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4 Ways to Use Distressed Wood for a Rustic Home Décor

It seems everywhere you turn today you are seeing stainless steel appliances and sleek home designs that create modern, clean spaces. While that is a very fashionable look, the flip side to this genre of home décor is something a bit more eclectic, and what some might call “rustic”.

If you prefer something a little more rustic, then you’ll fall in love with distressed wood for your kitchen cabinets, rustic floors, wall paneling and furniture. If you are in search of distressed wood for your home, we’ve found a few gems to jump start your research.


There are many types of cabinets you may install in your home. Kitchen cabinets, are usually the first priority, but then you must consider cabinets for the bathroom and perhaps a walk-in closet or pantry.

If you prefer a more rustic cabinet design, distressed wood is a great option and there a couple ways to create this look. The most natural way is to use antique, reclaimed and salvaged wood which has an abundance of natural color variation, character, and rustic charm. Some cabinet manufacturers also offer techniques to hand-distress the wood, to create character. You can also use faux finish techniques to create a distressed or antique effect. We’ll show you some examples of each.

Reclaimed Wood

Salvaged wood like barnwood or oak antique flooring can be used to build cabinet doors, when you want natural color and character. Every hole, stain, crack and color variation has been created over decades of natural aging as floor joist or beam, in a factory or barn. In some cases, like the project below you may even get original paint added to the mix. This look is primitive, but charming and as authentic as you could possibly be.

When considering antique wood, make sure you have an understanding of the variety of character and color you are going to get, as well as the rough texture you should expect.

Faux Distressing

Faux distressing is a technique to alter the surface appearance of the wood, create imperfections and make new cabinets look slightly more distressed. One example of the methods used, can be seen from Wood-Mode Custom cabinetry.

Distressed Wood Cabinet Styles from Wood Mode on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Faux Finishes

Faux finishes are another way to distress wood. This involves applying a series of finishes to the wood to create a multi-tone affect. Normally you notice the darker color underneath, with a lighter color applied on top, then carefully but sporadically scraped or rubbed off to create variation, and avoid any kind of pattern to the final finish.

There are other areas where distressed cabinetry might go well with your home décor. Perhaps some built in cabinetry for a wet bat, or rec room.  Notice an antique finished wood is inset in more modern, monochromatic border.  A great example of rustic distressed cabinetry in a more modern setting.

Or you have an oversized hutch like this media room below.  It looks like it was salvaged from an antique shop and fits in perfectly with the mediterranean decor. 

Wood Floors

If prefer a rustic, ecelectic look for your home, distressed wood flooring will be a perfect addition to your home.  We'll look at two of the most authentic ways to create the right look.

Reclaimed Flooring

Reclaimed wood flooring , also known as Antique flooring, is available in a variety of species. The rich amber hues and dark original sawmarks of Reclaimed Grandpa’s floor make for a stunning backdrop.

Distressed Wood Flooring and Reclaimed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Reclaimed Grandpa's Flooring, Rustic Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Reclaimed Oak is also a popular option because of the inherent durability of oak wood flooring, but also the variety of the nutty brown and gold tones, and rustic character.

Distressed Wood Flooring and Reclaimed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Reclaimed Oak Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Hand-Distressed Wood Flooring

Antique wood can be very rustic and unpredictable, it can also be slightly more expensive.  If you want to control the character of the floor a bit more, or if you want to reign in your costs there are other ways to create this look.

Watermill distressing, as seen below in this rustic Eastern White pine floor,  maintains the original sawmarks of the when the tree was originally cut, then hand-scraped the edges and lightly sands the floor to create variation in color and texture.  If you like antique cut nail, you can easily install the to add to the authentic look.

