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Rustic Christmas: A Guide to Cabin-in-the-Woods Charm

If you are a fan of all things quaint, cozy and charming, then your holiday style should show it. This season, get the rustic Christmas aesthetic by trading bright red and green décor for earthy neutrals and distressed finishes.

Earthy + Elegant

How to get the look: A lot of what rustic style is about is what it doesn't have, such as high-gloss surfaces, intricate details and fussy decor. Yet, while getting 'back to basics' with organic textures is a rustic-decorating essential, sometimes incorporating too much 'unrefined' décor can feel messy and undefined. Get the same relaxed and cozy vibe you would find in a cabin in the woods – without compromising on chic elegance – by paying attention to color harmony. In this dining room, all of the major staples, including the dining table, chairs and buffet server, are kept in one unified shade for a pulled-together aesthetic.

christmas rustic dining table

Mix in Holiday Cheer

How to get the look: Because the rustic style on its own is so minimalistic, all you need is just a hint of Christmas décor to pack a jolly, cheery punch. Accessorize with subtle hues like forest-green and champagne gold for a pop of holiday color – while also maintaining a rustic-elegant balance.

'Merry and Bright'

How to get the look: Just because your holiday style is 'rustic and earthy' doesn't mean it can't be 'merry and bright.' In this rustic Christmas dining room, lights and light fixtures are incorporated in every possible way, from iron floor lanterns to hanging pendants to an array of candleholders. Incorporate them into your dining set for vintage rustic flair by day and warm, glowing lights by night!

rustic dining christmas small dining table

Cozy Dining Retreat

Part of what makes the holiday rustic style so special is that it celebrates non-decor. It makes whoever’s stepping into a room feel as though they’ve stepped into an authentic cabin-in-the-woods on a Christmas day in the 19th century. It’s warm and inviting – and if a type of style could give out great big bear hugs, rustic holiday would be the one to do it.

How to get the look: This dining room is at once elegant-and-sophisticated and approachably cozy-and-inviting. It’s a look often-coveted, yet can be impossible to achieve….if you don’t practice a few simple design principles.
Rustic Design Rule #1: Stay away from bright colors. And for the neutrals you do choose, opt for warmer hues with red or yellow undertones. In this cozy dining room, cream, gold and woodsy brown aren’t just the ‘background neutrals’ – they’re also the main act.
Rustic Design Rule #2: Let your neutrals live through texture. If, in this dining room, you were to swap out the furry throws for thin cotton table runners and the prickly branches for pictures of trees and wreaths, you’d lose a lot of the magic. When it comes to texture, when in doubt, don’t leave it out!

Rustic Design Rule #3: Embrace natural patterns. If you want a cozy ‘rustic holiday’ vibe, you’re going to have to do away with those floral placemats you’ve been holding onto for decades, or that abstract geometric print hanging on your dining room wall. Because in the land of the rustic holiday, nature’s patterns dominate. The lines and swirls of a dining set’s natural wood grain; the sweeping ‘motions’ of a wreath’s reaching branches; the hills and valleys in a sheepskin throw’s lush fibers – each proves that art and nature are inextricably, beautifully intertwined.

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