Americana Decorations

by Giorgina Devereaux





Welcoming Americana decorations into your home is a fantastic way to celebrate American history and the American way of life. 

Americana decor can be achieved by pairing traditional folk art with eclectic items that represent American themes.  

This style embodies stereotypical motifs, such as apple pie, baseball, the Statue of Liberty, barns, automobiles, Rock and Roll, Norman Rockwell prints as well as specific facts of American life like carnivals, depots, general stores, farms, jazz clubs, diners, or a section of the country, such as the Old West or the Deep South. 

In terms of art, Americana decorations are generally denoted by historic American designs used by early Americans like colonists and pioneers. 

 

 

Colors that represent the Americana style consist of patriotic shades of red, white, and blue. 

Finding accents that have stars and stripes and simple words, such as, “love, faith, and hope” make wonderful accents and wall hangings. 

Another fantastic wall hanging consists of Americana quilts, which also make the perfect throw, table cloth, and chair cover.  

americana-decorations-patriotic-americana-folk-art-primitive-framed-art-printYou can also find decorative Americana boxes that can be used to charm lonely spaces, such as corners or along the walls.  Not only do Americana boxes look patriotic, but you can use them for storage. 

 

Another great decorative accent is stuffed plush pieces in the Americana decorations theme. These pieces look lovely just about anywhere you display them.  

Place them on top of Americana boxes, a coffee table, a mantle, shelves, or anywhere that could use a little extra detail.

 

The Americana style gives you a considerable range of Americana decorations to choose from because of the varied array of Americana and folk arts objects.  Americana decor can be comprised of many items of interest from the past as well as the present.  

 

Americana Styles

 

When we think of Americana decorations, it is a blend of country, rustic, and reminders of early America and being patriotic.

Americana decorations generally incorporate the U.S. flag in its current 50-state form or earlier versions from the American past.  

It is also signified by simpler art styles like painted wood and handcrafted pieces, as well as items associated with Early America and farming.  Items that feature Americana décor include barns, antique tractors, and milk cans.

 

You may wish to narrow down your Americana style by focusing on natural America or city and town life.  Try to focus on a specific region of the country like the Southwest or rural Appalachia or a specific group of Americans, such as the Native Americans or Colonial Americans.  


Early American Style:  The Early American style most popularly characterizes the spirit of Americana.  Consider incorporating wall décor that consists of portraits of colonists, early town scenes, and ports along the East Coast.  You may also display authentic or replicated quilts from this time period for that extra touch.  To further add interest to this style, hang candle boxes or wall boxes painted with Colonial American motifs.
 

americana-decorations-wilshire-sideboard

Other Colonial and Early American items to consider are:

 

  • Cast iron pans

  • Cast iron weather vanes

  • Corner cupboards

  • Cross-stitch embroidery and needlework

  • Early basketry

  • Federal style sideboard

  • Low blanket chests

  • Miniature portraits

  • Painted pine boxes with iron hardware

  • Plaques or signs with verses in the broken letter style

  • Pine pie safes

  • Spinning wheels

 

If you prefer an authentic antique, but cannot afford one, consider a reproduction to keep costs down. 

Reproductions still provide the characteristics of early American charm.


For artwork, you may wish to consider the following:

 

  • Prints by early Americans

  • Prints featuring 19th century Americans, such as Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, or Betsy Ross

  • Prints that feature important early American locations or trades, such as Nantucket Whalers, Walden Pond, a vintage map of New York City, Maine lobstermen, or a Pennsylvanian quilting bee


1950s Style: 
Another popular version of Americana decorations is embodied by the 1950s.  This fabulous style lends itself to kitchen décor with its '50s diner or soda fountain look, along with chrome tables and stools bearing checked tablecloths, atomic bark cloth draperies, chrome napkin holder, vinyl floor, and prints of 1950s life.  You may wish to display art prints that depict two kids sipping a soda, a jukebox dance, or a  bobby soxer in a poodle skirt.

Primitive Americana Style:  Primitive Americana decorations generally include folk art, tramp art (a popular form of folk art made of wooden cigar boxes or produce crates; these chip-carved layered pieces are made into frames, jewelry boxes, sewing caddies, and furniture), and vintage advertising signs.  
 

Other Primitive Americana accessories, furniture, and ideas include the following:   

  • Balls of homespun yarn

  • Baskets

  • Gourds, pumpkins, and sunflowers

  • Patchwork

  • Primary colors, especially muddied or faded

  • Red ware pottery

  • Spinning wheels

  • Twig furniture

  • Wooden kneading bowls

  • Yellow ware pottery


The main ingredient to Primitive Americana decor is texture.  Rusted and worn metal items especially add character and charm to rooms. 


Coarse textured fabrics, such as burlap and homespun cotton are excellent for pillows and curtains.  Commonly used fabrics for this theme consist of those that are faded, checked, or made to look like old flour sacks.


For carpet, consider Berber since it lends itself well to the flooring needs of a primitive room.


One way of softening the look of Primitive Americana is to display a dried floral arrangement in an old watering can or place fresh flowers inside a mason jar and set it on top of a pine table.  For accessories, consider handcrafted items. 


