Beautifully Unique Rustic Home Décor Ideas That Aren't Paintings

Rustic interior styles are rugged and inviting, with a focus on bringing natural elements into the home. They incorporate lots of cozy adornments, which often includes plenty of wall décor to add vertical detail and warmth. Paintings are one way to dress your walls, but there are plenty of other creative, rustic wall décor options as well. We've rounded up some ideas that go beyond paintings. They're just as beautiful, but a little more distinctive as well.

If you're wondering where to start when designing a rustic home, we have a comprehensive guide to rustic décor. Common elements in this design style include real wood with a natural finish. Texture is important for creating a rugged and homey atmosphere. Incorporating both organic materials and texture really leans into the unfussy feel of the rustic style. Heavy furniture, antique pieces, and distressed items are common. Think about what looks perfectly at home in a traditional log cabin, and you'll have an idea of the rustic design style. Wall décor can (and should!) go far beyond paintings, and can include anything from fabric wall hangings to tacking a pair of vintage snowshoes on the wall. Keep reading for some unique rustic home décor ideas to bring ultimate coziness to your space.

Hang your favorite rustic cookware pieces in the kitchen

Hanging items along the wall in a rustic kitchen lends to the unpretentious feeling of this design style. Choose your nicest-looking cookware to display (copper and cast iron pots and pans look particularly rustic), and if you have the space, also hang your most-used kitchen items to keep them within easy reach. Beyond cookware, you can mount cutting boards, knives, serving spoons, and more. Not only does this idea look stylish, it's also practical. Making use of wall space is one of the best ways to maximize storage, especially if you're looking for small kitchen ideas to make your space feel bigger.

Fabric wall hangings add incredible coziness

Fabric wall décor brings beautiful texture to rustic rooms and can really tie a space together. These soft decorations help to create the cozy feel that's a hallmark of this design style. Fabric wall décor is ideal for all types of rustic rooms, but it's particularly perfect if you're looking to create a modern rustic bedroom. There are plenty of options to choose from too, including textile art pieces, macramé hangings, tapestries, and curtains. You can even make your own macramé feather décor with a few materials. You can also include textile art pieces into your home through things like framed batik cloths, or by hanging up a handmade rug.

Embroidered art is like a painting, but with more texture

If you don't love the look of most textile art, you can still give embroidery a chance. Embroidering is essentially like drawing with thread, so embroidered art can look like a sketch or painting, but it still has that soft textural element. Unlike many pieces of fabric art, most embroidered pieces are also possible to frame too, perfect if you want to add them to a gallery wall. You can buy embroidery wall art from local craft markets or websites like Etsy. Some sellers even offer custom designs, like this Etsy option where you can get customized text embroidered onto a hoop, starting at a little over $35.

Framed mirrors fit right in with any rustic room (and make it feel bigger too)

There are many creative ways to use mirrors that can make a space look bigger and brighter — something most paintings can't do! They look nice in any area, from the dining room to the bedroom. Many mirrors on the market look too modern, minimalist, and plain for a rustic room. To fit the theme, look for a framed mirror, or even better, one that's framed with natural wood. Curved edges, like on this arched mirror, can also make your selection look more relaxed instead of modern.

Wood wall art is cozy and natural

Natural wood elements are a must-have in a rustic home. Wood furniture is key, but if you want to incorporate even more of this material, look for wood wall art. There are plenty of options, ranging widely in size and price. For example, this sliced teak root wall art which costs $429 from Crate & Barrel is a major statement piece. The Furrow Wood Art Plaque from AllModern is another eye-catching work that's a bit more affordable, costing $162. Or, you can create your own wood wall art, similar to this example from @hegestudsrud, by using thrifted wood serving boards.

Frame vintage photos or pages out of an old book instead of paintings

Paintings and prints can be pricey, and if you're looking for a particular style, they can be hard to find as well. If you like vintage wall décor, consider thrifting your next piece of art. It might still take a bit of work, but at least it isn't expensive. Shop vintage photos, magazines, and books from your local thrift store, rifle through and find your favorites, and then frame and mount them on the wall. This provides a rustic art piece that's both unique and affordable.

Old plates and serving trays are also a gorgeous option

Speaking of thrift shop finds, old plates, platters, and trays can also work as creative pieces of wall art. Whether it's your own hand-me-down pieces or something you come across at the local thrift store (many are brimming with these items), you can mount it to the wall as-is to make an unpretentious piece of décor. Install a few to make a gorgeous vintage gallery wall. To do so, you can use plate hangers, like these ones from Rocky Mountain Goods that sell for just under $7 on Amazon.

Use a wall of hooks to hang baskets and other bits and bobs for an unfussy rustic look

Wall hooks are a useful item in any room, from the bedroom to the kitchen. They particularly suit rustic home styles since they have a relaxed feel to them. Hang baskets for extra storage, or simply suspend items directly from the hooks to lean into the unfussy look. To keep it rustic, it's important to incorporate wood elements, whether that's the hooks themselves or a wood background, for example, metal or plastic hooks on a wooden base.

Hooks can also be used to hang seasonal décor

Turn hanging hooks into even more of a décor feature by using them for decoration rather than simply storage. This idea allows you to hang items on the wall, while offering tons of flexibility. It's simple to switch out décor, so this is an especially great idea if you love changing your decorations with the seasons. If you're a renter, don't fret; you can use peel-and-stick products to attach hooks to the wall, or even over-the-door hooks (like this rustic option that's available on Amazon for under $30) to decorate a door instead of a wall.

A blanket ladder is practical and looks nice too

Compared to hanging hooks, an even more renter-friendly option is to lean a blanket ladder against a wall. This means no stickies or over-the-door hooks that can still possibly leave some marks behind. Plus, it provides storage space, and with the extra soft texture of blankets, can make a room feel even more homey. A wood blanket ladder will look particularly rustic. Case in point: this teak blanket ladder from Crate & Barrel. This ladder retails for almost $200, but you can get more affordable options on Amazon, such as this 6-tier ladder for roughly $50. If you're handy, you can also DIY your own rustic blanket ladder.

The right wallpaper can elevate a rustic space

Instead of mounting a painting, turn the wall itself into a piece of art. One of the easiest ways to do so is with wallpaper. Most peel-and-stick wallpaper is removable, so this idea is also suitable for rental homes. Choose a vintage-inspired pattern that's welcoming and warm for a rustic space. And of course, you can also add the other décor elements from this list to wallpapered walls. If no wallpaper is really catching your eye and you prefer something more unique, you can work with an artist to create custom wall art.

Natural rustic wreaths are an easy-to-install addition to a wall

Wreaths aren't just for the holidays. Use them year-round to bring both nature and texture to interior walls. Go for deeper earth-toned options rather than colorful wreaths — so along the lines of leaves and branches rather than flowers. Greens and browns fit the muted color palette of rustic homes. Wreaths are a good choice for renters too. Their volume can easily hide renter-friendly mounting options like Command hooks. A wreath over a mantel can be an especially homey placement.

Plants fit right in with a rustic home

Houseplants are always a mood booster, and can be incorporated into any décor style, including rustic. Again, choose plants with more muted hues, like brown, green, dark yellow, and other softer colors. And don't dismiss dried plants. This photo from @malthousecottage shows how to decorate a wall with dried flowers, with a large display across the ceiling of the kitchen. If you have a few perennial herb plants that you need to cut back, hanging bunches of lavender, oregano, or rosemary can add a perfectly rustic, bucolic element to a kitchen or scullery. 

Empty picture frames showcase how beautiful some frames really are

Got some gorgeous frames but no paintings to fill them? Don't fret! The frames themselves can be turned into a piece of wall art. A common feature of rustic home décor is turning something old into something new. If you have wooden picture frames, especially ones with intricate details, you can display them on a shelf or even mount them. Choose frames of different sizes and colors to add visual interest. Consider hanging other items on the frames and filling the shelf with knick-knacks to make it look more inviting and warm.

Hang maps instead of paintings

If none of the previous ideas catch your eye, maybe this one will do the trick. It should definitely appeal to anyone bitten by the travel bug. Instead of hanging paintings (or vintage photos or book pages), display maps instead. Even better, vintage-style maps have that traditional look that fits so well with rustic interiors. This photo from @curatedcosy shows a map hanging from a wall-mounted hook, but you can also frame a map for a slightly more formal look.

A big clock can make a statement

Equal parts stylish and useful, a large clock is another alternative to hanging a painting. Choose a clock that looks a bit old-fashioned to suit the rustic décor style. Analog is the way to go, and elements like Roman numeral numbers and wood framing can give a clock a vintage appearance. Or, choose a clock that has both, like this oversized wooden wall clock ($229 from Pottery Barn), a pick that will look beautiful in a rustic room.

