Design Ideas to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room for Fall
The fall season is arriving! Check out these ideas for a rustic neutral living room for fall and cozy living spaces for simple home decor! I’ll show you the best way to get a rustic look in your living space with natural textures, a neutral palette, and decor accessories with a rustic touch. Plus, join me in touring over 30 other fall home tours for the best fall home decor inspiration of 2023!
Welcome to my Fall Home Tour of 2023! This past summer, some of you joined me in Instagram stories as our family took an RV road trip through 7 states, including North and South Dakota. Now, I was born in Oklahoma, so a rustic room always holds some appeal for me. However, this summer I was so inspired by some of the National Parks we visited, as well as the roaming buffalo. My kids even thought it would be fun to add some elements for a rustic neutral living room for fall, along with our other main living areas!
Our running joke for the trip was from a souvenir shirt we bought for Robb that says “Don’t Pet the Fluffy Cow”. Keep that in mind when we get to the throw pillow section of this post and all the cozy ways to decorate for the fall season!
If you’re hopping over from Heida at Eleanor Rose Home for this Fall Home Tour, welcome! I loved her tour and gorgeous fall design elements. I also want to say a big thank you to my friend Kelly from The Tattered Pew for hosting these incredible home tours each season. It is a great way for YOU to be your own interior designer, pick and choose all of your favorite decor ideas. You can also curate ideas for your own home for the season!
What is a rustic living room?
When I think of a rustic living room, I immediately envision a massive stone fireplace and high ceilings. Of course, there are some brick walls or stone walls, ceiling beams, and natural light streaming through large windows. The aged natural materials are perfection. Basically, none of the things I have in our Florida ranch style home. Haha!
However, there are a lot of rustic interior design elements that I can incorporate into any space to give it a rustic feel. A neutral color palette combined with warmer tones is a good place to start.
Textures such as warm leather, fur rugs, and the natural beauty of organic materials add warmth to the entire room.
You don’t have to have a log cabin in order to incorporate gorgeous warm tones with wood. Consider a coffee table, side table, or even wood plank walls as a focal point to bring in some wood tones to your rustic living room design.
Design Ideas to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room for Fall Decor
Cozy Fall Home Tour with Rustic Home Decor 2023
How to Use Rustic Decor for Fall Decorating
A rustic feel and the fall season just seem to go hand in hand. Also, many of the colors of autumn are already straying away from the bright color scheme of spring and summer and transitioning into the more moody earth tones and neutral colors.
Since I don’t want to make any permanent changes and only wanted to add some touches of those rustic elements, I decided to stick with some safe rustic living room ideas that I could spread throughout our main living spaces. In our open concept home, this includes the family room, kitchen, dining room, music room, and entryway.
It helps that most of my decor is already in neutral hues. If you enjoy switching your decor around, I highly recommend sticking with neutral colors for your large pieces. Then, you can add any pops of color or design elements, no matter the season.
Here are a few things I purchased to add to my existing decor for some rustic touches in the fall season:
- Fluffy lamb fur pillows (remember the “don’t pet the fluffy cow” line? It comes up often with these pillows and makes for a fun memory!)
- Cow hide rug
- Steer skull with antlers, all white (similar HERE)
- Antler sheds
- Small horse print
- Neutral rustic wall art, vintage-inspired
- Vintage concrete horse heads (similar HERE)
Color Palette to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room or Space
The current popular design styles definitely lend to the earthy, muted, neutral hues, though a bright color scheme always has a place and is definitely making a comeback.
Since many of you are probably already starting with somewhat neutral colors, adding some rustic elements will not be too difficult. Plus, I think a lot of vintage and vintage-inspired pieces also blend beautifully with a neutral palette.
For a rustic space, I concentrated on adding warmer tones to my white walls and white living room idea. Going with my love for vintage decor, I incorporated stoneware and crocks in an earthy color palette.
At the same time, the stone and pottery blend perfectly with natural elements like dried branches and stems. I also added throw blankets and throw pillows in a neutral color palette.
However, to keep adding layers of texture, I used a mixture of square, round, and lumbar pillow shapes. At the same time, I mixed different textures like vintage linen, soft, gauzy cotton, wool, and fur.
Even though the colors are very neutral, these living spaces don’t feel blah to me. There is definitely a full sensory experience of touch and at the same time, the colors feel soothing and peaceful for home!
Natural Elements to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room or Space
Believe it or not, when it comes to fall decorating, I don’t have a ton of fall decorations. I love using a lot of natural elements. Over on THIS post, you can see details about some of my favorite FREE decor to use in the fall. In the music room, I added one huge dried palm stem. It feels perfect for a Florida fall!
Natural elements are perfect for fall decorating. They can add a lot of natural textures, earthy, warm tones, and beautiful character to any cozy living room.
