Decorate with Crafts
Americana the Beautiful
The Bryant, Indiana, farmhouse where Country Sampler stylist René Haines and her family have lived for the past two decades has been in her husband David's family for four generations, spanning more than 100 years. While respecting the home's heritage, the couple sought to put their own mark on it and gain more gathering space for their four children and extended family.
Toward that end, they built an addition seven years ago that encompasses a breakfast area and family room. To make it flow with the rest of the house, René and David paid careful attention to details, such as matching the molding widths and selecting a harmonious paint palette for the walls. To make way for the new structure, they had to tear down an older addition, but the couple saved the old wood floors and reused them in combination with laminate tiles. "The floor is unique, and it's one of my favorite elements in the room," René says.
The room is furnished with a combination of family heirlooms and collections, such as old books and quilts. To prepare for summer's arrival, René incorporated Americana touches into the mix, using a lot of fabric flourishes. "I love textiles," René explains. "They add layers of texture and color, plus they are super simple to switch out when the seasons change."
Keep on reading for quick and easy ways to bring flag-waving flavor to your everyday decor.
1. Smart stack. "I'm a big fan of vintage books," says René, who uses rather than peruses them. She likes to stack a few volumes to elevate a display, such as the folk-art teddy who anchors this centerpiece. A ribbon of layered fabric ties them together and links them to the braided place mat and patriotic pillow.
2. Let it shine. Transform an inexpensive glass globe vase or candleholder by decoupaging a flag napkin to the outside of the glass. Thin out brown paint with water and dry brush it across the surface for an antique look.
3. Bright blooms. Fill an old flour sifter or other metal container with an arrangement of summery faux or fresh flowers, selecting a representation of red, white and blue, including geraniums, liatris and lavender.
4. Hoosier on holiday. "The piece came to me wearing two layers of green paint, so I painted it again," says René of the Hoosier cabinet she inherited. Neutral white suits any season, and an antiqued flag bunting spans the front with style.
5. Ready to wear. Change out textiles to give furnishings a fresh outlook. For example, red, patterned window treatments combined with a flag-inspired rug, wall hanging and pillow lend a spark of patriotic flair to a cozy corner.
6. Bowled over. Use a large dough bowl to assemble a self-contained arrangement. René placed a glass hurricane filled with red, white and blue cloth balls in the center of her bowl and filled in with faux ferns.
7. Snippets of color. Strips of fabric or ribbons in seasonal shades can trim a tin or suspend berry candle rings for an instant door decoration.
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8. Showoff shutter. "I love the worn look of old shutters," says René, who used a navy one to highlight a pair of presidential prints. She hung a length of decorative ribbon from an old drapery ring and mounted the prints on top.
9. Well plated. Accent everyday dishes with seasonal style by assembling rectangular chargers from scrap wood painted with wide red and white stripes.
10. Slip 'n style. Crisp white slipcovers offer an instant update and brighten dark furniture for the summer season. Tie a length of subtle floral fabric around the chair backs to tie in with the braided rug.
11. Rustic runner. Stitch a simple runner using a length of burlap fabric, some blue print fabric and bright red thread. Sew a wide fabric strip down the center of the burlap and frame it with decorative stitching.
12. Pedestal power. Serve up a centerpiece on a cake pedestal decked with a doily. It adds height to a piece, such as this lantern in a flag box, ensuring it stands out from the rest of the table setting.
13. Crafty cupboard. René turned a thrift-store television cabinet into a display space for quilts and storage for craft supplies. She painted the piece a vivid aqua and her husband built shelves for the inside. "It's fun to make something beautiful and functional out of a cast-off piece," she says.
14. Layered looks. Make a cabinet-top vignette look fuller by hanging or leaning items on the wall behind it, such as the patriotic sign, mirror, salvaged wood flag and metal star.
15. Winning wreath. A wire frame and red, white and blue fabric strips combine for a softly textured summer wreath. Cut fabric into stacks of 2- by 6-inch strips and arrange the stacks so colors are balanced. Tie strips onto the frame, starting at the outer edge, keeping the printed side of the fabric out. Alternate fabrics until each row of the frame is full.
16. Fenced in. Give old cedar fencing new purpose by using it to craft a tray for displaying seasonal accents such as these USA blocks. Attach salvaged handles for a finishing touch. The same material fashions weathered doors for the niche that holds René's family's trove of board games.
17. Awe natural. Incorporate natural materials to highlight containers, from crocks to stacking boxes. Apothecary jars filled with pinecones and other woodsy treasures or a length of berry garland twined around a lamp base bring the outdoors in.
For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.
Robert W. Bear, The Tin Bin
Night Shadow place mat, Lake Erie Gifts & Décor
1776 pillow, The Unique Black Sheep
Abbington swag, Becky's Country Cottage
Small antiqued half-circle bunting, The Red Brick Cottage
Flag throw pillow and wall hanging, Choices Quilts
Rustic flag rug, Colonial Braided Rug Company
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George and Martha Washington prints, Impressions on Market
Primitive Americana flag box, Smicksburg Drying Shed
Night Shadow braided rug, Lake Erie Gifts & Décor
Cream buffet, The Little Red Hen House
USA wood blocks and Olde Glory Flag stacking boxes, Gainers Creek Crafts
Augustine light, The 13th Colony, LLC
Stars & Stripes Forever sign, Hare Hollow
Americana star, acountrycupboard.com
Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Scott Campbell
Styled by René Haines