Create that perfect American country style
With the right assortment of accessories, you can create an authentic American countryside feel to your home décor. The key lies in keeping an eye out for pieces that look rustic, antiquated, and have a rough-hewn and handmade quality to them.
What is American country style?
This form of home décor has a comfy, homey feel to it, and celebrates items that were made and used generations ago. The look is large-scale and coarsely sculpted, although there can be many derivations to this style including:
- Casual English antiques
- Pennsylvania Dutch
- Country French
- Home made items
Elements of American Country homes
- Typical beds are four poster canopies, with most furniture made of various types of woods, whether painted or stained
- Windows are always left basic with either colonial-style shutters or curtains made of simple, plain fabrics like calico, gingham, or a home-spun linen.
- Ornamentation on the walls look casual and hand-made, with either simple wallpapering, primitive murals, or some minimal stenciling.
- Lamps are usually made of materials like pottery, copper or distressed wood and overhead fixtures are usually lanterns or chandeliers crafted out of wrought iron
- Floors are traditionally hardwood, and covered with hooked or braided rugs
The devil’s in the details
Bric a brac are plentiful in American style country homes, and the most common accessories are home made items such as quilts, bouquets of dried flowers, folk art and flea market finds.
Quilts are pieces which epitomize country-style décor. They come in so many winsome patterns and designs that we demand you take them out of your closets and use them in your homes! Here are some creative uses for your quilts:
- They make great tablecloths, and most can be long enough to hide old magazines and clutter under the table.
- Damaged or old quilts can be resewn for upholstering furniture, crafting placemats or even oven mitts and Christmas stockings.
- Fine quilts can be framed up or used as pretty wall hangings. Cover up cracked or dirty walls in a jiffy!
- Quilts as curtains? Certainly! As long as they are pretty lightweight, quilts can be attached to café rings and a matching curtain rod to create one of a kind window treatments.
- Hang a quilt over your door way to give you some privacy without having to close the door; alternatively hang the quilt from a ceiling-mounted curtain rod as a room divider.
- If you have a less than immaculate sofa or armchair, use the quilt as an easy throw-cover for an instant makeover!
Pictures and portraits need to augment the relaxed, old-fashioned atmosphere. Choose primitive looking oil portraits, old black and white photographs, country still life portraits of fruit baskets, flowers, teddy bears or dolls and landscape paintings featuring farms, barns, meadows and orchards.
Lampstands made of distressed wood, antique brass, old-fashioned copper, pewter or stoneware are all appropriately rough-hewn and antiquated. When choosing overhead lighting, look for unadorned chandeliers made from wrought iron, or stained glass, tin, pewter, or antique brass lanterns. Lampshades are best made out of parchment or linen.
Don’t scrimp on the bric a brac and knick knacks; good ideas are:
- candles and candleholders in tin, pewter, ceramic and brass
- folk art sculptures like wood carvings and simple clay pieces
- animal-themed figurines
- dried flowers and plants hung upside down in bunches
- cider jugs and Native American pottery
Also dress up your beds and couches with rustic looking cushions that celebrate coziness with embroidery, eyelet lace or patchwork fabrics.
Remember that ultimately the American country style emphasizes furniture and accessories that are primitive and handcrafted rather than finery, so pass on the crystals, fine china and carved furniture in favor of comfy couches and wooden four poster beds!