Architectural salvage offers another simple avenue for creating your rustic living room. Visit any good salvage dealer to tour a wide selection of possibilities; you're bound to come away with plenty of rustic decorating ideas. This antique door, for example, leans against the wall like a prized piece of artwork, displaying multiple coats of old peeling paint that tell a story of days gone by. Be sure to cover the surfaces of any old painted piece with clear polyurethane to preserve the beauty of the finish and seal in any issues with lead-based paint. Choose flat or low-luster sheen so the look remains old and worn.
These homeowners wanted to let their guests be the color to their space, so they painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A vintage advertisement and an Arkansas license plate hang on the wall. The casual furniture is covered in washable slipcovers for easy cleanup when inevitable spills happen.