Imagine going on a weekend trip to the Poconos Mountains, staying in a nice cabin, and enjoying your family’s company while gathered around a modern campfire. Imagine the large wooden pillars and greenery all around you. You can experience this feeling with an American rustic-style patio.
What is the Rustic Style？
According to interior designer Katie Hodges, “Rustic design, at its core, is the use of organic elements in their most natural state.” The category of “rustic style” is a broad term that can apply to a multitude of design styles, from cottage decor to Tuscan-style homes. However, one thing rustic styles share is that they’re all based on the use of natural materials.
You’ll find less modern materials like metal, plastic, synthetic fibers, and a lot more raw, unfinished materials such as wood and stone. However, a contemporary rustic style is emerging within the design community, where the rustic style is combined with a few modern aspects to give the space a clean but still Earthy atmosphere.
The rustic color palette consists of a lot of, you guessed it, natural colors! Because the majority of the furniture is made of natural materials, there are many shades of browns, grays, and sometimes greens within the rustic style. You can also add color through your accent pieces such as pillows, tapestries, and pottery. Now, how do you achieve the perfect rustic look for your patio?
Rustic Style Patio (Source: Alderwood Landscape)
Rustic Style Patio Ideas
Do you want to start building the rustic patio of your dreams, but you can’t lay your finger on exactly what you want? Hopefully, these ideas will spark inspiration as to what you may want to incorporate within your patio.
For a cottage, rustic vibe, try adding a stone fireplace with rustic wall lanterns. Sprucing up the space with wooden, oversized seating and an accent rocking chair can form an earthy, home-like feeling. In addition, to further accentuate the furniture, add warm-colored cushions and textiles. Lastly, protect the space, and add a little flare, by covering it with a roof-lay overhead.
However, if you’re aiming for a modern and simple approach, try having multiple areas of your patio connected by a stone walkway. For the main area of your patio, beige furniture with navy blue cushions and soft-colored textiles establishes a simple, modern color palette. However, by adding an industrial coffee table and even a rope chandelier, you incorporate a modern appeal to your patio. Cover the space with a wooden awning, and you’re good to go!
Rustic Patio Idea (Source: Alderwood Landscape)
6 Tips for Building a Rustic Patio
Not everyone has an eye for interior, or in this case exterior, design, so these tips will help you choose the perfect pieces to create and bring your rustic patio to life.
Use Natural Materials
What makes the rustic style rustic is its diverse use of natural materials. Natural woods, natural stones, natural fabrics, natural furs are all a part of what makes up the rustic style. By using natural materials, you give your patio a truly rustic aura.
Incorporate different textures and stone slabs to differentiate between walkways, or plant different flowers and trees around the perimeter to connect nature to your outdoor haven. Even installing a grand, wooden pergola over your patio provides it with an extravagant feel and functions as a cover for precipitation.
Choose Wicker or Wooden Furniture
Your furniture will set the stage for the “rustic-ness” of your patio, so it’s important to choose furniture made of either wicker or wood. I recommend going with dark wicker furniture to have a clean look while still maintaining the rustic aspects that your furniture is supposed to have. Something like this sectional would be perfect for a patio because it’s low-maintenance, and it still gives a rustic appeal to the space. Also, the pieces can be disconnected and rearranged to fill even more space, and the neutral color makes it easy to personalize just by adding a few accent pieces.
However, if you choose to go with wooden furniture, I recommend distressed wood because its aged appearance will fit in perfectly with the elements of nature in your outdoor space.
Build or Buy a Stone Fire Pit
The stone fire pit is perhaps the most appealing aspect of a rustic patio. Of course, by building your fireplace, you add your personal touch, but it can be hard to come up with ideas. Building a fireplace out of stones or bricks yourself is a great option if you want a natural vibe to your space, and stone grills provide multifunctional use as a grill and a stone fire pit.
Although these options are excellent for bringing your rustic patio to life, you might want a less cumbersome option. Electric fire pits like this one give your patio the same natural feel without the hassle of constructing one yourself. It comes with built-in storage space for your propane tank, and you can even adjust the flame height!
Faux Stone Fire Pit
Match With Rustic Style Home Decors
For the optimal rustic appeal, incorporating rustic farmhouse-style home decor is the best way to go. Distressed sliding barn doors, wooden candle lanterns, and even natural textile tapestries would all be perfect additions to spruce up your rustic style patio.
Barn doors would be the bridge between your home’s interior and exterior, and by connecting your spaces, you tie in the rustic atmosphere throughout your whole home.
By incorporating wooden candle lanterns, you add a modern, but still rustic, appeal to your patio. Also, the type of light they illuminate brings an earthy, calming feel to your patio. It isn’t as overwhelming as large, overhead lights and is much easier to install within your space.
You can also bring a woodland feel to your patio through animal accents. Decorations such as antlers and animal-print pillows/rugs are subtle pieces that still make a statement. For those wanting an intense, outdoor vibe, taxidermy would make a perfect addition to your space!
Other types of decor to consider incorporating for a more rustic effect include weatherized hardware, soft leathers, and plaids. Weatherized hardware brings an aged look to your patio; however, this can also be achieved through pairing matte black pieces with distressed wood. Soft leathers form the homey yet rustic aura desired for all rustic spaces. By softening tough leather furniture with warm pillows and throws, you make your furniture the highlight of the space. Also, accessorizing with plaid patterns adds color while staying on theme with the earthy, rustic color scheme.
However, one final thing you must include within your patio decor is greenery. All “rustic” styles must be paired with nature for them to be considered truly rustic. Decorations such as potted plants, shrubs, vines, or even just basing your patio within the nature around you all add character and an authentic “rustic” aura to your rustic-style patio.
Lightings Can Bring Feelings
Industrial lights can add a modern appeal to your rustic farmhouse-style patio. They are perfect to use when you want to make a statement in your space without drowning out the other rustic elements. Combining industrial lighting with distressed wooden furniture is the best option to emphasize both aspects of the space. An industrial floor lamp or sleek, metal wall lights would make a great addition to your rustic-style patio!
Except for the industrial lights can emphasize the “rustic-ness” of your patio, but when you add customized, creative lighting, a homey atmosphere is set within your patio. Some rustic patio ideas for creative lighting could be hanging yellow Christmas lights around the space, putting candles in mason jars, or even hanging Edison bulbs from a distressed wooden beam. Any personalized lighting you come up with will create a unique, customized, rustic atmosphere.
Add Comfy Seating
The worst feeling is when you come across a well-decorated area but the furniture is uncomfortable. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort for style, so be sure to add some comfortable seating to your rustic patio.
I recommend neutral-colored furniture or seating made out of natural materials like wicker seeing as they’re on-theme and easier to keep clean in harsh weather conditions. Oversized seating and wooden benches add rustic style and home-like comfort as well; however, what makes seating comfortable is the cushions. Buy seat cushions, or make your own ones.
For optimal comfort, I recommend using high-density foam when making your seat cushions. To get the most use out of your seating, seeing as it’s always outdoors, cover your furniture with weather-resistant slipcovers to preserve the material. After you’ve worked this into your patio, you officially have a rustic style patio!
Starting a home project is always hard, but it becomes ten times easier when you have an idea of where to start. Hopefully, this article was able to provide you with some ideas and a checklist of what to include within your patio to achieve a rustic style. Good luck with your rustic-style patio and many more home projects to come!