Design Around This #14: Rustic Modern

sochiJanuary 29, 2012

There have been a number of threads over the past few weeks asking about Rustic Modern, so this DAT thread seems quite timely. I'm not knowledgable enough myself to offer any helpful hints, but I did find two short articles that deal with Rustic Modern design. One is pasted below, the other you can link to.

I don't want to limit people in the types of houses they consider. I've seen great Rustic Modern farmhouses, lofts and cottages, feel free to use any of them. The house should guide your choices, however.

If you don't know how to do a mood board, read the "About Design Around This" thread. Of just post a series a pictures to give us an idea of what you are contemplating.

First article by Sandra Oster:

The phrase "Rustic Interior Design" used to have me imagining a ski lodge in Aspen adorned with plaid blankets and deer heads over a heavy stone fireplace. However, over the years, this style has really come into its own!

Today's rustic style lays emphasis on natural elements that together look and feel cozy, yet refined. With the emergence and stress on "going green" and being environmentally friendly, rustic design has found its niche at last.

This rustic style works well with modern, contemporary and classic accents.

It is easy, clean and warm, and filled with unfinished surfaces, organic elements, and a mix of new and old.

Distinctive materials such as raw wood with minimal stains or varnishes, simple rug choices such as jute or sisal, a balance of white and neutrals, and understated living spaces with minimal embellishments define the rustic style.

In the midst of our complex economy, I find reassurance in these comfortable interiors. They stress a minimalist calm that relies on scaling down and focusing on just a few good quality things that feel pleasant. That is something most of us can use in our lives!

Some of the constituents of "green" design are sustainability, and using recycled or renewed materials. One of the most prevalent pieces that exemplify the rustic style is the farmhouse table.

These are popping up everywhere these days! Many of them, such as those from Restoration Hardware, are made from reclaimed wood, making them an ideal "green" choice.

One of my favorite mixes of rustic and modern is the combination of a salvaged wood farmhouse table, the Manning chandelier by Arteriors, and Harry Bertoia side chairs, each draped with a bit of flokati. Rustic architectural touches, such as exposed unfinished wood beams and a rough slate accent wall set a backdrop for a rustic meets modern space that is rich in textural contrast.

A home designed in the rustic style is one you can relax and romanticize in.

It is a place to feel contented, while being surrounded by soothing textures and bits of nature in your own space and if you still imagine an Aspen ski lodge, go ahead and sip hot cocoa under a plaid blanket to your hearts content!

A few pictures:

Here is a link that might be useful: Second article on Rustic Modern Design

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I want to design for a fictional cottage. In my area a cottage is typically a simple smallish structure on a lake, deep in the woods. Some cedar clad, some vinyl. Most are weekend homes that are used from April to November for weekends and perhaps full time in July and August.

Most of these cottages are full of harvest gold and avocado appliances, rejects from city homes. Lots of MCM furnishings, once loved in the city, but now shunned and housed at the cottage.

Did I mention KNOTTY PINE? It is ubiquitous, and I've factored it into my challenge here. I've always hated knotty pine, but I'm trying to come to terms with it. And the typical Canadian cottage is always about the canoe. That is the single iconic Canadian object that will always be found at every single cottage throughout the land. The one I've used as inspiration for this design is particularly iconic.

I don't own a cottage, but we have been looking for the last six months or so, so I'm looking forward to having one over the next year or so. My objective will likely be to:

1. Retain some of the original feel of the typical Canadian summer cottage: pine, MCM furnishings, etc.

2. Try to add a Scandinavian flavour to the space

3. Keep it rustic, but with a nod to modern design

For this design I'm working with iconic pieces. Iconic Canadian art and objects, Danish modern furniture, Swedish cottage colour (white). I've left the pine on the ceiling, but have painted the walls and floor white - lots of white. I can't imagine ever using pine cabinet doors IRL, but I've tried here. White Caesarstone counter, no backsplash.

Lighting: Twig Chandelier by Gwen Carlton
Lighting: Tripod branch light from Lamps Plus
Painting: Canoe, Tom Thomson (reproduction)
Wall oven:Smeg
Knotty Pine Cabinets: Walzcraft
Cabinet Pulls: canoe paddles from Bellacor
Counters: Organic White by Caesearstone
Tivoli radio
Dining Chairs: Shanghai Chair in White (based on Wegner Chair)
Wood Stove: Hwam Mozart
Sitting Chair: Custom Chair: Poul Jensen for Selig Z Chair frame with Hudson Bay blanket cushions
Table: Hickory Round Table from the LodgeShop

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Sochi, I like all of your pictures, except the 2nd one feels heavy.

Here is one of my inspiration pictures that may fit this style:

One of my favorite rustic modern spaces is Darryl Carter's Virginia Farmhouse (linked below).

In my mind, these elements make a rustic modern space:
exposed beams, use of salvaged wood materials
white walls
monochromatic decor using white, black, gray and wood. Interest is creating by layering textures.
use of antiques and vintage objects mixed with modern furniture wth clean lines.

I'm not sure if I can live in a space with white floors and walls. And Definately couldn't have dead animal heads looking at me :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Farmhouse

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:12PM
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That farmhouse is beautiful.

Here are a few pictures of white painted ceilings, walls, etc., that is typical of Swedish country interiors. I think I could live with this - I love these pictures. I also think this look can be paired with rustic modern.

I couldn't live with dead animal heads ether. Or antlers, but they are common in the "lodge" variant of this type of design I guess.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:10PM
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A few more inspirational pics...


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:34PM
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And a few more. The rustic modern loft spaces verge into industrial modern.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:53PM
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Ok, I had to give this one a try because this is how I kind of define my style (or earthy, organic, eclectic). We are building a house and these are the elements I have selected. I first selected the cream cabinets and the brown antique granite. I wanted to painted cabinets because I've only had stained in the past. But, I knew I would need to warm it with natural wood so I chose the dark stain for the island (still using brown antique for the counter). The light fixtures are where I kind of get the modern edge.

Wall color will either be SW Universal Khaki or SW Quiver Tan (undecided).

The table and burnt red chairs are similar what I currently have (I like mine better). I loved them in my old house because they added much needed color but I really wish I could change them and go with a different look in the new house, but they're too new to justify that. They may get moved to the dining room but I'm not sure.

I want some kind of sea grass stool for the island but haven't found the perfect ones yet. The pulls and knobs will be ORB. The floors with be 4" wide white oak stained on site. I want dark (but not too dark) with no orange or green undertones.

The rangetop will be this KitchenAid 6 burner

Finally in my dream (which will not become reality), there would be exposed beams and a sliding barn door like this.

traditional home office design by other metros general contractor Weaver Custom Homes

The picture above was actually in a house at our local Parade of Homes. I loved the entire house which was definitely modern rustic and we talked to the builder but ultimately went with another builder. I still go and look at the pictures though because I do love it :-)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 3:06PM
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This is my mediocore attempt at rustic modern decor in a new construction home in midwest suburbia. The obvious element lacking is architectural detail. It wasn't in the budget at the time, but we do hope to add wood beams in the family room in the near future.

Wide plank pine floors, salvage elm open shelves, vintage scale and silver lantern, ucluttered decor, reclaimed teak farmhouse table, botanical print from antique shop.

This space is completely open to the family room. There are rustic components throughout.

Stacked stone fireplace, salvage oak beam mantle.

Old apple picking ladder is used to display throws.

salvage corbels flank the entry to the family room. The console is made from old Indian printing blocks.

There are tribal accents scattered everywhere.

Bottle opener

What do you guys think? Does this fit rustic modern or it more standard transitional?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Sochi canoe--I can't believe that you managed to find a canoe, rug and chair with matching stripes. Color me amazed! This is a very colorful and fun space that suits your description of the home and how it is used. I'd be happy to jump out of the lake and come back to this.

cbusmomof3--I think your overall look is too elegant to be called "rusic", but I agree that your color choice and materials "earthy, organic and eclectic." The different elements look beautiful together.

pps7--Your house is really cozy. I see the rustic elements much more stongly in other parts of the house (fireplace, corbels and apple-picking ladder) than the kitchen. The shot of the kitchen over the dining table I read as pretty transitional, although in the close up of the shelves I can see how you brought in rustic.

I have been away (at Disneyland!), but have started working on a barn/farm-inspired kitchen. It's coming together pretty well, so I may be able to post something tonight.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Now wait. Hasn't the epitome of rustic modern been posted elsewhere on this forum today? And did not win accolades?

Or was that "modern rustic"?

Cheers. hbk

Here is a link that might be useful: rough-hewn + stainless.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:43PM
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HBK, I missed that one because I saw Gerard Butler's name and somehow assumed I wouldn't be interested. Celebrity kitchens aren't generally an attention-getter for me. Thanks for pointing it out.

I like the rustic cabs with the cement (I think) walls, but I'm not sure how the classical columns fit in with "rustic," even if they are salvaged. It's certainly a bold combination of choices. But the responses in the other thread about layout are spot on.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 2:58PM
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cawaps, you're right. After looking over the pictures again, I think both mine and cbusmomof3's spaces fall under the transitional category. there're not really rustic or modern enough. I did want tolix chairs for the dinng table but was vetoed on that. Did end with with metal stools:

I'm off to design my dream space- a rustic modern NYC apartment.

hbk, the reason, I didn't like that space is the dungeon like feel and layout. Where are the windows? I do like the chandelier and island.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I don't have the time or the skill to do the design board. When people talk about "rustic", it has to really start from the architecture of the house. I think 'decorating' rustic seems trite IMHO. There has to be rustic elements in architecture that makes it inevitable that you go there; salvaged wood, old wooden floors, rough hewen beams, old stone floors etc. If you have a house that has cool rustic elements, as soon as you put in modern stuff, you immediately get rustic modern.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:33PM
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cawaps - those stripes are from the Hudson Bay Points Blanket - probably the most recognizable Canadian design "object" out there. Recognizable in Canada anyway. It is iconic here and pretty easy to find images of. I'd LOVE that canoe, but it is crazy expensive. I'd love the chair too. I do have one points blanket - would like more, but even the blankets are expensive.

honorbiltkit - I hadn't seen that thread, thanks for pointing it out. I've never heard of the guy, but I don't think his kitchen is really modern rustic. Not sure what it is actually. Not a great quality photo to judge.

cbusmomof3 - thanks for playing! I like your pieces too, but tend to agree with cawaps, they edge towards rustic and modern, but aren't quite there. Lovely nevertheless, and probably more in keeping with your home than true rustic modern (whatever that may be) :)

pps7 - I love your home, beautiful. Definitely some rustic pieces and influence, but again, perhaps just enough to warm up your space without looking odd or overdone in your house? I love your reclaimed oak beam and wooden shelving. Looking forward to your NYC apartment.

kaismom - I agree with you (as usual I think). That is why in my first post I specifically referenced "farmhouses, cottages and lofts" because I have a hard time imagining a regular suburban house that could really pull off a full dose of rustic modern. Maybe measured doses like pps7 and cbus. But I'd be happy to see people prove me wrong, I'm the opposite of an expert in rustic modern design.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I`m curious to see what others will come up with! We are building a house this spring and the frame will be made of hand peeled logs. Because I dislike the lodge look, I hope that my house will fall somewhere within the realm of modern rustic. Unfortunately, I don`t have any design experience.

