Behind My Red Door

Monday, June 23, 2008

Decorating Inspiration - part one

Decorating our home is one of my biggest passions - NO kidding - I hear some of my new and old friends saying - LOL! When I was a young girl, I wanted my bedroom done in a certain way. When we had a small fire in our home, the smoke and water did more damage the fire and the resulting construction gave my parents the opportunity to knock down a wall between the room I shared with my sister and the attic. I could not wait to decorate our new bigger room. I picked out the fabric for the curtains and then the paint color. And it wasn't little girl pink. That was my first foray into decorating and I have been at it ever since.

Early American/Colonial/Primitive style has always been my favorite. I love the history behind the collections and items. I like to imagine what it was like using the utensils and tools. I like the casual, warm and inviting feel it has. I try to use as many things as possible that at least have some historical base for their design or use. I am not opposed to reproductions or folk art interpretations, but I don't things that are old, scuffed up and worn just for the sake of being old. I think living in NE and close to places like Old Sturbridge Village, Plymouth, Concord and Lexington and having visited the historic homes in those towns has definitely influenced my tastes in what I choose to use in our home.

In the late 70's, my neighbor, and dear friend Chris had a subscription to Country Living magazine. I was just mesmerized! I loved looking through her magazines and I had to have it. At
some point I also discovered Country Home magazine as well. They were the first two print sources of inspiration. I still have many articles cut from their pages going back MANY years! Here are a few of my favorite pictures and articles from those 2 magazines and a few others:

I think if you click on the pictures, you can see them in a larger format -I know my prim friends will enjoy that! These books are out of print now so if anyone wants the pictures from this post emailed to them for closer peeping, just send me your email.

Shortly after moving here when I was really defining my style, I saw an ad for a set of Time -Life books on Country Style decorating. They were offered in a subscription series and I couldn't wait for the next issue to arrive each month. It wasn't the country style of the time with the mini print wallpapers, geese and cape cod ruffled curtains. These books really dealt with authentic Early American and Colonial style. Not only did they feature rooms, there were great articles about things I loved and coveted - redware, baskets, hooked rugs, candle holders and molds, yellowware, stoneware and the history behind them. I have looked through the 13 books in this series over and over and over. Here are 5 that I still go to all the time.

When I was getting ready to take pictures for this post, I was going through each book (AGAIN) and I was reminded once more that the style I enjoy is indeed based on what our forefathers (or was it our 'foremothers'), used to decorate their homes. Most often the items were not only decorative, but they were utilitarian as well. They couldn't afford things just to sit on a shelf - it had to be useful as well and often it had to be something they could make themselves or barter for:

Wooden bowls, game boards and baskets

Pinkeeps (better known as pincushions)

More baskets

candle holders


Pantry boxes, buckets and firkins



Hooked rugs

Bee skeps

Butter churns and molds

Oil lamps and oil storage

And here are a few of the pictures of rooms that inspire me.

What a pantry!

Great keeping room!

Wonderful kitchen!

Prim bathroom

Another great kitchen

I hope my fellow house peepers enjoyed seeing some of the pages of this book series. More pictures of my inspiration to come later this week. I really had fun putting part one of this post together.

The only problem is my 'wish' list is growing!

Until next time and part two - hugs, Linda