Urban Rustic Design Plan
To achieve an Urban Rustic look (think Modern Rustic, only less ornate), we wanted to blend elements seen in farmhouses and those associated with big city design (more factory than penthouse), especially those prominent in the early 20th century. Although mostly informal, we also wanted the look of our house to incorporate a few modern ‘bling’ items along the way, too.
For more info on the dichotomy between rural areas and big cities, and how the suburbs fit in, go here: Building in the Suburbs
Here are the main design elements for both the exterior and the interiors:
Wood (e.g. Charred Cedar)
Some really helpful videos that gave me the confidence to try this:
The charring is surprisingly easy to do with a little practice. If, however, you’re not up for it, but you’d still like to use it on your own house, here are some companies that will do it for you:
deltamillworks.com (featured in the Risinger video above)
resawntimberco.com (they have a lot of cool options — even flooring!)
I use their Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent products to finish the cedar, and it works great on concrete or stone, especially when going for an “aged” effect. We’re also going to use it for finishing our wood floors — produces a fairly durable, easy to touch-up, slightly amber matte finish. It is also very easy to work with.
I really like their Craftsman mix — great for decorative pieces, easy to work with, and it produces really great results (and it’s easy to add glass or pigment to the mix as well). Their Bone Paste slurry mix is also fun to use, and great for creating dramatic highlights when filling voids.
homemade-modern.com (they have interesting projects, with easy to follow instructions)
Concrete is usually thought of as oppressive and ugly, but there’s actually a lot of interesting ways to use it that bring out its potential as a decorative element.
Below is a concrete piece using Buddy Rhodes with real coffee beans embedded in the concrete (the beans were on the bottom of the form before pouring the concrete over them). I used the Dark Tung oil product from realmilkpaint.com to give it an added “aged” effect:
We’re going for an Urban Rustic look and feel, so there will be some factory/farm tools, with a variety of similar objects around as well — either partly reconditioned, like below, or re-contextualized in some fun way: