Sitting at your desk, dreaming of your next vacation? Yeah, me too. It's only natural. Vacation plays a huge role in the collective American psyche. The idea of vacation — and the freedom and escape it offers, even if only temporarily — helped to define the American Dream. And when it comes to vacation, we Americans have historically done it with extraordinary style.
When Frank Lloyd Wright began practicing architecture at the turn of the 20th century, American suburbs were a pastiche of borrowed European architectural styles. But Wright had a vision; he wanted to create a style that was uniquely American, inspired by the landscape and free of associations with the old world. He called this unique style "Usonian", a play on "USA."
Tis The Gift To Be Simple. Down to the last detail, Shaker rooms and furnishings are known for their timeless simplicity and practicality. While only a handful of Shakers themselves remain today, their handiwork has become a standard of American furniture style and craftsmanship.
Gingham fabric has a long history, but came to be especially associated with Americana in the 1930s and 40s. It has always been a simple fabric for simple people and is most readily associated with children (especially, of course, Dorothy). Can gingham compete in the decor arena with popular patterns like Ikat and chevron? Time will tell, but for now here are ten stylish, red, white and blue items in that old familiar striped check.
American folk art used to have a bad rap, labeled primitive or naive compared to other fine art. Traditional woven rugs, carvings, and quilts - once valued in families and small communities for their utility - are now recognized by the larger world as a legitimate bottom up approach to beautiful design. Created by self-taught artists, they have their own patterns and expressed traditions, unique to region and individual maker. Think Navajo rugs, or the vibrant quilts of Gees Bend, and you know what I mean.
When I was growing up in East Texas, my family hosted annual (and epic) 4th of July BBQs. Some of my earliest memories are of shaking my tail feathers to country music and zydeco at these get-togethers, and every year I honor the tradition by playing a motley assortment of blues, folk, bluegrass, gospel, and rockabilly. This year I've decided to share some of my favorites, which I always find add a bit of pep to any shindig.
It seems like some styles come around so frequently that it's as if they never truly go away. 1960s mod is that kind of a style. Fashion and interior design alike seem to reference past eras with constant nods to color, form, texture and pattern. When done well, these influences can be integrated into the home in classic doses.
While I may dream of beach houses in summer, right now I'm all about snowy ski vacations. I'm picturing a cozy mountain top retreat. In fact, the picture in my head looks a lot like Aerin Lauder's Aspen ski lodge!