When looking for furniture pieces that will fit within the Americana decorations style, consider those that are rough and knotty in appearance.  Furniture pieces in the Shaker style are perfect, along with pottery and lanterns, which provide a cohesive, warm, and cozy primitive look.  For bookshelves, consider those with a distressed look. 
 

americana-decorations-patriotic-rooster-framed

Types of Americana Decorative Accessories

 

  • Baskets

  • Bath accessories

  • Bedding ensemble

  • Carved and painted folk art

  • Chair pads

  • Clocks

  • Fireplace screen

  • Hooks

  • Lighting

  • Perpetual calendar

  • Shelves

  • Stars

  • Stitchery pillows

  • Switch plates

  • Towel holders

  • Wallpaper border

  • Wall plaques

  • Window treatments

 

Baskets:  Baskets are a popular Americana decorating piece.  This is one of the most versatile accents because you can use it to hold flowers, teddy bears, candles, and quilts. 
 

Baskets lend themselves to creativity because you can use, for instance, tall baskets in a set of three to hold floral arrangements and hang on walls. 

They can be placed on the floor, used to store magazines, while providing that extra touch.  Smaller baskets work well on walls, shelves, and mantles. 


Bath Accessories: 
Display your pride and patriotism with bath accessories that celebrate the history and folklore of the United States.  You can find bath accessories that feature the U.S. flag with its glorious stars and stripes. 
 

americana-decorations-americana-queen-quilt

Bedding Ensemble:  A fabulous way to incorporate the Americana decorations into your bedroom is through the use of a lovely bedding ensemble that features red and navy colors, along with a mix and match of pillow shams, quilted pillows, a quilted wall hanging, and quilted throws. 

These bedding ensembles are classic Americana decorations because of the combination of colors and beautifully detailed hand stitches th
roughout.


You can even find bedding for the nursery consisting of a quilt, bumper, sheet, and dust ruffle that has an early American, handcrafted look.  The double ruffles and running stitches give it a dramatic old-fashioned appearance. 

 

Carved and Painted Folk Art:  To add plenty of Americana charm to your home, consider displaying carved and painted folk art animals of the north woods like ducks, geese, moose or bears as well as pictures of the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite, the northern Colorado River, or an old map of the northwest territory. 

Chair Pads:  For that Americana spirit, consider chair pads that have a homespun appearance and feature stars and stripes. 
 

Clocks:  Clocks with a folk art look are a fantastic way to add extra detail to the room. 

You can find one that features a pendulum with a star at the bottom and is made to resemble a classic American country house. 

It is simply an adorable Americana decorative accessory that will blend in perfectly with this theme.

 

Hooks:  Hooks are the perfect accessory for hanging purses and keys.  You can find some that have a star design and are finished in distressed country red, blue, or antique white.  This makes a wonderful design element for the Americana style.

 

americana-decorations-pinecone-fireplace-screen

Fireplace Screen:  A fireplace brings to mind images of a cozy room with the crackling sound and smell of a log burning. 

To add warmth to your Americana decorations, consider accenting your fireplace with a fireplace screen that is adorned with the U.S. flag and finished in antique white.
 

Perpetual Calendar:  Make a patriotic statement with a perpetual calendar that features an American eagle clutching Old Glory in his talons. 

It is a decorative way to keep track of what date it is.
 

Shelves:  Shelves are another commonly used decorative item for the Americana style.  You can find them painted in red with gold lines and star and floral cut-outs.  It’s the perfect place to display small items.
 

Lighting:  Lighting is very important because it helps set the mood. 

Some lovely lighting to consider for Americana decorations include those with lampshades that feature stars, a plaid pattern, punched tin with a willow tree or star design, and more.

Stars: 
Stars are one of the most popular forms of decorations used with the Americana theme. 

You can find stars in all sizes and colors.  They are generally constructed of metal (tin) that is sometimes rusty and sometimes painted.  Stars can be used in every type of room. 
 

Stitchery Pillows:  Add warmth and interest to your couch and chairs with an assortment of Americana themed pillows that have the words, “Liberty, Simplify, Stars and Stripes Forever, and Oh Say Can You See, America” stitched on them. 

 

Switch Plates:  An often neglected decorative accessory is switch plates
 

americana-decorations-americana-birdhouse-garden-switch-plate-cover

These make a lovely detail and you can find ones that feature a quote, such as “God bless America” as well as “One Nation Under God.” 

In addition to featuring a quote, these switch plates bring an artistic touch to your overall décor because of its patriotic depiction of a U.S. flag, basket, and star.

 

Towel Holders:  To add beauty and function, consider a scrolled bath towel holder made of natural iron.  You can find these towel holders in a white or black finish.

 

Wallpaper Border:  Add more charm to your Americana style by hanging a wallpaper border that features the U.S. flag, stars and strips, baskets, and wreaths. 

 

Wall Plaques:  Hang wall plaques to bring texture to your home.  Some wall plaques are constructed of cast metal and shaped like star. 

This provides inspiration to the overall design and you can find these in distressed black or country red. 

 

Window Treatments:  Windows deserve to be dressed up and what better way than to use a window valance that features charming folk art with a message, such as “There’s No Place Like Home”.

Other valances feature stars and stripes, navy and taupe checks with country red stars, navy and tan checks and stars with country red borders, and a cranberry and black plaid pattern.
 

As you can see, Americana decorating describes a style that is appealing, comfortable, and casual. 

It consists of easy to care for materials making it perfect for families that have a busy lifestyle, especially those with children.  

The beauty about Americana decorations is that they are versatile, allowing you to incorporate different motifs, which includes geography, folk art, and history
.





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