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Rustic Furniture: The Unique Alternative In Home Decorating

Dec 24, 2007

Rustic furniture is usually hand made using the primitive methods of days gone by, leading to unique pieces that have a natural charm. One of the most popular furniture styles right now, rustic furniture is displayed in homes from Maine to Hawaii, Alaska to Florida. Rustic furniture is usually handmade and not factory produced from wood such as hickory, cypress, cedar and pine wood.

What Really is Rustic?

The word "Rustic" is a wide-ranging term that corresponds to almost any type of furniture or decorating style that has a less refined, "outdoorsy" appearance. Rustic furniture was brought indoors in the Adirondacks during the building boom of the great camps and opulent mountain mansions commissioned by turn-of-the-century magnates. Rustic furnishings literally "spring" from the earth and give a home a homespun look that other furniture just cannot match. Furniture and accessories with a more raw, "rustic" look help create a less formal, "country living" atmosphere where ever they are used. Rustic furniture can also blend well with a variety of decorating themes, and are an excellent choice if you are redoing your outdoor living space.

Rustic Style

Every furniture style makes a statement. Rustic furniture comes in many styles, shapes and colors, and most of them say "warm, comfortable and/or inviting." Quality homemade rustic furniture continues to remain very popular nationwide. It's no wonder as well - like jazz music, rustic furniture is a true American invented style.

The rustic style is as valid as any enjoyed today. Whether it be the delicate lines of a Queen Ann highboy, the kitschy boldness of a Louis XV vanity, or the resolute proclamation of a log dining table, rustic furniture can add texture, style, and charm to any home décor. Rustic furniture can add country-style appeal to a guest room, warmth to a game room, or a welcome atmosphere around the fireplace. "Rustic" used to mean "rickety or cheap." No more. The quality rustic furniture today is all grown up and now even borders on sophisticated and trendy. Beautiful wood, polished logs, and twiggy charm has made "rustic" one of the most popular styles in the market today.

Rustic Furniture in the Garden

Rustic garden furniture is a favorite among those who like to have an "outdoorsy" feel in their gardens or backyards. One of the big reasons people tend to like rustic garden furniture is because it is typically not made in a factory (or if it is, it is made using hand tools one part at a time.) Another feature of rustic garden furniture that endears itself to people is the fact that every little imperfect knot or twist in the wood shows up. Some of the types of wood that are often used in building rustic garden furniture are cedar, hickory, cypress, and pine.

Handcrafted Rustic Furniture

The term "rustic furniture" can mean one of two things: furniture that is handcrafted out of authentic raw materials, or furniture that is built to look handmade. One key to finding unique furniture is to look for furniture that has truly been handcrafted or hand painted. The look and individuality of handcrafted rustic peeled wood furniture cannot be matched by mass-produced furniture offered in many specialty shops. In most cases, each piece of truly rustic furniture is one-of-a-kind in character and materials. Another benefit of handcrafted furniture is that it can be custom made to meet your unique design needs.

Cedar Rustic Furniture

Cedar works wonderfully in rustic furniture. Cedar is used in many places for its comfort, long use, and durability at the cabin, on the patio, in the garden, or most anywhere else outdoors, but it also looks great indoors! One of the more beautiful kinds of cedar is aromatic cedar. Another variety - Northern White - weathers to a beautiful silvery gray if untreated and exposed to the elements. Northern white cedar can with stand the elements for years. You can expect between 20-50 years of useful life out of your rustic furniture if you choose cedar wood.


The label "rustic" when applied to furniture is most accurate when labeling older, more primitive furnishings, like the famous Adirondack chair. While it is cherished for its combination of form and function, the charm and appeal of rustic furniture is the unfinished look, the roughness and ruggedness made comfortable and homey.
About the Author
Jay Gerth writes extensively about rustic furniture. Specializing in Adirondack chairs and other Adirondack furnishings, his expert opinions have helped others find satisfaction with and great uses for their outdoor living spaces.
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