“I love a bargain,” Darlene Sonnheim admits. “I think everyone does.” She and her husband, Steve, have seen many changes in the antiques world since they began collecting almost 40 years ago. Walking miles at a local flea market trolling for treasure is more difficult now than it used to be, Darlene observes, and she’s sad to report that a number of her favorite local antiques shops have closed. However, the internet has opened new doors and been the source of many of the treasures that fill the couple’s home in the town of Vernon, Wisconsin. “And it’s always open,” Darlene points out with a laugh. She offers the following tips for shopping and scoring online:
When the holiday season is all wrapped up, Vickie Rutherford doesn’t remove all the trimmings from her Wellington, Ohio, home. Instead, she looks for ways to extend the charm of some decorations well into the new year. “I leave up a lot of greens and mini lights after Christmas,” she says. “I love that it makes my home still feel warm.” Stretch the shelf life of Christmas decor another month or two by incorporating Vickie’s winter decorating ideas throughout your own spaces.
Nicki Leathers admits to displaying 62 Christmas trees of various shapes and sizes throughout her approximately 2,500-square-foot Sigourney, Iowa, home last year. “What is more Christmassy than a Christmas tree?” she asks. “We love them and feel like it gives the perfect Christmas touch to each room,” she says. “My mom also loves Christmas trees; growing up, we had at least one (or more) in each room of the house, so I just carried on that tradition with my own family.” She details five ideas for trimming multiple trees with ease.
Are you looking for inventive ways to display your collectibles? Do you wish to free up floor space throughout your home? Follow Jean Moyer’s lead and look to your walls, outfitting them with unique shelving alternatives in varied sizes as she has done in her Telford, Pennsylvania, home. Selecting timeworn finishes or mellowed patinas will highlight collections in a way that is compatible with many styles of country decor.
One of the joys of decorating is adding personality to each room, and incorporating textiles is a great way to place a unique stamp on your spaces, as Colleen Charlton did in her Chehalis, Washington, abode. Try her ideas for utilizing fabric flourishes in your home.
Nancy Woodrow didn’t have a decorating strategy in mind for accessorizing her Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, home with folk art. She simply followed her instincts and assembled groupings that pleased her. However, she offers several tips that are easily adaptable to any country-style home.
Brenda and Mike Kilgore's Orrick, Missouri, home was made for entertaining. "I do family dinners every Sunday for my four kids and grandkids," says Brenda, who espouses the benefits of tough and durable furnishings. "I don't want anybody to ever worry. I want a place my kids can put their feet up, be at home, and not worry about what my grandkids are going to do." She shares a few simple strategies for creating an inviting and open space for entertaining friends and family:
Nothing highlights your decor and sets the tone for your spaces like well-chosen lighting. Elaine and Richard Kunicki share a few of the ways they add authenticity to their Billerica, Massachusetts, home with reproduction lighting:
New England florist Michael Maskery, of The Frugal Flower in Sudbury, Massachusetts, helps Linda and Joe Harris ready their Nottingham, New Hampshire, home for their annual holiday open house. “It gets bigger and better every year,” Michael says. “The people who saw it last year will see something new this year.” Here, he shares some of his favorite techniques for creating Colonial Christmas decor:
Much like vintage vignettes in an antiques mall, Allie and Bill Sosnoski’s charming and cozy home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is filled with seasonal decorating ideas and displays that draw their year-round charm from a lovely, layered feel. And, while Allie may love the past, she’s definitely a product of the 21st century when it comes to gathering design ideas. She likes to visit online blogs and sites such as Pinterest for decorating inspiration. “I can spend hours online,” she admits. She offers the following simple ways to add layers of ambience in your own home: