Decorate with Crafts

Filled to the Prim

Put a rustic spin on summer decorating via Americana-inspired seasonal accessories.

Filled to the Prim

Primitives lover Cally Powrozek thinks that change is always good -- at least when it comes to decorating the Hampshire, Illinois, home she shares with her husband, Dean. "Things are always moving around my house," she says of her habit of continuously rotating and relocating her treasure trove of antiques.

Even stationary fixtures don't escape Cally's creative attention, especially when the originals don't suit her prim vision. "Our basement kitchen had these cheap oak cabinets, so I treated them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and dark wax," she says of one such project.

"I didn't like the original cupboards, so I knew that it wouldn't really matter if they didn't turn out." Luckily, the cabinet makeover -- complete with new black countertops and hardware -- was a resounding success, turning the downstairs gathering area into an even more inviting space. With a door that leads right out to the patio, the room is the perfect escape from the heat while entertaining family in the summer.

With an eye on giving the basement kitchen a seasonal boost, Cally invited Country Sampler stylists Nancy Borsodi and Debbie Plantery to share their summer decorating advice. "It's clear that Cally is a 100-percent primitive gal," Debbie says, "We wanted to honor that by combining that style with summer accents, but to do so with rustic and weathered items instead of the usual bright colors you see this time of year." Read on for 17 clever ways to give your warm-weather look a timeworn vibe.

Filled to the Prim

An Apple a Day
1. Think outside the box. "It's natural that bright red, pure white and royal blue come to mind when we think of patriotic colors," Nancy says. "However, it's easy and fun to put a primitive spin on that palette with barn red, beige and navy." In this grouping, a barnwood flag box with a weathered finish sets a rustic tone.
2. Set the scene. Add interesting pattern and country character at the base level of a centerpiece by spreading a distinctive textile, such as this classic quilt square, beneath your accessories.
3. Enjoy the fruits of your decorating labor. Conjure up "American as apple as pie" flavor with beeswax apples dotting your display. Place a few in a rustic tart or pie pan for a more solid element.

Five-Star Dining
4. Scale it down. "Cally's old wood table is really beautiful, so we didn't want to completely cover it with a vignette," Nancy says. "This crocheted flag rug and a few other accents are the perfect amount of accessorizing for the area."
5. Spread out. To extend the display without taking up space on the table, Nancy wrapped navy cottage cloths around the chair backs.
6. Get it together. Honor primitive style's utilitarian roots by tasking a workaday item, such as a round wire dish rack, with showcasing a collection of treenware bowls. Add some natural color with a few fresh or faux apples.
7. Form an attachment. Use reusable adhesive to attach the bottom of a mini terra-cotta pot to a slightly larger version. Place the same adhesive inside the smaller pot to hold a battery candle.
8. Adjust your overhead. Cally and Dean's home didn't originally have an eating area here. To give the spot a more intentional feel, Cally centered a past-inspired candle chandelier above the dining table and inserted simple cream-colored tapers.

Counter Intuitive
9. Decorate with an accent. Highlight light and medium finishes with dark accents. Echoing the drama of a nearby taper holder, a black metal wreath hanger hosts a make-do rub board on the side of the beadboard-covered tall cabinet: antique price signs attached with magnets bring in a dish of red.
10. Make a move. Arrange a countertop display atop a long, narrow breadboard that can be easily transferred to a new location if prep space is needed.
11. Lighten up. "Accent lamps cast a more even glow if they're boosted," Debbie says. Here, she perched a lantern atop a flag-motif stacking box, placing books in between for color.
12. Reimagine your wares. A cast-off wood box repainted blue and stenciled with white stars makes a smart showcase for vintage beanbags.
13. Think twice. Two is better than one -- at least in terms of window treatments. Hang a patchwork valance over a more neutral tobacco-cloth panel for a cozy layered look.

Bucket Brigade
14. Play chicken. "That shelf is actually an old chicken feeder I hung on the wall upside down," Cally notes. Accompanied by wood signs and antique clothing, the piece makes a bold statement above a bucket bench.
15. Shop your closet. Rummage through your storage spaces to find items you can retask with ground-level decorating duty. These cheery children's galoshes bring out the accent stripe of a jute rug and repeat splashes of red found in a water pump, a chair and painted buckets.
16. Be fake. "Fresh flowers and other plants are great, but for a no-fuss look, I love realistic silks," Nancy says. "It's all about how you display them." Here, a horseshoe votive holder was outfitted with petite pots of silk geraniums, and other faux houseplants top braided trivets.

For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.

Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Photographed by Maurice Victoria
Styled by Nancy Borsodi & Debbie Plantery