For my kitchen I am planning painted cabinets in 2 shades of grey, wide plank wood flooring, and fluted barnlight pendants similar to the last inspirational picture that Sochi posted.

I`m not sure if this is modern rustic, but I like the picture.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:52PM
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laurajane2 - sounds like your house will be wonderful. I like that picture too, although I don't see much modern in it, from what I can see it looks quite traditional.

You don't need to be a designer to pull a quick inspiration board together though! Give it a try if you have a few minutes to spare some time this week.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Sochi ~ So is there such thing as a style that combines rustic with traditional (or cottage)? Or, does that simply fall under the umbrella of eclectic style? What is the modern component in the last picture of your first post? The bare walls?

I think this kitchen is modern rustic:

This one is probably more traditional/rustic. I wish I had a name for that!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:56PM
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This assumes a smallish loft or house that was maybe in shell condition that was rehabbed and is mostly a white box, maybe with some exposed structure.

The grays are off.
The flooring image is flipped so it is off, but that creates an interesting Escher-esque element :)
There would need to be more to it, but here is the basic scheme.
GlassKote backsplash
Soapstone countertops with Franklin (worn) edge
Plain and Fancy Cabinetry with rustic fingerpulls
Mexican cement tile floor
Robert Abbey lantern-I liked this because it is white inside, black outside
Emeco chairs with walnut seats
Great Windsor chairs table

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:43PM
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laurajane - I think you're right, the last picture in my original pics isn't terribly modern. Perhaps the range hood and stools, but it is fairly traditional. Maybe some of the designers can help identify what to call a mix that is more rustic traditional than rustic modern.

Perhaps it is what Kaismom was referring to - take a building with rustic elements - walls, beams, whatever, drop in modern furnishings and you've got rustic modern. Drop in traditional furnishings and you've got rustic traditional? Then is there rustic transitional?? I'm not sure. I would say the second picture I posted at the top of the thread is also pretty traditional, not modern. This is what happens when amateurs like me play designer! Lots to learn.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Rustic modern is what I'm trying to achieve, but it's easy to lean to the traditional side I think. We are having rustic knotty alder cabinets that will be stained on the perimeter and the island will have some sort of washed distressed look - not sure what color yet as I didn't get many hits on that thread. Fantasy granite countertops with more modern looking pulls but in oil-rubbed bronze finish. My chandelier is more modern. All appliances are stainless as well as the sink and commercial style faucet. Not sure what the backsplash will look like. And a previous poster said you needed rustic elements in your home to call it rustic and not just decorate rustic...we do have a big old stone fireplace and beams that are original to the 1965 ranch home. And the entire house has hand-scraped hardwood floors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to my original rustic modern thread

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:58AM
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I live just below a gorgeous mountain range with numerous great ski resorts. Many of the homes built in the foothills and canyons near these ski resorts have rustic architecture (stone exteriors and fireplaces, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, even beams on the exteriors). I've always dreamed of living in one of these homes and thought it might be fun to take a stab at designing a rustic modern kitchen for one.

This design incorporates reclaimed wood with modern stainless and rustic stone in modern patterns. No upper cabinets to showcase a beautiful Walker Zanger stone backsplash. A little bit of industrial with the pendant, table and chair. And a resin faux-antler chandelier that my man would absolutely love. The color scheme is simple: multi colored stone (soft beiges, grays, browns), natural wood tones, stainless, and a soft white/cream. Black and white nature photography and fresh cut flowers as accessories.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Can you tell me about that worktable with shelves/baskets? Might be just what I'm looking for.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:34AM
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chesters_house: Absolutely. It's the Anthropologie Bluestone Island. The site says it's made of reclaimed pine and bluestone and is 33.5"h x 65"w x 27.5"d.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Here is how I would do Rustic Modern if I had a large budget:

Concetta Petrified Wood backsplash
LG Hi-Mac solid surface
Color-matched St.Charles Cabinets and Viking range.
Jamie Beckwith flooring
Tramp Art mirror. I show the 3/4 view because it is so robustly done.
Paul Evans Bronze and Slate sideboard
Superordinate chandelier
Nakashima Grass-seated chairs and Conoid Table
Kyle Bunting hair-on-hide rug.
A few PE Guerin "Nugget" pulls and mostly Rocky Mtn. Hdwr. silicon bronze edge pulls.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:40PM
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I love your last kitchen palimpsest. The first one didn't seem quite rustic enough. That petrified wood backsplash is pretty impressive. The floor too - is it end cut/block end wood? I've never seen that for a floor, very cool. Looks like pyramids on the mirror.

pricklypearcactus - that looks great. Very cohesive, definitely some rustic and modern there. Not sure about that hood fan - it is modern I guess, but does it work with the stone backsplash?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Another lake front cottage with lots of pine and white painted surfaces.

Reclaimed pine table, bench and chairs: Varian designs, San Francisco
Light: Natural Branch Chandelier, Olive and Cocoa
Painting: Jack Pine, Tom Thomson (reproduction)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:00PM
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In the back of my mind I knew that I had see a laminate petrified wood, and (K)Nak(off)ashima furniture, so I decided to do a budget version of above (which has about $100K in furniture). I am picturing this in an urban row house that was in shell condition, and is mostly a drywall box with some exposed rustic structure. So, here we go:

None of this is strictly low budget, but it is a fraction of the Gerard kitchen:
Formica 180FX Petrified Wood laminate
Formica Color Core2 black laminate
Kraftmaid Slab Door in Mushroom, black Whirlpool slide-in
Mannington Adura "Hickory" vinyl floor
Pinecone Mirror from Wisteria ($99)
Elk credenza, Malmo table, and Nobu chairs from Organic Modernism
Currey and Company Branch chandelier
Patchwork hide rug

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Larry and Ginny have a farm in Eastern Washington. They recently replaced their old wooden barn with a spiffy new metal one. They thought that it would make sense to put in a small apartment above the barn. For one thing, Larry's 4 sisters and Ginny's brother and sister all had kids. They were starting to hit their teens, and their had been some discussion of having them spend summers with their aunt and uncle working on the farm, and also putting some distance between them and their own parents during those angsty years.

The space would also be useful more generally as a guest space, or possibly for a hired hand in the future.

Because they expected their nieces and nephews, and guest to eat most of their meals with the family, the apartment didn't really need an elaborate kitchen. Ginny planned more of a kitchenette--two burner cooktop, countertop oven, and an apartment-size fridge.

Ginny took her design inspiration from the barn and farm equipment; specifically pulling her color scheme from John Deere's signature colors. For the floor, she insisted that Larry salvage some of the wood from the old barn.

Inspiration photo (from

Slab door cabinets, custom painted by Larry
Knobs and pulls are Hot Knobs Solids in Canary Yellow from Sears
Formica Basalt Slate counter
Backsplash is salvaged corrugated tin (image from EHow)
Elverdam faucet from Ikea
Boholmen sink from Ikea
Cuisinart countetop oven
Summit 2-burner electric cooktop
Broan undercabinet rangehood
GE 12 cu ft refrigerator
Floor salvaged wood from old barn (image from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber)
Benjamin Yellow Skychief Stem fixture from Barn Light Electric
Barn Light Industrial Highlander Pendant from Barn Light Electric
Industrial spool table from 1stDibs (Larry & Ginny would probably find an industrial spool and make a table. They aren't the sort of folks who shop on 1stDibs).
Rustic dining chairs from Kaboodle
Rug from One Way Furniture
Print is an photo of a circle that Ginny had enlarged

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:19AM
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I know we're doing rustic/modern...but some of the earlier pictures look more like rustic/cottage or even rustic/romantic (at least that's what I'd call it). A little lighter, more curvy lines and softer fabrics/finishes that contrast nicely with the wood and beams. Personally, I like that style...not quite so masculine :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Wow! Have been away from the GW for a few days and look what pops up...a wonderful thread. I could gladly live in most of these kitchens. Good job, folks!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:08PM
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I don't have a board to add, but it's been interesting following this thread. DH & I are about a month away from beginning construction and he kept saying he wanted to pull a Modern Rustic feel into the house, but after looking at these images I think we have realized that look is not us, I think it's a little too raw.

There are bits and pieces that we like from a couple of the boards - the gray cabinets from Sochi's first post for instance and I'm intrigued by the bookshelf stacked full of firewood.

I have an interesting dilemma now. I was always planning to go with a look that was a bit of a composite of cbusmom's board and laurajane's second image. But I keep going back to the board that pricklypearcactus posted. I love that look. It's a nice balance of refined and rustic and if I had the budget to carry that look through the rest of the house I would be very happy. Were you going to use any kind of stone countertop to complement the SS? Is there anyway to combine those looks in a cohesive and pleasing fashion. I think it's those amazing beams that I am so drawn to. If I adjust the page so I only see the kitchen components without the beam it doesn't make my heart beat as quickly. Interesting...

Also, I really like the branch chandelier that Pal posted. It seems a little less cliche than the antlers. And Cawaps - I didn't read your intro before I looked at your board. I liked the bold green much better once I understood the concept of where it was going and that it would be a relatively small space, because WOW that would certainly wake me up in the morning. Actually, I think it's really fun for an apartment over a barn on a working farm.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Ok, so a few people have mentioned mixing decor styles other than modern with rustic. I honestly like the look of cottage, traditional or romantic mixed with rustic. However, when I posted my ideas on an earlier thread, people seemed to think I was crazy to want to mix styles in that way.

So I guess my question is, what doesn`t mix well with rustic? Is it just a matter of taste?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Just my opinion...but I think rustic would mix well with any more relaxed or casual style. Whether it's country, cottage, cabin, contemporary, etc. Just combining the fabrics and accessories of one of these styles with the rustic elements would create some lovely and inviting interiors. They can still be pretty and comfortable, at the same time :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Individual rustic pieces can mix with anything, in my opinion. A really rough or rustic piece can really accent a contemporary or traditional room through contrast. Look at all the contemporary rooms that contain primitive artifacts or art.

But this is interior decoration or interior design. The problem comes in when someone starts to attach rustic architectural elements to a house or structure that is clearly something else. Some house styles really lend themselves to some rusticity: colonial revival styles, tudor revival styles, cottage, etc.

