Dec­o­rate with Crafts

The Coun­try Sam­pler stylists let red, white and blue reign when se­lect­ing all-Amer­i­can ac­cents to make an en­try­way shine.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

The Coun­try Sam­pler stylists out­fit an en­try with flag-wav­ing flair.

Show­ing love for the land of the free and the home of the brave in­spires dis­plays of Amer­i­cana decor year­round, but the sum­mer sea­son re­ally brings this fes­tive stars-and-stripes style to the fore­front.

Coun­try Sam­pler stylists René Haines and Tammy Shu­pe­nia worked along­side home­owner Lori Smith to add a pa­tri­otic pop to the en­try of her Port­land, In­di­ana, home while in­cor­po­rat­ing some of her fa­vorite pres­i­den­tial-themed col­lectibles.

Lori, who grew up in Port­land, had al­ways ad­mired the well-main­tained ranch home, which sits on a 6-acre lot. She jumped at the chance to pur­chase it two years ago when she was ready to down­size from her pre­vi­ous home, a lovely but much larger Colo­nial.

In ad­di­tion to her ca­reer in nurs­ing, Lori also once owned a coun­try prim­i­tive shop. “Peo­ple would say, ‘Your house looks like a store—you should just put price tags on things,’ ” she ex­plains of her de­ci­sion to start that busi­ness, which she later sold to a friend.

Lori still rel­ishes col­lect­ing and dec­o­rat­ing, and counts old books, flow-blue china and cam­eras among her fa­vorites. She also has an affin­ity for items re­lated to past pres­i­dents, espe­cially Washington and Lin­coln, who wel­come guests in the foyer. Along­side Lori, René and Tammy helped de­vise novel ways to show­case her spir­ited col­lec­tions. Read on to dis­cover their 18 great ideas to en­liven an en­try­way with sea­sonal flair!


1. Stand at at­ten­tion. Con­vert a can­dle­holder into a mul­ti­level pedestal for a trio of stand-up stars by plac­ing wood-slice coast­ers on each arm of the holder. Com­ple­ment the group­ing with a large folk-art piece, such as this Un­cle Sam fig­ure atop a drum, and pull ev­ery­thing to­gether with a red-striped run­ner. 2. Dressed to im­press. Re­fash­ion a men’s blue pin-striped shirt, turn­ing the shirt’s back into a throw pil­low and part of the sleeve and cuff into a bou­quet holder. 3. But­tons and glows. Shed some light on the cen­ter­piece with a ma­son-jar can­dle­holder. Fill the jar with ivory but­tons and fit the top with a tealight lid in­sert. 4. Hoop scheme. Re­cast a sim­ple wood em­broi­dery hoop as an asym­met­ri­cal wreath by glu­ing faux and dried eu­ca­lyp­tus around the top and along one side.


5. Pocket full of posies. Make a cus­tom wall pocket by stitch­ing a sim­ple pouch from star-stud­ded fab­ric and us­ing fab­ric stiff­ener or spray starch to slightly harden the fab­ric. Ac­cent with a wired-rib­bon bow and fill with dried or faux blooms be­fore hang­ing it on the wall. Ac­com­pany it with pa­tri­otic wall art, such as prints or painted metal stars (right).

6. Thrift wrap. Write “1776” or an­other In­de­pen­dence Day–re­lated word on a scrap of wide burlap rib­bon and glue it around a small tin can­is­ter or an old paint can to craft a pa­tri­otic vase.

7. Blue­berry thrill. Po­si­tion a small red pil­lar can­dle in an old sifter and twine blue berry gar­land around the out­side to cre­ate an ac­cent that ties the side ta­ble in with other el­e­ments in the vi­gnette. Here, the ac­ces­sories com­ple­ment the blue chair, which is light­ened up for sum­mer with the ad­di­tion of a blue-and­white afghan and ac­cent pil­low. Col­or­ful can­dies ar­rayed in the base of a lamp also brighten the scene.

8. Per­fectly plated. En­hance a dis­play of a fa­vorite col­lec­tion, such as the flow-blue china plates in this wall cabi­net, with sea­sonal items, in­clud­ing can­dles with star and flag mo­tifs and a pres­i­den­tial red­ware plate. “Mix­ing in a few dif­fer­ent pieces makes for a more dy­namic pre­sen­ta­tion,” Tammy notes.


9. Rocker of ages. Suit up a rock­ing chair for the sea­son with a cov­er­let or throw and a starry lum­bar pil­low, and hang a vin­tage mil­i­tary cap (this Navy cap be­longed to Lori’s grand­fa­ther) from one of the back posts.

10. Up­stand­ing art­work. Go ver­ti­cal to fill nar­row spa­ces with color and pat­tern, se­lect­ing wall art de­signed with an up­right ori­en­ta­tion. This can­vas pen­nant and sten­ciled sign both bear phrases and mo­tifs that fit per­fectly with a pa­tri­otic pre­sen­ta­tion.

11. Color code. As­sem­ble a group­ing of items fea­tur­ing sim­i­lar style and col­oration for an ef­fec­tive monochro­matic dis­play. This gath­er­ing of sepia-toned prints and pho­tos, old books and a rus­tic lamp an­chored by a braided mat are ap­peal­ing table­top part­ners.

12. Pres­i­den­tial cabi­net. Show­case a col­lec­tion in one area for max­i­mum im­pact. “It will at­tract more at­ten­tion to­gether than if it was spread through sev­eral rooms,” René ex­plains. Pair var­ied pieces to heighten in­ter­est. For ex­am­ple, a Lin­coln-la­beled wine bot­tle co­zies up to a framed pres­i­den­tial por­trait on the lower shelf of the wall cabi­net, and a Lin­coln bi­og­ra­phy sits along­side a Lin­coln-themed wood box on the top shelf. A flower-filled pitcher and a horse fig­ure counter the abun­dance of lin­ear shapes in the dis­play, and a small prim­i­tive cubby pro­vides ad­di­tional stor­age.


13. Honor­able men­tion. Weave to­gether red, white and blue award rib­bons (th­ese were old track rib­bons) to cre­ate a state­ment-mak­ing ta­ble run­ner. Hold them in place tem­po­rar­ily with double-sided tape, or stitch to­gether for a per­ma­nent piece.

14. Clean-slate club. Use a for­mer school slate as a frame for a dec­o­ra­tive flag, and prop an old book de­coupaged with a pres­i­den­tial por­trait in front of it.

15. Per­fect pair­ings. Let one dec­o­ra­tive item in­spire an­other—for ex­am­ple, frame a print of the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence doc­u­ment to place near a print of the famed John Trum­bull paint­ing that de­picts its sign­ing. Add in ac­cents such as boxes, bas­kets and blocks bear­ing words and im­ages with re­lated sym­bol­ism and mean­ing.

16. Flag fun­nel. Up­end a vin­tage metal fun­nel and use it as a holder for old stick flags saved from pa­rades of the past.

17. Po­lit­i­cal pin­ups. High­light vin­tage po­lit­i­cal cam­paign pins by at­tach­ing them to award rib­bons lay­ered atop vin­tage post­cards. In­sert the cards into a stand­ing photo holder with a fig­u­ral base.

18. Stor­age corps. Uti­lize stack­ing boxes to el­e­vate an el­e­ment on an en­try ta­ble, such as a lamp, but also con­sider en­list­ing one to con­tain a bun­dle of books. Small jars and bowls round out the dis­play as well as hold odds and ends, in­clud­ing but­tons or an­tique keys.

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