Americana Home Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
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Featuring primitive, patriotic, or farmhouse themes, Americana decor is an especially popular style of decorating for two reasons. One, it has a casual appeal; it’s the everyday working, active mid-America family lifestyle home. And two, this decorating style uses furnishings and accessories that are easy to clean and care for, which is ideal for full-house families: kids, animals, and busy social lives in the home.

Within the Americana decor style there are several sub categories, giving you a wide range of gorgeous American inspired decorating design themes to choose from. The guide below will outline the different styles alphabetically. An approach that’s trending now is the combining of several different Americana styles in your house. The kitchen in a Primitive Americana style; the living room in a country farmhouse American look; and the kids rooms sport the Patriotic Americana style. Let’s take a deeper into how this decor style is inspired by folk art, geography, and history.

FARMHOUSE AMERICANA: The country Farmhouse Americana style has been going strong in the decorating world for over 50 years now. This look gives off a welcoming, warm feeling with the use of natural elements from nature. Furnishing your home in this theme requires colonial items, and accessories that are almost garish, boldly expressive of American style. There is also now a more modern Farmhouse Americana style using steel, more vibrant colors, and updated accessories.

Furniture: Checkered patterns in color combinations of tan, beige, brown, orange, apricot, white, and black are the choices for furniture coverings in this decor. Full, cosy, overstuffed couches, love seats, and fluffy pillow accessories.  A modern farmhouse will take further advantage of natural wood exposure, in ceiling beams, wall panels, or other decorative accessories.

Accessories: Look to add elements with white-washed wood: frames, antique signs, chalkboards, and such. Thankfully these types of accessories are abundant in the second hand shops around the country. Also fantastic DIY projects all family members can enjoy. Pops of color are incorporated with painted pottery or vintage china.

Paint color: Start off with a base of neutrals: white, ivory, and cream colors. For trim and accent walls, you can stick with the neutral theme or add bright accents in shades of yellow, orange, red, or blue.


The  Nautical Americana style is pretty straightforward and simple. If you have a neutral based space, with rustic wood elements, most of the decor comes down to accessories. The goal is to share the old New England style of coastal towns. Think old fishing boats, sea-related elements, and the feel of seasoned oceanside living.

Furniture: Much like the country farmhouse Americana furniture, nautical is the same with a base of neutral colors mixed with wood frames and bases. Tables and cabinets look weathered by salt and sea.

Accessories: Our United States has its roots in the New England coast. To display the theme of these humble beginnings in your home decor style, insert accessories that come from the coast: ships, shells, anchors, fishing nets, buoys, bottles, and birds.

Paint color: Set up a nautical room with a base of simple white wash. To complete the colors of our flag, accents of red and blue. The neutral colors hold a nice background for the vibrant primaries and patterns that will be used in the textiles and accessories.

PATRIOTIC AMERICANA: Patriotic theme is one of the signature Americana decor styles and one of the most popular in the U.S. This theme puts the American in Americana. Red, white, and blue all the way. The Patriotic, which is all about the symbolism of liberty, motif of the American flag takes center stage in this home décor.

Furniture: Woodsy furniture is central to defining this style. Much like the other Americana sub categories, the Patriotic furniture has ample padding, with textiles in basic neutrals, whites, or checked patterns. The goal is to keep the larger furniture pieces and walls grounded, simple in color and tone. This allows the accents to pop and be the star of the show. Vintage, antique, and older pieces of furniture from early settlement days add to the historic nature of a Patriotic home display. Getting a piece of replica (or original!) Presidential furniture would be a major score.

Accessories: You guessed it, stars, stripes, flags, red, blue, and white color palette, and anything to do with America’s Independence makes for an excellent Patriotic accent assembly. War posters, photography, and memorabilia from that time period are popular accessory items as well. Accenting with decor that features wrought iron captures the Patriotic feel. Additional items to include are:

  • Checkerboards
  • Lanterns as secondary lighting
  • Lighthouses
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Ships in bottles
  • Shells
  • Tin soldiers
  • Upcycled decor (in image below)
  • Vintage advertising posters

Paint color: The same neutral wall colors run throughout all Americana themed homes. What’s a bit different in the Patriotic decor is the addition of rust red and navy blue.

PRIMITIVE AMERICANA: Handmade country crafts, folk art, vintage ads, and tramp art accessories, define the Primitive Americana style of décor. What these elements all have in common is that they have features derived from nature and upcycling wooden material of the 18 and 1900’s. Such as tramp art, which is artistic items made from scrap wood taken from everyday sources such as shipping crates and especially cigar boxes which were plentiful at the time. Carving these into decorative objects with geometric designs was the central theme.

Furniture: Primitive themed furniture includes the use of upholstery made with natural fabrics like cotton. Patterns are again of the faded and checkered nature. Furniture pieces are made from wood, taffeta, or wicker. Faded and washed out is the main look. Accent furnishings such as side tables, cabinets, and other smaller pieces can be painted in solid primary colors: white and yellow, red and blue. In this decor style period, storage baskets were used as decorative accents as well, made from natural materials.

Accessories: The whole Primitive Americana look comes together with the accessories which add warmth and a homey feeling to the space. Textures such as worn metals, coarse textiles like Berber, burlap, and wool are featured here. Other accents include:

  • Dried flower arrangements
  • Lanterns
  • Mason jar vases
  • Pottery
  • Watering cans

Paint color: The color schemes in this style are very simple, often neutral shades of cream, white, or beige.

WESTERN AMERICANA: It’s the wild west, ranch, and farming lifestyle that makes up the decor inspiration for Western Americana. Cowboy style distressed leather, cow hides, horse images, and weathervanes are perfect examples to represent the Western Americana theme.

Furniture: Rough, weathered, leather, wood, brass- any combination of these elements in furniture design make for items that fit into the Western Americana decor theme. Cowhide stools, handmade tables, rustic, worn and real pieces from nature make up the furniture for this desert themed Western design style.

Accessories: Geometric patterns are typically seen in Western accents. Other pieces include:

  • Animal bones
  • Painted pottery
  • Rustic furnishings
  • Vintage elements

Paint color: The paint palette in the Western Americana homes opens up a bit from the other sub categories we’ve seen. Deep and alive colors of the desert sunset are brought into the home. Sandy tans, midnight blues, rust reds, and faded oranges.


With such a down-home, welcoming and every-person kind of feel, it’s no wonder the Americana decorating style is so popular. Plus it can be particularly inexpensive because what you are looking for are the worn and well-loved pieces from past generations. In addition, a lot of upcycled and DIY decor items find long term homes in all of the Americana styles. The fun part to consider when decorating in an Americana style is mixing up the different sub themes for different rooms of your house. Because each theme has common elements they will all work together like summer and sun. Remember, decorating is always about your personal preference. Get creative and enjoy the process!


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