Here are some of my favorites that I am using around our home:
Neutral Living Room Ideas to Create a Rustic Space
A white living room idea may not seem like a natural choice for rustic style. While it worked great for our coastal summer decor, transitioning a white living room idea into fall decor that uses warmer tones requires a lot of layers.
I still want to add more fall decorations as we move into the autumn season, specifically with dried gourds and a pumpkin or two. However, I’ve had a lot of fun switching from our coastal summer decor into a soft color palette with rustic neutral living room decor ideas.
Admittedly, these are pretty safe rustic living room ideas. That being said, I don’t want to make permanent changes and tried to use mostly what I already have on hand.
Here are just a few ways you can add some fall touches to vintage or modern living room ideas:
1. Create a Focal Point
The natural focal point in our family room is this long gallery wall. A vintage mantel, flanked with a pair of chippy white architectural salvage doors, is a simple base for switching out seasonal decor and gallery wall decor accents.
I love that almost everything on this wall was thrifted, including the steer skull and antlers that I bought on the World’s Longest Yard Sale. I wanted to balance out the rustic look of the steer head. So, I wanted to add some elegant vintage decor that would blend with my somewhat European – cottage – traditional – vintage – flea market style.
(Obviously, I have a bit of a decor identity crisis! What can I say?! I love what I love!)
On the opposite of the room, our Samsung Frame TV makes a great secondary focal point. I chose THIS gorgeous vintage inspired art. Also, I love how it adds beautiful warm tones and a fun nod to our “don’t pet the fluffy cow” joke from the summer too.
It’s those little details that I think make every home unique and special!
I love using the Frame TV as a way to be functional for a family movie night or stream our favorite music channels. At the same time, it’s gorgeous art that I can inexpensively change each season too!
2. Use Rustic Touches for Accent Tables
Our coffee table and side tables are a great way to add some easy decor that makes the entire room look intentional. Then, on the coffee table, I used this large, antique European trencher. It is one of my favorite large pieces of decor. You can find a gorgeous large wooden dough bowl for your own coffee table HERE!
For fall, I especially love the warmer tones. Since I don’t have amazing wooden beams (don’t we all wish?!) in this living space, I can at least enjoy wood tones in large pieces like this. While it’s not my dream living room with high ceiling beams taking center stage, I still get the warm wood tones in a way that works for my space and I love that!
I also love a mix of textures so I added a vintage grain sack and one large elk antler that I also purchased on the World’s Longest Yard Sale. The mix of textures: wood, fabric, and aged natural materials creates a simple look here that I am enjoying this season.
Next, I swapped out my side tables for this small natural pine table. It is another find from the World’s Longest Yard Sale! It brings in the warmer tones that blend so perfectly with the fall colors.
Lastly, I wanted to keep the decor really simple. So, I added an architectural salvage wooden base and a glass cloche. Then, I added a vintage horse trophy that I picked up inexpensively at an antique mall.
My favorite candle and a pair of thrifted brass candlesticks combine my favorite design elements. It also repeats the mix of color palette from the coffee table: wood and white decor, with some soft gold added.
3. Add Cozy Elements
Our sectional isn’t fancy but it is definitely a comfortable sofa that we can use and love! I love that the slipcover can be washed (and bleached!) a couple times a year to keep it fresh. (Speaking of, it’s due for a good washing soon!)
At the same time, I mixed the colors with a gingham pattern, solid light tan (this set is perfect for layering). Of course, our favorite “fluffy cow” throw pillows add a cozy element too!
They actually aren’t cows or buffalos at all. However, they are the softest ever and available HERE! I first saw them at a boutique for about $200 each, which was definitely NOT in my budget. THESE are still not cheap, but they are a fraction of the price and really take center stage in this room. Plus, my kids can’t get enough of them. I think they’ll be staying around for the Christmas and winter seasons too!
Even though our space isn’t really huge, we love our cozy living room. Best of all, it’s a space that everyone can enjoy.
Nothing is too precious for all of us to just live and relax and enjoy the space. I think that is really, really important in a home!
How do you arrange a spacious living room?
If you are working with a large living room, you’ll want to get creative with your furniture arrangements to create a really cozy living room space.
In a lot of ways, a smaller living room can be a little easier to work with. However, most modern living room ideas are working with larger spaces. If you have a large living room, here are a few tips:
- Put furniture in smaller seating arrangements, maybe creating even two or three conversation areas
- Consider some seating that can be flexible to move around in smaller conversation areas or be combined into one large area for big gatherings
- Add an area rug (consider a fur rug for a modern rustic living room ideas!)
- You may consider more than one area rug to help define the conversation areas
- Create at least one focal point and possibly two, depending on how you lay out the room
- Add lighting at varied levels
How to Style Open Shelving to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room or Space
While I don’t have shelves in our rustic neutral living room, the open shelves in our dining room are visible from the living spaces too. Even though each room has its own personality, I want these open concept spaces to flow smoothly.
Again, while amazing wooden beams would be a dream, it’s not in the plan right now for our home. Instead, I bring in the warm tones of wood with this gorgeous English harvest table I found years ago at a thrift store.
The apothecary was a labor of love and it adds so much character. Long before the oven cleaner method became popular on social media, we used it on this piece. You literally won’t believe the before and after. You can find all of the details over on THIS post from a few years ago!
First, I stick to repetition in the color palette (white decor, wood, grey/tan mixture of stoneware).
Secondly, for a mix of textures, I still stick with just a few kinds, using wood, stoneware/crocks, and glass.
Even though these open shelves hold a lot of objects, the repetition of color and texture helps it feel curated rather than cluttered.
Use Architectural Salvage to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room or Space
Our music room is such a fun space to style. It is really like a secondary conversation area or an extension of our living room. Even though the chairs aren’t sat in super often, it’s a busy room with all of the music that happens around here!
I love creating a focal point with large pieces in this space. The basics stay the same here year round: apothecary where I store all of my small decor items, large mirror made of architectural salvage, DIY vintage scones (tutorial HERE), and vintage chairs.
For some drama and honestly, just for some fun, with my rustic neutral living room space here, I added one of the largest architectural salvage pieces I own!
This giant corbel is the perfect addition to my warm tones for fall. A vintage French grape harvesting basket and a gigantic dried palm branch (yay for free decor!) add some natural elements in this space that feel perfect for a Florida fall.
A few simple rustic touches here help add to the overall decor story I wanted to tell with my fall decorating this year! I added a concrete horse head (find a similar one HERE) and this vintage-inspired horse print (find it HERE).
Just those two simple rustic elements add just the right look that I wanted in this space.
The other focal point in the music room is this cowhide area rug that I bought…you guessed it…on the World’s Longest Yard Sale. You can find a similar one HERE.
Cowhide rugs are really trending for modern rustic design. It is so soft and I love that there are so many styles and colors you can choose from for your own space! I’ve wanted one for a long time and I’m so glad I got this one. It’s made a beautiful and unique addition to our home!
When the sun shines through these large windows across the piano in the mornings, it just makes me smile. I can pretend…until I open the front door…that there is actually a hint of crisp fall air out there.
Sigh. Now if it would just ever make its way to Florida, right?! Maybe by January!!!
Commonly Asked Question About Rustic Designs + My Two Cents
How can I make my living room look rustic?
Especially in the fall season, adding rustic touches is a great way to add warm tones to any living space. I wanted to add some rustic accents without making any major changes. So, I focused on a mixture of textures, warm woods tones, and neutral hues.
Adding these to the white walls and white living room spaces really warmed everything up. Starting from a base of neutral colors allows me to easily transition seasons and experiment with fun decor!
A white or grey living room is a perfect neutral base that you can easily switch up with a decorative accent or two. Then, just add a few simple rustic elements. We will chat in more detail about some easy ones to add to any rustic space.
Reading above, you can see how I added simple elements to mix and match for a rustic touch throughout our main living space. I was able to mostly use things I had on hand!
What is modern rustic design?
You’ll hear and see these design trends of modern rustic style popping up across the design world. Modern rustic design combines the earthy neutral tones and natural, rustic elements with the clean, simple lines of modern furniture. Also, you will see modern elements like metal (consider mixing in some gold to level the rustic look up a bit!) mixed with organic materials, like raw wood.
At the same time, if you may want to use a few pieces of rustic furniture or accessories into living spaces that are otherwise decorated in a more modern style. So, look for vintage-inspired details to help it keep from looking too thematic or “country”.
However, some people may already live in rustic homes with log cabin vibes and want to add a more modern look. Then, you can add modern elements like clean lines, sleek metal, glass for a bit of shine, and some white colors to give it more of a modern rustic design.
Bloggers’ Best Fall Home Tours
This week I am joining some of my blogging friends for the Bloggers’ Best Fall Home Tours. Thirty talented and creative women will be opening their homes up for you to tour all week long. You can visit each Fall home tour by clicking the links below.
What is a rustic living room?
Well, I suppose there are a lot of different answers to that question! I hope this post has given you some ideas of what rustic style can look like combined with your unique style in your own home!
However, thanks for coming and touring our rustic neutral living room with a European vintage cottage twist. How’s that for a style?!
As you can see, I was able to use many things that I already had to decorate our home for early fall. However, just a few additions of some rustic elements were all it took to give a subtle and fun rustic feel to these living spaces!
I hope you’ve had fun touring our fall home today! I’ll be adding a lot more fall decor in the coming weeks, so stay tuned over on my Instagram and on the blog too!
In closing, I want you to click on over to Suzy at Worthing Court for some amazing fall inspiration. You’re going to love what she is sharing and I know you’ll get great ideas as you prepare your own home for fall!