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Easy Modern Rustic Apartment Design Ideas

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Modern Rustic Apartment Design Ideas

Modern Rustic Apartment Design Ideas

When you think of modern rustic design styles images of modern farmhouses and contemporary architecture deep in the forest may come to mind. But what about the renter? What about the person living in the center of all of the action downtown? Well this article will show how they can also benefit and enjoy modern rustic décor.

One of the distinguishing factors is the amount of space you have. Many modern rustic design ideas can be applied to a smaller apartment space, but others do not take into account the fact that some rooms have to double in function and serve two purposes. Because you are comparatively limited by space and possibly budget as well, you have to be strategic with your design and purchases.


The first place to start is to know what you are and aren’t allowed to do in your apartment. Check your lease or double check with your landlord about any major plans you might be thinking about regarding apartment decorating or remodeling. Chances are if you present your ideas and it seems like an improvement to the property you will get the green light.

How modern? How Rustic?

You have to think about your situation and what you have to work with. The beauty of this design style is that putting together contrasting ideas of contemporary and natural will have beautiful results. To what degree though on the modern side or rustic side is entirely up to you though.

If you have a very bright, sleek and modern interior then adding in more rustic items or painting a few accent walls might be a good idea. Oppositely if you have exposed brick or beams then adding modern décor may be a better balance.


Minimalism is a beautiful concept and certainly looks great in pictures, but often in reality it is difficult to have a functional space as well. In an apartment with limited space though, it is a good idea to look for items that are functional and can organize and hold a lot of your things. The more you can “hide” your things in pockets, closets and drawers the cleaner feeling it will have and the more spacious it will feel.

If you need help decluttering have a look at Marie Kondo’s book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Do to its popularity she is also staring in a series called “Tidying Up” on Netflix as well. I don’t think we all need to aim to be minimalists, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you might “grow out” of your apartment. Let the limits of the apartment help you decide what is actually worth keeping or not. Let the apartment space also help you keep your modern rustic theme unified and force you to evaluate whether or not that next purchase is in line with your intended theme.

Bring Nature Inside

In order to have a contemporary yet natural design style for your apartment I am a big proponent of actually bringing nature inside. This can be especially important in an urban setting where the concrete jungles pervade. It is not only calming and relaxing to have more greenery around but it also provides oxygen and real connection with nature.

· Plants for Apartments

You don’t necessarily have to have a green thumb to start bringing in some houseplants to liven your place up. There are many very easy to take care of houseplants that will add to the greenery of the room. If necessary, take it in steps and start with a few cactus or terrariums that are very easy to maintain. Slowly work you way up to a bonsai if you are looking for an accent feature. Natural window light is all certain species require, make sure you find a warmer weather type of plant though.

· Kokedama

Another quite unique option for bringing more nature into your space is adding a few Kokedama. Kokedama are moss balls with often small trees or flowers naturally growing out of them. I love this trend because these types of moss plants really provide for the perfect clean and contemporary yet rustic small feature that can be easily added. Some hang on a plastic twine and others are in small rounded pots, almost creating a whole miniature nature scene. They are often left more rustic and hence less maintenance, than a bonsai.

Showcase Seasonal Changes

Adding modern rustic seasonal décor to your apartment is a great way to stay in tune with nature. You could decide on one or two places that you will always switch our with seasonal items. A few vases could also hold seasonal flowers or dried tree branches etc. A very modern piece of pottery or bright colored vase could contrastingly hold a few very rustic items.

· Create a Memory By Going Outside

If you are in a very urban area this may take a little research to even see what flowers are in season but it will really change your apartment’s feel. Take a trip to the park or go on a light hike, gathering up things that may have fallen or represent nature at that moment. They will also have more significant value for you because you are creating a memory in the collecting of it. Spend your money wisely and get a few very nice vases or pottery, handmade always ads a uniqueness as well. Then save your money on buying flowers all the time and go out and collect.

Nature inspired interior

For inspiration, have a look at some of the Japanese Ikebana displays, which will show you again that less is more. This blend of nature and human creativity is something you may come to really have fun with and will also create a talking point in your apartment. Another way to save is start a small flower bed out on a patio or inside using planters. You have the benefit of starting from seed, which is also cheaper, but the growing display is a part of nature and you can take a few select flowers and display them in your vase as well.

Shopping List

One thing I recommend is that you do your furniture shopping all together at one time if possible. Similarly, buying your decorating items at one time also will keep your look more fluid because you will be the same mindset. You can always add and change items, especially with the seasons, later on but the base theme should be bought at the same time.

Modern Rustic Studio Apartment

There is nothing like walking into a beautifully executed open space concept in a studio apartment. The problem is you have to be more creative with your space and fit a kitchen, living room, and bedroom into one area.

Start with the idea of less is more, but be bold with what you do choose to add. A mirror can be large and attractive as well as functional. Japanese apartments and homes are notoriously small and they have come up with some ingenuous ways to hide things. The more you can keep all of your essentials out of site, the cleaner and larger your space will appear.

