Design Ideas to Create a Rustic Neutral Living Room for Fall

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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!

tablescape featuring checkered table runner, gold candlesticks, and lots of woven texture

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.

entryway styled with white concrete bust, woven basket with dried greenery, and white crocks

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:

White steer skull hung above vintage books and gold candlesticks styled on a chippy white mantel.

​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!

Close up of neutral colored crocks on a white apothecary

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!

Woven basket with dried palm fronds next to a large tan architectural piece

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:

Fall living room styled with cozy pillows, white steer skull, and vintage frames.

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!

Beautiful white mantel styled with vintage books and frames, gold candlesticks, and a white steer skull

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.

Over on THIS post, you can get my favorite tips for decorating a coffee table for the fall season!

Vintage brass horse trophy under glass cloche with wooden base

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!)

Throw pillows and throw blankets (this is my personal favorite) add the perfect cozy elements that soften an entire room.  I used a mixture of square, round, and lumbar size pillows for variety.

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!

Fuzzy brown pillow on a white couch with a brown checkered pillow and a round pillow

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

Cozy living room featuring a cozy white couch and a chippy wooden coffee table with a large dough bowl holding an elk antler

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!

On the open shelves, I used my tried and true method for shelf styling, found on THIS post in my simple decor series.

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.

For a rustic touch, I used velcro command strips to hang two sets of mounted antlers.  I love how this ties into the family room decorations and adds depth to the open shelving as well.

Fall living room styled with cozy pillows, white steer skull, and vintage frames.

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!!!

Large tan corbel styled on top of a white apothecary
White concrete horse head styled next to a brown woven basket with dried greenery

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!

Close up of artwork of a horse in a small black frame

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.

Cow hide rug underneath two arm chairs and a coffee table, all styled in front of a white apothecary

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.

Monday’s Tours

Bloggers' Best Fall Tour 23

The Tattered Pew // StoneGable // My Wee Abode

Cottage On Bunker Hill // Bricks n’ Blooms // My Thrift Store Addiction

Tuesday’s Tours

Tuesday Tour Collage 23

She Gave It A Go // Midwest Life and Style // Open Doors Open Hearts

Peacock Ridge Farm // Cottage In The Mitten

Wednesday’s Tours

Wednesday Fall Tours 23

White Lilac Farmhouse // Shiplap and Shells //  The Ponds Farmhouse

WM Design House //  DIY Beautify // This Is Simplicite

Thursday’s Tours

Thursday's Fall  Tours 23

Eleanor Rose Home // Robyn’s French Nest // Worthing Court

Southern Home and Hospitality //  Amy Sadler Designs // Our Crafty Mom

Friday’s Tours

Friday Fall Tours 23

White Arrows Home // A Life Unfolding // County Road 407

Thistle Key Lane // Pasha Is Home // My Family Thyme

​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!

Next, you can shop a full list of similar items and things I recommend for rustic neutral living room and cozy spaces, conveniently curated on my storefront HERE!

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!

close up of antlers in a large concrete bowl
Close up of a fall place setting with gold flatware and candlesticks, woven chargers and freshly baked rolls

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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