But I have been in houses that are pretty transitional contemporary and apartment units that are clearly in modernist high rises, and rustic doors and millwork and flooring attached to these structures looks a little odd. Rustic furniture or art floated within the contemporary space is fine, but trying to make the 14th floor of a highrise or a contemporary open plan with recessed lighting look like a rustic building gets tricky.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 2:44PM
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sochi - Your cottage by the lake is so appealing to me. It really makes me want to take a vacation at a lake cottage, although I imagine I'd be disappointed to find very few with such a lovely kitchen.

palimpsest - I love your "money to burn" rustic, especially the top three elements and the chandelier. I also really like your basic with those lovely cabinets and soapstone and that beautiful table and chairs. I've always loved the Emeco chairs.

pps7 - I've always really enjoyed the pictures of your home. I do tend to agree with others that it might be closer to transitional than modern, but it's so lovely regardless. I really do love the rustic touches including the shelves in the kitchen, the farmhouse table, and your beautiful fireplace.

shmeal - Have you considered trying to put together a moodboard using something like Olioboard in order to see the elements together? These DAT threads introduced me to Olioboard, and I'm hooked! It's been a lot of fun to experiment with these threads and also to explore moodboards for my own home. I love ceiling beams and I think architectural details like beams, stone fireplaces, etc really help rustic modern decor fit with the home. I think you could easily either carry the stainless throughout a kitchen like that or use a complementary stone (maybe soapstone, slate, etc). In my moodboard, I used that Anthropologie island that had a bluestone top. Certainly price-wise some of those elements could have been toned down (standard wood cabinets rather than reclaimed, more basic but still sleek stainless appliances, etc). In terms of carrying the look through the home, I think there are a lot more simple (less expensive) ways to coordinate the rest of the rooms. Certainly not every room needs stone walls, beams, vaulted ceilings, etc. Perhaps just using natural looking wood for bathroom vanities and furniture, stone (slate?) tile where applicable, soft colors, and stainless light and plumbing fixtures would work.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Supertight palette of driftwood set in a white box, grounded by an Ocean Blue tile floor.

Fishscale tile
Unsui Silestone
Nantucket door in Driftwood finish (Plain and Fancy)
Viking Range in Taupe
Oceana Blue Cross Colors tile
Oyster shell mirror on bleached pecky cypress paneling over Dunbar Shell console
Currey and Co. Driftwood chandelier
Vitra Prouve table and shell chairs on casters.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Yet another cottage, same story. This one is a little pricier than the other two. I had a rustic wood table, but I thought I needed more colour and more modern, but I had trouble finding red modern tables. Not sure about this, it might be too "ultra" modern for the space, but I like the legs and they seemed to work with the floor lamp and chandelier. You more typically see the rustic table with modern chairs. I think the alta moda red table pictured below the mood board might work better, but I couldn't find a picture of it on its own.

Quilt (
Chandelier: Plantation Design - Wood & Crystal Chandelier
Range Hood, from Raw Urth designs, Rustic Modern Series
RangeMaster Chocolate Range
Floor Lamp: Meghan Finkel
HBC Points Blanket on bed
Cabinets: Plain and Fancy
Live edge Nakashima Style Curly Maple bench: Dumond�s custom furniture
Counters: Padang dark granite
Table: 1st Dibs, contemporary French

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Sochi, who makes the yellow oven in your first scheme?

pps and cbus, your real-time projects look like they would be really comfortable places to be.

pricklypear, I think your scheme holds together well.

cawaps, I like the concept of the John Deere kitchen but I think the yellow and green would have to be very carefully color matched, and all that almost all the rest would have to be grounded in some shade of grey--I start to pick up some kind of visual disturbance lines at the boundaries between the pale yellow and green and the wood floor and green. I am a little bit synesthetic though, so some colors bug me in certain ways because I get a taste or its the wrong "number" --it's strange but it affects how I feel about certain combinations.

I tried my shore house one with a more traditional floor color, but I was feeling a blue. Interesting Sochi how we both built schemes around a strong blue. I have been looking at those P&F cabinets on the first page.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Wow, what a lot to catch up with! Starting to really work through this good thread, I'm sorry this post will be long.

Sochi, thank you for the links to the articles and for your work in setting up the thread. I thought your use of the Hudson Bay blanket design in the weekend cabin was terrific. Those big (modern looking) bands of pure color are so iconic they say "rustic" in any setting, and they fit perfectly in your cabin description. Your choice of white everywhere works well to turn the knotty pine cabinets from a possible downside to a great focal point. I actually like them a lot in this board.

Sochi's second pine/white cottage kitchen: I like the tie in with the Jack Pine painting. I know Tom Thomson is a Canadian artist, but his work has such a peaceful Asian feel (to me.) I think the strong edgy lines of the Varian table and chairs are a nice contrast to the softer cottage-y feel of the rest of the elements.

Sochi's third (pricey) cottage: I really like the bold combination of colors in this one, and I think the sliding barnwood doors and Raw Urth range hood do a good job of balancing out the modern elements. This kitchen has a very sophisticated feel. I do love the look of the Alta Moda red table with the ball legs, with the curly maple benches for seating. The red floor lamp is terrific with the organic shapes in the quilt.

cbusmomof3, cawaps used the same word that came to my mind for the pretty choices you're making for your new home...elegant. And very harmonious. I agree with you, there's something about big sliding wooden doors hanging on an iron track...those are only in my dreams as well.

pps7, I admire the unique touches in your home. My favorite photo is the dining table with the mixture of wooden and slipcovered chairs, on that lovely blue and white rug. The salvaged corbels, mantle and open shelves are very appealing.

I thought the Darryl Carter Virginia farmhouse was beautiful. I'd personally feel a little visually hungry to live in a space with so little color, but I appreciate that all the layered whites are a wonderful backdrop that allows the subtle antique surfaces to really shine.

I have to agree with others, Gerard Butler's kitchen doesn't work for me, either. I love weathered surfaces, but this is just too much. (He should keep his day job.)

Laurajane02, I hope you'll post pictures of your new (timber frame?) home when you start working on it this spring. The peeled log frame sounds like something DH and I would love.

jkoebnick, I'm sure your rustic/modern ranch will be beautiful. I'm envious of your beautiful high ceiling with skylights...such great light in that space. Nice stonework, and I do like your chandelier choice, too.

pricklypearcactus, I thought your board captured the character of those lovely resort spaces very well. (I also liked the Anthropologie island that chesters-house asked about.)

Pal Rustic Modern #1 Basic: I like the muted color scheme because it allows the great farmhouse table to really shine in that space (big wallop of warm color and texture.) The little rustic finger pulls are a fun contrast with the sleek glass backsplash. I think I am the only person on GW to not have a natural affinity for the Emeco chairs, and I'm working on that (I even watched the company video on their website.)

Pal #2 Money to Burn Rustic: Of course, you had me at "Tramp Art" (probably not a good sign that my favorite element is almost the cheapest one here.) No kidding, money to burn. Interesting to see how all these elements work so well together even though they're from such diverse artist backgrounds. I'd worry about splattering spaghetti sauce in this kitchen, but it would be a lot of fun to walk through all these very rich textures. I wish I could see a Paul Evans piece in person.

Pal #3 Knockoff of Money to Burn: It's just not the same. ;-) I think most of this works, but I have a hard time with the elk credenza (love mosaic, but does anyone really like this graphic design?) and the vinyl floor tiles. I'm not going to discuss substituting a pine cone wreath for my trampwork frame, it's too painful. (Let's sell the elk credenza and buy a trampwork frame on eBay. Who needs a credenza anyway?)

Pal #4 Shore House Rustic: (Now we're talking, the folky oyster shell frame is much better than the pine cone wreath used in #3.) I think this is a beautiful room, and I love the restricted palette with only the ocean blue underfoot. (I would not normally have caught the reference to the shell chairs.) I like the soothing repetition of all the round elements. Really very pretty.

Cawaps, well thought out kitchen for an upstairs family apartment in a metal barn. The John Deere colors are very recognizable to me as an authentic country/rural element from my years in Texas. So, at first I had to make a mental adjustment to read the cabinets as modern, although the slab doors should read that way. I think the rug helps pull the room back towards modern. I am a fan of corrugated tin used creatively in contemporary spaces, so I like the backsplash. (There's a mini-version of corrugated tin with smaller "waves" that is a bit more refined and (I think) very cool. DH hopes I never find a wad of it at the ReStore, because he knows I'll start nailing it up in the house.)

Schmeal, you did a great board in the Design Around This Pink thread. I agree with pricklypear, maybe you should put together a board to play with some of the elements you like from this thread. You could start a thread with it, and get input from others on your upcoming project.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Thanks for letting me play and thanks for the comments. I definitely see now that my choices are not rustic or modern enough to fit the style. I feel good that I recognized during our design process that throwing rustic architectural features into a house that otherwise isn't just doesn't work well and I'm glad I didn't try to force it. I really wanted those beams and barn doors though! I hope that some of my more rustic choices warm the house, like palimpsest suggests they can. That's definitely the feel I want...warm and inviting.

Just out of curiosity, what is the style of this house??? It's the one I fell in love with at the Parade of Homes and called it rustic modern but now I'm wondering if it really is.

contemporary kitchen design by other metros general contractor Weaver Custom Homes

contemporary living room design by other metros general contractor Weaver Custom Homes

traditional home office design by other metros general contractor Weaver Custom Homes

contemporary exterior design by other metros general contractor Weaver Custom Homes

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:36PM
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This kitchen is in a one-story modern ranch, remodeled by a youngish male IT professional in a western state. The ceilings are only 8 feet, smooth white sheetrock. The house has no preexisting rustic architectural features. The owner wanted the interior to reflect his preference for clean lines, as well as the rustic textures popular in his locale.

Gray-stained wood floors are installed throughout. One accent wall in the dining area is paneled with reclaimed barn wood, installed horizontally, and broken every 30" with a line of 1" by 6" stainless steel tiles, set slightly below the level of the wood. This stainless accent strip is also repeated in the kitchen above the counter, as a subtle backsplash detail.

He wanted the rest of the walls to be light, but slightly textured, so used large format 12 by 24 porcelain tile on the walls, tiled ceiling to floor, with minimal grout lines.

The cabinets are glossy slab style bird's eye maple (no upper cabinets, to help the low-ceiling room feel more spacious.) Caesarstone countertop, stainless appliances. The sink is natural gray concrete. The boxed range hood is sheathed on three sides with Chemetal copper laminate (in a pattern to simulate weathered steel.)

Southwestern textiles, baskets, and a hide-framed mirror form a regional connection. The work island in the L-shaped kitchen is a freestanding heavy pine table.

