What's old is new again and we have all seen this with the increased interest in the rustic-country vibe. Everyone seems to be digging through their grandmother's attic to find prized possessions that once seemed like junk to them. The whole idea of going back to your roots and creating a simpler life has been emerging for quite sometime. People are trying to hold onto those childhood memories. Items that are reminiscent of yester-year are more popular than ever and you often hear multiple phrases that descibe this so called 'design' style.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between primitive, rustic and country? Well look no further, I am here to help you sort this out. These three styles are used interchangeably but although they may overlap, they are not exactly the same. I wanted to share with you today a few of the differences that make each one unique, from design elements, crafting methods and specific color palettes that represent each.
Here are a few differences. Which one of these do you prefer?
Primitive is all about:
- Being first or earliest of its kind
- Simple or unrefined
- From an early period of history
- Made by a primitive artist
A primitive piece of furniture or décor is HANDMADE. Secondly, a person without formal training or craftsmanship made it. Third, most often, a primitive item is utilitarian in nature, think furniture, dishware, tools and cooking items. And lastly, a primitive item is old – generally, old enough to qualify as an antique. Whether furniture or some other household good, tt’s the combination of age and practical purpose that gives a primitive item its well-worn, simple appearance. Primitiive is not intentional design. As a matter of fact, Primitive is not really a style – it’s more a description of age and production method.
Rustic is all about:
- Having characteristics of country people
- Made of tree roots or limbs
- Having rough, irregular surfaces
In décor, something that is rustic has a tie with nature: it’s made of natural materials that are fairly raw or unrefined. A rustic piece of furniture or décor usually has a distressed or weathered finish, color that can be found in nature, a casual vibe and a sense of old-fashioned warmth or comfort. Notice that the definition of rustic does not include handmade and old. While a rustic item might be both of those things, it's not required. In fact, a rustic piece of furniture might have been produced in a factory quite recently, but designed to look old and worn. That’s the key difference between primitive and rustic, and explains why a primitive item is by definition rustic, but a rustic item is not necessarily primitive. Unlike primitive, rustic describes a style, one that includes an old-fashioned, well-loved and well-worn appearance.
Country is all about:
- Unfinished or unsophisticated
- From a particular country or area
In the decorating world, “country” is a broad term that describes many styles: French country, lodge, cottage, American country, and recently 'Farmhouse' has entered the scene (think shiplap, farm sinks and subway tile) but even coastal décor can fall under this umbrella. What all of these styles share in common is a casual vibe, an emphasis on natural materials that are frequently in an unfinished or weathered state, natural colors and most of all, an easy, welcoming appearance that feels cozy and warm. Country style often includes rustic or primitive furnishings, but that’s not always the case. Still, the border between what qualifies as country and what qualifies as rustic is a blurred one. As a rough rule of thumb, the rustic palette is confined to earth tones and muted shades, while a country palette can include a much wider range of color. Rustic furniture is usually made from warm, red-toned woods, while country uses quite a bit of oak. Rustic style is more narrowly defined, while country is a more general term.
So.....What's Your Style?
Regardless if your style is primitive, rustic or country, they all overlap and share a common bond and can be used together to design a space that you love. Grab a few pieces from each style at SweetCountryStyle.com to create a unique style all your own.