Marie Konda, legend of decluttering and reorganizing, once said, “Letting go is even more important than adding.” This quote resounds with most minimalists, and especially with people who adore the outdoors. For people like this, Pacific Northwest Rustic is the style for them. They reject materialism in favor of a clean, natural look to reflect their love for the wilderness and exploration. Their very nature is to avoid living in excess and to seek out beautiful and comforting spaces. Pacific Northwest Rustic decorators love the smells of cedar and pine, treasure the feeling of tree bark, and cherish the hushed burbling of a creek. Their spaces are cozy and welcoming all while embracing the beauty of the natural world. If this sounds like you and you’re interested in how to make this vision come to life, keep reading for the best ways to style your home!
It’s rainy and foggy in Washington, but the home in the mountains is warm and inviting. Guests enter in raincoats and boots and put their umbrellas in the jute umbrella holder by the front door. From the foyer, they can see the kitchen and the living room with plenty of open space. A fireplace crackles in the living room and soft jazz plays in the background. As the rain taps on the floor to ceiling windows, guests look out to see enormous pine trees on the edge of the backyard.
The Pacific Northwest Rustic Style is minimalist, cozy, and evokes tranquility. The Pacific Northwest itself – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – boast dramatic landscapes. Mountains tower in the background, verdant green forests surround homes, and vast oceans hug the western coasts of Washington and Oregon. The landscapes entice people to walk through them and experience their beauty. This style tries to put these scenery at the foreground of the design plan while making the home a place of comfort and simplicity.
A clutterless, open space with earthy tones is what Pacific Northwest Rustic brings to a space. Home is a comfortable place to relax and read a book while sipping some tea and honey while the rain gently falls on the roof. After a long camping trip, it’s a place to cool off, clean up, and recline by the fireplace to watch a movie. Ultimately, a Pacific Northwest Rustic home is a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the world; a place to kick off the shoes of the working world and slide into tranquility. The style is simple and the effort it takes to apply to a space is just as easy.
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The Pacific Northwest has a variety of color palettes to use based on the lush environments that the style belongs to. Oregon is home to some beautiful forests for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. For a cabin-like experience think of a forest full of evergreens. Use palettes of dark greens, light blues, and warm-colored woods like Cherry, Hickory, or Oak to create this look.
Perhaps the style is more like the Rocky Mountains of Montana. Try creamy whites, gray stone, and walnut wood for the space. A light blue might work as a nice touch for the beautiful sky that serves as a backdrop for the Montana Rockies. Incorporating bright whites and dark gray will feel more like winter time in the Rockies and give a space a clean, fresh feeling.
Are you a beach bum? Washington and Oregon border the Pacific Ocean, so that’s fair game for Pacific Northwest Rustic. The beach in these states tends to be cooler, so instead of going for a beach house feeling full of seashells and bright blues try on some more calming colors like a sage green or a blue-gray. For an even more coastal feeling, try sandy whites, deep blues, and light greens. The home doesn’t all have to be the same style and color either, maybe the home takes guests through the different environments of the Pacific Northwest.
The raw-er the better in Pacific Northwest Rustic! One of the best parts of exploring the many national parks in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho is getting to touch and feel the natural world. Think rough gray stones against a smooth white wall. The contrast will draw the eye to the stone. Perhaps the old hardwood floor can be sanded and polished to give a nice smooth feeling to the feet. Woods in general offer a wide variety of textures to a space: well-polished and stained woods are nice and smooth, but a coffee table made out of a tree trunk will have odd knots and patterns.
Textures help provide a wonderful feeling of comfort as well. Curl up with a soft knit throw blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. A wool blanket is much warmer and is a perfect item to bring outside to the firepit as well. A quilted pillow is both warm and will make anyone feel at home. Shag rugs will make for happy toes that could replicate the feeling of squishing toes into the wet sand. Varying textures will make an aesthetically pleasing space, but keeping it cozy is just as effective.
Since the style of Pacific Northwest Rustic is rather simple, using patterns sparingly is a good way to spice up the space a little bit! That woolen throw blanket could have a Pacific Northwest Indian Eagle on it. Those throw pillows could have some wonderful forest-y designs, maybe even birds! On the floor, try a rug with stripes or Native American designs.
Try stepping away from the chic styles of modern city living and go with whatever feels the most comforting. Forget the clean cut lines of the city skyscrapers and focus on the natural unpredictable way nature creates its own patterns. Consider the beautiful asymmetry of a leaf, the strange way branches curve towards the sun, and the wild beauty of a flowery meadow. Pacific Northwest Rustic embraces the natural imperfections of the wild and so the home should reflect the same.
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Pacific Northwest Rustic will take whatever space is available and start by decluttering it. Removing what’s unnecessary and replacing it with more open space is the name of the game. If the space is especially small, cleaning, organizing, and throwing away will be the most important first step. Then, decorating the room based on the intended vibe will bring the room to its full potential.
Pacific Northwest Rustic is minimalist so it won’t necessarily ask that a lot of money be spent on the renovation and decor. Some carpets are just plain ugly, old, or dingy. Replacing a carpet is expensive though, so that limits a lot of options. This may sound crazy, but putting a rug on top of the old carpet actually works wonders. Try something striped or plaid to draw the eye away from the not-so-lovely carpet in the home. Change the rug texture entirely – a jute rug on top of a carpet? Brilliant! – and nobody will think twice about that lackluster carpet from the 80s.
If there is money in the budget, try replacing the floor with wood or something wood-adjacent. A laminate flooring is cheaper while still looking great and is easy to install. For a home with pets and children, a high traffic vinyl flooring with a wooden pattern is an excellent option. Either way, these woods will add a lot of warm patterns to any room. Matching them to other accents in the room, like wood beams on the ceilings, will give home the feel of a mountain cabin.
If rooms in the home have wood paneling, Pacific Northwest Rustic thinks this is a great thing! Freshen it up with some white chalk paint and then lightly sand it to give it a worn look. This will add a rustic texture to the walls without breaking the bank. If the space is small, try using colors that make the room feel larger. In a room with less natural light, try cooler colors like gray, light blue, or a soft black. With more natural light, try going with pale blue or a neutral taupe or white. Further increase the size of the room by using lighter color trims and accents.
With a fireplace and some extra money in the budget, add some light gray stone around the outside and contrast it with a dramatic wall paint. To take it to the next level, try using a photograph that you took of a beautiful landscape and use that as the centerpiece for the room to build off of. A landscape picture of a mountain line on a deep blue wall could be just the outdoorsy touch the room needs to bring it all together.
Painting the ceilings white is what most people will do to make the room seem as big as possible. Pacific Northwest Rustic, though, encourages a little more creativity. It’s a fun trick to paint the ceiling something that will reflect the natural light in the room. A light orange will give the room the feeling of a sunset while a light yellow will give the room energy. Hate the ceiling in the home? Cover it with wood paneling! It’ll cover up what you don’t like while giving the room the outdoors-y style Pacific Northwest Rustic craves.
To add additional texture and comfort, use wooden beams across the ceiling for a cabin-y vibe. Just be sure to match the colors with the trim and accents of the rest of the room. Then, consider the ceiling fixtures. A gray wooden ceiling fan with black metal accents could be what the room calls for. A really cool option is an antique chandelier - the kind found in taverns with candles and black metal instead of crystals.
DALY 9665 SAND
Looking out the wide windows, the backyard is full of greenery. Trees of all shapes and sizes surround the home, the backyard gardens flourish in the warm rain-y weather, and the mist from the field nearby give the woods an ethereal feeling. Why would anyone want to block off the view from such a beautiful scene?