High gloss Birds Eye Maple slab cabinets,
Hardware: Atlas Homewares Zanzibar, leather-wrapped stainless
Countertops: Caesarstone Ruby Reflections
Sink: Betonas concrete apron front farm sink with drainboard
Fontaine pull down faucet brushed bronze
Electrolux Induction double oven range
Range hood: Chemetal laminate on range hood, Monet pattern
Island: Timberframe pine table,
Barn wood:
Stainless tiles: Susan Jablon Stainless Steel Collection 1 x 6
Wall tile: porcelain Torino Element Series, Wind, 12 x 24
Birch Bark and Hickory sideboard,
Kyoto bamboo wood dining table in kona finish,
Vertigo Pendant by Corbett Lighting
Hunter-Kenroy Deca table lamp
Circolo Collection chandelier,
Brindle cowhide mirror,, cowhidemirrors
JB Moore Trading Post Crystal Navajo Rug,
Tan/Red rug, David E. Adler Inc. Scottsdale
Birch bark vase,
Papago Indian basket

I wanted to try a Rustic Modern space without the assistance of great architectural features like ceiling beams, soaring sun-filled spaces, and old stone walls or floors. I think some level of Rustic Modern could be pulled off in almost any type of space, but I don't see how it could ever be quite as dramatic as in a house with the above architectural features. Still, I stubbornly think it can work. :-)

Without clearly rustic architectural features to better define the theme, I struggled more with what felt like a delicate "tipping point" from one style to the next. Choose a chair and the whole room quickly goes this way; choose an area rug and it goes that way. I think a ceiling full of rustic beams (or a wall with great barn doors) would have allowed more leeway in choosing other elements without tipping the style so easily.

I struggle with the "tipping point" problem because I'm still very fuzzy on where each style (rustic, modern, transitional, traditional, country) begins and ends. I can get a handle on extreme examples of the styles, but there are gray areas in between those styles where I get very lost. I may have relied too much on "extreme" rustic pieces in this board, instead of finding more beautifully subtle examples, just because I start feeling a little lost in the gray zones.

I gave myself a problem with lighting, because I can't warm up to the really twiggy/branchy fixtures (just a personal quirk) although I agree they're a perfect bridge between Rustic and Modern. Lantern type lighting seemed to pull the room too far to country, industrial shades pulled it toward industrial/modern. Antlers seemed too much for 8' ceilings. So I dithered.

I'm really not sure how my final choices worked.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Actually I think the countertop in the money to burn kitchen is probably the cheapest, since it is Corian - I wanted inert and matte in a counterpoint to the backsplash.

But you are right, the mirror is probably cheapest of the "design" elements at $3000.

The Credenza, based on realized auctions would probably top $40,000

The Nakashima table is about $40,000
Six chairs are $19,000

And the Superordinate chandelier is $6000.

You are right, the budget version just isn't the same. I think you could get a wood floor in there, although the Adura flooring looks better in person than in pictures.

I don't like the credenza alot, either. This is a standard offering from Organic Modernism, so maybe it has a following in NYC? But I wanted something that had the relative complexity of an Evans piece on a budget. I am saving my favorite Evans credenza, which will hit $65K or more on a good day for the brutalist kitchen. A lot of people think its hideous.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:49PM
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I think the house is Rustic Transitional.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:07PM
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    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:18PM
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I didn't make a board. But, I thought that this was very close to something that would work. It's a lovely kitchen. And, it's Canadian house and home. Generally, I find their stuff seems to go along with that esthetic. I do love their magazine. I found this hardware quite lovely. If it's not too much, you might see it in my home very soon. Thanks for keeping the design around this going. I really like looking at your ideas!

Here is a link that might be useful: Elements of style blog

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Kim, I agree that's a lovely kitchen, and the brass hardware works so well in it. I also love the oversized antique cutting boards they show in one photo.

Pal, I will look forward to seeing the Paul Evens credenza photos you have saved back. I see what you mean about the complexity of the design in the Organic Modernism credenza, and I hadn't considered that feature (or how hard it would be to find something comparable.)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Pal - the yellow oven is a smeg. I couldn't find it on their north American site, but wonder if it might be possibly be available in NA one day soon? They have a few nice colours.

Mudhouse, thanks for the comments. The jack pine cottage is I think the cottage style most similar to what I might have if we ever get a cottage.

I've only become a fan of Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven in
recent years, and The Jack Pine is my favourite. It is housed at our National Gallery just up the road from me and I've never gone to see it in person. Perhaps I will take my daughter with me and go visit it this weekend. Now that you mention the Asian flavour to the painting I see it too and I'd like to have a closer look. Interesting. Here is the short description of the painting from theNational Gallery website:

Inspired by the landscape around Little Cauchon Lake in eastern Algonquin Park, this picture of a solitary jack pine, its drooping boughs silhouetted in the light of a northern Ontario sunset, assumes special emotional and symbolic significance through the artist's formal treatment. The stylization and decorative patterning of natural forms, along with the strong colour and light contrasts, transform this image of a northern tree
dominating its rocky landscape into an icon embodying the spirit of the land and the Canadian experience of nature.

Mudhouse again, very cool and unique board. The birds eye maple cabinets are great in the kitchen and I love the diamonds. I think the colours are good too, but find your DR board a bit overwhelming. I was not sure where to look next, so much to take in!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Lol Sochi, yes, the DR in my board does kind of give me a headache too. Sometimes I dislike how cartoonish and crammed these boards are, and I wonder if the same elements, spaced out in a real room, would have more breathing space. But, I suspect I should have kept hammering away on that room for a few more late evenings, and calmed it down! :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:50AM
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kimiko ~ I also really like Tommy Smythe. His powder room was a little out there though (for me anyway).

I found a very good example of rustic modern that I wanted to share. I especially like the use of logs instead of square beams.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:06AM
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cbus, I think another right answer to the style of the showhouse would be rustic contemporary: contemporary in the sense that it is probably the current house style that is not overly a revival of past styles or a non-committal interior with a revival facade tacked on.

But it is still transitional because it has mostly craftsman interior millwork, and a kind of tudor revival massing with farmhouse exterior detailing, and a post-modernist portico.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Bummer: The pulls from richelieu were 30 dollars each for a five inch. I was hoping for something like 10 - 15. I think it's nice. Oh well...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Is the kitchen that kimiko linked really rustic modern? If it is, I'm really having a hard time defining what this style is. I didn't really see anything in that kitchen that looked rustic to me.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:55AM
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cbusmomof3, I think you're right. Here's a link to a video that goes into a lot more detail about the kitchen that kimiko linked to. In the video they describe it as Country Modern. In kimiko's article they used the phrase "rustic woods" as part of the description, but the video does a better job of listing each country element:

Video about the same kitchen

I'm having a hard time getting a firm grip on this style in some ways, too, and I appreciate the posts here asking questions, putting up possible examples, and trying to better define it, they help a lot.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:17AM
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I love the lighting in the 3rd picture down in this thread. Can anybody tell me how to find similar lights?

I've tried searching through lamp websites and can't determined what they are called.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:11PM
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It looks a lot like Niche Modern

Here is a link that might be useful: Niche Modern

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I like Kim's kitchen!

As for the rustic modern...I'm a bit confused. Is it just rustic with stainless steel appliances and accessories and rock-type backsplashes?

The beams and wood I like, but I guess I'm more rustic cottage or cottage with a little rustic. What would these be? From Courtyard Garden album From Courtyard Garden album

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:38PM
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For it to be Modern it has to have pretty strict elements of design that originated in the Modernist period which is Post WWI (concomitant with other things like Deco) to Post WWII which then led into the Mid Century Modernist period which ended about 1970 or so.

I think a lot of things that get dubbed "Modern" or Rustic Modern, in this case, are transitional with rustic elements.

The pictures you posted above both have their roots in traditional and the kitchen has a bit of rustic with the beams.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:18PM
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My interpretation of "rustic modern kitchen" for this thread is that we're to work with a rustic home (log cabin, barn conversion, warehouse conversion...)and find a way to make a modern kitchen fit.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:33PM
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Thanks, Pal :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:50PM
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I've read the articles in this thread, and some elsewhere too. I've looked at all the photos/boards here, and I've done a board (which I'm not really loving, but that's OK.) What bugs me is, I'm not confident my own board ended up being a good example of Rustic Modern, and I'm trying to figure out why I'm missing the boat.

Being a newbie to interior design terminology is no doubt part of my problem. I did some reading today to try to understand the difference between Modern and Contemporary, because I thought maybe the "modern" elements I chose were not really modern, but only contemporary (meaning, they are currently in style, thus contemporary to our times, but not really anchored to the history or design principles important to the Modern/Mid Century design.) So, does anyone think that's part of the problem with my "modern" choices (cabinets, counter, table, lighting, hardware) aren't really Modern?

Or...does my board not seem to fit the Rustic Modern theme, because the quantity of whites/neutrals are outweighed by the amount of color in the room? (Some of the articles I re-read today keep stressing the importance of whites/ grays/neutrals.)

Or...are my tribal rugs, with fairly busy/bold patterns, a poor fit for the "calm, soothing, unembellished" Rustic Modern surfaces I keep reading about?

Or...does it not fit Rustic Modern because it doesn't have big rustic architectural elements built in (sliding barn doors, ceiling beams, stone walls, etc.)? I originally didn't like the idea that this style could only be accomplished in rustic style settings, but maybe it does, after all. Can a Rustic Modern kitchen really be accomplished in a home that is not already predisposed to a Rustic style? I still don't really know. Grrrr.

And, are you all thoroughly sick of my annoying questions? Sorry. ;-)

Honestly, I'm not too worried about whether or not my pretend rooms are appealing (I know that sounds awful, but sometimes you have to prioritize.) What I'd really like more is to achieve a better grasp of the style, because I mostly enjoy participating here for the learning and growth.

Can somebody please yell at me, smack me around, or be brutally honest, to help me get Rustic Modern more firmly stuck in my addled brain?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Mudhouse - I can't answer any of your questions, but I can muse a bit. As you have correctly noted, the confusion seems to centre on two "hot button" issues that have been discussed several times here over the past years.

1. What is modern design? How does it differ from contemporary design?
2. Should/must your interior style reflect the style/era/feel of your home?

On one, I only have rudimentary grasp of this. Lavender's last two pictures are neither modern nor contemporary to me - rather I would describe them as classic/traditional or perhaps just country. Same thing with cbusmomof3's photos. Pal's kitchens definitely have modern pieces - although this is not as obvious to me in his first kitchen (basic). I used quite a number of MCM pieces, for the reasons i explained in my first kitchen post. Your table, light fixture, slab cabinets all seem modern to me. Modern to me is simple clean lines, not much embellishment or ornamentation, it can tend to minimalism (which your design is not I think). Glass, light, windows are pretty central to my thinking of modernism as well. I think some true modernist houses tended to be white, but I don't think you need a white interior to have a modern interior. But what do I know?? ;)

On the second point - I think you can have a few rustic modern elements in any space, but I have a hard time imagining how you could pull off a truly rustic style space, modern or not, in a typical suburban home. I think my kitchen is largely "modern", but I don't think I could have pulled off a rustic modern space in my downtown home. That is why I tend to think cottage, cabin, lodge, farmhouse, loft, etc. when I think rustic modern.

But these are just musings, I'm as baffled as the rest. Very interesting discussion though.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Mudhouse, I think you are onto something re: the busy pattens in your tribal designs. On one hand the diamonds are clean and repeated well, geometric in shape of course, but the overall "feel" of the pattern (IMHO only) is busy and a little stressful (to me). Compare that to my Hudson Bay Blanket - certainly not modern (that blanket design was first introduced in 1780, no bauhaus influence there), but the stripes are clean, simple, linear, bold and I think a rather "minimalist". The blanket does have a rustic feel (perhaps only because of its history and the wool it is made from), but I think it is just a little modern too.

