Invest In This Key Item To Nail The Rustic Chic Look

Emily Dorio

How you style your home is just as personal a decision as how you dress yourself. And just as some people are more of the jeans-and-t-shirt type and others prefer a maximalist approach to fashion, the same can be said of interior design preferences. That said, if the vibe that best suits you includes is more worn-in and weathered than polished and perfect, and you opt for pieces with old-school charm, there are probably a few rustic home decor ideas you could try to really nail that aesthetic.

One of the many chic subscribers to this decor style is influencer and founder of Clary Collection skincare, Jen Auerbach, who didn't have to look far for inspiration for her refurbished barn in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives and manages her business. As an admitted vintage aficionado, the entrepreneur has filled her home with an eclectic mix of modern and well-worn pieces that are full of character while embracing much of the barn's original bones.

Due to her beautiful and inspiring pad, Auerbach was recently tapped by Chairish to create a curated list of her favorites that can help anyone get the look in their own home. But besides pointing out what specific furniture pieces to shop, she's also got a few more tips for creating a rustic-chic vibe wherever you are, including the colors and textures to look for and creative ways to mix in a little indoor greenery. Read ahead to learn all five of her best suggestions and you might just be inspired to give your own space a much-needed fall refresh.

Emily Dorio

Embrace The Originality

Auerbach was drawn to her current home because of its unique character, given its past life as a functional barn. And because of that, she opted to embrace many of its signature traits. But even if you don't live in a remodeled barn, there's still a lesson here. "I love to start by stripping a space to expose the original features," she says. "Whether that be classical cornicing, original wooden floors or wooden ceiling beams." So find out what your own home has to offer and lean into it.

Don't Stress, Distress

One of the key ways to instantly bring a rustic feeling into any room is with the addition of some distressed pieces, like a farmhouse-style dining table that's got just the right amount of character. "Furniture made of distressed wood (offering that charming weathered effect) is wonderfully easy to source online from sites like Chairish with a wide variety of choice, so you can find the perfect piece for your home," Auerbach explains. "A good example of this is the old step ladder and rustic side table in my barn." You can also DIY a distressed look on some of your existing pieces (or some affordably sourced at a flea market) if you love a project and want to save some cash.

Incorporate Earthy Colors And Textures

One appeal of the rustic decor trend is that it imparts a warm and welcoming feeling, and Auerbach helps achieve that with strategic color and fabric choices. "I like to combine wood and furry textures, including 30s soft camp blankets with a mid-century velvet sofa and sheep skin rug," she explains. "Be generous with the fabrics and textiles — layer-upon-layer of them."

And as evidenced in her own home, earthy hues and materials are crucial for creating a desired mood. "Embrace nature-inspired textures in simple and earthy colors," she says, noting there's one specific material she suggests investing in. "Consider using wicker chairs for both inside and out. They offer an authentic, rustic feel."

Mix It Up

While clearly vintage-inspired, Auerbach makes sure to add a few more modernized pieces to mix things up and not look too on-the-nose. "Pair an industrial wooden table with old school chairs," she suggests as one way to balance things out. You can also look for a few sleeker pieces, like a luxe sofa, to juxtapose with some of the more distressed ones.

Add Some Greenery

Auerbach keeps things fresh and lively in her space by adding in some greenery. "In fact, I'm addicted to buying plants and often run out of stands," she says. Her solution? Try using an old rustic stool for a base instead.