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Rustic or Refined... or Both?

Budget Room Design: Rustic and Refined Scandinavian Bedroom

Emily Henderson Budget Room Bedroom Rustic Scandinavian Gif

We are deep into the design process over at the Mountain Fixer upper (check out the insta-stories from yesterday for some new updates on what is happening up there) and while we haven’t made all the decisions for the decor or what is happening in all the rooms we have been doing a lot of pinning, browsing and searching around for inspiration and we figured that with all of that sourcing we have done in the “rustic AND refined scandi style” we might as well pull together a budget version of a bedroom that could represent some of our favorite aspects from that style. So, we pulled together this bedroom and boy is it rustic, refined, cozy, casual, and yet still so inviting and warm.  Put your hand-knit socks and beanie on and let’s get into it people. Please note – these do not necessarily represent the design plan, just inspired by the styles. Design plan TBD.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Bedroom Rustic Scandinavian Under 5k

Bed | Rug | Sheepskin Rug | Side Table | White Bud Vase | Sconce | Black Throw Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Duvet Cover | Sheet Set | Pillow Set | Knit Blanket | Dresser | Table Lamp | Catch All | Tall White Vase | Polka Dot Jug | Woven Basket | Black and Cream Throw Blanket | Accent Chair | Floor Lamp | Wooden Stool | Framed Art

This first version is all about the refined luxuries – which we all need in life. We pulled in some pretty iconic Scandinavian moments with that chair, sheepskin rug, and sconce, but we warmed it up with the layered rugs, knit throws and the warmer tones from the wood. Although the color palette is neutral it is far from boring as the layering of textiles and texture takes center stage and the graphic play between the black and white helps it to still feel modern. At just under 5k this is a room that we can get into.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Bedroom Rustic Scandinavian Under 3k 1

Bed | Rug | Sheepskin Rug | Side Table | White Bud Vase | Sconce | Black Throw Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Duvet Cover | Sheet Set | Pillow Set | Knit Blanket | Dresser | Table Lamp | Catch All | Tall White Vase | Polka Dot Jug | Woven Basket | Black and Cream Throw Blanket | Accent Chair | Floor Lamp | Wooden Stool | Framed Art

Our next version which comes in at $2,800 leans a bit more refined than the first one as the rustic wood bed was swapped out for this more honed wood version but the rustic warmth is still coming through with the other elements that are in the room. The price of the chair was cut in half with this armless version and it is a pretty good replacement if you are trying to cut down on cost. The double version of the Serge Moullie sconce was also swapped for this single version which for $165 is a steal. Last but not least our most budget version at just under 2k.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Bedroom Rustic Scandinavian Under 2k 1

Bed | Rug | Sheepskin Rug | Side Table | Ceramic Cup | Sconce | Black Throw Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Duvet Cover | Sheet Set | Pillow Set | Knit Blanket | Dresser | Table Lamp | Catch All | Tall White Vase | Polka Dot Jug | Woven Basket | Black and Cream Throw Blanket | Accent Chair | Floor Lamp | Wooden Stool | Frame | Art

Although it is less than half the price of the first one this one still has a lot of the same stylistic elements as the first one. The biggest changes come in the chair and lamp which were swapped out for this butterfly version and wood lamp. We swapped the lamp to the a wood option that is more simple so that it didn’t compete with the legs of the chair, which is a good rule to keep in mind when pairing items together in a vignette. Because the chair had a lot of metal “leggy” elements the lamp needed to be simple and more streamlined so that it didn’t compete with the chair. If you have one piece that has a lot of legs then the other piece it is paired should be more simple in shape and feel more solid, or visa versa.

So, which of the three versions is your favorite? And could you get into a room that is this color-less and calm? Or do you like more bright, poppy, and exciting moments in your decor?

  1. I love your use of contrasting colours here, and the price tag isn’t bad either!

  2. Can not out in to words how very much I love this!

    Now, once you show me Corbett’s kitchen, all my design dreams will have come true! 🙂

    Thanks for all you do!

  3. I like option 2 best. The bed in the first is too rustic and it’s missing in 3. The chair in 1 is pretty awesome though. 🙂 Thanks for this!

    Thanks for the fireplace post earlier this week. I am currently faced with the same dilemma. I have an old crumbling brick fireplace in my renovated modern craftsman. I am looking at options for this from covering with v-groove halfway up and leaving the brick exposed under to painting to covering in plaster. Any input would be awesome! I love your designs and they’ve definitely inspired my home.

