Gardens are a wonderful way to customize your outdoor space and, for many, one of the most cherished parts of their home. A great garden takes a lot of time, effort, and even money to maintain, so it’s easy to see why someone would want to emphasize their hard work.
That said, your garden doesn’t have to be all about the plants. You can spruce up your garden with decor to give it that personalized touch. Choosing a theme — such as rustic design — can help give your garden a unified and beautiful look. But what is rustic decor?
Rustic decor is one of the easiest design options for any outdoor space and delivers amazing results when you want to give your garden a personal twist. Keep reading to find out what rustic garden decor will bring a unique flair to your garden.
What is Rustic Garden Decor?
Rustic decoration refers to a type of design that rejects modern furnishings and focuses instead on the natural state of things, which encompasses the wear and tear as well as aging of materials. Therefore, rustic decor prioritizes natural materials and values repurposing of materials, items, and other objects for decorative purposes.
The terms rustic and garden decor seem like a perfect match. After all, what’s more natural than an outdoor garden? There are plenty of possibilities when it comes to rustic garden decor.
There are several different materials that you can introduce into your garden, or you can work with what’s already there to spruce it up and give it a rustic feel. Some common materials found in a rustic garden include:
- Fabrics (burlap, canvas, etc.)
Even within the world of natural materials, you’ll find that there are ways to make them more rustic. For example, you should use natural materials as lightly treated as possible to fully engage with rustic decor. Since raw materials have more rustic appeal than finished materials, you might want to choose unfinished wood instead of glossy options.
Material isn’t the only element to consider for a rustic style. Color plays a huge role in rustic decor. In general, you won’t find an overload of bright colors in any rustic-themed decor. There’s no need to paint the natural materials you use for your decor, but if you decide to personalize your materials, stick to earthy tones to keep that rustic theme in your garden.
Earthy tones that fit the rustic color scheme include:
Another significant element of rustic garden decor is the authenticity of your furnishings. Rustic decor values the natural process, including the manufacturing of materials. Handcrafted materials are the best choice to keep up a rustic theme.
However, handmade furnishings and decor can be expensive and take a long time to make. A good alternative is to seek decor items that at least look like they’re handmade to keep with the illusion and give your garden that consistently rustic feel.
Now that you have an idea of what rustic decor entails, let’s take a look at some rustic garden decor ideas to bring out the natural state of your garden or outdoor area.
The Best Rustic Garden Decor Ideas
Between the focus on natural materials and the use of subdued color palettes, the theme of rustic decor may feel restrictive. However, there are several ways to get creative with rustic designs, especially for outdoor spaces such as a garden.
Here are a few rustic garden design ideas for your outdoor space.
1. Repurpose Your Old Furniture
Have some old furniture that’s still functional but feels outdated for your home? You might not need to throw it out. Instead, just change its location.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to add rustic garden decor to your backyard is to repurpose your old furniture. There are several different furnishings that you can add to your front or backyard to give it a rustic theme, such as:
- Kitchen table and chairs
- Coffee table
On top of being suitable for rustic decor, the best material to repurpose is wood, as it usually requires just a little sanding and perhaps a new coat of paint to look new again.
If you don’t have any old furniture of your own, try hitting up a local garage sale or looking online for anyone wanting to get rid of their old furniture for a low price. You may even find some vintage pieces that don’t need to be refurbished and are ready for your garden.
2. New Rustic Furniture
If you don’t have any old furniture to repurpose, or don’t want to refurbish used furniture, then there’s an easier option to get that rustic look in your garden.
There’s a whole market of rustic furnishings at your disposal that you can use to add more character to your backyard garden. From chairs to tables, adding the right type of furniture will deliver what you need for the perfect rustic garden.
This Rectangular Antique Rustic Solid Pine Folding Farm Table from Flash Furniture is both decorative and practical. Made of solid pine, the construction of this rustic folding table keeps it sturdy and ensures that it can be used without a table cloth or any other linen.
