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Tips on Home Decorating


There are a variety of interpretations of the Country style. It can range from the English cottage style with soft floral and delicate patterned fabrics to the traditional American with its Queen Anne furniture and rich sophisticated fabrics. There is also the "Americana" version of the Country look which incorporates the Quaker/Shaker styles of furnishings that feature simple lines, washed woods, natural oak finishes, and folk art wall decor.

Some examples of the color palettes, fabrics and artwork that define these different Country styles are as follows:

ENGLISH COTTAGE -- If you can visualize an English garden, you have a good idea of the colors and textures found in this type of Country look. The fabrics feature flowers and greenery, combining soft shades with touches of brights. You will often see two distinct patterns, of similar color, combined together on one piece of furniture to form a patchwork effect. The woods used are usually whitewashed. The feeling is definitely soft, feminine, fresh, and sunny.

Images that give the English cottage feel are "Basket of Hydrangeas" by Caren Heine, "Colonial Garden" by Greg Singley, "Morning Arrangement" by Patton Wilson and "Double Dutch" by Jerianne Van Dijk.

TRADITIONAL AMERICAN -- The defining element of this Country look is that it replicates the style of our colonial origins. The furniture is a mixture of English designs that were brought over by the colonists and the new world influence that was introduced by incorporating the materials at hand. The woods tend to be warm and soft in color with accents of brass hardware. Wing back, ladder back and slat back chairs are indicative of the traditional American style as well. Floor coverings range from Oriental rugs to hardwood floors with area rugs.

Images that work well with this style are "The Big Room" and "Master Bedroom"by Andrew Wyeth

AMERICANA -- This style brings in elements that resemble the look of an early Shaker farmhouse. It is less formal than the American traditional style and the furniture tends to be more simplistic and rough hewn. Many times you will see wood finishes mixed with painted surfaces such as a dresser with a wood finish on top and sides and drawers that have been painted to pick up the color scheme of the room. Braided rugs are popular floor coverings and handmade quilts are often used as wall decor.

Some images representing this style are "House with Flag" by Warren Kimble, "Wild Roseberries" by Pauline Campanelli and "Glory Be" by Betsy Bennett.
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