Design Hints

Vintage American

Learn how to infuse your living spaces with the color and cheer of down-home Americana.

Vintage AmericanWant to infuse your living spaces with the color and cheer of down-home Americana? Take this advice from Ivanhoe, California, shopowners Bobby and Sharon Cheek (they run a store called Grandma's Attic) with their easy-to-follow hints.

Red, White & Blue: Adorn your space using colors and/or patterns inspired by Old Glory, such as red or blue ticking and check patterns, or decorative items -- try tin stars or garland. The Cheeks' kitchen gets a patterned perk-up from red-checkered towels and striped skirts on the freestanding counter.

Toy Land: One of the easiest ways to factor in vintage flair is by displaying old game boards; tin toys, cars, trucks and doll furniture; baby blocks; antique wagons; and stuffed toys, including teddy bears and dolls. In the guest bedroom, Sharon showcases a variety of playful accents, from a bear perched on a chair to a Raggedy Ann doll hung on the wall.

Kid Stuff: Incorporating children's furniture into your interior scenery is another way to introduce a bit of whimsy. Ideas include vintage school desks, high chairs, small beds, cribs and stools, as seen in the Cheeks' master and guest bedrooms.

Dress Up: Bring in texture, color and dimension with antique clothes, bonnets, aprons and more. To add a dash of sweet and simple charm, Sharon displays old children's clothing throughout her home -- everything from christening gowns and baby pajamas to shoes and booties.

Follow the Signs: Country-inspired wood and tin signage fills wall space in a fun and quirky way. Old-fashioned advertising posters lend their distinctive graphics to the wall above Sharon and Bobby's kitchen stove; in the dining room, long wood signs draw the eye up to the decorating real estate over a doorway and a cabinet.

Written and styled by Rebecca J. Razo
Photographed by Mark Tanner

Originally seen in "Small Town, USA" on pages 26-35 of our May 2014 issue.