3. Wooden Wishing Well
Do you want to be ultra-creative in your rustic garden decor? This Wooden Wishing Well from Notume will become the focal point in your garden and capture everyone’s attention.
This wishing well is a planter, making it the perfect addition to your garden. It also features a hanging bucket that serves as an additional flowerpot for your favorite flowers. You can’t get any more rustic than a wishing well that looks like it belongs in a quaint country home.
4. Keep Your Plants in Stoneware
Stone is a big element of rustic decor, especially when it comes to outdoor spaces. This makes stoneware the perfect addition to your garden, and you can use it in many ways. For example, consider creating a path of stones leading to your garden. You can also scatter an assortment of stones around your garden or add one large decorative stone piece nearby to introduce the rustic element you desire.
One of the most obvious and practical ways to use stoneware in a garden is to plant some of your flowers in stone pots. Stone planters are a popular choice for plants indoors and can make a great addition to keeping select plants in your garden.
This elegant outdoor planter from Kante is durable yet lightweight and has an authentic weathered concrete finish. What makes this planter even more rustic is that it is handmade.
5. Wooden Country Planter Wagon
Similar to the idea of the wishing well, this Wooden Country Planter Wagon from The Lakeside Collection is both a planter as well as a decorative piece for your backyard.
This country-inspired wagon has the warm, simple feel of farm decor. It comes with two planters to showcase your favorite plants in a fun and unique way. If you don’t feel like putting it in your garden, it can also serve as a great place to display your favorite plants on your porch or anywhere else in your yard.
6. Decorative Stoneware
If you want another unique stone piece that can serve as a planter or as a decorative piece, this 8-inch minimalist round bowl offers that rustic feeling you want in a centerpiece. This bowl looks great indoors or outdoors on a patio, and it is the perfect complement to your garden.
7. Build a Wood Pergola
If you’ve managed to grow a beautiful lush garden, you want to make sure that you have somewhere to enjoy it. A pergola ensures that you have a nice cool place to relax and can also serve as a piece of rustic decor around your garden.
Remember, a large element in rustic decor is hand craftsmanship, so it’s best to build your pergola from natural materials. For the most rustic garden decor, use unfinished or minimally finished wood. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, leaving room for creativity. Try making your pergola from unconventional wood for an even more rustic feel. If you surround your pergola with flowers and lush plants, it’ll feel like you’re in your country dream.
8. Get Creative with Burlap Fabric
Wood and stone are not the only materials that can fulfill a rustic garden decor scheme. You can use lighter and more pliable material, such as fabric, to decorate your garden. One of the best fabrics to use in rustic-themed decor is burlap.
Burlap is a coarse, heavy woven fabric that has many uses. It is already a gardening staple. Thanks to its high permeability, water easily penetrates it to the roots. But its use doesn’t only have to be practical — burlap can be decorative as well. In fact, in recent years the fabric has gained popularity in the world of design, especially in rustic garden decor.
You can purchase burlap by the yard, and use it for several purposes, such as:
- Wrap the lining of planters
- Wrap patio set cushions
- Bows and other embellishments
Implementing Rustic Garden Decor in Your Yard
To recap, some of the most interesting rustic garden decor ideas are:
- Repurpose old furniture or purchase rustic-looking furniture
- Stoneware for your plants or as decoration
- Using burlap fabric beyond gardening purposes
- Build a country-like pergola
- A wishing well garden centerpiece
If you’re looking to add outdoor accessories to your garden, a rustic theme is worth considering. Rustic garden decor is all about the materials you use and what you use them for.
As a pro-tip, almost anything you handcraft will have a rustic nature to it. So a fun DIY project is to make your own furnishings or refurbish old furniture to give your garden the perfect rustic style.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in garden design and decor, I have spent years honing my knowledge and expertise in creating beautiful and personalized outdoor spaces. My passion for gardens has led me to extensively research and experiment with different ideas, materials, and concepts to bring out the best in any garden.
