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O say, can you see…the style? For this Americana Design 101 class, we’re going back to 1776 to get some design inspiration from the Founding Fathers. After all, they had great style! The red, white, and blue color palette is a timeless look we’ve applied to over two centuries of American design. While the Americana style embraces the Star-Spangled Banner, it also highlights different design eras throughout American history. So, you have the freedom to get creative. But, what is Americana design, and how can you add Americana style to your home? Don’t worry! The LiLi Team defines the style and answers all your questions. Grab your history books because Americana Design 101 is now in session!
Like the United States itself, the Americana style is a melting pot of design elements from sea to shining sea. Americana design celebrates the country’s rich history, folklore, and geography — taking design cues from Colonial, Coastal, Farmhouse, and many other styles. While Americana design can go in different directions depending on regions and personal preferences, the timeless look is grounded in nostalgia and a classic red, white, and blue color palette. So before you set off to pioneer your own Americana design journey, you need to pick a classic American style to ground your design plan.
Here are 6 of the most popular American design styles:
When it comes to the classic Colonial style, look to the sprawling Northeastern estates of our Founding Fathers for inspiration. Colonial homes are simple yet elegant. Typically, they feature symmetrical designs, brick facades, and stately columns flanking the front porch. Colonial interiors often have warm wood floors, decorative moldings, and stately fireplaces accented with decorative tile surrounds.
Craftsman homes are as honest as Johnny Appleseed himself! This style features detailed woodwork carved by expert craftspeople, including decorative stair railings, built-ins, and front porch columns. Craftsman homes are typically one or two-story and feature low-pitched roofs, front porches, and horizontal lines reflective of the American prairie. Interiors often include warm colors and handmade tiles.
Cape Cod homes dot the coastline throughout Nantucket and the Hamptons. This classic American vacation home style features welcoming features like casual wood shingles, dormered windows, and nautical decor. Interiors often utilize neutral color palettes accented with red & blue and classic patterns like chevron. We think our Mia cement tile would fit right in a coastal kitchen design!
In recent years, the classic American farmhouse has gotten a refresh! The modern farmhouse style is a new take on the traditional homestead. This style typically features a simple two-story design, a neutral black & white color palette, and a classic white kitchen. Popular finishing details include board and batten walls, wood floors, and oversized fireplaces accented with a patterned tile.
What’s more American than the Grand Canyon? Perhaps rustic Southwestern design. Southwestern homes have heavy Spanish and Pueblo influences, including features like white stucco walls, terracotta roofs, and cool cement tile floors. Our Sofia and Aline cement tile collections blend Spanish patterns with a classic red, white, and blue color palette for the ultimate American Southwest look!
Americana design is rooted in nostalgia. So, let’s take a ride on Route 66 to gather some retro inspiration! Retro Americana design can range from the 50s & 60s to the 70s & 80s. Will you decide to embrace a mid-century vibe and design a checkerboard floor for your diner-inspired kitchen or display a radical record collection and John Hughes movie posters in your media room? There’s a wide range of retro pop culture to choose from, so try sticking with a theme. For example, you could create an old Hollywood look and make your own walk of fame with our Hollywood Star tiles.
Americana design is a melting pot of styles. Once you choose a look that fits your personality, you can begin telling your own American story through your design choices! Will you go for a classic Colonial look and throw a tea party in the parlor or embrace retro nostalgia and screen your favorite movies in a backyard drive-in? The choice is yours!
Now that you know more about Americana design, it’s time to recreate the look for yourself. Here are 5 ways to add Americana style to your home — no matter which American design theme you choose!
The best way to create an American look in any home is to embrace a red, white, and blue color palette. Go for muted variations of the shades for a subtle look, or opt for bright colors if you want a bold space. Consider starting with a neutral background of white walls and accent with reds and blues through pillows, curtains, and decorative tiles. Red and blue already look great together, so you’re almost guaranteed a stunning result! Our Diana cement tiles come in light red and blue patterns, and our Twinkle series even features stars that would make Betsy Ross proud!
You don’t have to hang an American flag on your wall, but incorporating subtle stars and stripes patterns throughout your house can drive home your Americana design plan. Consider embracing stars and stripes prints in your textiles or accent tiles. You could create a striped backsplash using different colors of our Baguette cement tiles or embrace a variation with a Lines patterned tile. Pair these with our Sky series tiles to create your own take on the Star-Spangled Banner.
Americana design is rooted in nostalgia and history, so display your collections to share your own personal American history. Collection displays could be anything from 1800s antiques to 80s records to ships in a bottle to vintage ad posters. If it’s meaningful to you, show it off!
From New England charm to Wild West resilience to Southern hospitality, America is known for being warm and rustic. Add some cozy charm to your space through overstuffed furniture, vintage fabric patterns, a rustic oversized kitchen table, or even a freshly baked apple pie waiting on the counter for guests. Adding cozy elements like these to your decor scheme will make your space even more inviting.
There’s something nostalgically American about playing checkers, and the checkerboard motif has made its way into many Americana styles — from Colonial tablecloths to retro diner floors. Try adding a fun checkerboard motif to your design, whether through textiles or tile. To create a checkerboard floor, pick two colors from our Solid tile collection and lay them in an alternating pattern. You could go for a classic black and white or get creative with any color combination imaginable!
When it comes to Americana design, you have to be red, white, and true to your own style! There’s a whole country to inspire your designs, and you have the freedom to choose any elements you like. Americana design really is a melting pot of style, just like the country that inspires it.
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