Rustic Flooring and Pine Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Watermill Eastern White Pine Flooring From Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
If you want a more durable floor, than use you can also apply this distressing technique to a hardwood floor, like the Walnut dark wood flooring below, from Telluride, CO.
Distressed Wood Flooring and Rustic Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Dark Wood Flooring and Distressed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, Telluride, CO Residence

Wall & Ceiling Paneling

If you are considering the walls and ceilings for your home, you might just be considering paint colors or wallpapers.  But you can add rustic charm to your vertical surfaces as well, with wall and ceiling paneling.  This billiard room below uses reclaimed flooring for the wall paneling and wainscoting.
Distressed Wood Flooring and Reclaimed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors


From a rustic headboard for the master suite, end tables for the leather sofa, and a farmhouse dining table for the family, you can find distressed wood furniture for every room of the house. Some companies actually use real reclaimed wood flooring planks to build furniture, like this coffee table from Sierra Living Concepts. This would go well in retro, industrial, or farmhouse style décor.

In the dining room you’ll find tables in a variety of shapes and colors, but a traditional rectangular table is the most authentic. This charming farmhouse table from EcoArt first was crafted to replicate an authentic 19th century French farmhouse table.

If your bedroom is going to be relaxed and casual, a distressed headboard would be a great focal point for your master suite. Faux distressing, like this set from Fable Porch Furniture gives you the look of naturally distressed wood, where paint has naturally chipped away over time.

Or you can use reclaimed and salvaged wood for a charming, authentic design.


A rustic wood countertop could be a great addition to your front entry to drop your keys off on. Perhaps your half bath is going to take on a more rustic look and would look great with this style countertop.  And of course your kitchen island…just image an old farmhouse sink set in some rustic wood planks as a central focal point of your kitchen design.

How do you use distressed wood in your home decor?

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Apps for the Interior Designer in All of Us

Interior design is something we all dabble in. It can be a question of what color to paint a room, whether or not a couch will fit into a desired space or if your color scheme is clashing. In the digital age, however, there are more sophisticated ways we can get interior design tips, inspiration and advice with a simple tap on a screen. Consider investing in a tablet with a large screen and long battery life to run these four interior design apps:


This app allows you to photograph your own space, create 3D models and play around with the layout of a room. You can experiment with lighting, furniture and wall decor to see what will fit into your home. There is a live gallery stream for you to see what other people are up to, and you can “heart” other designs and share them with others. Additionally, you can browse the portfolios of professional designers in your area, connect with them and ask questions about design projects.


This app allows you to get inspired and take action on your design ideas. Begin by browsing professional designs, creating your ideabook and deciding which projects you would like to tackle in your home. Then, use the app to connect with local contractors, architects and interior designers to help you get the job done. Plus, you can even browse interior design products like solid wood floors and engineered hardwood flooring in a variety of styles; sofa's, lamps, linens and other interior design essentials.  You can even buy products through the app, which saves you a trip to the store.

Room Painting Ideas

If you can’t decide what to do with your walls, this is the app you want. There are pictures of every type of wall design you could imagine. Polka dots, stripes, ombre, gradient and special effects are all painting styles on the app. It also shows examples of every room including kitchens, living rooms, kids' bedrooms, adult bedrooms and dining rooms. This is a great place to gather inspiration and discover new ways to use color in your home.

Design Dimensions

This app is a must have for home renovations and DIY projects. It is a database of common products and design endeavours at your fingertips. You can find measurements for plumbing, electronics, appliances and much more. This app is incredibly handy if you are trying to purchase new appliances and need to ensure that the items you want will fit into the space you have.


This app is incredibly cool. The Color Match feature allows you to upload a photo and receive the matching paint color. Designed by BEHR, all of the paints in the app are available wherever BEHR paints are sold, so you can take a room from screen to real life. Moreover, you can calculate the cost of a room so you can stay within your budget.

Decorating your home is easy with the technology available today. There are apps you can use to find inspiration, get answers from design experts and accurately plan out a room in your home. You even can use them to show your interior designer some of your thoughts. It is all up to you and your vision.

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5 Ways to Design a Country Style Home

You don't have to live on an expansive farm in rural Texas or southern Ohio in order to enjoy a country way of life. 

Install some beautiful hardwood flooring and pick up a few farmhouse furnishing essentials to create a cozy country-style theme even if you live in the city or on the coast. Here's how to adopt the rustic charm of country living.

Rustic Kitchen by Denise Stringer Interior Design, featuring Carlisle Pine Flooring

Wide Plank Flooring

There are several varieties of wide plank wood flooring that would set the perfect backdrop for your Country style home.  