But, I certainly like the tribal pattern and I do think it can work in the rustic modern space. Perhaps used more sparingly, or perhaps the problem rests with the mood board. IRL, with the pattern spread across a couple of rooms, it may not overwhelm as much?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I agree that you could not do a rustic modern kitchen in a typical suburban house, unless the house was built before about 1980 which was the last gasp of any real form of modernism or rusticity in any type of mutltiples - suburban design, as far as I am concerned.

This is because the typical suburban interior is neither modern nor rustic--they tend to be contemporary volumes with mostly traditional details applied: the trim and paneled doors and such.

You could do this if you created a different environment throughout the house, but this is expensive and may not make much sense unless the house needed to be gutted.

I think Dwell Magazine often has good examples of rustic modern.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Sochi- I was wondering if those pictures were rustic cottage or maybe cottage with a little rustic? I'm stuck on this whole 'rustic modern' look too, but I don't really like modern and I'm not sure what we're trying to I haven't posted anything. Maybe on the next DAT :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Hi Lavender - we probably have different definitions of cottage and I'm no expert on rustic - but those pictures don't really seem that rustic to me, more country. I'm opposite to you in taste I think - I prefer modern design over most other styles, but I do enjoy mixing modern with 'rustic' which is somehow different to me than 'county', which I'm not really fond of generally (there are always exceptions though). But don't ask me to explain the difference between country and rustic though. ;)

This chair seems both rustic and modern to me:

And check out the link below to the "Sustainable Home with Unique Design Features Near the Great Barrier Reef". Definitely modern, not much rustic. Does the use of wood and the location alone make this rustic modern? I love the look of this place.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting modern home

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:43PM
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I'm no expert, but I think the rustic takes the edge off the modern. I don't like 'country' which to some suggests geese and pigs (LOL) but I do like cottage and european country, especially with a few rustic elements.

That's a neat house. Very unusual, but also kind of cool. Is it just me, or do some of those interior shots (with the round doorways) look like modern/hobbit? I only ask, because without the round doorways and painting some of the trim...I rather like 'hobbit' style :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:54PM
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I think the boundaries are not well-defined between rustic and not and modern and not. And judging from these posts, not everyone's boundaries are in the same place. defines rustic this way:

1. Of, relating to, or typical of country life or country people. See Synonyms at rural.
a. Lacking refinement or elegance; coarse.
b. Charmingly simple or unsophisticated.
3. Made of unfinished or roughly finished wood: rustic furniture.
4. Having a rough or textured appearance; rusticated. Used of masonry.

I think that people are definitely pulling in def 3, and to some extent 2 a and b. My design definitely evoked def 1 (barn, John Deere), although I was really thinking in terms of def 2a (corrugated metal, barn lights, and the spool table) and def 3 (reclaimed barn wood and the spool table).

I think there's agreement that you can put modern furnishing inside an architecturally rustic home. And that trying to put rustic inside a minimally modern home (like the 60s tract home) won't work well. What about putting rustic furnishings into a home with emphatically modern architecture, like these, or the ones in the link?

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Modern Homes

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Rustic Modern examples from Dwell Magazine

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 2:31PM
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This conversation helps me a lot.

Sochi, I agree with all of your musings. I think the bold patterns in the tribal rugs I chose are distracting in the small board, and pull the design away from my goal of a good example of Rustic Modern, at least as shown in most of the pics on the web.

Pal said: I agree that you could not do a rustic modern kitchen in a typical suburban house, unless the house was built before about 1980 which was the last gasp of any real form of modernism or rusticity in any type of multiples - suburban design, as far as I am concerned.

This makes sense to me. For my board, I was thinking of a modern ranch style, maybe 60's, and I was thinking that Rustic Modern could squeak by in that type of home, although with less drama. I thought a modern ranch home's long low lines, simple single-pane windows, simple slab doors, and lack of elaborate moldings could bring Modern elements to the table, and the careful application of some Rustic materials (if the homeowner liked those) could be pleasing in contrast. I don't think my board succeeded, but I still tend to think somebody with more better design judgement could pull it off...?

I also wonder about scale. In some of the inspiration pics, it looks like Rustic is very recognizable when items of large scale are used (wide barn doors, thick wooden pillars at the ends of peninsulas, heavy-topped farm tables, big beams instead of skinny ones.) If so, this might also make it harder to shoehorn Rustic Modern into a more recent, modest suburban home (I'm thinking of single doors, small to medium windows, smallish moldings, etc.) Upper end, more customized homes here use double doors, large windows, great rooms, tall entryways, beams, etc, and perhaps the scale of those basic elements opens the door to more interior design styles, including Rustic Modern.

Sochi, cool house in Queensland. (Hooray for corrugated metal.) I have also been wrestling with questions like yours: Does the use of wood and the location alone make this rustic modern? I lean towards no, because the modern elements are so very strong, and the wood used is all carefully finished (no weathered or raw surfaces) with clean lines and no raw edges. (But, ask me again tomorrow, lol.) I would be interested to know what others think.

Lavender, I keep thinking that country is a very strong element of the two photos you posted, but I don't see that as a disparaging comment at all. I lived in the heart of "country" style for years in Texas, and I understand your comment. However, I hate to let nightmare images of nasty geese with neck bows tarnish what can be a lovely, warm, and elegant interior style, in any country. (Interesting how European Country has escaped the baggage of geese and pigs, as I assume they have those in Europe...?) ;-)

Cawaps, I agree that not everyone's boundaries to interior styles are in the same place. When I consider that, I worry a bit less worried about my inability to see very clear boundaries between some styles. It should be no surprise to me that some of these questions aren't black and white, as individuality surely plays a big role in any creative field.

(I wonder...if we showed one of the above "example" pics above to ten different professional interior designers, would they all be in complete agreement about how to classify the style?) I could easily visualize rustic elements in the small modern homes you showed, mixed with modern elements.

One reason I wanted to grasp Rustic Modern is the lack of direction we have for our own sixties ranch. DH and I have an affinity for rustic and natural textures/materials, but neither of us are knowledgeable about (or, frankly in love with) mid century modern. Still, Rustic Modern seems an interesting style to learn more about, especially because of our interior identity crisis. I appreciate the conversation here so much, as well as the photos from Dwell magazine. I'm going to look for copies of Dwell, and Atomic Ranch, for more thinking.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Has anyone seen the latest Elle Decor? If so, is the picture on the cover a good example of rustic modern? My thought is yes because of the clearly modern (not contemporary) chairs and table and the overall rustic feel with the horizontal painted white pine boards on the wall and ceiling. If it's not, I officially give up :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I would say it is, yes, but it's a grass hut :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Okay - Pal none of those DWELL pics look rustic modern to me, with the possible two exceptions of the first and last. Modern with wood, yes.

Cawaps, thanks for the definitions. I definitely imagine rustic as numbers 3 and 4. Country is more finished and refined to me, more traditional or classic perhaps. I didn't mean to disparage country at all, but I agree with Lavender, I far prefer European country over geese and pigs. But I also find Euro country less refined and polished that country on this side of the Atlantic.

Interesting question Cawaps. At first I wanted to say no, those are 'too' modern, but I think you could upon reflection. Context and knowing the location would help me answer. I want to build a cottage like this one (below) from eplans one day. I'd definitely want to do a rustic interior, mainly because this would be a lakefront cottage in the forest. If it was in the city ... maybe not. But of course privacy concerns would probably not make this a terribly practical city home.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:15PM
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cbusmomof3 - yes, I think that is rustic modern. Might be too drafty in winter for me though.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:19PM
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The second has concrete floors and exposed wood ceilings and other structure, but there was no good picture showing this and the kitchen.

The third has exposed brick and a poured concrete floor/ceiling.

The fourth and sixth are shed-form houses.

The fifth is a converted industrial space: there are an exposed joist ceiling and bricked up windows in the kitchen.

The seventh is a barn.

The eighth is a bit too refined, perhaps.

The ninth is almost all exposed structure inside.

The tenth is converted industrial space.

The 11 and 12th are actually the same room different views, I am pretty sure. They are in a 19th c. Brooklyn rowhouse that was a shell.

I am not sure what part is not rustic or what part is not modern in these pictures.

If it is more detailed, or more vintage or traditional its not modern.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:36PM
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They all certainly look modern, perhaps they don't seem 'rough' enough for me to seem rustic. But I can accept that the good people at dwell know better than I what rustic modern is.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:47PM
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I didn't mean for the question to come off as snarky, I was just giving further information and trying to get to the root of the issue. Could you try to find something that is as rustic as you mean?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Here are some more pictures. I noticed when looking at the entire house, that the kitchen was sometimes the least rustic area, because it is easier to keep smooth surfaces clean. (Dwell, again)

Cabin in Michigan:

Japanese camp (they sleep in tents on the platform in cold weather:

Energy efficient house in Austin:

New York City (this is the entire apartment)

Also New York City: Family of 5 in 700 sq.

Stripped condo in conventional high-rise, Dallas:


    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:40AM
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My house is rustic modern on accident! I've had a terrible time trying to pin it down and stress like crazy whenever I have to add or change anything. This thread is amazing. I must embrace the rustic modern instead of pushing transitional or traditional on it!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Hmm, the Elle Decor that I have is the March 2012 issue with red modern chairs on cover, not the one pictured above. I can't seem to find a picture online though. Anyone??

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:03PM
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After looking at these photos, I'm thinking that the Queensland, Australia house that Sochi posted could be termed Rustic Modern, because of the obviously modern furnishings, the heavy use of wood, and the use of corrugated metal (which I see as a raw and unfinished material, not unlike a raw concrete wall.)

Pal, would you consider the Queensland house to be Rustic Modern?

Also, back to this: "I agree that you could not do a rustic modern kitchen in a typical suburban house, unless the house was built before about 1980... This is because the typical suburban interior is neither modern nor rustic--they tend to be contemporary volumes with mostly traditional details applied: the trim and paneled doors and such."

Does your the phrase "contemporary volumes" refer to the size/proportion of the interior spaces in a typical suburban (in other words, typical suburban homes lack the large, open spaces that many of the above photos feature?) Thank you for the help.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:15PM
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I would consider the Queensland house to be rustic modern, yes. Its very modern, but it is also rather raw.

The one article dubbed the current Restoration Hardware rustic modern but since all that furniture is based upon traditional antecedents (with the exception of the airplane wing stuff), I disagree.

Contemporary volumes (to me): open plan; double height or vaulted, half vaulted ceilings in rooms with relatively small footprints; rooms with broken ceiling plains; rooms with angled footprints.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Pal, thanks. I really feel like I should apologize for working you so hard. I honestly promise to stop soon. Are you then saying that the contemporary volumes (open plan, vaulted ceilings, etc) of typical suburban homes are not in keeping with the requirements of Rustic Modern? (If so, I don't understand why they aren't.)

