Cindy Mack Taggart's favorite room is the heart of her Abilene, Kansas, home. When she started renovations, she was tempted to gut the space and start from scratch. "The appliances were not usable, and the layout of the kitchen did not flow well," she says. Ultimately, she opted to rework the floor plan. "I was able to put my unique country-style stamp on it so it would look like a working American country kitchen," she adds. Here's how you can create the kitchen of your dreams:
Kimberly Smith-Johnson, a Quakertown, Pennsylvania, resident and owner of a home decorating business, says, "I like to put a modern twist on country style. I like to mix primitive and country." Her dining room embodies this philosophy and features bold colors, traditional furniture and unique displays. To transform your dining room into a prim entertaining space, consider Kimberly’s five decorating tips:
To create a peaceful space in your country abode, let Jeff VanVoorhis and Susan Fox be your guides. The pair rank the living room as one of their favorite places to while away the hours. Here are a few of their ideas on putting together a primitive room that evokes a sense of calm:
Do you daydream about buying and restoring an antique home? As romantic as this notion may sound, lovers of old houses often follow a different path and build a new home that recalls yesteryear but incorporates elements needed for today’s lifestyle. Teri Klinker advocates this old house, new balancing act and says, "Period homes never go out of style." Reflecting on her own experience with designing and building a home with an eye on the past, Teri offers these helpful tips:
Linda and Trevor Meachen's mobile home proves that you don't need a lot of space or high ceilings to use signs to make a strong style statement. With a wide selection of fonts, colors and shapes, the possibilities are endless. "If I like what it says, I'll buy it," Linda explains of her penchant for phrases. She shares several ways to incorporate vintage and vintage-style signage into your own space.
Sometimes a winter welcome means forgoing the typical red-and-green holiday color scheme in favor of a woodsy and rustic palette. As Robyn Thomas decorated her 1850 farmhouse she shares with her husband, Keith, and their children, she aimed to replicate the unpretentious lifestyle of the original residents, and her approach to the holidays is no different. “I think about what the house looked like then,” she explains. Here are some of the ways she decks the halls—including this enclosed porch—with homespun cheer.
Screened porches are peaceful retreats that strike a balance between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Unlike an open deck or patio, a porch offers protection from sun exposure, rain showers and flying insects. Depending on where you live, porches can be enjoyed year-round or for multiple seasons. To maximize comfort and optimize charm, planning is needed to outfit your porch. Julie Tweedie and her family relax on their Blaine, Maine, porch from early spring to late fall, and she enjoys making it a cozy, inviting space in any season. Here are some of her decorating tips:
One of Amy Thomas’ signature decorating motifs includes incorporating both fresh and faux foliage in the design schemes that fill the rooms of her Marion, New York, home. “By simply adding wreaths, sprigs of eucalyptus, and other greenery, you can create a warmth within the room and a natural pop of color regardless of the season,” she says. Try out her ideas for incorporating a bit of nature’s bounty in your own home.
You’ve amassed a trove of china, porcelain, pottery and other dishware over the years, or perhaps inherited them from a generation or two of loved ones. How can you integrate these treasures into your decor? Pat Kennedy, who adores crocks, children’s feeding dishes and ironstone, helped round up some ideas for dazzling dish displays that she uses throughout her west-central Minnesota home.
“I love a bargain,” Darlene Sonnheim admits. “I think everyone does.” She and her husband, Steve, have seen many changes in the antiques world since they began collecting almost 40 years ago. Walking miles at a local flea market trolling for treasure is more difficult now than it used to be, Darlene observes, and she’s sad to report that a number of her favorite local antiques shops have closed. However, the internet has opened new doors and been the source of many of the treasures that fill the couple’s home in the town of Vernon, Wisconsin. “And it’s always open,” Darlene points out with a laugh. She offers the following tips for shopping and scoring online: