11 Rustic DIY Home Decor Projects

Rustic style has morphed into a more eclectic look that has been styled well with everything from farmhouse to super modern. It can stand alone, or bring warmth into a more contemporary space. It can be a whole entire home theme, or it can be simple touches to add some character to a room. The great thing for DIY’ers is that rustic style is pretty easy to achieve in a DIY project, very forgivable of an oops! All it takes is some inexpensive materials, a few tricks of the trade, and a little elbow grease. Or, you could go to a home store and pay for it. But where’s the fun in that?

Love, love, love this DIY wood framed mirror from Shayna at ‘Wood Grain Cottage’. This looks like an expensive home store item, but with a lot more character. Cheap fence boards, cheap Walmart mirror. Great project!


These DIY rustic lanterns from ‘100 Things 2 Do’ are a Pottery Barn knock off, so you can guess what they might cost retail. Easy to follow tutorial, and these are really cute. I could think of a ton of places these would look great both inside and out. What about filling these with plants instead of candles?


Big fans here of ‘Stikwood‘, the easy peel and stick real reclaimed wood products that any DIY’er can use to make a room look awesome. I am dreaming of using this on the ceiling of our master bedroom… A pretty modern space that would just come alive with this! So yes, this is a DIY, but yes, it is also a product we are obsessed with. I mean, just look! Go check out their gallery of ideas, you will be inspired! (P.S. For all you budget decorators, remember, you could use this on a small project to save bucks… the front of a kitchen island? A small accent wall?)


This DIY rustic entry bench is from Rebekah at ‘Charming Imperfections’ via ‘Over the Big Moon’. Made from 2×8’s, this has a full step by step tutorial. Charming!

Make these Restoration Hardware inspired DIY curtain rods with this tutorial from Rachel at ‘Maison de Pax’. ‘Domino Magazine’ recently gave Rachel some honors, so pop on over there! This DIY cost only $15, btw. Elegant and rustic!

Speaking of curtain rods, these DIY reclaimed wood rods from ‘Olive and Love’ are being used by this blogger for shower curtains. You could use them anywhere!


From ‘Andrea’s Notebook’, this DIY rustic headboard is really easy, even for someone who has never done woodwork before. You could even get the cutting done at the home improvement store if you don’t have a saw. Love it with white and bright, clear colors… Our oldest daughter and her husband made one similar to this for their master bedroom, and it looks amazing. It’s hard to get the rustic look wrong, if you make a mistake, it just looks… well, rustic!


This DIY office memo board by Ashley from ‘Little Glass Jar’ is such an easy tutorial! I love the chicken wire, but even more I love those mini wooden clothespins they used as clips. Cute! Perfect project to warm up your home office or homework area.


This DIY rustic wood box centerpiece is from the ‘Liz Marie Blog’, which has always been one of our favorites. This project is a simple one made from a 1×6 piece of lumber. I love the little rope handles she made. This is the softer side of rustic! Sweet look!


This DIY wood striped wall from Taryn at ‘Design, Dining and Diapers’ is the perfect choice for someone who has been dying to have a wood wall, but doesn’t want that much work! This was only 5 – 1×8 pine boards and some nails… plus, a little bit of planning.


Ok, this cute DIY crate and pallet bookcase from Jen at ‘House of Wood’ is a pretty easy build, very cheap, and we are loving on her styling! She can not only build just about anything, she has decorating skills too! Lots of photos to take you through this, plus a warning you should pay attention to.

So bring some rustic flavor into your home, DIY style!

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

Have you ever had a room crush? You know the feeling: you see the photo of a room so enviously gorgeous that it stops you dead in your tracks, and you can’t help but think about it – heck, you’re even talking about it to your friends who care to listen.

Sometimes, the crush is on a room that’s totally on your level; something you can Pin for later and aim to recreate with your own twist. Other times, it’s just something so pretty, so unattainable, so over the top, that it instantly steals your attention. This is one of those times, and this decadent space, designed by Jonathan Rachman for the 2017 San Francisco Decorators Showcase, is one of those rooms.

