Our blog has a new look and it’s all about Americana. At Aardvark Antiques, we love our country and we take pride in our heritage and our new Americana theme is a great way to show it!
The Americana style, however, isn’t all red, white and blue. It actually encompasses several different looks. All of these different forms of Americana employ such aspects as folk art, historical memorabilia, geographical themes, and natural materials. The style is casual, rustic, homey and flexible and can be customized according to the personality of the homeowner.
The Patriotic Americana style is probably the most well known of the Americana styles and is the style that we have adopted as our blog theme. As the name implies, the Patriotic Americana style utilizes flags, stars, stripes, the colors red, white and blue, Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, and historical American memorabilia. Many times the colors are not the vivid colors of the flag, but more faded colors to give an antique, distressed effect.
This form of Americana can also be called New England Americana. Different decorative components can be utilized such as fishing nets, light houses, fishing gear, pelicans and other sea birds, seashells and starfish, nautical maps, lanterns, anchors, lifesavers, sailboats and ships, oars, bottles, trunks, ship steering wheels, etc. The colors utilized are primarily blue and white, but many times red is included as well.
The Primitive Americana Style is a rustic and homey look. The decor includes many different elements of early American culture. This includes items like old jars, jugs and bottles, baskets, quilts an other fabric elements, wooden bowls, wood stoves, old tools and kitchen utensils, buttons, old bottles, boxes and tins that old products came in, handmade items that have been sewn, quilted, crocheted, or knitted, wooden rocking chairs, old baby dolls, gingham and other faded and worn fabrics, old pots and pans many times made of copper, pottery, and many natural materials like pine cones, gourds, cotton, dried flowers and berries, and burlap. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
This decorating style draws from native american culture and from regions like New Mexico and Arizona. The style elements include geometrical shapes, feathers, antlers, buffalo, log furniture, cactus, native american pottery and tapestries, eagles, and wolves. The color palette is variable and includes red, turquoise, orange, terra cotta, yellow, and brown.
The Farmhouse variety of Americana is very popular and is inspired by American farm life. It implements different elements from rural american living and farmhouses from the early 1900’s. You’ll find that some of the elements from the Primitive Americana style can also be used in the Farmhouse Americana style. Look for such design elements as apples and other vintage fruit or vegetable motifs, roosters and chickens, cows, pigs, quilts, eyelet, red and white checked fabric, vintage pottery and china, vintage jars and pitchers, vintage signs, pie safes, distressed wood, hardwood floors, vintage appliances, mason jars, vintage kitchenette and appliances, chicken wire, claw foot bathtub, and metal headboard and foot boards.
Western Americana is just what it sounds like it would be. Think Old West when looking for your design components. Some great ideas for Western Americana style would be horses, any kind of horse gear like saddles and horseshoes, leather, cow print and cowhide, cowboy and ranch themes, lassos, wagon wheels, cowboy hats, hay bales, wooden barrels, antlers and horns, cactus, chaps, wagon wheels, etc. The color tones are warm, earthy and rustic.
You can find many of the decorative elements for the various Americana Styles as close to home as your own attic. Doris Lewis of North Georgia is an expert in Americana decor and her beautiful home is proof. Many of the photos we used in this article today are from her home. She says to just use what you have on hand. Just use your imagination and you can find ways to use things you have never thought of before. Keep and eye out at Aardvark Antiques; we get new things in weekly. You never know what treasures you might fine. Her advise to someone who wants to decorate Americana is:
“Start collecting. There’s things that they just don’t make anymore. Like the metal spice cans, the glass bottles… whoever thought that the syrup bottles would go on to be a collectors item? So I would say just start collecting. If you see something you like, even though you may not know what you’ll do with it, just get it and keep it and an idea will pop into your mind and you can try it.”