· What Do You Do With a Bedroom in a Studio Apartment?

I think the major issue for studio apartments is what to do with the bed. You don’t really want to invite people over and make them sit there and stare at your bed. This is the space where you would like some privacy.

The first idea has to do with tucking it away. Murphy-beds attach to the wall and can easily be folded up and put away. We have one and when it is up it only looks like a large dresser, but without the handles so it is very solid and clean looking. It is very comfortable and you can get various degrees of soft or firm mattresses that accompany it.

Similarly, in Japan they use a futon, the real kind of futon, which is a thick cushion with blankets. The whole “bed” gets folded up together each day and put away in a deep closet. This kind of disappearing act creates a lot more space for you, providing you have enough sofas and other sitting arrangements when the bed is put away. Yes this will add a habit to your daily activities of having to put away and open them when it’s time to sleep so you have to think about whether the space is worth the extra activity.

If you do have enough space in your studio then I would suggest adding head height bookshelves as a room divider. They are quite functional as a divider as well as creating a place to keep books and what not. Think about whether you want to have a cleaner look facing the rest of the room or not, this will determine from which direction you will see the books, which will usually tend to add a cluttered or busy look. Bookshelves facing the bed may also encourage you to have a read before bed, a good calming practice to get into anyway.

Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Rustic Apartment

Whether your apartment is a studio or not, there are a few essentials that you need to embrace the style. There is the bed itself which we can break down into: · Bedframe Style

You have to decide if you are going to lean more modern or rustic with the bed. A Rustic look would be great and you could use reclaimed or distressed wood for the bedframe and headboard. If you are interested in DIY I recommend these woodworking plans, they are very easy to follow and the final product is great.

A Japanese style low bed can be both rustic with a natural wood and have a very contemporary feeling to it.

· The Mattress

Your mattress is another area that you do not want to skimp on. Spend more money on something that will help sleep soundly all night to energize you all day. The revitalizing power of sleep should never be underestimated. I prefer memory foam mattresses, and they come in a variety of firmness, so choose what’s best for your preferred sleeping style.

· The Nightstands

Usually you will add nightstands near the bed, which can be another good storage area. If you happen to choose a lower to the ground bed then you might want to find and interesting lower 1 or 2 foot high shelf or nightstand.

Contemporary and Natural Apartment Kitchen & Dining Décor

For the apartment kitchen and dining room you mainly need to focus on the tables and chairs. There is a wide variety of contemporary tables as well as think wooden rustic slabs. A high-top kitchen table with bar stool can also add a contemporary feeling and save space if you can push the bar stools completely under the table.

Modern Rustic Apartment Living Room Ideas

Your apartment living room may or may not de a distinct are of its own. Many times if you have an open kitchen this will overlap into the living room, especially in apartments with limited space. An island may sort of be the dividing line between the two areas and you need to figure out if you want to highlight them as separate living spaces or have a continuous look and decor throughout each.

· Modern Rustic Lighting

This is another area where you should do all of the shopping at the same time so you keep you style cohesive. I have a whole article on this large subject if you’d like to get a few more ideas on Modern Rustic Lighting options.

· Sofa

There are many small apartment sofas but remember that key is comfort. A larger one may be a good investment if you entertain often and have friends over. Small or large, make sure it is durable and comfortable if this is going to be a lace you plan on spending a lot of time.

· Coffee Table

This is another item that I recommend finding something that you can also squeeze some greats storage into underneath. An open bottom piece would make the room feel larger, but a rustic wood looking table with drawers underneath can be a great place to keep a lot of things out of sight.

· TV

A TV is usually a necessary part of our modern lives, but you can balance the high tech electrical with a rustic TV stand underneath. Even if you wall mount it, the stand provides for more storage underneath. Some wall mount TVs nowadays also double as a mirrors so when you aren’t watching it blends into the wall like a mirror. It’s a great way to downplay the TV and stop it from being the center of attention in the living room.

· Wall Art

Your apartment wall art can be original and bold or smaller and blending into the modern rustic decor. If you are going for the less is more route then get a piece of art that is handmade and you have a connection too. Going with a nature themed piece of art will also keep you on track the modern rustic theme.

· Firewood

Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you could take a bookshelf row and add some firewood to it. Displaying firewood provides a very warm and rustic feeling. Get creative and actually mix rows of firewood with other rows of books, bringing a unique contemporary feel to it. You can cut the wood yourself to fit the length perfectly or buy the wood at local home centers.

Apartment Patio Furniture

One often-overlooked area is the patio, which is if your apartment has one that is. This may be a very small veranda but you still may be able to fit some apartment patio furniture, like a small bistro table set, in there. You should aim to keep the same modern rustic theme outside as you do inside as well.

Depending on your space more planters or living garden items may make for great waist high barriers that give you some privacy but still a view.

As you can see from some of these modern rustic apartment design ideas this style of design is not only for a modern farmhouse with beautiful mountain views. You can aim to bring nature inside and incorporate this with contemporary influences as well. Visit us at ShizenStyle to see more ways you can create a modern rustic lifestyle.

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