Decorate with used items

This photo from @makinghomematter shows how creative you can get with rustic wall décor. This bedroom has paint brushes, framed as an art piece above the bed. The unpretentious and modest feel of rustic style gives you lots of flexibility to experiment. If something catches your fancy or holds special meaning for you, why not stick it in a frame and display it? If it has a well-worn appearance, like these obviously used paint brushes, it will even better fit a rustic space. Other items you can use to decorate include horseshoes, scrap pieces of wood, gardening tools, crafting materials, wicker trays, and more. 

Cabin-inspired items are even better

When you think of rustic décor, log cabins most likely come to mind. Hark back to this classic rustic homestead with cabin-inspired decorations. A feature in some cabins and lodges is to mount items associated with cabin life to the walls as décor — and it's even better if it's vintage. This example from @hiddenmooselodge shows a pair of skis and poles installed on the wall. But any cozy cabin items will do, including snow shoes, canoe paddles, snow sleds, ice skates, and any other items you associate with winter up at the lodge.

Vintage items work nicely too

If you don't have any of the above items lying around, a trip to the thrift store is sure to reveal some treasures. Knick-knacks fit right in with the cozy aesthetic of rustic décor. Why not stick some on your walls? This photo from @citygirl_farmhouse shows a mix of vintage items installed as a gallery wall. An old pennant flag, a couple of weathered door knob plates, and what looks to be a few chair legs might be junk to some, but become a gorgeous vintage display when put together.

A wood photo mount takes a picture wall from plain to rustic

It's heart-warming to have a wall covered in your favorite snapshots, and it can work really well in a homey, rustic room. Take things to the next level by mounting your photos on a few planks of wood. This is such a simple DIY: You just need some pieces of timber, a length of twine, and some wooden clothes pegs. If you're renting, this lightweight project is fairly easy to attach to your wall with Command Photo Hangers ($16.98 for a gallery wall pack on Amazon), which won't leave damage behind.

Hang natural elements from the walls

Natural wall decorations are pretty much a must-have in a rustic home. In cabins and lodges, the most classic option is a taxidermy animal head, but we understand that this idea is definitely not for everyone. There are fake options available, like the Faux Stag Deer Head for $144.99 from Near & Deer. Natural rustic wall décor also doesn't need to have anything to do with animals at all. This example from @the_old_cottage shows a bundle of dried poppy plants pinned to the wall, which really adds to the rustic atmosphere.

A floor-to-ceiling bookshelf is great for a large book collection

Books can take up a lot of storage space in a bookworm's home. But with rustic styling, you don't need to make them look perfectly neat. One great thing about rustic home décor is the casual aspect, so you can use your books as decoration, regardless of their size, shape, and level of wear and tear. A floor-to-ceiling shelf brimming with books works perfectly in a bedroom or living room. Choose a wooden bookshelf to include that natural element that's key for this decorating style.

Vintage wood shutters and doors make for pretty décor

Slatted wood shutters go hand in hand with a cottage or cabin-inspired aesthetic, and they're a gorgeous feature to include in rustic homes as well. Natural wood is always beautiful, but a distressed painted finish is just as eye-catching and looks vintage. You can use window shutters and doors as intended or you can repurpose them as decoration. For example, this photo from @chateaudelaruche shows an old door as a headboard, but you can also use it as a room divider or mount it as part of an eclectic gallery wall.

Old-fashioned windows can have the same effect

Old-fashioned windows also ooze cottagecore charm. In this case, we really mean any window with a frame that looks like it could belong on a cabin or lodge — as opposed to large, frameless modern windows popular in contemporary homes. This example from @seethegood_8.28 displays a window beautifully placed as a piece of wall décor, dressed it up with faux leaves and hanging decorations. With a busy scene around it, the window doesn't look out of place but blends into a lived-in background.

A big wood accent wall is so beautiful

It's pretty much impossible to have too much wood in a rustic home. To really feel like you're bringing nature indoors, a large wood accent wall is an art piece to consider. This one uses various small rounds of wood to create a stunning focal wall. If you're looking for a distinctive project that makes a statement, this is a memorable one. The finished project also leans a bit contemporary — it's not something we've ever seen in an old-fashioned lodge — so it's excellent if you're after a modern-rustic look.