Primitive Decorating Ideas

Sally Painter
Wooden pitcher

Most primitive decorating reflects a definitive flair of nonconformity in basic style. Individuality is often found expressed in primitive art. Rough-hewed mantles and beams create a great backdrop for other rustic styles as well as the red, white and blue designs of patriotic themes.

Shopping for Primitive Home Accents

When shopping for your home, you want to look for specific Primitive décor accents. Try mixing these with other styles to create a unqiue and personal design. You want to find a good balance between styles to give your home the best design flow you can.

  • Piper Classics: If you're looking for a wide range of primitive home accents, this is a great website to find some very unique items. You might like some of the wood figurine carvings, a pastoral scene painted from milk paint, hand-carved wooden fruits and vegetables placed in a woven reed or pine needle basket, or punched tin star napkin rings,
  • The Weathered Gate: You can find hooked and braided rugs and punched tin lanterns on this website. There are plenty of cottage styled home accents for any primitive enthusiast to feel right at home.
  • Traditional Folkart: The works of modern day artists who carry on the traditions of past generations are featured throughout this website. Some of the wood carvings you'll find include duck decoys and pipe boxes. You may have a difficult time choosing just a few baskets from Appalachian, Indian, Nantucket and other styles to set on your distressed wood kitchen table.

Primitive Décor Defined

A Primitive décor can be best summed up as a mixture of country, Americana and traditional folkart. The combination of different cultures in a new land allowed for many utilitarian and practical items to be transformed and repurposed into home accents.

For example, the creation of the rag rug was born out of necessity and a desire for a decorative colorful rug, but materials were precise and few, so homemakers reused old clothing and other strips of worn cloth to create floor rugs for their homes. A leaky teapot was turned into a whimsical herb planter and a broken limb from an old tree downed by a storm was carved into a figure to serve as a doorstop.

Decorating Ideas for Your Home

Whether you want to add just a few touches of Primitive accents to your home or you've decided to create an authentic look throughout your home, there are unlimited choices for you to use.

  • Foyer: The entrance into your home sets the expectation of what's to unfold as visitors enter your home. Greet them with a dried flower and herb wreath on your front door and a small area rug and wooden peg coat rack in the foyer to make them feel welcomed. A whimsical wood plaque with word art will invite your guests to visit a while. This is an excellent place for a garage sale dresser that's been painted in a distressed finish.
  • Family Room: A hooked rug makes a great centerpiece in front of the fireplace. Gingham upholstery with hand-crocheted pillows sets the ambiance for your room. Blues and browns are great color choices and can be accentuated with touches of red or yellow. A punched tin lamp shade on a heavy wood end table will give your room a unique touch. Don't forget to add a game board for a true authentic touch. If you collect Saltbox houses, display them on a sideboard and be sure to include a rag rug runner.
  • Kitchen: The possibilities for primitive elements in your kitchen can begin with accent pieces such as a weathered and rusted metal sculpture of a chicken or an old weathervane mounted on your wall or above the kitchen cabinets. Add faux beams or real wood ones that have a rough-hewed look. If you have space enough for a table, choose an old farm table style that's distressed with thick slabs of wood for the tabletop. Place a handmade reed baskets filled with hand-carved vegetables or fruits for a centerpiece. Make or purchase a few rag rugs to place at work stations in your kitchen or a large braided rung for your dining area.
  • Bathroom: A tin cutout picture in a rough wooden frame makes a great conversation piece for a small half bath. Add an old milk urn with straw flowers in the corner and a set of guest towels with hand-embroidered stars.
  • Bedroom: Your bedroom is a great place to introduce some of the textiles commonly used for primitive décor such as quilts, throws, pillows and various styles of rugs. The colors typically used in these fabric patterns and designs will add a touch of warmth to your décor. Opt for an iron headboard and hand-crocheted lace pillow cases to complement the wedding ring quilt at the foot of the bed.
  • Dining Room: Choose a rustic table and ladder back chairs or your dining room. A pie safe makes a great china cabinet while an oversized sideboard can double as a buffet. Red glazed pottery is a classic choice for this décor. Get brave and use an old quilt for a tablecloth or cut a quilt into a table runner with a matching one for the sideboard. Braided rugs and placemats are also a great touch. Large wicker and reed baskets make great additions to your dining experience and can be used to serve bread or cradle hot bowls.

Making Your Design Personal

The main focus you want to maintain whenever decorating your home is for it to be a genuine reflection of you and your family. Personal likes and interests should be prevalent in the items you select to become permanent pieces of your family history. Years from now, whenever you look at an object, memories of the times you and your family spent using it will flood back, so it's very important that you make sure each element in your décor is an authentic representation of your family and one you'll enjoy living with.

Primitive Decorating Ideas