Floor to ceiling windows are the most ideal option for Pacific Northwest Rustic since they let in the most natural light and show off the beautiful landscape that surrounds the home. Bay windows accomplish a similar task by letting in a ton of light. Sheer white curtains on bay windows allow for plenty of light to enter the room while also keeping things a little more private.
Another thing to consider with windows is the trim around them. Add a white trim or something very light to make the windows seem both bigger and the room brighter. If there’s a room in the middle of the house with no windows and it’s within the budget, put in a skylight for more natural light. It’s not practical for everyone, but it does also give a nice peek into the sky and provides a lovely ambiance when it rains.
Pacific Northwest Rustic’s furnishings are simple but very unique! Items are normally handcrafted or old furnishings revamped and given new life. Plenty of DIY can be incorporated in the creation of this space. So, get out that chalk paint, a tarp, and some sandpaper and let’s get started!
The most magnificent piece of wood is the centerpiece of this Pacific Northwest Rustic dining room. It’s a dark walnut wood, smoothed, sanded, and sealed. The natural knotting and waves that run through this slab of wood are displayed not as imperfections, but as the intricate beauty of life. When you feel the edges, you feel the rough texture of the bark and the natural curvature of the tree it came from.
Many Amish furniture stores make live edge tables much like this one in all shapes and sizes. The best is that each one is unique, so you’ll get a different grain and shape for each one. Live Edge tables are expensive, but they are well worth it. It doesn’t have to be a dining room table; live edge tables come in pub, coffee, and end table sizes for more cost effective options that bring that woodsy feeling to the room.
Otherwise, keep the furniture simple - plenty of wood and wrought iron. Painting some old furniture with white chalk paint or other dulled colors and then sanding the corners will refresh it with a new farmhouse look. Couches and chairs can mismatch and be brought together with similar throw pillows or blankets. Set up furniture near the windows and the most light for a bright welcome space.
Pacific Northwest Rustic is minimalist, so decorations tend to be limited to necessity. Think coat hooks on the walls, an attractive place to put shoes in the mudroom, and a well-organized closet for camping and hiking gear. Instead of going to Home Goods and buying out their decor section, try going for more natural ideas. Dry some flower bouquets to fill small glass bottles or grab some branches and bundle them in an attractive way.
Hanging baskets and floor plants are a great addition to the big open windows that are letting in plenty of natural light. Outdoor decor can help fill your big beautiful windows as well! It could be as simple as a flower box or as in depth as a full size garden. If the area around the space is cold, try adding some outdoor string lights to lighten up the backyard at night. Pacific Northwest Rustic isn’t a style just to be done in those three states! It can be done anywhere and any time of year. Take advantage of the landscapes of the environment.
Walking out in the spring weather is one of the most uplifting parts of living in an area with four seasons. It’s reviving, like coming out of a dark cave during a long winter. In the Pacific Northwest, it can often be cloudy, so the bigger the windows the better the natural light. Regardless of where someone is located, natural light has a way of improving our outlook – we tend to feel more positive with more windows.
Encourage more light in the room by keeping windows clean and free of streaks and dirt and limit the amount of window treatments on bigger windows. Put mirrors on the walls where it can reflect natural light into the room - near a window or close to it. Swap existing exterior doors with doors with windows. Full length windowed doors are a great way to get as much light as possible or a storm door for the front door can do the trick. .
If natural light is a challenge to get into a room, vary the kinds of lighting around the room. Overhead lights are great, but adding table lamps and floor lamps will reflect more light off of the walls in the home. Warm whites are usually the bulbs that are used, but bright whites could give the idea of additional natural light. Test out different bulbs to see how it changes the room - the bluer a bulb in a white room, the more washed out it can feel. .
You’ve found your way to the end of the style guide, congratulations! With some solid ideas to make your space simple, cozy, and full of natural light, you might be considering the options for rugs that you could use. After all, what would look better underneath a live wood table than an indigenous style rug? Take a look at The Rug Truck’s curated collection below to get some more ideas for your space!