Tobi TV: Creating Spaces that Are Rustic and Refined

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Rustic and refined, not necessarily two words that you think of when you think of my design style. Refined, maybe. But I’m usually not too rustic.

But believe it or not, I have a ton of clients who want a bit of rustic ambience in their homes, particularly with the traditional residences and farmhouse that I am currently working on.


So a few weeks back, my friend P. Allen Smith asked me to come up with a few of my top tips for adding “Rustic and Refined” into my projects that are still clean and edited.

Here’s the video with my tips…

If you want to add a rustic flavor to your home, but still want it to be refined, colorful, edited and along the lines of one of my designs, here are my Tobi’s Top Tips:

1. Don’t forget to use details to make a space just a bit rustic especially with metal. Nailhead trim in the right metal finish, whether antiqued or hammered, can add a rustic flavor to your furniture.

2. Wood, particularly reclaimed wood, is great for adding a rustic flair. Use it in architectural details like ceiling beams or hardwood floors. Or bring it in as a piece of furniture for a less permanent option.

3. And finally leather–you can’t go wrong with leather in my book anyway, but make the leather rustic…the older it looks the better. Find a “beat up” looking leather with lots of age and wear and patina and you will be well on your way to a rustic look. Put it on a piece of furniture with more clean lines and you have the perfect mix of both rustic and refined.

So what about you? Do you like a rustic look in your home? How did you like my Tobi TV tips today for adding a rustic flavor to any interior? Do you have other ways you marry rustic and refined with success? If so, leave me a comment and tell me what they are.

Thanks for watching Tobi TV.


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4 Responses to Tobi TV: Creating Spaces that Are Rustic and Refined

  1. Diane Dyhan says:

    I think a fun way to add modern rustic is having a large framed photo or painting of a farm animal, tractor, or barn in a tailored room. Furniture done in hounds tooth and menswear herringbone fabrics with silk fabric pillows, sleek case goods with high rustic metal finishes that one would expect in a rustic setting. Add a “kick up your heels” hair on hide on to a custom headboard with all white bedding and a brass trunk at the foot of the bed. Yippee – flea market season is back!

  2. Diane says:

    Great ideas. I love to mix up rustic and refined and recently accomplished that through the use of a rich green velvet from Robert Allen that I applied to a bench and added hammered nailheads all the way around. The result was a yummy combination of elegant fabric and rustic metal that provides a “casually refined” look in the bedroom.

  3. Great tips, but personally, I don’t think leather is very comfortable. To me, it’s either too cold or too hot and sticky to sit on.

  4. franki says:

    You nailed it on all three!! franki