If you are saying that the contemporary volumes are in keeping with Rustic Modern requirements, but that the main conflicting elements are the traditional details (paneled doors, trim) then wouldn't it be possible to change those things, without a huge expense/effort?

Again, I am sorry to be so muddled.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:25PM
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I think the True vaulted or cathedral ceiling lends itself to rustic modernism:

And a complete vaulted ceiling can work in a relatively small footprint.

However the complexity that has developed in much open plan contemporary suburban design has left us with many rooms and spaces like these, which I think would be very hard to convert to "rustic" or "modern" unless the house was already detailed in that way:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Would you consider Courtney Cox's house rustic modern? This was in Dwell a couple of months ago.

We started out thinking of doing our home in a barn theme with contemporary elements, but now we are trying to flip it and do contemporary/modern with some barn/rustic elements to bring in warmth. I'm trying to figure out how to blend the two so this has been a great thread!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to thumbnails for Courtney Cox

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Thank you Pal, perfect pictures. Now I understand what you're saying, and it makes sense to me. Much appreciated. (What a relief!)

I'm starting to dislike some things I seem contemporary builders doing these days, tossing elements from many styles into expensive homes without much sense of identity...or adding unusual details, just because they're eyecatching. I suppose it sells homes, but the above pics help me have a new appreciation for the simpler interior spaces in our ranch. That's rather a revelation for me, thanks.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:47PM
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mtc1, my guess (for what that's worth, lol) would be yes to Rustic Modern for Courtney Cox's Malibu home. A recent Elle article states: "The mid-century structure sits high above the Pacific on two acres...The house is styled to feel like the inside of a modern barn..." The thumbnail shots looked very pleasing. Apparently she studied design and architecture in college, and played a major role in the redesign and interior. Your home sounds interesting, and I really hope you'll post a thread here as you make progress on it.

cbus, I thought something was up since your first post mentioned a table and chairs, but I couldn't find a March 2012 Elle online, either. :-(

myredhouse, any pics of your house to share?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:36PM
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I would say yes to the Courtney Cox although it is rather refined rustic.

Not to be critical of anyone who has a room like this, but I don't even know what process of designing such a room was. Actually I don't think there was a process, because no one determined what the room would look like in three dimensions.

I once consulted on a job where two of the rooms, a bathroom, and a bedroom sitting room were specified with vaulted ceilings and a skylight, and I looked at the drawings and said..."well what happens when all these shapes on the floor meet the ceiling? This bathroom can resolve itself in 3 dimensions about three ways I can think off off the top of my head, and one of them is horrible."

No one had considered the actual volumes of these two rooms, one of which had a door opening in a wall with a lowish slanted ceiling. And when it's left to the framer onsite, the results may be very bad.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:48PM
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I understand Pal. I then think that that Queensland house is rustic modern as well. This house, and most of the Dwell links, are essentially modern with rustic bones if you will - typically the ceiling, walls or floors. Some are fairly refined, others a little rougher. This is in line with kaismom's point early on - take a rustic shell, add modern furniture and there you go.

I imagine that you can 'sex' up the rustic a little and still maintain the modern. Surely adding a vintage rustic cabinet or table amidst modern furniture doesn't entirely erode the modern in the room. This is what I found missing from the Dwell pics. But I guess there is a tension there, a limit that you mustn't pass, or is isn't modern any more. So, exercise some caution with the 'rustic' patterns, accessories, etc.

Thanks everyone for your parts in this conversation.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 9:54PM
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This thread was interesting in that we got some real-time pictures of people's houses that fit the topic, more or less, and there was a bit more discussion of actual examples of the style, since pinning it down isn't very easy, say as compared to "pink kitchen".

On the other hand I don't know if peoples interest or energy level is quite at the same point. This may have to do with the specific topic, or it may be that this was topic #14.

So do we move on to another challenge since it has been a week, or should we post a thread saying "Should we take a hiatus with Design Around threads", or what?

My impression is that people are looking at them still but without input except from the people who are also posting boards it's hard to know for sure. I enjoy doing them but I don't want to just do them for ourselves or a few people, and take up space.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Personally, I think it's the topic. Rustic modern is confusing and I think most of us were thinking...wood cabinets, stainless steel and some rock backsplash. Not much room for creative thought.

I'm not saying this was a correct assumption, but I think that's why there hasn't been as much interest. What if we do something much EASIER this time? We had more responses on French maybe another style thread, where it's easier to 'play' even if our assumptions aren't totally correct.

Any ideas? A certain color for a kitchen was popular, as was a certain era/decade. I think we need to get Marcolo involved again, too. I'll volunteer my kitchen (doesn't have to be the next thread) but let's do something that's a little easier to understand and a topic that has LOTS of pictures on the Internet, to choose from...just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:25PM
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I don't know whether we should take a hiatus. When we started these, work was really light and I had a lot of thumb-twiddling time. Now I have more work than I have time to do for the foreseeable future, and have to fight for what little hobby time I can get.

I think that the fact that we are on #14 is also a factor.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:26PM
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For my own two cents...I have been lecturing myself about needing to take a hiatus from participating actively in these fun threads, mainly because I need to learn the Chief Architect software I bought to work on our kitchen plans. It's hard not to get pulled in here, because I learn so much each time (and I sure have a lot to learn.) But I probably need to devote some time to real life challenges for a while (although they don't seem as much fun.)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I've been slowly working on a board, but I've found this style to be more difficult to wrap my head around. The recent conversation clarifying it has helped quite a bit, but I'm still slow no matter what!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Another thing...the mood boards might be discouraging people, too.

Can't we just go back (or at least have the option) of posting pictures and explaining our 'story'?

That's a lot easier and it wouldn't take as much time...which seems to be part of the problem.

I also like that you see each element as it contributes to the story. If a mood board is preferred or at the end, fine...but it shouldn't feel like it's mandatory.

I think it's starting to feel like there are too many rules...and that might be why participation is down. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Has it not always been an option to post pictures and explain rather than moodboard? Personally, I prefer the moodboard because it's easier for me to see the overall design (both my own and others'), but I wasn't aware that was a rule.

I do agree that Rustic Modern may have been more difficult than something like a color-based topic, and that might impact participation. But it also could be a lack of interest in this particular topic, general timing, a waning interest in DAT threads, or who knows. I think it's reasonable to post another DAT topic. If we want to increase participation, perhaps a simple topic that hits on some of the current interests on GW might generate more responses.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Well, DAT #13 said 'concept or mood board' at the beginning and this one says how to do a mood board, then says you can post a series of pictures. And, the FAQ says...

Getting Started
1. Do not be intimidated. Most of the posters on these threads had never put together a mood board before they tried it here.
2. Do your homework, especially if the topic is a home style, era or design style.
3. Collect images of stuff you want in your kitchen.
4. Finalize your choices of what you want to put in your mood board.

It later says you can submit pictures, but I think most people are assuming they need to do mood boards.

So, maybe not mandatory, but probably seen as highly recommended. I was just thinking this time, we might say, in the first sentence, something don't have to do a mood board. It is not necessary to do a mood board to post pictures. Just pictures are absolutely fine, but mood boards are fine, too. Have some fun and choose one or both :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:26PM
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dee850, I hope you'll keep working and post your board (obviously I can use the help in wrapping my brain around this style, too.) I am happy these threads are so open-ended, so anyone can keep adding.

It worries me that anyone might think any one type of presentation (Olioboard, Word, or whatever) is "mandatory" to participate here, and I have to admit I don't think that's how most folks would interpret the set-up posts inviting newcomers. I guess that's because I interpret "concept or mood board" as a broad term, including anything from a detailed room done in Olioboard, to a bunch of collected images with text explaining choices. As long as other people can see and understand the ideas presented, and how the elements work together, I don't think it matters much.

The thing I like about these threads is that each contributor adds their own personal interpretation to the discussion. I love that Pal's boards are structured in his own way, and that everyone else's are different, too. I can sometimes tell whose board it is when I see the first few inches revealed on my monitor, and I like that! I enjoy getting to know the personality and preferences of regular posters, and it's even better to see the ideas of somebody new to the thread.

Lavender, I hope you will pursue your own way to present your ideas in a way that pleases and works for you. As I said in the Country French thread, I thought your presentation was a good example of how people don't need to do a "mood board" to get their ideas across. I stand by my previous comment...the way you added text in between each photo made it fun to read, like a story unfolding. I frankly think the individual presentation style is part of the fun here. It makes for a rich conversation. Just imagine how boring it would be, if we all presented our ideas in the same way. Blech!

Some of my boards have been elaborate. Some work, some don't! Putting the elements together in a finished way seems to help me learn what works in my design, and what doesn't. Sometimes I have ideas that seem brilliant until I try to really put the tile above the countertop, for example, and then it looks awful. So, going for a more finished room helps me keep learning, every step of the way, as I work out the details. Selfishly, that's why I'm here, to try to build some skills (and boy, do I need skills; there's a good reason I don't post pics of my house.) So, if I choose to try to work on a finished board style for a long time, because I'm enjoying it and learning something, I'm really not going to worry that somebody might be discouraged by it, because my board is different from theirs. (No offense, but I think that's kinda goofy.)

(Waving flags) Go forth! Strive! March to your own drummer! It takes all kinds! The more the merrier! I'm happy we're all different. I hope everyone will jump in and find their own way to share ideas, because that's one of the best things here.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Thanks for the encouragement, mudhouse! I just want to add that I have not perceived any pressure to do boards as opposed to individual photos, or felt constrained by "rules" on these threads. I find olioboard easier to use for keeping things organized, but that's just personal preference. My infrequent participation is purely due to my lack of design knowledge (it takes me longer to figure this stuff out than many of you!) and my full-time job preventing me from spending more time on fun stuff. But even while I'm not participating, I'm reading and really enjoying these DAT threads, so I hope you all keep it up.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Sounds good! I'm just saying, we should make it clear, to the people, who haven't been posting, lately.

For all the ones, who are...I think they're great! Lots of good ideas, too :)

One there anyway to make this thread normal, again? It's so difficult to read these LONG sentences. LOL

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 5:10PM
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I don't think a break is needed, really. You've got a tough spot on the calendar for a lot of people--the blur of the holidays got replaced by January, the Monday of the year, and it's still a very busy time at work for many. So many folks just haven't had as much bandwidth.

Plus, honestly, it gets really tiring searching for materials online. For this exercise, I wanted to use highly figured slab inset cabinets. Good luck finding those. I do realize there are people in the world facing worse fates than a tedious internet search, but still. It's a pain.

The topic was challenging. Pal read modern as "modernism." Many people use modern to mean contemporary, or maybe that pseudo modern edge of contemporary you find at West Elm, or something. Whatever, it just sounded intimidating, so perhaps we should've made it easier.

