Cre-8-ing with Collette: Vintage Americana - Seeing More than Just Stars and Stripes
Americana decor is best described as comfortable, classic, and casual. Its appeal lies in the use of easy care fabrics, distressed pieces, and collections reflecting American history or geography. Creating an eclectic mix of patriotic, primitive, country farmhouse, and even a “splash” of nautical is the best, and most fun, way to achieve this look! It’s a “welcome home” look, family friendly, and celebratory of our American heritage. This being an election year as well, it’s the perfect time to add a bit of Americana to your home indoors or out.
When utilizing patriotic decor, less is more. Splashes of red, white and blue decor then become the focal points rather than getting lost in the mix. Americana themed collections such as vintage signs or folk art are noticed more when they aren’t competing with each other. Keep that in mind, and select only a few of these ideas to incorporate into your existing decor.
· Repurpose a vintage ceiling tin by painting an American flag on it! Use a 2x6 tin, measure, and block in the design. Paint with traditional colors or mix it up a bit by using a variation on the true red, white and blue.
· Hang a collection of vintage signs on the side of a shed, barn, or family room wall. Signs depicting Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, farm supplies or equipment, and advertisements from World War I and World War II work well together. Add in a few barn stars to create a degree of separation between groups of signs. Get out your paints, and decorate one half of each star with American flag inspired stars and stripes. Have fun; remember the look is “casual,” not perfect!
· Use vintage ticking, grain sack, and homespun cotton fabrics to make pillow and ottoman covers, curtains, or table runners and napkins.
· Purchase a bold striped market umbrella to add a burst of color and patriotism to your patio!
· Flatware with thick red handles is a simple way to add a touch of the patriotic to your patio tabletop.
Nostalgia brings smiles. The signs of age that rustic pieces wear exude comfort, and often evoke treasured memories of friends, family members, places or events. Adding carefully selected primitive and farmhouse inspired pieces personalize our homes. We all have our own stories, and our homes should reflect them. Here are a few ideas to get you started in writing your own story:
· Feature a collection of folk art or objects on a mantle tabletop or wall. Think tin soldiers, checkerboards, pieces of vintage quilts displayed in frames covered with grain sack fabric, door knockers, old irons, weathervanes, galvanized buckets or watering cans of various sizes filled with wildflowers, or mason jars used as candle holders.
· Use Coca Cola coolers as end tables on your porch, patio, or dock.
· Display a framed collection of vintage maps or create a collage using several maps. You can do this by arranging your maps on a tabletop, overlapping the edges, and layering smaller maps on top of larger ones. Have a piece of plywood cut to size. Use Mod Podge to glue each map in place and to seal the surface of the finished design. Add mounting hardware to the back of the plywood and hang!
· Add a chicken wire inspired pendant lamp to your indoor or outdoor space.
Creating a collection in remembrance of a loved one keeps them close in heart and is a natural segway into sharing your own story. Look at old photos, reflect on your childhood and create a collection based on your own history. Perhaps your story is hidden in a collection of lanterns, cowboy boots, or vintage tools.
I am excited to freshen my home with a few of these ideas, and to share my own story in doing so. That’s the true beauty of Americana style--the inherent way it inspires pride, nostalgia and a sense of who we are.
All the best,
Colette, Shop Girl