There are a few categories of items that I particularly love when it comes to early American or primitive style decorating. I’ll share mine if you’ll share yours!
1. Antique washboards. I’ve never needed to use one of these to get my clothes clean, but I love the detailing on the metal and the practicality that these represent. Hang them up for decoration or modified slightly to serve a purpose, like a key holder.
2. School desks and rulers. In another life I was a one-room schoolteacher. I don’t have an antique schoolroom desk- but I WANT ONE. I also love rulers and yardsticks- and I’ve seen them used in so many fun ways, as coat racks, and homemade growth charts for children.
3. Church pews. I love seeing these in homes, especially to organize entry ways.
4. Screen doors. I bought my first antique screen door at a yard sale when I was sixteen. After schlepping it around for years, I was ready to install it on our home. But it didn’t fit- and it was too brittle to modify. So- I used it inside as a headboard in our guest room. My guests always comment on the door and mention it years after their visit!
5. Antique bakeware. Muffin tins are wonderful for organizing everything from office supplies to keys, and I’ve also seen these as wall decorations and candle holders.
6. Door handles. Towel holder, coat hook, dog-leash rack, so many uses, and so much prettier and more interesting than plain wall hooks.
7. Old machines. I have an old typewriter that I bought at an antique store in Asheville, NC several years ago. And an adding machine that was given to my husband by his grandfather. These items represent correspondence, creativity, order and functionality to me. So much of our work is now done on a computer, that I find it grounding to look at items that represent a particular type of task.
People gravitate towards early American decorating/primitive decorating for lots of reasons. I love the history that all these pieces represent, and, for reasons I don’t fully understand, these objects soothe and comfort me.
To see more great primitive decorating ideas, check out this Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/kpcreekgifts/primitive-decorating-ideas/.
Why do you decorate with primitive pieces?
What items do you love the most?