-traditional wall art. Black and white photography is also a fantastic possibility for spaces with a quieter, more reflective feel.

    Finally, look for ways to connect your art to the wider decor. Using your art pieces to pick up and echo the patterns and colors found in your rugs and textiles is a way to create a nuanced, layered look that will add depth to your room.

  • 06 of 06


    Main floor interior
    FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images

    Let's face it: When you're designing a room intended to carry strong or rustic vibes, you've got to have at least one leather (or faux leather) piece—though more than one is by no means out of the question.

    Leather is one of those classic materials that works in just about any space that aims for a rugged aesthetic. Large pieces like Chesterfield sofas or side chairs are the perfect anchor pieces for these kinds of spaces, bringing a timeless feel that you can build on with various textures, accessories, and art. Best of all, leather can be found in a variety of colors, from black to warm browns and even white, so in whatever way you choose to incorporate leather, it can have a big impact on your room.