Reclaimed wood flooring create the warm coziness and lived-in ambiance of a beautiful rural home in the countryside. Unlike the way natural stone tile can appear ostentatious, distressed and hand-scraped wooden floors look relaxed and comfortable, inviting guests to feel right at home.

Don't be afraid to be aesthetically unconventional. Dark wood flooring can set the mood for a design concept while also begging for a colorfully painted statement wall or bright furnishings. Then to create balance, repeat the hue of your wood floor in other accents in the room. Find throw pillows with the rich red tones of cherry wood floors or a lampshade to match the midnight tones of dark white oak flooring.  The "whitewash: look is also popular in the farmhouses style.  It was a popular way to keep the inside of the home light and bright.  In this case, opt for a light white and wood cabinets, walls and wood floors.

Traditional Kitchen by Chatham Architects & Building Designers KATE JOHNS AIA

Farmhouse Dining Table

Turn your dining room into an intimate entertainment spot with a farmhouse-style dining table, a wooden bench and a few vintage chairs. The table not only gathers friends and family to bond over home-cooked food, but it serves as an artistic focal point, creating a warm dining space.

Style is everything. Imperfections in salvaged wood—like deep indentations, slight cracks and color variations—create eye-catching charm. Adorn the table with a bucket floral centerpiece or three potted plants. Offset the wooden table by laying a patterned kitchen rug underneath in earthy colors like pumpkin, brick or avocado green.

Rustic Dining Tables by Polson Furniture & Accessories Indeed Decor

Rustic Garden Shed

A backyard garden shed can organize your yard tools and serve as an alfresco work space. But it can also decoratively define an outdoor space. Nestled in the corner of a backyard landscape covered in overgrown vine and distressed wooden panels, a shed can store your ATV replacement parts, landscaping machinery, bicycle equipment and household lost and founds. Build an awning over the entryway and paint it red for contrast. Surround the shed with an antique bird fountain, lush greenery, stone walkway and vintage wheel burrow or wagon filled with flowers. Accentuate the space even more by adding shelves to the back of the shed where you can stack birdhouses, ceramic pots and watering cans, as well as hang gardening tools, dried floral bouquets and wicker baskets.

Country Kitchen Accessories

Farmhouse Specialty Tools


The kitchen is the heart of a home, the sweet spot where loved ones gather to cook, eat, laugh and love. Adorn (and equip) the kitchen with decorative accents, tools, containers and space-saving ideas. Occupy blank wall space with a large wooden board and use nails to hang an assortment of coffee mugs. Install a fire clay farmhouse kitchen sink. Fill vintage canisters and mason jars with coffee, tea bags, sugar, and flour to set on top of countertops. Use vintage green glass wine bottles or small buckets as flower vases to decorate shelves and countertop space.

Also, think DIY. Homemade hanging lanterns, mismatched antique stools and a repurposed industrial kitchen island can embellish the space. Built-in wall shelves offer aesthetic storage space for decorating with recipe books and ornaments like white milk pitchers, china dishes, a cake plate and olive oil bottles.

Hoosier Cabinet

The Hoosier cabinet is a kitchen cupboard popularized during the early 20th century. Originating in Indiana, the three-part cabinet provided a storage and working space for homes that weren't typically equipped with cabinetry space during that time period. Since modern-day houses are designed with built-in cabinetry and fixtures, the Hoosier cabinet can serve as more of a Midwestern, antique kitchen accessory.

The Hoosier cabinet is also a great place to decorate for changing seasons and holidays. Get spooky for Halloween by sprawling decorative cobwebs from corner to corner. Then switch out the Halloween decor with gourds, fall foliage, berries and acorns to create a harvest theme for Thanksgiving.

Farmhouse Storage Units And Cabinets by Oak Park Furniture & Accessories EcoFirstArt

What do you love about the Farmhouse Style? What products did you use?

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Home Decor by the Numbers - The Rule of Three

When it comes to interior design and home decor you may think you have an open palette on which to decorate.