Anyway, there's a very long list of possible topics to go through, and surely some of them will inspire people to rev up again.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I am going to post a separate thread to find out from readers and potential lurkers if we should continue with new threads at this time, take a hiatus, or what...of course people are free to contribute to existing threads regardless.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:17PM
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I am another who has really enjoyed reading these threads. I don't have much time on my hands these days but always check out the DAT's. This one in particular has been of interest to me because I have what I believe is a rustic modern house. Cathedral and vaulted white washed knotty pine tongue-and-groove ceilings, beams and posts. Modern kitchen and furnishings with the occasional rustic-ish piece, animal hide rug, wood accent etc. I have been considering a way to tone down the modern in my kitchen by maybe altering my island a bit but got too many "no's" on my thread on that topic. Reconsidered and decided to bring texture with comfy upholstered counter stools instead.

Keep these up! There are many of us who may not post but gather inspiration and great information from all the mood boards and visuals. This has been one of my favorites and would love to see one on "coastal or beach" theme as well!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Hey guys, mudhouse in particular- check out the Remodelista post on a modern Adobe home. I've pasted it below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Modern Adobe

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 6:10PM
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OK, so it's a little eclectic, and I wanted to do more but the thread is getting long in the tooth, as am I.

The walls have a Maya Romanoff tie-die wallpaper that's reminiscent of birch bark from a distance. I don't know if you can see clearly, but there are no uppers and instead, there is a long mod island light fixture over each run. Silestone countertops. Custom range hood by modern smiths at Raw Urth designs. Porcelanosa flooring in varying-size circles.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:36PM
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I think this one is interesting because it uses two modern materials that can read as rustic, although they really aren't at all (in my humble and fuzzy opinion.) The Maya Romanoff wallpaper does read as birchbark to me, and the Porcelanosa tiles on the floor read as gravel/river rocks. They mimic rustic materials but they aren't fake rustic materials, and I like that.

The fish scale backsplash tiles in Pal's Shore House Rustic work the same way, although those seem a little more symbolic to me because of the large scale (size I mean, no pun intended.)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Sochi, thanks so much for the link to the Modern Adobe. DH and I have pored over the photos and I'm saving some of them. Some of the (much less!) spectacular features are pertinent to our modest house.

The very tailored, sleek looking Douglas Fir posts used on the porches in that house are an interesting contrast to the usual rough textured square or round posts used around here, usually with big corbels at the top. I also really like the use of 3" thick countertops out of a modern material (there's that scale thing again, I think helping a modern material to feel more heavy/thick/rustic...?)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Marcolo, I like yours better if I cover the windows.

I feel like something is lurking out there. (I cover my head when I sleep, too)

Totally rustic and very modern. I have been heavily influenced I think by the Dwell modern rustic and the Vincente Wolf all-white-with-rustic, that probably limits my outlook.

I am glad you were finally able to contribute to this one.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Well, before this thread dies, here's what I've got to offer. In putting this together, I had in mind one of the relatively character-less apartments I've lived in over the years - plain box rooms, no moldings or really defining features.

My materials:
"rustic" open shelving
Ceasarstone counters in Concrete
Kohler Karbon faucet with stages sink
lime-green shiny slab doors with long skinny pulls
hickory flooring
industrial pendant light found through google
"fauxdenza" created from Ikea cabinets by The Brick House
white linen curtains
sisal rug
walnut chairs from Dwell
Saarinen tulip table
BM icicle paint

Bearing in mind that I am totally ignorant about design, here are my thoughts on the previous boards/concepts...

sochi #1 knotty pine cottage: I really like this, and I just realized that the bright stripes in the rug and chair are the key for me. Without those, it wouldn't be ugly but it would lose the fun spark. I did not realize that pattern was a classic Canadian thing!

cbusmomof3: I like those materials together and agree that they make an an "earthy" color scheme.

palimpsest #1 gray: That Escher-esque floor is so cool. The beaded shaker cabinets surprised me here, I think I was expecting all slab doors for some reason.

pricklypearcactus: I don't normally like that style of stone backsplash, but I think it works really well here. I like the overall restrained color scheme - it's really just white/gray/browns, but it somehow has a lot of life.

palimpsest #2 Money to burn: The interesting thing to me about this one is that a lot of the individual pieces are not normally things I'd find attractive, but I can see how they work well together. Is it just me, or does that Paul Evans sideboard have a bit of a "Beetlejuice" flavor?

sochi #2 lakefront cottage: This looks very comfortable to me, maybe leaning more toward the rustic than the modern. I especially like the hutch cabinet.

palimpsest #3 Knock-off money to burn: I really like this approach, doing the expensive vs. cheaper version. That elk credenza is a little too over the top for me, though. Something about it reminds me of the way hipsters wear stuff like '80s airbrushed cat t-shirts and trucker hats, but ironically. Maybe it's the incongruity of what could be a granny-ish embroidery pattern writ large on a piece of furniture.

capwaps john deere: I love the concept! I know that using the exact tractor green and yellow would be the idea, but I think it would be hard to live with unless it was a small kitchen without too many cabinets. They're just so screaming bright.

palimpsest #4 shore house rustic: I love this one. The blue makes it for me.

sochi #3 cottage with blue cabinets: I love this one, too. Clearly I have a thing for blue. Really cool hood.

mudhouse: The red countertops and accents really pull this together for me. All those patterns up close together are a little overwhelming, but I think they'd work in a large enough space.

marcolo: I like the horizontal-grain cabinets here, and I really like the idea of the rustic table with those orange chairs.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Dee, I like the use of the green door in your concept, but I would be tempted to try Caesarstone's Espresso as a warmer alternative to the Concrete,

or maybe color match the counters and cabinets and go with Apple Martini for a green block of color through the rest of the neutral palette.

Thanks for playing :) I agree, the Elk sideboard is tragically hip to the point of being a bit annoying. I would chop off the I Dream of Jeanie legs, first.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Good lord Marcolo, what is that light fixture? Reminds me of one of the muppets. Great kitchen and a great mix of modern and rustic.

Dee850, lovely space. Reminds me of the Dwell type rustic kitchens that Palimpsest posted, contrasts with the perhaps more over the top rustic spaces with added modern elements. I love the colours.

Mudhouse, I was really struck by the appropriateness of the thick Caesarstone counters in that house as well. Glad you enjoyed the pics.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Pal, that definitely makes sense to me. I actually started with lighter brown/gray counters - shitake or mocha Ceasarstone - and felt it needed to be darker, but for no particularly good reason moved to looking at the colder dark grays instead of darker brown.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Oh dear, now I'm laughing because all I can think of is the muppet fixture lurking outside the windows. (Sorry Marcolo, I'm just goofy because I'm happy to see you posting here.)

dee850, I agree with the others, very pretty combination of elements and I think a very successful example of the theme. (Where were you when I has flopping about so, earlier in the thread?) :-)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:12AM
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I love that light fixture. I also think Raw Urth's "Modern Rustic" hoods are pretty cool; supposedly they're based on mining architecture.

I'm also fond of that idea of using linear light fixtures over upperless cabinet runs:

As far as the windows, I'm not crazy about them, either. I put them there to break up the Maya Romanoff, which although quite beautiful in good pictures looked on the mood board a bit like a skin condition. I detest nature, unless it's plucked and trimmed like a bikini-clad Brazilian, so this whole rustic thing needs to be heavy on the faux for me.

dee, I agree--great kitchen but the countertop color jumped out at me.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:03AM
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Palimpsest Escher-esque floor: I like all the elements here but I'd like to see more rustic on the kitchen side.

Pricklypearcactus: This is really soothing with the limited palette. I really like the island and the table.

Palimpsest pie-in-the-sky budget: The petrified wood is fabulous, and the mirror and sideboard are great.

Sochi white & pine: Love the artwork. This is very livable and comfortable.

Palimpsest budget version of above: I think I like the laminate version of the petrified wood better than the high end, at least in the photos. I don't have anything new to say about the Elk credenza--my thoughts are pretty much along the lines of the other comments, including your critique of it. Too much. Except for the sideboard and mirror (big exceptions, I grant you), I think I like this one a bit better than the high-end.

I'll throw in a comment on mine as well (John Deere). I don't really like the green and yellow any better than anyone else did. I think at least some of you got what I was trying to do in evoking the very recognizable but extremely LOUD John Deere colors. I probably wouldn't do this in real life, and certainly not in a kitchen anyone had to live with for long periods. The purpose was guest lodging, for a few months at most. It is also only an 8-10 ft run of cabinets on one wall and that's it, in what I figured would be a fairly large open living area. Under those circumstances I MIGHT do it. Pal, regarding the yellow/green interference with the knobs--my hardware also-rans were rust-colored pulls that looked like something my dad would have pulled out from his harware bin in the shop salvaged from some long ago project. Maybe I should have go with those.

Pal fish scales: This one of course reminded me of Anna Chosak's animal prints entry, with the scales and driftwood cabinets. I like the similar elements here with the modern spin.

Sochi blue: I really like this one, especially the bits (dare I say pops?) of strong red contrasting with the blue. I prefer the red table you put in the mood board to the one you posted separately. I think this is one of my favorites on the thread.

Mudhouse: I like the idea of breaking up the barnwood with the courses of stainless tile. It nicely combines rustic and modern in a way I think is very pleasing. I like your dining room. I think it would be less overwhelming in real life with the rugs on the floor rather than being the backdrop to the image. The fixture is great.

Marcolo: I love the cabinets and the lighting fixtures, which are a very creative application. I think I like it. I totally see what Sochi meant by her Muppet comment about the DR fixture, although I like it too. The orange chair is cool.

Dee850: I like the cheery green cabinets. The "fauxdenza" comes off as both rustic and modern, and I like the sisal rug. The only element I don't really like is the counter--the color doesn't seem to be in harmony with the wood elements.

Sorry for taking so long with comments. It's been hard to find the time.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:21AM
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Marcolo, thanks for the larger pic of the linear lights over the counters. The many small bulbs remind me of city lights from a distance, and I think they add a formal feeling to the room that is interesting against the faux rustic elements. I do like the Raw Urth hood, especially the standing-seam like details.

Cawaps, thanks for your comment on the stainless tiles breaking up the barnwood. I thought a wall of natural barnwood might look too country. I'd prefer narrow solid stainless bars (I've seen those on TV, used in bathroom walls) but couldn't find them online, so the stainless tiles were a substitute. I think it would work best if the stainless accents were understated (preferably even skinnier than the 1" tiles I used.)

I really didn't mind the strong colors in your kitchen, because to me they're as recognizeable (and central to your theme) as Sochi's Hudson Bay color bands. If they were more muted, I don't know if they would read as John Deere(?) Once I visualized the scale, setting and planned use of the kitchen I thought the colors were workable.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:30PM
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I agree that there's something interesting about the "identifiability" of some of these designs, like sochi's instantly-recognizable Scando-Canadian kitchen, or the John Deere special. Sochi's design uses the tried-but-true trick of rustic plus white plus color, like the model pal was talking about. (Though I have to confess that pal's Dwell photos make me wonder if that's Gary and Elaine's house.) And OMG sochi, I just realized that I stole your hood!!

prickly, are there any paint colors to go in that kitchen, or is it all backsplash? On my monitor the floor and splash, while great, seem to have a burgundy taupe undertone that isn't carried out in the cabs.

