A rustic theme is ideal for anyone looking for a simple, wholesome look that inspires comfort, warmth and authenticity. Inspired by old country living, the rustic theme places emphasis on unrefined finishes, natural textures, organic shapes and warm, rich colors. The theme can be applied to both interior and exterior spaces. As a median between the two, a patio is a great starting point for the style from where it can carry over to other spaces in more subtle ways. Here we’ll look at how you can introduce certain elements to your outdoor space for a full or partial rustic themed patio.
Rough hewn supports, minimally treated logs, driftwood and salvaged railroad sleepers are the ideal lumber accents for a rustic patio. These can be used as support beams for a patio covering, incorporated into outdoor bars or kitchen counters, or as decorative features. The rawness of the wood and richness of the grain is what brings character to a rustic setting, so go for wood that is as unprocessed and as rough as possible. Heavy beams and logs also provide visual anchors and the sense of stability that comes with the rustic theme.
The coarse textures and warm, earthy tones of natural stone are ideal for a rustic patio. As with lumber, the rougher and more irregular, the better. This makes natural, uncut flagstone the perfect surface material for a rustic look. Of course, if a more refined approach is something you’re after, this can be achieved with stone with a smoother finish and regular cut, emphasizing color and grain over texture. For vertical features such as retaining walls, outdoor fireplaces, cabinets and bars, stacked slate provides the perfect roughness of texture and rich detail. Bluestone can also be used and is an excellent material for a slightly more subtle rustic look. Natural stone can also be used in the construction of rustic boulder walls and features for the ultimate old country style.
The materials from which your fire pit or outdoor fireplace is built are not the only contributions these features make towards a rustic aesthetic. The crackling sounds, ambient lighting and warmth of a log fire is what makes having a fire feature the perfect complement to a rustic theme. Both a fire pit and fireplace are excellent options with a fire pit being more open and accessible, great for large gatherings and drawing attention outwards to your landscape, and a fireplace being more intimate and more obviously a central feature.
As mentioned, lumber furniture features prominently in the rustic style. Benches constructed from logs, age-worn lumber tables, and recycled elements such as crates, electrical cable spools and barrels are also ideal. Brick or natural stone permanent seating would not be out of place on a rustic themed patio and can be a convenient means of saving space and providing abundant seating for your guests.
Other decorative features
A rustic theme is by its definition not showy or flamboyant. Instead, decorative features tend towards character and function over eye-catching statements. Burlap accent pillows, driftwood and distressed planters can be used to contribute additional aesthetic touches. Reclaimed, upcycled and vintage pieces are always welcome accouterments to the rustic style.