Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Make A Table Look Rustic

These days, the rustic decor style goes by many names. Shabby chic and cottage style favor vintage pieces and flea market finds in pale pastels. The Mexican and Tuscan rustic looks tend toward chunky wooden styles with light or medium stains. The wabi-sabi look, influenced by a Japanese aesthetic of preferring the modest and unadorned over the high-end ornamental, features natural materials in simple whites, antique whites or natural finishes. The French country look favors weathered pieces with artisan details such as hand-painted trim. No matter which type of rustic decor your prefer, your table can serve as the focal point for the look. Does this Spark an idea?


Setting a Rustic Table

1. Clear the table. The rustic look tends to be more spare than cluttered, so you will need to find or create storage for many of the objects that tend to pile up on the table, be they bills or place mats.

2. Determine the table finish you want for a rustic look. If you have a dark wooden table, a simple antique whitewash applied in a single coat so that the darker colors show through creates a classic rustic look. You can also use fine-grain sandpaper to gently sand away the table's paint along the corners and at the table joints, distressing the surface and give it a timeworn look. If you have a table made of unfinished wood, resist the temptation to give it a glossy finish. Weathered gray wood is another effective look for rustic style.

3. Consider textiles. While the shabby chic look may feature a tablecloth in a faded floral or an icy pastel, most rustic dining rooms contain more exposed wood than covered surfaces. Instead, you can use a table runner made of bamboo or rattan to add texture without covering the wooden surface. Woven place mats in muted or earth tones, cloth napkins in organic cotton or an ethnic textile laid as a table runner are other options.

4. Select a centerpiece that evokes rustic style. For a rustic table, accessories made of natural materials work best. Try a battered tin tray lined with river stones or shells, or a simple wooden plate or bowl filled with nuts or bread. For a brighter pop of color, fill a glass bowl with lemons and limes or a tin bucket with wildflowers and sprigs of herbs from your garden.

5. Extend the look with lighting. Simple tea lights in glass votive holders or white pillar candles in wrought iron holders have a rustic charm. A row of Mexican saint candles gives a rustic table a bit more color. A vintage chandelier in wrought iron, holding candles or small flame-shaped lights, casts a moody glow over a rustic table.

Tags: rustic look, look have, natural materials, place mats, rustic decor