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Bring the outdoors indoors by giving your home a rustic twist

Appreciate the outdoors from within your own home with a few neat and earthy tricks. You can make your study, kitchen, living room, bedroom or even bathroom into a forest landscape with a few knickknacks, a decorative switch plate or an inexpensive do-it-yourself project.

Apartment Therapy noted that the essence of the rustic, outdoorsy theme lies in raw wood, simple rugs with natural materials, heavy leathers and a delicate balance of light and neutral colors. There are dozens of ways to make any room into a work of nature from your outlet covers down to the texture of your throw pillows.

Faux bois and regular bois
French for "false wood," the strategic use of faux bois can give any room an outdoorsy feel. Martha Stewart Living magazine has a flurry of faux bois decorating tips to use. For example, turn fake tree stumps into footstools and end tables using a light varnish, or make a piece of driftwood into a rack for hanging coats. Using natural and fake wood can bring a whole room to life. Try using fake wood for larger or more delicate projects where real wood may be too heavy or clunky to use functionally. Invest in wood-grain accessories like mouse pads for the study or coasters for the dining room to instill the natural charm of the woodlands.

Stones and slates
Use all of the elements in your rustic design. Smooth stones can be turned into decorative, functional doorstops with a piece of felt to keep from scratching floors, or fill a glass vase with light pebbles for an eye-pleasing centerpiece. Don't forget that slate and stone complements wood. Use a stone switch plate if your walls already have wood paneling to show your true rustic expertise, or pick a leather plug cover to match surrounding furniture.

Lighting
Remember that lighting is key in the rustic setting. Florescent lights should be avoided as much as possible. Using darker lampshades to make lighting softer and more comfortable shows a true mastery of the rustic decor. The rustic theme is also perfect for a study with a fireplace. Track lights and lamps are no match for the natural glow of a fire in your earthy environment.

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