The key to creating a rustic dining room is to layer your textures – think raw reclaimed wood furniture, slubby linens, antique furnishings, distressed finishes, natural elements like picked branches from your backyard and accessories that have a hand-crafted quality.
As dining room ideas go, this is not a modern look in any way, it’s about pieces with character that are unique.
Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot explains, 'Rustic dining rooms often create an inviting appeal with their rich textures and colors, making them simple and cozy.'
The result? A welcoming ambience that'll make your guests relaxed and comfortable.
Rustic dining room ideas
We’ve sourced 15 fabulous rustic dining room ideas that will inspire you to update your dining room.
1. Look for natural elements like wood and glass
Rustic dining rooms work best when they have as many natural elements in them as you can find. Weathered wood, bare floorboards, log piles – and, if you’re lucky, glass.
It’s about creating textures that add interest, like this chunky dining table. You can mix and match pieces like chairs for example - this is not about matching, it’s more individual than that.
Just add a wood burner idea to make the look extra cozy.
2. Choose statement lighting for your rustic dining room
Hollie Moreland, creative director at David Hunt Lighting explains why statement lights are key in a rustic scheme:
‘These days there is ample choice for creating a dynamic kitchen lighting idea or scheme to suit every home and every trend, pendants are a really great way to personalise yours and make a real design statement in your scheme without compromising on space.
Our hand painted Antler collection is a really great way to add a sophisticated design element and a little bit of natural beauty into your home, sitting beautifully in rustic country kitchens and dining rooms.’
3. Opt for the modern rustic trend
If the classic rustic dining room look isn’t for you, then there is a modern rustic version. It has a fresh, more streamlined look but still has the tactile elements.
Black is a great accent color to use with it as it adds a punchy contemporary feel. Earthenware should be as natural looking as possible and works well in neutrals with a hint of blue.
4. Don’t forget your drapes
Creating a rustic dining room is not as simple as buying the requisite table and chairs, there’s more to it than that.
Drapes and blind ideas will complete the look but don’t go for plain in this instance, opt for botanical prints that depict nature, good earthy designs that have a wholesome feel and if they have some woodland animals on them then all the better.
5. Go for pretty floral prints for a cottage style
Sometimes, depending on the layout of our homes, we have to share spaces – like this fabulous kitchen diner.
Super quaint, this charming home has all of the classic rustic feels, ditsy prints, playful stripes and lace on top of the table.
Fringed lighting, wooden beams and white painted cabinetry and floors. If you love the old-fashioned feel, then copy this look.
6. Make the most of exposed beams and walls
Obviously, if you don’t have the above then that’s fine.
They both add that tactile quality that instantly gives a rustic feel to a dining room. However, you can create the exposed brick wall theme with wallpaper or a feature wall idea, and as for beams, well they are a happy extra if you have them.
It’s also worth noting the faux leather bench and chairs here. They are similar in tone to brick color which is why they look so great in this setting.
7. A neutral scheme works well in a rustic dining room
A rustic dining room can be light and airy, which is ideal if you love white dining room ideas with neutral accents.
It can still have a rustic feel with a wooden table and bench, and look for a rattan lampshade to add texture.
Picked stems from your backyard will add a lovely centerpiece and choose bowls and plates that have a creamy natural color. Open shelving ideas are practical and creates a decorative feel.
8. Make yourself a rustic table from reclaimed wood
For a 100% rustic dining room look, make yourself a table top out of reclaimed wood.
You can get planks from a reclamation yard and batten them together underneath.
Team it with wooden bar stools and cute ribbed glass lights for extra texture and your rustic look will be complete.
9. The color scheme plays an important role
White, grey and stone are key colors for creating a rustic dining room, they act like a blank canvas for the accessories which are uber important.
Baskets, earthenware jugs, a wooden framed mirror, a coir rug and bamboo boxes are all integral parts.
An open cabinet is ideal for storing your tableware and adds color to your scheme too. Keep it organised and style up each shelf – a great small dining room idea.
10. Mix old and new rustic pieces
You can create a rustic dining room feel in a more modern home. In fact, it works well with a modern dining room idea's clean lines, black crittal doors and black floor tiles.
As long as you incorporate certain key ‘ingredient’s’ it will work. For example, a slubby linen tablecloth with fringing, knitted blankets, mixed material cushions and rattan accessories. Choose tableware that’s curvy rather than angular.
11. Add in a color for a fresh feel
We tend to think that rustic means a color palette of stone, rust, plaster and ochre. But, a bright green can work really well with mid-toned wood and rattan whilst still retaining the rustic element.
Also look at what you have already in a rustic living room idea, like natural beams – they will really add character to your rustic dining room.
12. Add shutters for a rustic element
The charm of a rustic dining room is how original pieces fit together, they can be a mixture of old and new – we love the combination of these Eames chairs teamed with thrift store finds.
A vintage pine topped table will also do the trick as will shutters. They create a characterful look that works well in both modern and more traditional dining room idea.
13. Include lots of wood in a rustic dining room
As long as you have wood in your dining room it will give it a rustic feel – beams, chairs, stools and benches will all help to create the look.
Although in a more modern setting, this cabin style home oozes the rustic feel, mainly due to the wooden cabinetry, ceiling and beams.
And you can see how to bring it through into the dining room space with the wooden benches, cork stool and rustic accessories.
14. Contrast dark wooden flooring with pale walls
Use original features to your advantage, these stunning dark wood floors really set the ‘rustic’ scene in this dining room.
The table, chairs and bench tie in perfectly whilst the pale painted walls give the space a lovely light and airy feel.
The artwork is the finishing touch, a splash of bold color that warms up the rest of the space – note it’s full of textures rather than simply flat color, which would make it feel too modern for this room.
15. Use wallpaper successfully
If you love wallpaper ideas and want to use it in your rustic dining room then opt for a design that’s got some kind of link to nature.
Botanical illustrations, wildlife and animals will all be perfect and will enrich your rustic dining room.
Keep the rest of the scheme reasonably simple, as the wallpaper will be the focal point.
How can I make my dining table look rustic?
You can make your dining table look rustic, by choosing carefully what you put on it. Texture is key, so lots of linens and textured cottons.
Muslin can also work, you could layer a piece over a linen tablecloth. Linen napkins with wooden holders, artisan made ceramics, embossed glassware and hand-crafted candles will all help to create the rustic look.
What are the best colors to use for a rustic dining table look?
The best colors are those that are similar to a fall color scheme. Rich shades of ochre, rust, dark reds, turmeric, mustard and some creamy off-whites. Also shades of grey and stone, natural colors that you see around you as the seasons change.
'Think of elements that are found in nature and use those materials as jumping off point for the pieces and colors you select for your dining room,' says Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot (opens in new tab).