When it comes to rustic garden decor, I have firsthand experience in creating stunning outdoor spaces that embody the essence of nature and simplicity. Rustic decor is a design option that embraces the natural state of things, emphasizing the beauty of wear and tear and the aging of materials. It prioritizes the use of natural materials and repurposing items and objects for decorative purposes.
In a rustic garden, materials such as wood, stone, and fabrics like burlap and canvas are commonly used. These materials can be sourced from existing elements in your garden or introduced to spruce up the space. To maintain an authentic rustic feel, it is best to use natural materials that are minimally treated or unfinished. This allows the raw and rustic appeal to shine through.
Color is another crucial element in rustic decor. Earthy tones such as browns, evergreen, rust, turmeric, and sage are ideal for maintaining a rustic color scheme in your garden. By sticking to these natural and muted colors, you can create a cohesive and harmonious rustic ambiance.
Authenticity is key in rustic garden decor, and handcrafted furnishings and decor items are highly valued. While handmade materials can be expensive and time-consuming to create, there are alternatives available that mimic the look of handmade pieces. These decor items can help maintain the illusion of rustic authenticity in your garden.
Now that you have a solid understanding of rustic garden decor, let's explore some rustic garden decor ideas that will bring out the natural beauty of your outdoor space.
Repurpose Your Old Furniture: Instead of discarding your old furniture, consider repurposing it for your garden. Items such as kitchen tables and chairs, coffee tables, benches, and ladders can be given a new life in your rustic garden. Wood is an excellent material for repurposing, as it can be sanded and painted to look new again. Garage sales and online platforms can also provide affordable vintage pieces that are ready for your garden.
New Rustic Furniture: If repurposing isn't an option, there is a wide range of rustic furnishings available in the market. From chairs to tables, choosing the right type of furniture can add character and charm to your garden. For example, a rectangular antique rustic solid pine folding farm table can serve as both a decorative and practical piece in your garden.
Wooden Wishing Well: For those looking for a unique and eye-catching centerpiece, a wooden wishing well can be an excellent choice. This planter not only adds a rustic touch to your garden but also provides a charming focal point. With a hanging bucket that acts as an additional flowerpot, this wishing well captures the essence of rustic decor.
Stoneware for Planters: Stone is a prominent element in rustic decor, and incorporating stoneware into your garden can enhance the rustic appeal. Create a path of stones leading to your garden, scatter an assortment of stones around, or use stone pots to display your favorite flowers. Handmade stoneware planters with an authentic weathered concrete finish can add a rustic touch to your garden.
Wooden Country Planter Wagon: This wooden country planter wagon combines functionality with decorative appeal. With its warm and simple farm decor feel, it can showcase your favorite plants in a unique and charming way. Whether placed in your garden or on your porch, this planter wagon adds rustic flair to any outdoor space.
Decorative Stoneware: A minimalist round bowl made of stone can serve as a centerpiece in your garden. This versatile piece can act as a planter or a decorative item, adding a touch of rustic elegance to your outdoor area.
Build a Wood Pergola: If you want a space to relax and enjoy your garden, consider building a wood pergola. By using unfinished or minimally finished wood, you can achieve a rustic look that complements the natural surroundings. Surround the pergola with flowers and lush plants to create a country-like dreamy atmosphere.
Get Creative with Burlap Fabric: Burlap fabric is a versatile and lightweight material that can be used to add a rustic touch to your garden. Wrap the lining of planters, cover patio set cushions, or create bows and other embellishments to enhance the rustic theme.
Implementing rustic garden decor in your yard allows you to create a unique and personalized outdoor space that reflects your love for nature and simplicity. Whether you repurpose old furniture, invest in new rustic furnishings, or incorporate natural materials like stone and burlap, the possibilities are endless. Let your creativity guide you as you craft a garden that is truly one-of-a-kind.