Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Style Inspiration, Part 2: Farmhouse.

Do you know your style?

In Part 1, I had thought I had found it. My "style." Farmhouse/Cottage.

Here is how the Canadian Magazine House and Home defines it:

For those who crave the comfort and charm of rural living, we bring you the new farmhouse look. In this decorating style, rugged utilitarian spaces and contemporary lines mix with country details. From upscale kitchens to quaint and cosy nooks, these homes take inspiration from the great outdoors with natural materials and palettes. source
But when I went looking for images to illustrate its elements, I found that, like all "decorating styles" some of it appealed to me: and some of it definitely did not.

At the lowest point, I was advised that in order to pull off this style, I needed to "accessorize, accessorize, accessorize." That advice leaves me cold. In a cold climate no less.

From what I read and saw here are some of its essential ingredients:

Architectural Features:
Beadboard walls and/or ceiling.
Schoolhouse and carriage - type light fixtures
Windows with mullions. The more panes the better.
Finishes: All things natural. Wood, wood, and more wood. Wicker. Stone. Ceramic. Nothing pretentious. No granite, marble or their look alikes.

Isn't that amazing?

Case goods are either natural weathered wood, beat up light coloured oak or pine, or beat up old painted pieces with many, many layers of paint. They should be simply constructed and look as though they could have been built by the farmer, himself (or herself).

In fact, I like this look. I can't imagine living with it though. I'd want to paint it up properly and make it pretty.

Iron is another material in the "farmhouse" style--the old iron bedstead is a classic among all types of "Cottage" interiors.

source: Country Living

But, again, I cannot imagine I'd be comfortable propping my back up against that to read every night. I'd want an upholstered headboard: with a camel back. I do love the colours, though.

Upholstered Pieces run the gamut from this sweet patchwork slipper chair

to elaborately curved tufted and tightly upholstered pieces.

Grain sacks. Natural linen. Wool. Cotton. Plaids and checks: in rugs, upholstery, wall coverings, table mats and curtains.

Enamelware, tin ware, flowers in pitchers, Ironstone platters and serving dishes, and signs.
Animals featured in artwork, figurines, in fabrics and totchkes.

This is a fine image. It contains several of the elements already mentioned: beadboard panelling, Ironstone servingware. Wildflowers in a jug. Wood. All very nice.
But the cows? Those cows?
I couldn't.
I could not look at them everyday.

Nor can I do roosters.

Could I live with these crows without constantly thinking of The Birds?

I don't know.

In talented hands like Sarah Richardson's, the elements combine into something wonderfully rich and sublime. Nothing is forced. It all looks like it ought and everything is there: the natural materials; weathered wood, stone, straw, wicker. There's the painted wood bench with an enamelware pail holding apples. There's even a ceramic jug holding branches on the most amazing "multi-layered and stripped" painted wooden cabinet. The paisley curtains and the fabulous woven wool rug add the sophistication--as does the palette and the big block of red. Oh, that red. (Be still my heart.)

Once again, I'm not sure where I'm at, stylistically speaking. In my own little, once again, undefined world, I expect, where there is colour and things I find from the thrift store, like these pretties:

1 comment :

Leena said...

What I think you (and I too) should do is to pick a style and then tune or pimp it to look like you. So leave out the animals :)

I know it's difficult, there are so many nice styles and cool details to incorporate in your own style. And then stick to it, that's the hardest part! I tend to change my mind every other day.

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