    1. Love the dresser! West Elm has one very similar for much more money. Is there another national retailer that sells these? Unfortunately, the one you have tagged does not ship to TN and will not give any product information to find it elsewhere.

      1. Hey Josh, Target has this beautiful one in black but it doesn’t have those mid-century legs: https://www.target.com/p/guthrie-two-tone-6-drawer-dresser-project-62-153/-/A-51647074

        Or this one in a more similar leg shape, but in wood, not black:
        https://www.target.com/p/amherst-horizontal-dresser-project-62-153/-/A-52806140

        These bedrooms look calm and cozy – exactly what a bedroom should be in my mind!

  4. (Is there supposed to be a poll on this one? Could just be my phone, but I don’t see a voting option.) Option B is my favorite here. It looks incredibly inviting and comfy but is well-priced AND incorporates enough unique elements to make it feel luxe and special.

    1. No, she mentioned that these were just based off of inspiration and rooms that she had found in thIs style but not for her fixer upper. They all look so inviting. Can’t wait to see when she really designs the rooms for that house.

    2. No poll! Just showing how to achieve the look at multiple price points.

  5. The first one. By far the most cozy and luxurious. Great jumping off point for the master bedroom in the Mountain House

  6. I’m drooling over these bedrooms. Each one of them, but especially that bed in #1. You gotta find a way to put that bed in the mountain house!!!

  7. I really like this look! However as I steer my house toward this style, I can’t quite do it and end up adding in a little more color and pattern. It’s still a major inspiration because I know I can follow it 80% and then add a more colorful art, throw, or rug and it will be just as I like.

  8. I often have trouble with the links (rstyle). Is it because I use a Chrome browser?

    1. Hm…i use a Chrome browser and they work for me!

    2. I too have difficulty with those types of links when I use Chrome, but I’m not sure if it’s a Chrome issue or something else (like a fire wall or a slow internet connection or some security setting on my end that I need to adjust). All of the links seem to work fine for me on Safari though.

  9. This comment is about the use of stones in your bathroom. I am the poster who has it and left detailed instructions on how to keep it clean by wiping after each shower.
    Some of the people above me commented that the stones hurt their feet. That is because of the application of the stones.
    I remember when we put the stones in our bathroom, I wanted them really bumpy because I have tendinitis in my shins and stones and tennis balls, etc release the tension in my feet and It’s not as chronic for me. That’s what I do at physical therapy.
    But my contractor said, “no. Not good” and refused to make them extremely bumpy. He was right. He put enough grout that the stones are pleasantly rounded and non stick, but if it was as bumpy as what I do in physical therapy, even I wouldn’t like it for my shower. I went out of town and I wanted to make sure you knew that a good application would make the stones pleasant.
    I also voted for keeping the stone fireplace just now. I’m catching up on a week of your blog while driving up the California coast in the passenger seat.
    I know you are a designer and you can hold your own with the highest end of designers. But, your popularity is in your ability to make good design approachable and possible for average budgets. Your transparency about your choices is also a strength of your blog. You don’t always pick budget or high end. But you explain your choices and I learn so much from you and your team. So keep doing what you do—but I would be more entertained with how you would make the stone fireplace work into the design than just you using your fantastic budget and means and gifted things that an average person like me cannot do. I like you for your MIX of aspirational and affordable design.

  10. I like the neutral color scheme! I think the second one is my favorite. But overall, all three rooms are a bit too busy/eclectic. I don’t think the sconces, the black floor lamp, the butterfly chair, or the midcentury style dresser really fit into the design scheme. But, that’s just my opinion. Your designs, no matter the style, always seem a little eclectic.

  11. i’m definitely a burst of a color gal but with mostly neutrals! i loooove these budget room designs on your blog! i bought a beautiful loft condo with exposed brick and am trying to design it budget-friendly to something that won’t go out of style but that’s still me! so thanks for the help with all these posts 🙂 keep ’em comin!

  12. My fingers are crossed that this Scandinavian refined thing will be the next style series you do 😉 hunt hint

    1. Ugh autocorrect on the iPhone is killing me. Hint hint*

  13. I just got the rug from version 2 (the salt-and-pepper braided one), and I LOVE it. The price was a little better on RugsUSA, so it just depends on the sale (I got an 8.5’x11.5′ for $225). It’s soft (though it def needs a rug pad, and I used rug tape to make it stay put), and the colors are graphic while still feeling neutral.

    1. Oh that’s great to know!! I was eyeing it and wasn’t sure if it would feel rough/hard like an outdoor rug. It’s really reasonably priced.

