Rustic Master Bedroom Trends

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Bedrooms, Designing, How-To, Room-By-Room

If you thought barn doors, reclaimed wood wall coverings, and open-beam ceilings were only the domain of rural log cabin homes, think again. It’s 2018 and pretty much everyone from the single-family homeowner to the loft dweller to the apartment renter wants these and other rustic elements blended into their abodes. Driven by TV personalities like Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper, who uses whitewashed shiplap and barn doors in any area of the house where she sees fit, this trend is making rustic elements, furniture, and materials more accessible than ever.

And nowhere are these features more welcome than in the master bedroom of a log cabin home, where Lynn Gastineau of Gastineau Log Homes in New Bloomfield, Missouri, says size and space are the name of the game. “In some cases, our customers are looking for master bedrooms that are larger than their living rooms,” says Gastineau. “We’re also seeing more vaulted ceilings, adjacent porches and patios, and even homes that have multiple master bedrooms [e.g., one for the owners, a guest suite, and then a mother-in-law suite].”

In terms of rustic elements, Gastineau says more homeowners are incorporating fireplaces into their master bedrooms and, for two-story homes, beamed ceilings. Others want whitewashed wood (versus natural colors) and hardwood floors (versus carpeting), both of which help to create a more rustic, country feel. To bring some of the country indoors, other people want huge sliding glass doors that can be opened completely (i.e., four sliding panels that, when open, create a six-foot-wide opening).

Photo by Karl Neumann

Not Just for Sleeping Anymore

At Blue Ridge Log Cabins, Sarah Smith, marketing director and chief director of the firm’s Luxe Log Home Line, says one of the biggest shifts she’s seen over the last few years is the reality that “bedrooms aren’t just for sleeping anymore.” Where the master bedroom of old may have included a bed, a dresser, and a nightstand or two—and was meant mainly for getting a good night’s sleep—the space is now being used as a workspace, gym, nap area, or personal sanctuary.

Because of this, people are incorporating more interesting design elements—many of which are rustic and rural—into their master bedrooms. “Owners want everything from outdoor decks and balconies to coffee/wet bars to expanded sitting areas in their master bedrooms, all with the goal of being able to work and live as close to that space as possible,” says Smith. A coffee or wet bar that’s built into the master, for example, means homeowners don’t have to run over to another room—or, downstairs—to fix a drink or brew a cup of joe.

Many owners choose to enjoy those drinks outside, where their cabin’s natural rustic settings can facilitate a quick transition from outside to in (and vice versa). And while raw, natural materials are expected in most log cabin homes, the same approach can be taken with the furniture and design elements used in the master bedroom. Wide-plank wood floors, barn doors hung with rustic metal elements, and cooler tones that “warm up” a room all come together to create a unique sense of place.

“Wooden, log furniture is really popular right now for masters,” says Smith, “and tends to look very good in large bedrooms.” In a move away from the historical plaids, quilts, and complementary décor found in older log homes, today’s owners are more interested in a “rustic chic” approach that combines beautiful brown leather beds and lighter colored comforters, barnwood ceilings, and other blends of contemporary and modern with rustic.

Smith says the trend toward creating rustic chic master bedrooms goes hand in hand with an overall desire to create modern log cabin homes that leverage the best of both worlds—rustic and modern. “We’re seeing a trend where log cabins aren’t stigmatized, or just thought of as being ‘country’ or ‘super rustic’ anymore,” says Smith. “Instead, owners are taking the log home basics and then really customizing them and making them their own, which is pretty cool.”

Sarah Jones Design, Kelly & Stone Architects, Jim Morrison Construction, Westgate Hardwoods/photo by Roger Wade

Achieving the Look You Want

To new or existing log cabin owners who want to give their master bedrooms a modern flair while also retaining the space’s rustic beauty, Smith says taking simple steps like uncluttering the space or avoiding large, bulky pieces that would quickly fill up a room are good first steps. In smaller rooms, for example, a few rustic accents may be enough to achieve the look that you want.

“Consider finishing your walls or putting barnwood on your bedroom ceiling to give it a warm, welcoming feel,” says Smith, who tells owners to focus on timeless, classic pieces of furniture and décor. “You can never really go wrong with neutrals, and you can always add pops of color with pillows and throws.”

Gastineau says new homeowners can take very simple steps to help create a rustic bedroom of their dreams, and that sometimes it starts with adding beams on the ceiling. “Even if it’s just for aesthetics, it’s a pretty cool way to get that natural feel into a master,” she says, noting that light fixtures can also go a long way in creating a rustic space. “There are all different types of fixture sizes, shapes, and materials/metals available on the market right now that can help make a space very welcoming and comfortable.”