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Country decor origins and how to bring them home

Today we’re exploring country decor origins (in case you’d rather focus on the past instead of all the things you need to do today!)

When you hear the words country home decor, what comes to mind? Is it Americana woodwork? Miniature windmills and roosters? Maybe the words evoke images of earth tones, natural fabrics, distressed wood, and galvanized metal.

Country decor origins


According to SFGate Home Guides, American folk art gained a following with art collectors in the 1920s and 30s:

The style features a relaxed arrangement of furniture and accessories with a homemade sensibility. The use of salvage and craft-inspired pieces can make decorating a fun scavenger hunt or afternoon project for antique lovers and artistic types.


And Hunker.com says the look isn’t just for homes in the country. “It’s an adaptable style that can skew more towards an industrial or even boho look. At its core, it’s a simple yet elegant look that creates a cozy mood.”

Like many styles and practices we now embrace, early farmhouse and country decor originated more out of necessity than aesthetic. People used whatever they had available to them.



As we mentioned in an earlier post, the Candlewicking style originated from a 19th century American style of embroidery method that made use of the colonial knot. This knot required less thread, was sturdier, and held up to heavy use and washing.

Candlewicking country swag

Braided rug and quilting origins


As you might already know, early braided rug patterns made use of whatever scraps were available; often, wool and cotton left over from old clothing (source).

The Valley Forge Rug Braided Guild traced the term braided rug back to Massachusetts in 1822. But they noted rugs of any sort were rare at that time, and no records document Colonial era braided rugs. It was not until the early 1900s, the Guild says, that the use of braided rugs became widely documented.

Blackberry braided rug

Too, quilts of any kind were rare in New England in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Womenfolk.com notes textiles did not become widely available to settlers until the 1840s.

What about those applique curtains we adore so much? 


After reading about early American settlers using rugged fibers and fabric from scraps of old clothing, it probably comes as no surprise that the use of the applique method in America also had humble beginnings.

According to Sew Daily, applique was a long-established custom used centuries earlier in African and Native American cultures. In early America the technique was used as a way to strengthen or patch worn areas of an item to extend its lifespan, and evolved into an artform much later.

Bingham Star Applique Swag

A brief history of plaid


Plaid as we know it today has origins in Scotland, so how did it come to be associated with Americana and country home decor? Stitch Fix says Scottish immigration at the end of the 18th century likely contributed.

According to Blue Ridge Outdoors the origins of our beloved Buffalo Check is in 1850 Pennsylvania, when Woolrich introduced the iconic two-tone pattern. Plaids continued to gain popularity into the 1900s n America, emblematic of pioneers and the working class carving out a new frontier.

Black Buffalo Check shower curtain


What country decor origins do you want to learn more about? Shop for your country decor favorites at primitivehomedecors.com

Country customer favorites (holiday edition!)

We’re back this morning with some country customer favorites. These are our top-selling items from the month of December (so far!) There are some good holiday decor pieces scattered throughout.

Country Customer Favorites


#12 Share the Joy Fairfield lined valance

We have a whole lot of brand new holiday window treatments and other decor items – click here to see them all!

Share the Joy valance

#11 Live Laugh Love Throw Blanket

And if you love the Live Laugh Love look, here are some more pieces in that line.

Live Laugh Love throw blanket

#10 Heritage House Check Lined French Door Panel – Black

Because a lot of you love this collection, here are a couple others we think you might like: Heritage House Check drapery panels and Heritage House Check Fairfield valance).

Heritage House Lined french door panels

#9 Christmas Stocking Hangers – Set of 4 – 4″ / Black (and the 6″ hangers are also popular!)

Shop our entire collection of stocking hangers here.

Plain stocking hangers

#8 Chesterfield Check Pillow Sham Barn Red by Raghu

But there’s more! You can shop our full collection of Chesterfield check bedding here.

Chesterfield Check Barn Red PIllow Sham

#7 Berry Vine Gingham Check Kitchen Towels and our Country Berry Vine Gingham Check Valance also made this list.

Find all Berry Vine Gingham here.

Berry Vine gingham kitchen towels

#6 Thyme Curtain Tiers – 36″

All the Thyme you could ever want, right here.

Thyme curtain tiers

#5 Park Designs Sturbridge Fabric Lamp Shade Black Wine Country Style – 10″ Diameter / Black, Tan

Sturbridge by Park Designs has always been one of our most popular collections, and it wouldn’t be a top 10 12 if at least a little bit of Sturbridge didn’t make the list.

Park Designs sturbridge fabric lamp shades

#4 Concord Bear Patch Plaid Placemats (Set of 2) by Park Designs

If the Concord Bear pattern makes you think of a rustic cabin or hunting lodge, you’re not alone: this is the country home decor collection favored by nine out of 10 rugged outdoorsmen (probably). (You can shop the entire Concord collection here.)

Concord Bear Patch Place Mat

#3 Cotton Braided Chair Pads by Park Designs – Red, Green, Mustard, Tan

Braided Chair Pads

#2 Another one from Sturbridge: the Fishtail Swag

Sturbridge fishtail swag

And our #1 most popular item from this month: Iron Star Christmas Stocking Hangers (Set of 6) by Park Designs – 8″ / Black

Iron Star Stocking Hangers

But if you’re hungry for more, here are a couple of our other recent blog posts:


NEW country holiday decor: table runners, window treatments, kitchen towels, candle mats and more!

Popping in with some new country holiday decor to share today: table runners, window treatments, kitchen towels, candle mats and more! Shop all of our new items here, and we’ll be back on Friday with some more customer favorites!

Shop by collection: 


Black and white is the new red and green! These black wool felt table runner makes a stunning and unique holiday place setting.

Snowflakes black table runner

Snow Guy

This wool felt table runner in shades of barn red and nutmeg is loads of fun for the kids table– or the grownups who are kids at heart.

Snow Guy table runner

Share the Joy

Share the Joy valance

Sunflower Power!

Sunflower Power table runner



Fall medley nutmeg table runner


Whimsy dish towel set

Ever Thankful

Ever Thankful candle mat

And if you’d rather shop new country holiday decor by category:

Window Treatments

Share the Joy valance

(Shop curtain hardware here!)

Pine Tree wishes fairfield valance

Pine Tree wishes fairfield valance

Evergreen Christmas valance

Evergreen Fairfield Christmas valance

Christmas Blessings tea-dyed valance

Christmas blessings valance

Table Runners

Snow Guy table runner

All is Calm table runner

All Is Calm table runner

Fall Medley nutmeg table runner

Sunflower table runner

Sunflower table runner

Crowing table runner

Crowing table runner

Candle Mats

Snow Guy candle mat

Snow Guy candle mat

Sunflower Power candle mat

Ever Thankful candle mat

Plaid orchard pumpkins candle mat

Kitchen and Dish Towels

Family of 5

Give Thanks dish towel set

Whimsy snowman kitchen towel set

Snowman Sam kitchen towel set


Cardinal Christmas pillow

Cardinal christmas pillow

And if you haven’t seen our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, check it out right here!

Have a great day!

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