Cafes are great places to hang out with your friends. But, they also reflect the design trends of the time. For instance, rustic design is one of the most popular design trends you will see in restaurants today.

This type of design combines the rough simplicity of the natural elements to create a striking yet well-balanced aesthetic. If you have a cafe, and you want a truly unique style, then the rustic design is perfect for you. Here are 7 ways to use rustic designs to spruce up your cafe.

Excellent Inspirations & Ideas for a Rustic Cafe Design

7 Ways to Use Rustic Designs for Your Cafe

1.  Stick with a Neutral Color Scheme

When it comes to using the rustic design, be very careful with your color scheme. Remember that natural tones are reminiscent of nature. So, instead of bright and colorful, choose neutral colors such as tan, brown, gray or ivory. In fact, doing so creates a warm yet unique atmosphere for your cafe.

A nature-based color is considered rustic. Also, natural fabrics, such as cotton and animal hides, stone, and metals are rustic. If you want to combine rustic and industrial styles, you can do so by installing exposed elements, such as bricks, beams, and bulbs. White walls create a very good backdrop for rustic elements.

2.  Feature Handcrafted Furniture

A handcrafted furniture piece is a great purchase because of its aesthetic value and practicality. It reflects who you are, whether gracing your home or performing a specific function in cafes. A fine handcrafted furniture piece will play a big part in your café year after year as your business grows.

The rustic design is all about unique and custom made elements. So, try to stay away from mass-produced products because they don’t bring out the rustic design spirit. Instead, go for handcrafted furniture for its homey quality which also serves to enhance your cafe’s ambiance.

You’ll find rustic furniture pieces in reputable stores, such as Best Rustic Furniture. Make sure to compare the quality and the prices before buying one to ensure you’re getting the best deal. It’s a good idea to check the website of your prospect furniture manufacturer or supplier to know how its beautiful furniture collections are created.

You can achieve a rustic outdoor décor design for your cafe by using distressed wood. One way to achieve a naturally distressed appearance is by roughening the wood with a wire brush or sandpaper. Along with handcrafted furniture, add heavy chains, hammers, and rocks, which are great rustic outdoor decors.

3.  Install Stone Elements in Your Cafe Design

Stone always has a rustic and stable feel to it. So, in addition to using wooden elements, also consider stone elements in your design. Doing so gives your design more variety, substance, and texture. One idea is to cover your walls with faux stone. Another sweet inspiration is to add a real or cosmetic fireplace to your cafe.

Marble accents on your surfaces is a solution with beauty and durability. Adding stone elements to your rustic cafe design might be a bit expensive, however, it is totally worth the investment.

Stone adds a nice, rustic ambiance to your cafe. For instance, natural-stone-looking countertops work incredibly with rustic colors and wood elements. In addition, stones add an element of nature and peace. Whether you want to combine stone and wood, or choose to highlight either one of them, remember that the best look would be using less polished stone and wood elements. Find a good balance between slightly weathered or rough-looking and sturdy or durable pieces.

4.  Use Dry Herbs and Flowers 

Then, for a rustic style cafe, it is always a good idea to use flora and fauna in your designs. Try to pick flowers in your spare time, then you can press them or dry them. This adds a touch of fresh air to your rustic look.

Another great decor idea is to use old wine bottles with their delightful vintage vibe as rustic vases for your flowers and greenery. You might also create amazing bottle decorations that add color and texture to your design. 

Aside from flowers, also use herbs and spices to give a more homey feel to your rustic cafe design. It’s easy! All you have to do is fill up your bottle decor with herbs such as basil, tarragon, rosemary, dill, or thyme. By setting out jars of herbs, it gives your cafe a warm, folksy look.

5.  Use Wickerwork for Accents

Using wickerwork in your design is always a great idea – especially when your design is rustic. Wickerwork is a furniture design made from wicker stalks and fibers that after drying are interwoven together to form specific shapes and furniture styles.

This style of furniture construction is becoming quite popular in the past few years because they add an accent of comfort and warmth to any environment. Their springy and sturdy design also makes them perfect for making furniture.

When adding wicker accents to your cafe, be strategic in your placing. If you put too much wickerwork into your cafe, it changes the overall concept for your cafe. So limit your wickerwork products to floor mats, placemats, vases, or chairs.

6.  Natural Elements for a Rustic Cafe Design

The rustic design finds its roots in the out-of-doors. Think of it as a combination of outdoor living with a vintage feel. So it is important that you include natural elements into your cafe design. Here are some easy ways you can add natural elements to your decor.

  • Use branches and twigs to add a sense of nature to your design. Put them into vases or bottles to symbolize the seasons. For example, for the autumn seasons, use branches that have the last bits of yellowing leaves on them. The best tree branches to use are oak or yew because they have a great aesthetic feel to them.
  • Uncut minerals are also great accent pieces. Look for old geodes or crystals to add a sense of whimsy to your decor.
  • If you have access to deer or bull antlers, hang them over the fireplace or hallway. They have a great rustic look to them.
  • Apply burn marks using a propane torch or heat gun to add more rustic character to wood using quick strokes. Avoid burning one spot for too long. Apply this burn mark technique to tables, picture frames, floor, and shelve edges. 
  • One of the most natural elements for a rustic ambiance is natural lighting for your café. Allow plenty of sunlight inside during the day and provide a natural view of the outdoors, so that your customers can see the beautiful sunset and be mesmerized by the street and neighborhood lights at night.

7.  Antiques Look Beautiful with Rustic Decor

One of the key inspirations for rustic design is frontier or prairie life. It shows a time where equipment was extremely important, and knowing how to use them properly can mean the difference between life and death. This gives objects from these times a certain romantic and classy feel.

So make it a priority to use antiques in your cafe design. Such antiques might be an 18th-century furnace, a wheel from a wagon, or even just an old knife opener. These little treasures might make a world of difference in your rustic cafe design.


With the subtle combination of rough yet warm elements, rustic cafe design is an endearing option. However, it is not so easy to truly capture this aesthetic. It takes skill and careful planning to get right. Luckily with these great tips, you will soon have a fantastic rustic design for your cafe.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below. You will also find other links to more articles about all things design for your home or business.

Images Courtesy of Canva.

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About the Author: Ashley Edwards