But in truth, the perfect interior design is created by a series of rules that will create a more interesting, memorable and intriguing interior.  One of these design rules is the Rule of Three.

Today, we’ll explore this age old design rule, how to incorporate it into your home, and look at some well executed concepts.


The Rule of Three is a design principle which affects every room of your home. It dictates layout, size and shape of objects, the work triangle of a kitchen, even the color, pattern and fabric designs of your room.

This concept is seen everywhere from presentations, magazines, to photography and of course, interior design and it is best described by the theory of Feng Shui.  This theory presents the idea that odd numbers expand and create more energy, while even number contract and condense. So what does this mean to you? If you want to infuse your space with energy, create a well-designed space that is inviting and relaxing, and make your room feel as large as possible (no matter how big it is) you can do this with the Rule of Three.


One is not enough, and five or more is too much, why three?

One is boring, it doesn’t really create a lot of energy or interest in a space. Imagine a blank room with just one chair in the corner. No matter how comfortable that chair is, you probably won’t want to spend too much time in here.

Home Decor Blank Room One Chair from Carlisle Wide Plank FloorsSOURCE

Now imagine a room with 5 or more elements like the Punk Rock Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. Now the design here may have been intentional, given the desired scheme (aka PUNK ROCK) but you can see it looks very busy.

Home Decor Ideas from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors  SOURCE

The human brain likes to easily puzzle things together and with three you can always find the center point and balance. Once you get past that, the brain has to work hard so naturally it starts to resist.


Now that you know why you should use the Rule of Three, let's look at some ways to apply this concept to your décor.


When applying color to your room the general principle is to add one big area of color, for example like this accent wall, a sofa, a decorative tapestry or area rug. Then look for 2 other ways to reintroduce that color within the room.  According to the blog Mr.Kate.com you need to repeat a color at least 3 times to give a room a pop of color, otherwise it just looks out of place.

Notice how in this Santa Cruz kitchen you have a pop of lavender on the large accent wall, this is then accented by the vase and the similarly colored island bar stool.

Home Decor and Hickory Floors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors


The Rule of Three also applies to the size of an object, this includes the height and girth. The good news is, they don’t all have to be the same size.

This layout from Gauthier-Stacy Interior Design shows three bottles, all of varying sizes. This creates more visual appeal.

Rule of Three Home Decor from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors



You can also create an intriguing decor collection with three items in different shapes.

Transitional Bedroom by Glendale Interior Designers & Decorators SYI Design, LLC

The logic of size and shape applies to many elements of your interior décor. The accent pillows you put on your sofa or bed; the arrangement you choose for your bookshelves or mantle; the lighting layout for your kitchen.


Now that you’ve explored some ways to incorporate this into your home, let's look at some projects that put this rule to work.

This kitchen has several examples of the the Rule of Three, and of odd numbers in general. There is a three prong light design above the island, 3 clay tiles behind the stove and three white pottery canisters on the counter. But notice how there are odd multiples of everything from the glass jars and glass vases to the singular glass water dispenser on the island.

Farmhouse Kitchen by South West Interior Designers & Decorators VSP Interiors

The photo does beg the question, why 4 stools? I guess we will never know.

In this home, you have three beautiful vases adorning the rustic wood mantelpiece. They add balance to the room, which also features a rustic stone fireplace and dynamic color variation within the heart pine flooring.

Home Decor and Heart Pine Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

In this Alabama home we see the perfect example of the Rule of Three.

Notice each section of the room also features the general rule of odds over evens. To the center you have the console table, and two plants; to the right you have the table, painting and statue; to the left you have the table, lamp, artwork and others accents. Even the dark wood flooring is made in three random widths.

Home Decor and Dark Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Even those who prefer more linear, and less abstract, can find balance and symmetry with the Rule of Three.

Spaces by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Taylor Lombardo Architects

Did you use the Rule of Three in your interior decor?

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3 Factors That Help you Choose the Right Window Treatments

There are many reasons your windows might be ready for an upgrade.

Have they been neglected for a while? Ready to make some seasonal changes? Did your recently redecorate?  Whatever the reason, understanding these three factors will can help you choose the right window treatments for any room.

