Over the years our style has evolved as I’ve struggled to discover what exactly defines “us at home”.
I’ve always felt that the interior style of our home ought to jive somewhat with the exterior, and I’ve always been heavily influenced by decorators like Laura Ashley and Colefax and Fowler: early forerunners (from my perception at least) of the classic English Country look.
Our first home was the (now standard) European cottage style which lent itself very well to English Country.
When we moved to our vintage colonial revival home built in 1937…
I took my English Country accessories with me but I also tweaked things a bit to give them a vintage take on Early American.
Now we’re moving to a barn.
And I’m struggling with this one.
In the first place, country, unless it is English Country, has never really been my thing. It calls to mind images of the ‘80s: geese, black and white cows, powder blue wallpaper with a pink floral border, dried flowers hot glued to a straw hat hung on the wall.
No can do.
Then I began to explore the many pinterest pinboards featuring a chic, modern country style: tan and white monochromatic color schemes, sliding barn doors, Mason jars, burlap, and walls covered with reclaimed wooden pallets.
This….I might be able to pull this off.
So I began to window shop the internet.
And I discovered that trying to make the inside of a home look like an old barn, a dusty place where one houses cows, sheep and pigs: is very expensive.
Sliding barn doors made of reclaimed barn wood? Recycled, right? Taken from something no one else currently wants, right? So they ought to be cheap, right?
Utilitarian barn lighting?
A small fortune.
Furniture that looks like it has been built of scrap lumber and left out in the rain?
Six months’ wages.
So, I’m currently trying to figure out a way to:
2. creating an interior space that blends with the weather vane on the roof while…
3. trying to incorporate much of what we already have…
all the while trying *not* to end up with something that looks like a “Down on the Farm” exhibit at a theme park.
It’s a challenge.
But I’ve had some thoughts (I’d welcome yours), and I’ve started to take some steps to assemble some ideas that I hope will result in something warm and homey:
*Quilt fabrics. Not the cutesy kind, but reproduction vintage and antique prints (or those pretty closely resembling repros). I’ve decided to use these in lieu of decorator fabrics. Still working on the color palette…
*Kerosene lamps. I wanted these when we had our first home, but couldn’t pull it off. They just didn’t fit. Here, I won’t have to worry about that.
*Mason jars. They’re cheap and I already have some. Now, I’m not going to create a chandelier out of them, I just plan to use them gently, as small accessories here and there; like a vase for flowers or as a soap dispenser.
*A lovely porcelain rooster….mmmaybe. I’m trying to downsize as we pack things up. As a newlywed, I went nuts with accessory items and dusting day is a nightmare. But I do love roosters. And chickens. And small birds. And feathers. And eggs….
*Burlap. Again, as with the mason jars, used in moderation which is difficult because it is so inexpensive and at the moment: very much in vogue.
In addition to the above we’ve decided on stained concrete for the flooring throughout. I have allowed for a doorway between the dining and living room ~ someday we’d love to have one of those sliding doors.
Yes, I’ve seen where one can make them. I pinned it.
I do have some things that, for sentimental reasons, I can’t part with, need to use, but can’t see in a barn. Things like a Victorian style mirror, a set of Staffordshire dogs, some framed Bouguereau prints, a Chippendale dining table, and some Duncan Phyffe pieces. Hopefully we’ll be able to blend those in with the rest, and hopefully, as one comes up the sweeping drive lined with barbed wire and through the front door, the contrast won’t be too jarring.
In the words of Tim Gunn we’ll just “make it work”.