‘Rustic Italian’ is one of those terms that seems to pop up every once in a while – it’s not a “hot trend” by any means, but rather a classic aesthetic that seems to encompass a feeling more than a tangible set of elements. Perhaps that’s why it’s not always on the lips of designers or buzzing in social media; it’s hard to define.
The Etymology of the Term
One of the reasons for this has to do with the social etymology of the word ‘rustic’ itself. Rusticity has always been associated with ideas like “quaintness,” “distress,” "authenticity” and “raw materials” – all of which have always been associated with the Italian aesthetic. In a way, ‘Rustic’ and ‘Italian,’ are redundancies. Superfluous words. A pleonasm.
In other words, ‘rustic Italian’ isn’t so much a term in and of itself but rather another way of saying Italian decorating, as we know it today. It’s a bit wordy, and basically, a fancy term for the basics of rusticity.