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​The enduring style of early American design

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Traditional Dining Room by Kirkland Interior Designers & Decorators Helga Simmons Interior Design LLC

There is a reason why Early American furniture has withstood the test of time-- it does not take itself too seriously. In other words, every piece of furniture and décor is meant to be used and enjoyed. As a result, a room decorated in an Early American style offers a warm and inviting look that invites one to come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable.  

Elements of true Early American decorating might include items like ruffled lampshades, skirted upholstered furniture, maple wood furniture and style specific fabric patterns. Colors are what you would expect, barn red, warm gold, rich brown with touches of blue and green. Hand-crafted decorative items might include needlepoint pillows and cross-stitched samplers, hand-carved decoys, curvy furniture etc. Architecturally speaking you might see exposed brick, knotty woods, paneling and other simple molding details. Furniture designs feature simple lines with few flourishes, meant to be utilitarian.

While all of these design styles have differences, early American is often referred to as colonial style or even primitive and rustic. They all borrow elements from each other with the end result being a room that is comfortable and offers a sense of history.

Early American décor is ideally suited for the laid back comfort of a local Inn or Bed and Breakfast. Proprietors can easily decorate both guest and public rooms with simply styled chairs, beds, armoires and accent tables that just might evoke some fond childhood memories for their guests.

Classically styled Windsor chairs like these can be used at the dining table, as additional seating in a living space or as a comfortable desk chair.  Other early American chair styles include ladderback, spindle and even a wheat back design.

Bayport side chair from Cody Road Workshops and available at paintedfurniturebarn.com

Accessories are an important element to any design style and early American is no exception.  

Whether you refer to it as primitive, rustic, colonial, farmhouse or early American, this comfortable and functional decorating style is here to stay.