When Buena, New Jersey, homeowner Kathy Crespo decided to go country with her interior decor, she embraced the style wholeheartedly. With period lighting, wood furniture, natural finishes and antiques, plus thrift-store finds and a mix of fabrics and textiles, she created a cozy, comfortable abode for her and her husband, Jose. Using workaday items as accents throughout the house is key to the split-level's homespun air. To incorporate everyday objects into your living space, follow some of Kathy's tips.
Get a group going. Gather up a handful of collectibles and showcase them simply, letting their numbers provide the impact. On the Crespos' main dining room table, a collection of wood mashers in a bowl makes a strong statement beside a hydrangea-filled crock.
Don't leave things in the closet. Old brooms -- long, short, fat or skinny -- make for interesting accents. Hang a few from a peg rack, stand one tall in an urn, or prop one in a corner for texture and eye appeal.
Discover a second life. Rethink some old odds and ends that are just sitting around the house. For example, an old wood and iron pulley looks right at home when giving a boost to a petite tin lamp atop a blue cabinet in the main dining room. "The pulley was my husband's," Kathy explains, "and I thought, 'What can I do with this?' "
Go beyond bedding. Quilts and other textiles have many functions outside of a warm bedcover. "I'll stack several quilts in a cupboard and leave the door open," Kathy says. Fold a large coverlet and drape it over a shelf; hang several small pieces of fabric randomly from a peg rack; or, use sections of old material as a table runner.
Take a measured approach. Wood measures or scoops can serve as a focal point or a finishing touch. In her dining spaces, for instance, Kathy places large ones on tables and hutches, adorning them simply with a few rag balls or pieces of fruit.
Written by April Miller
Photographed and styled by Franklin & Esther Schmidt