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

Inspired by the friendship of couturier Hubert de Givenchy and his muse, the iconic Audrey Hepburn, as captured in the photograph by Jacques Scandelari, Jonathan created this marvel of a room with Paris in the springtime in mind. “I imagine them returning to Givenchy’s green salon on Rue de Grenelle to enjoy each other’s company while ‘April in Paris’ (duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong) plays softly in the background,” notes the designer. “‘Til April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom…’ I wanted to bring the Parisian Spring glamour and romance back, in a fresh current way, airy—not stuffy—fresh and classic.”

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

This living room is all at once glamorous, modern and timeless; it’s also a study in how to do green-on-green-on-green in a way that doesn’t feel redundant. And that wallpaper…well, don’t get me started on that! “Silk Tree” is a custom de Gournay commission by Jonathan that took 12 weeks (expedited from the customary 22 weeks it normally takes to complete a similar project) to install and it’s the showstopper here. Hand-painted and embroidered in place, it’s a feat (and of course, a total luxury). It makes the voluminous room feel full, verdant, alive.

I’ll stop myself from gushing further on the walls, and dive into all the other aspects that make this aspirational room totally crush-worthy:

  1. Jonathan accomplished an all-green palette beautifully. The key here was mixing of shades (some warmer, some cooler), textiles (velvets, crushed velvets, silk) and patterns mix-and-match prints on the throw pillows, a faux bois scheme on the rug).
  2. When you’re maxing out on style in a room, then actually max out. Bring in real greenery and flowers to complement the leafy wallpaper. Regular window coverings? Nope, try a full-frame, scrolled valance. Small built-in dining bench? Take it wall-to-wall instead. And, of course, never ignore your ceiling, which brings us to our next point…
  3. The plaster and gold-leafed ceiling of this room could easily steal all the attention, except here, the designer was able to introduce this bold design element in a way that worked cohesively with all the other show-stopping additions to the room.
  4. Velvet, velvet, everywhere. As if an emerald green velvet Chesterfield weren’t enough, the luscious material reappears on a pair of wingback chairs, the extra long dining bench and on the dining chairs.

Personalize Your Windows with Trim Molding

Truly polished decor mostly comes down to those tiny touches throughout your home. It’s that great accent lamp you got from an estate sale, the unique glass hardware installed on a set of drawers, or—best of all—beautiful trim molding on your windows. Trim molding adds intention to your interior design, elevating the overall impact of your windows. It makes them stand out as an architectural focal point, rather seeming like an unfinished afterthought.

Molding makes a great DIY project, even for those homeowners with little to no experience in home renovations. Plus, it can even help boost your window’s energy efficiency. Let’s take a look at the basics of window trim molding, so you can decide if this decor element is right for your home.

Trim Molding: A Primer

Builders and homeowners use molding in a variety of locations throughout the home. Decorative crown molding adds an accent around the base of a ceiling, while baseboard molding goes between the floor and the wall to make it appear more finished.

Window trim, often referred to as casing, measures between two to three inches in most cases, and comes in a range of different styles. Most homeowners purchase it pre-cut from a home improvement store. However, if you want something truly unique, you can also hire a woodworker or frame maker to hand carve designs into the wood.

Window Trim Elements

Window trim can be as embellished or minimalist as you like. While many different types of trim exist for windows, you don’t necessarily have to add every single part. Each piece performs a different function and must be joined to the surrounding trim, as well. Here’s a list of the different pieces.

  • Crown molding: Often applied as a decorative flourish at the top of windows in Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival style homes.
  • Mitered return: Used with crown molding to join the sides of the molding to the wall.
  • Frieze board: Added as a horizontal boundary to separate the crown molding from the casing.
  • Crosshead strip: Sits just below the frieze board, above the top of the casing.
  • Side casing: Covers the gap between the edge of the window and the wall.
  • Backband molding: A small piece of molding running along the sides of the casing, used to add dimension to plain designs.
  • Inside stop: A small frame that runs between the glass and the outer casing.
  • Stool: What is typically referred to as the window sill, this ledge sits below the window, jutting out from the wall.
  • Apron: A decorative piece of molding that fits below the stool.
  • Cap: Sits above the top crown molding to finish the design.
  • Head casing: Positioned below the crosshead strip to join the window frame to the wall.
  • Square-cut joint and rosette: This optional decorative element is positioned on the top corners of the window frame.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the parts of window molding, read on to decide how to best integrate these into your home’s existing aesthetic.

Selecting a Style: What to Consider

Your home’s aesthetic and architectural design should largely inform the type of trim molding you choose. For instance, if you have a classical home design, such as a Georgian, Federal, or Greek Revival, an entablature—made up out of crown molding and frieze board—will add historical authenticity to your home decor. If you have a Victorian style home, try a custom-made high-profile casing. Complete with square-cut joints and rosettes, it will capture the ornate aesthetic so favored in that time period.

If your style tends toward more modernist sensibilities, a more nuanced trim, like a simple casing with clean lines, makes a better approach. Usually these casings match the color of the existing window frame for a more subtle effect. But if you’re looking for something eye-catching in a modern home, choose large side casing that keeps the clean lines, but measures wider than the traditional three to four inches.

And if you’re just looking for something simple, a low-profile casing makes a suitable choice for almost any type of home decor. These utilitarian trims help to block wind from entering your home through the sides of the window frame, without adding cluttering up your interiors with too much flash.

You should also take into consideration the aesthetic profile of the existing baseboards, crown molding, and other trim throughout the room, as well. You want your windows to match the feel of the rest of your home, instead of standing in jarring contrast to it.

Energy Efficiency Benefits of Window Trim

Window trim isn’t all about style and design, of course. Casings also defray drafts and help boost the energy efficiency of your window frames. Trim covers gaps between the wall opening and window frame—especially when you seal behind the windows with foam sealant spray. Also make sure to caulk between the edge of the molding and the wall, where the window frame meets the casing, and around all other joints. With properly installed window trim, your home can be more beautiful and more comfortable!

Empowering Design Lessons From a Stunning Rental Living Room


Isabelle’s house tour is endlessly inspiring to me, for starters because it’s just flat out gorgeous but also because it so clearly illustrates how all of the small choices we make can add up to something wonderfully, personally beautiful. And for those of us who are renting, that is pretty damn empowering.

Ok, first thing’s first: Isabelle’s rental living room is not exactly problematic to begin with. In fact, it has supermodel-level good bones for a rental. Yet what makes it solivably beautiful is the thoughtful and personal way Isabelle has decorated it.

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

While Isabelle’s rental is a great canvas to begin with, like all rentals, it has its quirks, as she notes:

“Since the apartment is rented, I had to deal with original elements that I didn’t like, like the kitchen cabinets, the tiles, the ceiling that is not original. I focus on beautiful furniture and accessories to hide and distract the viewer.”

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Focus on Furniture & Accessories

Isabelle maximized the room’s organic beauty through her furniture and decor choices. Some of my favorite specific design elements that can be applied pretty universally to rental living rooms:

  • Isabelle’s neutral color scheme creates a balanced, cohesive room (without looking too matchy) that works to accentuate the beauty of her extra large windows and hardwood floors. While we all aren’t on the neutral train, her execution illustrates how effective using (at least a general) color scheme can be in creating a room that looks and feels pulled together.
  • Her use of neutrals with stronger moments of black throughout works to create visual interest and a softly elegant mood.
  • Her extra fluffy Moroccan rug anchors the room from an aesthetic standpoint while also adding warmth and coziness.
  • Her simple wooden decor elements and rattan basket planter perfectly echo the room’s beautiful hardwood flooring.
  • Isabelle may keep her colors neutral but she really plays with texture: organic and modern, soft, cozy textiles and hard molded plastic and wood—all of it works to build a room that is layered and interesting.
  • Her space-saving use of two smaller tables function as a coffee table would while keeping the flow of the room open. It’s easy to see how a traditional coffee table could swallow up a lot of this room.

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Focus on Timelessness

Isabelle’s living room is not going to look dated nor will it “go out of style” any time soon, and that’s because it’s largely decorated from a personal standpoint. Implementing trends can be fun, and adding in a few of the newest looks is a great way to freshen up a room, but when thinking about the big picture – about how you want to feel day-in, day-out in your living room over a longer period of time – you can’t beat decorating from the heart using a vision that resonates with you personally. That’s a takeaway anyone can implement, renters and non-renters alike.