      My other question is about that dresser. I think EHD maybe styled a bedroom for Emily’s friend Scott with a bed from that Living Spaces place – which looked cute – but other than seeing the worlds largest Living Spaces store off the freeway in like Fremont or Milpitas, it’s seriously ginormous, I’ve heard zero about the brand or anyone shopping there. Does anyone have experience with their products? They seem to sell some things that look like dupes of West Elm or World Market, are they equivalent in quality (I.e. hit or miss quality) or closer to a Target level quality (I.e. total crap shoot but maybe you’ll get lucky on certain items)?

      1. Kelly – in case you come back looking for replies… I’ve gotten a couple of items from Living Spaces and find their quality and prices in between Target and West Elm (better in quality than Targ but not as good as WE). I’ve read customer service horror stories on Yelp re: Living Spaces, but I myself have had only good experiences (though I’ve never purchased a huge or really expensive piece or had to do a return).

      2. P.S. Even though this B+W rug says it’s outdoor, I don’t think it is. The tag on it said to spot clean (def not outdoor ruggish, I’d say).

  14. Number #2 ALL DAY LONG 🙂 I love that chair, even without the arm, and I actually really prefer the bed in this one to the bed in version #1. Loving how it’s all coming along…. 🙂

  15. I have the second bed and I honestly wish we hadn’t have purchased it. The texture on the wood is way more aggressive than I anticipated (we were into it for the clean lines) and the legs in the middle of the bed keep coming out). Just a heads up that it looks great online but isn’t maybe great in real life.

    1. OMG THANK YOU I was *this close* to buying that, and I came back and checked the comments! thank you.

  16. Just wanted to say that I LOVE your budget room designs. Currently preparing to move apartments and updating an ocean-side cabin and I find myself continuously referring back to this series for ideas. I loved your recent “eclectic and modern” budget living room and would be into seeing some more in that style. Always into the neutral color palates with some pops of happy color and texture.

  17. In your design mistakes series, you did a post about “antiqued” or “faux old” furniture. Does “rustic” furniture fall under the “faux old” umbrella? Because the bed in the second room has an intentionally distressed finish, which seems like a design mistake to me. I know “refined” Scandinavian won the design poll, so maybe this question isn’t really relevant anymore, but I’m just curious about your thoughts on the “rustic” design trend. Is furniture made of reclaimed wood okay? When is “rustic” tacky?

  18. Perhaps this is a stupid question, and I’m 100% asking out of curiosity and not criticism, but why are you so indebted to a theme for your cabin home? Why don’t you just pick things that you like? It seems that everything you consider must be put through the ‘does it match the look I’m going for’ test and not the ‘do I like this and want to live with this’ test. You have great taste, why not just trust yourself and your natural gravitations instead of trying to shove everything within the confines of a concept? Your best asset is YOUR style, I”m not understanding why you are prescribing to a style outside of that. It seems so overwrought and uninspired – I’ve seen rustic and refined Scandinavian 100 times on pinterest, I never see enough just straight up Emily!

    1. Not stupid. Very well said and hopefully heeded.

    2. I think the main reason Emily decided to do a theme is the “I design, you decide” thing she’s doing–letting us vote on certain aspects of the cabin reno. We’re helping pick the overall direction of the design, and it’s hard to do that without naming a theme. I’m hopeful she’ll do an especially Emily-inspired rustic-refined-Scandi style. 🙂

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  20. I love this series of posts! I would be interested in seeing another room done as part of this series in this style too.

    If I were going to buy this room, I’d probably buy the rug from the $4,840 room because it looks to be the most durable rug out of the three (I have a cat who loves to knead), maaaybe the table lamp from that room (since it’s so pretty), and then everything else from the $1,961 room.

    The only thing I’d change would be to have a more budget-friendly wooden stool in the $1,961 room, simply because although the stool shown is totally worth $67 + $17 S&H, an $84 total price may still be hard on some budgets.

  21. You really have a nack for design. Every thing came together in a very, very beautiful way. I like all, but the first one if my favorite.

  22. Perfect list what i am looking for!

  23. Very good brief and this post helped me a lot. Say thank you I searching for your facts. Continuous it..
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  24. While I really like these (and I love aspects of each one…I’d love to create my own room by mixing pieces from each option!) and other calm, neutral Scandinavian minimal (regardless if it is refined OR rustic)-I can’t NOT have color! I can’t even little myself to a couple of colors. It’s like my home’s style is rainbow maximalism. Ha!

    1. *limit not little 🙄

  25. I like the #2 bedroom. Looks very soft and cozy. Could you please give me the name of a couple places where I can purchase some art

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