Window treatments are a fashionable addition to any room. Aesthetics is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people envision their new curtains or drapes. But that should be one of the last elements to consider.

Before you begin picking colors and styles consider these three primary elements:

1) Function

2) Location

3) Privacy

We'll give you some ideas to help select window treatments based on these three conditions.

Windows Treatments Based on Function

Each room of your home serves a different function – entertaining, sleeping, showering or movement through the home.

Rooms that involve entertaining like your family room or playroom require window treatments that let in a lot of natural light. This makes the room more inviting, comfortable and naturally makes it safer to move around. These rooms benefit from sheer or semi-shear window treatments that let in more light.

Modern Living Room

Some rooms convert, such as game room or a living room to a media room or home theatre. If that is the case you might want to consider layered window treatments. Combine thick floor to ceiling draperies with roman shades so you can adjust the amount of light in the room. No one wants a sun glare on the big screen TV.

For your entryway, you don’t want curtains that darken the entrance. This can make your home uninviting. Long heavy drapes can hang on the floor getting stepped on getting dirty. In this space, opt for clean window treatments that are equal to the size of the windows, and lighter colors.  Sheer, or semi-sheer keep the entrance bright.

For rooms that involve a bit more privacy we’ll go into those later!

Window Treatments Based on Location

Whether your home is one sprawling oasis, or built on multiple levels, you can evaluate your window treatment needs based on the where your rooms will be located in the layout.

Rooms that face a neighbor, adjacent street or entry will require more privacy.  Rooms on the 2nd level of the home may not require as much privacy but you still want the option to close your curtains when the time calls.  Combine window treatments to control light, and privacy as much as you need to.

Depending on what side of the home your room is on will determine how much direct sunlight it will get. If rooms get too much sunlight they can be hot and uncomfortable, especially if this is your bedroom or kitchen. You can install some simple, and adjustable, wood blinds. These will minimize the direct sunlight but still allow some of it to filter in.

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martin Patrick 3

Indoor or outdoor shutters are also a great window treatment to control the incoming light, and maintain privacy as needed.

Window Treatments Based on Privacy

Speaking of privacy, there are several rooms that require attention.

For bathrooms you don’t need window treatments that keep out the light so cellular shades are a great option for the bathroom. They are adjustable to the window so you can adjust the amount of light and privacy you need.  You can also combine them with other window treatments to add color or style to the room.

Traditional Bathroom by Dallas Window Treatments Budget Blinds of Dallas & Park Cities

For bedrooms, privacy could assist you with putting down a sleepy baby during the day, or make for a quiet relaxing bedtime at night. Blackout shades are great for nurseries when a dark room is best for a sleep infant or toddler during daylight hours.

Traditional Nursery by Kansas City Interior Designers & Decorators McCroskey Interiors

If you are looking for something a bit more modern, why not try some modern shutters. They can block out light, but don’t add all the frills of traditional curtains.

Modern Kids by Sydney Architects & Building Designers Alexander and Co

For teen and adult bedrooms curtains, drapes, or shades are perfect because they can be adjusted to the amount of light and privacy you want.

Decorating with your Window Treatments

Once you determine the type of window treatments that are appropriate for your home, you can begin to focus on the fun part of window decorating – the styles, colors and overall décor.  This is a very easy decorate-it-yourself project that can be done in a short period of time.

As you decorate, remember your window treatments don’t have to match throughout your house. Decorate your windows as a component of the overall room design, now the overall home design. Your window treatments can be as simple, fluffy, or flashy as you want them to be. Just make sure they complement the overall design scheme of the room including your furniture colors, wood floor color, and wall colors – dark wood floors, dark curtains and dark walls can make for a gloomy room.

Neutral color window treatments will be more versatile depending on how frequently you redecorate your room. But if you prefer everything to match, you may be able to order custom upholstery for your chairs, curtains and other linens.

Lastly, keep in mind window treatments like curtains, drapes and sheers are easy to replace so don’t fret too much. Shutters, blinds, shades require a bit more hardware so make sure you like what you are installing before you turn on the screwdriver.

What is important to you as you consider new window treatments for your home?

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