Rustic Yard Decorating


Walking into a rustic yard should evoke thoughts of a gentle past, living off the land and a rough yet cozy feeling. This type of decor works especially well for cabins out in the wilderness, but it can be just as effective for homes crammed in cookie-cutter subdivisions. The keys to rustic yard decorating are keeping things simple and natural, and using authentic antiques, or items that look like them, whenever possible.


  • The place to start with a rustic yard is at the border. A rickety-looking but solid wooden fence is an ideal way to frame the yard. You can opt for the traditional picket fence but, instead of painting it a glossy white, go for a rusty brown pocked with dents and vigorously sanded areas to add some texture. Wrought iron fencing also works, as long as you paint it with a faux metallic or aged copper or bronze paint. Even if you don't go for a full-fledged fence, you can use the same border ideas for shorter landscaping boundaries, like around the lawn bed or trees and shrubs. Natural stones also work as rustic boundaries around gardens, patios and flower beds.


  • No rustic yard would be complete without some rustic seating. Wooden benches, again embellished to look distressed, fit the bill perfectly. You can also get creative and invent seats out of half-barrels, a stack of old tires outfitted with a top cushion or a large boulder. Tree stumps work especially well for rustic seating, so don't have them removed from your yard but rather sand the top and cover with a cushion to make a natural stool. Tree trunk parts also work well if you don't happen to have any dying trees to turn into stumps. Get a big, heavy tree base, sand the top and dig a shallow indent where the base can nestle into the ground.


  • Adding the final touches to the rustic yard is where you can have the most fun. None of the embellishments need to be functional for anything other than adding the rustic look. Here you can go hog wild with anything that is heavy, made of thick wood or rusty. Ideal rustic decorations include wagon wheels, tractor parts, rusted farm equipment and old garden tools, like an ancient pitchfork, shovel or rake. You can also improvise functional items, like a bird bath constructed from the base of an old pedestal table topped with an antique metal or porcelain washbasin. Random piles of large rocks in strategic places, like in the corners or on either side of the front door, will also add a rustic touch.

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