Design Hints

Patriot Games

Play up five-star Americana style in your home with helpful hints for factoring in red, white and blue accents.

"When I see something that's red, white or blue and it works with my house, I grab it up," says Sharon Pesek, whose home is featured in our July 2013 issue. She decks out her lakeside Florida cottage with a palette she pared down to patriotic hues. Follow her tips for successfully dressing your home in an Americana color scheme.

Choose dual-colored objects: Boost interest by displaying items that sport at least two colors in the scheme: Blue-and-white dishes, red-and-white textiles and rugs, and red-white-and-blue game boards and quilts go a long way to creating cohesive interiors. To put this idea into action, Sharon brings visual distinction to her great room floors by setting graphically dynamic painted barbershop poles on the pine floors.

Wave the flag: Gather up old parade flags and group them in a wide variety of interesting vessels to carry Old Glory colors to tabletops, counters and shelves. Tuck a flag into a floral arrangement or stick a handful into a potted plant -- Sharon perks up her kitchen counter with a few flags and some flowering branches in a glass vase.

Stay true to red, white and blue: A Yankee-Doodle palette is most dandy when you focus your decor on just those three hues and then mix in natural wood finishes and/or touches of black. Aside from the occasional bit of greenery, the home strictly follows Sharon's chosen scheme -- however, varying tones, such as blues that run from a light-finish basket in the master bedroom to a deeper blue on a great room hutch, keep the scene lively.

Compare and contrast: Introduce an assortment of white finishes and surfaces, comfortable upholstered furnishings and fresh-faced fabrics as cheerful counterpoints to distressed patinas and weighty antique cupboards. In Sharon's great room, for instance, crisp-lined red plaid rugs repeat the motifs of wall-hung game boards that feature a more aged finish.

Written by Ann Wilson
Photographed and styled by Franklin & Esther Schmidt