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Rustic Chic Vs. Industrial Decorating Style

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In interior design and home decoration, there are many styles to choose from. There are the “pure” styles and then the mix-n-match styles. Two of the most common styles are the rustic chic style and the industrial style. Many people think that these looks are one in the same. I am here to explain why they are not the same style. First, a couple of questions.

What do you think when I say rustic chic? Are you thinking of a country house, a log cabin with wooden tables and exposed beams? Or do you think quilts, weathered reclaimed wood with chicken wire, and galvanized metal? Both descriptions are correct when it comes to rustic elegance.

Now what do you think when I say industrial design style? Do you think about hardwoods, pipes and other metals? Maybe dark, neutral colors, old typewriters, and wood-burning stoves? If so, they have the right idea of ‚Äč‚Äčindustrial design.

Both rustic chic and industrial design have common elements but also have their distinctive differences. Let’s look at each one individually and then maybe we can really see the difference.

rustic chic

The rustic chic design is lighter, more feminine and focuses on natural wood colors or light tints. Like light colored paints and aged woods. Decor items would include mismatched hardware, chicken wire, galvanized (rusty) metal, exposed wood beams, and specific wood furniture. For me, the easiest way to remember rustic chic is to think of a perfect little cottage on a prairie with its simple colors and used items.


Industrial design is darker and more masculine. It has dark neutral colors and dark woods. It incorporates a large number of polished or brushed metals. Common features include exposed ductwork, pipes, and basically anything we usually try to hide when building a home. Decor items include old metal items, hardwood shelves, and things that remind you of America’s blue-collar industrial age. An easy way to remember this layout would be to think of a warehouse or commercial kitchen converted into a house or apartment.

These two design styles have many things in common, such as the use of woods or metals, but the colors and finishes of those woods and metals are different. It is very common today to find people who mix and match these two styles to create a rustic industrial style home. They complement each other very well and create a cozy but practical home. You can find lots of great pictures of rustic industrial houses on the internet to get more details on how they work together.

Whether you decide to style your home one way or another or mix them up for an even broader spectrum of opportunities, just make sure your home speaks to who you are. Your home is a place where you can be yourself! Let it be a perfect window into your soul and show off your rustic or industrial home with style. Have fun decorating your home with your new knowledge.

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