I think we should either start planning the next DAT thread or set up a separate thread to discuss it (since this one is getting over 100 posts). I like the idea of picking the topic in advance then waiting a couple of weeks to start it off. Perhaps we should pick the next two in a row.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:56PM
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marcolo - I really like your overall eclectic design, especially the cabinetry and the lighting. Very unique idea to have the mod fixture over all of the counters. Not sure if I'm correctly reading cool tones in the wallpaper and floor (gray?) or not. If so, I think I might prefer a more gray counter: maybe concrete counters or a gray Silestone.

I chose a creamy white paint color (color splotch is in between range hood and beams in the moodboard), but it might be a little hard to see in the image. I wanted to keep the color pallet very minimal as that seemed to be a trait of some of my favorite of the rustic modern examples provided. Alternatively, I was considering a light aqua paint color and using some light aqua Eames molded plastic chairs.

I'm not certain I see a burgundy taupe undertone in the floor and splash, though I do see some warm beige tones in the backsplash. Are you thinking the reclaimed wood cabinets are clashing with the undertones of the stone? If so, would you suggest a warmer or redder wood?

dee - I really like yours, especially the green cabinetry with the wood floors. It seems like it would fit perfectly into a modern apartment, bringing in rustic qualities without seeming out of place.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Maybe we have dueling monitors, prickly. My wallpaper looks quite warm to me, and your backsplash does, also, with reddish-brownish tones in both. Since they are both tilting in the same direction switching between our two monitors, that may be the whole issue right there.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 3:55PM
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May I ask where you got the clipping of the white bookcase-like firewood storage in your first mood board? I have been trying to design something similar and would love to see the original post!

Great thread, by the way!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Here's the old topic list that cawaps put together:

Knotty pine
Metal cabinetry
Interesting tile (we can do this one over and over)
Marmoleum graphic series
Back-painted glass
Commercial Kitchens/Restaurant Supply

Defining the Home
Minimal traditional house from the '40s through the '70s
Tract house (specify decade? or any tract house?) (Do we consider these first two "done?"
Spanish Colonial Revival
Prarie School
Pimp this kitchen (choose home/kitchen from real estate listing)
Beach House
Mash-up house (what do you do with a house that is already a mash-up of styles, like a Mission-style Queen Anne)

Theme/Decorating Styles
Starting from clothing fashions as your inspiration pic, design a kitchen that suits the era/mood/style
Rustic Modern Cottage
Hollywood Regency

Budget/Supply restrictions
$10K budget
Ikea kitchen (all Ikea?)
Mail order kitchen
Home Depot kitchen
Architectural salvage/upcycle/recycle

Define the People
Mid-life crisis bachelor (or cougar) pad
Rabid sports fan wants to decorate in team colors

Presentation Strategies that Can Be Combined with Other Choices
This/Not That (Good taste/bad taste, works/doesn't work)
High/Low (same look, different budgets)

What we have done so far:
1) Apple Jasper
2) Colonial Revived
3) 1920's Kitchens and All That Jazz
4) Formica Patterns are Cooool!
5) Neo-Tuscan/TuscAmerican
6) I'm Dreaming of a White Kitchen, But...
7) Victorian/Queen Anne
8) Animal "Prints"
9) Keeping the Golden Oak

  1. Tarting Up a Tudor (posted as #9)
  2. Pink for the Present Day
  3. 1960s tract house
  4. French Country
  5. Rustic modern

In no particular order, my personal favorites for the next one include:
- Pimping a real kitchen from MLS (but we'd have to show the house)
- Interesting tile
- Hollywood Regency
- Steampunk

I suggest we pick both a topic and a date to start, given recent discussions about spacing them out a tad. I haven't done a launch post in a while so I can write it if you want.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:42PM
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I know that some readers have suggested as infrequently as once a month but the remaining list would take somewhere around two years, and I don't know that once a month is frequent enough to sustain a particular thread on the kitchen forum since things drop down a couple pages in a day sometimes.

I would feel better, personally, about a 2 week interval.

I think we have been heading this way since it'e been 10 days since Rustic Modern was started.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I agree that once a month is too seldom. If people don't want to read them every time, no one is forcing them. I could aim for this weekend or sometime next week.

Some of these topics, like steampunk, are going to take extra time to find materials for, so I'd still like to pick two topics in advance. You have my votes. Lavender wants yellow, I think.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Marcolo- I am all for your steampunk, because I know you really want to do it. My only concern is that it may be seen as another, more difficult (or should I say challenging?) topic. Too bad we can't have beginner's and intermediate...something easy, like yellow kitchens (as an example)...and steampunk!

Oh, and I like your rustic/modern kitchen, especially the table and the hood...and the view!

Pal- The view is only scary...if a truck is heading for your house! Trust me on this. LOL

Dee- I really like the green cabinets and the rustic wood shelves. Great combination :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Actually I think steampunk, if we do it, is a topic that should have two cycles of notice.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:11PM
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Staceyneil - I've had that picture of the bookcase/firewood for months now, in my 'cottage' collections. I clipped the image from Remodelista for this thread, pasted below. It is (of course) from a Scandinavian cottage/cabin. I think I originally found the image on the blog 'My Scandinavian Retreat' (great blog). According to Remodelista, its is made by a Norwegian couple, here is a link to their blog:

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: bookcase firewood storage

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:32PM
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I'd vote for, in any order:

1. Upcycled/salvaged kitchen
2. Pimp real MLS house kitchen
3. Hollywood Regency
4. Steampunk

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:36PM
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If it's not too annoying, I won't vote, because I'm not sure how much time I can invest for a while. But if I can, I'll happily wade into anything you folks decide.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:09PM
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I think if we do a pimp my kitchen we have to be careful to not get involved in layout issues.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Thanks for the feedback on mine, folks, I appreciate it.

Cawaps, I somehow glossed right over the "guest apartment" description in your post - I agree that the tractor-inspired bold cabinets would be really fun in an occasional-use space.

As an occasional participant on these threads, I'll try to play along on whatever you all go with. I agree that 2 weeks between new ones might be a good interval.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Hollywood Regency and Steampunk are the two that I have been collecting images for the longest. I do, however, agree that steampunk has the potential to be very challenging. Not necessarily because people don't get what it is, but because done well it is such a DIY/maker thing that it is hard to find images. Either it's "stick a gear on it," or it's Restoration Hardware faux steampunk, or it's someone's one-of-a-kind labor of love. I've had some luck finding images thinking in terms of Victorian industrial, but I don't feel I'm quite hitting the mark.

Hollywood Regency is definitely easier to find pieces, but although I'm pretty clear on the style for living/dining areas, I'm not sure how to interpret it in terms of kitchen cabs/counter/backsplash--the nuts and bolts of the kitchen.

I'm also keen to do commercial kitchen & restaurant equipment, since I've been frequenting the restaurant supply store for my own kitchen. I think this would be easier for most people than the other two, which might be good right now.

Oh, and after the pink thread with Pal and me riffing on menswear, I think it would be fun to do the one starting with clothing fashions as inspiration. This one also seems like it might be comparatively easy and attract new blood.

And I'd also be okay with yellow or with an interesting tile choice.

So my list, in order of preference...
1) Commercial kitchen/restaurant equipment.
2) Hollywood Regency
3) Steampunk
4) Fashion-inspired kitchen
5) Interesting tile
6) Yellow kitchens

Clearly, I like almost everything, so don't weigh my opinion too heavily.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 1:24AM
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I've just started participating, so no need to weigh my opinion heavily either. I'm interested in a lot of the ones on the list, but the following are some of my favorites.

- Steampunk
- Hollywood Regency
- Beach House
- Spanish Colonial Revival

If we're looking for something more friendly for new participation, I would probably also enjoy something color-based. Maybe an all color kitchen (no major elements like cabinets, counter, flooring can be "neutral")? Or maybe one of the material-based: Vetrazzo, Interesting Tile, etc.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:39PM
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I will do any project that comes up.

I don't have a great handle on Steampunk. The idea of "genuine" Steampunk is an item that really works, but has a convoluted structure. (The movie Brazil, Tik-Tok from Return to Oz come to mind)

But when I look at Steampunk images online though, a lot of it looks like so much window dressing or set decoration. I suppose there are some real appliances that could work--because it is the "machines" that are the real Steampunk items, right? But the budget would be outrageous.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Steampunk, to me, is first and foremost a science fiction genre. It's alternative timelines or reinvented history. As a fashion and design movement, my impression is that it has been VERY theatrical (up until Restoration Hardware et al. got hold of it). Done well, it's about making modern equipment look like it was created with steam age technology--clockwork, levers, cranks, gears, etc. And all with a Victorian fashion flair. But you can't really find a lot of (any?) stuff off-the-shelf, which is what is going to make this one hard. So I figure I'll try to fake it with what is available. Steampunk might end up being an utter failure as a DAT topic.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Actually, the quintessential steampunk piece is a modern computer decked out to look like a 19th century device.

I met a guy profiled in the Boston Globe who has a steampunk house, and whose kitchen was featured here once. He was selling a cast iron Victorian stove that had been outfitted with a barely-discernable electric cooktop.

It's not so much working Rube Goldberg contraptions as it is window dressing on modern technology. I think of it as a stage set in search of a story.

Let's say Steampunk is a definite one month from now, as the project that follows the next one.

For the very next one to start this weekend, I'm thinking Hollywood Regency, based on an unscientific review of the preference lists people have posted so far. I would sort of like to do the setup for Steampunk, so if you'd rather I not do two in a row, I can happily defer to pal on the HR project.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Still a bit confused, but I think I'll try again. Is this rustic? From Fairy tale cottage

And is this rustic modern? Or just rustic with modern island? From Fairy tale cottage

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:07PM
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I would say the first one is rustic with some contemporary (meaning Now) touches

The second is rustic modern.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:59PM
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I agree with pal. Both very nice spaces, IMHO.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Thanks...I'm not sure if I really understand the styles, or if I just got lucky on the pictures :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Re Marcolo's post at 1:03. Maya Romanoff was at our wedding, in 1975. I guess I am name dropping.

He is a superb artist.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I think you're getting it Lavender. Quite the cuckoo clock in the first picture though.

Westsider - thanks for bringing Marcolo's 1:03 post to my attention, I had missed it. Somehow that post and Marcolo's light fixture have created a rather frightening Carnival image in my mind.

Marcolo, I guess I'll overlook your theft of my truly awesome hood this time. It is great, isn't it? I used the stone from the photo too, cheating a bit I guess.

So is steampunk after Hollywood Regency? I'm looking forward to HR, but not sure if I'll be able to come up with anything.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Sochi, I think it was supposed to be Hollywood Regency, then something else, then Steampunk. I think the idea is to give folks sufficient lead time to search for images for steampunk.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 11:32PM
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