Country Decorating Ideas

American Rustic

A custom painting of mountains above the stove niche evokes the warm nostalgia of early American wanderlust. Traveling westward, silhouettes of bears and pine trees like the ones shown on the pot rack here were seen in the distance. When the time came to stop and settle the land, surrounding materials such as trees were crafted into homes.

Pioneers in a new land had to build their own homes and forge their own destinies to such a degree, they continue to inspire fresh country style in modern times. Even as the boundaries of the wilderness moved (from western Massachusetts to Michigan, from Colorado to California), the image of the ranchers and farmers who settled the land evolved from region to region.

Today, lovers of American rustic style can forge their own image by choosing from cozy log homes; spreading prairie farmhouses with big, welcoming porches; and rooms inspired by the old Southwest or Native American motifs. White­washed walls, rough pine furniture, cheerful fabrics, and heirloom artifacts create a reassuring feeling just about anywhere.

©Whispering Pines A lamp like this one really brings a nostalgic, rustic room to life. A rough cedar column makes the base; the vintage-looking shade is embellished with bird illustrations and Western-inspired whipstitch trim.

One thing's sure: The inherent drama and dignity of early Americans' simple lifestyles make us feel proud today. And that's a feeling that will never go out of style.

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