One of the pluses of choosing a neutral pallett for the Kitchen and Keeping Room is the ability to make changes with the seasons. . . .Spring and Summer décor lends a feeling of 'light and bright'--bringing inside a few garden touches of wicker pieces, potted plants, and lots of off-whites. . . . For Fall and Winter, I prefer more primitive pieces and accessories to accent our open hearth fireplace. . . .something I sometimes call my 'Farmhouse Shaker' style. . . . I'm not a strict stick-to-the-rules type of gal. . . .I like to add my own farmhouse touch to any setting. . . .You've probably guessed that by now, haven't you?
This is the time of the year that I seek warm and cozy.
The thing I do love about Shaker decor is the unbroken simplicity which is not difficult to reconstruct. . . .It's reflected in simple eloquence and simple furnishings. . .
The Shaker style approach to decorating is beauty in simplicity, with the use of natural materials and a clean, uncluttered look. . . .It's baskets, wood containers and bowls, crocks, hand-woven items, brooms and simple furniture--including ladder back chairs, of course. . . .Gather these items together and you have the makings of Shaker style. . . .
Let's start in the Keeping Room. . . .the center of activity for us, whether it's Summer or Winter. . . .
Over the years, I was lucky to have found three woven treasures (coverlets) at reasonable prices. . . .and enjoy displaying them when the temperatures outside begin to drop. . . .Two came from Tennessee and one from Kentucky. . . .
Natural fiber additions add a softness to the setting. . . .I finally finished the appliqued wool piece that I call 'My Shaker Tree' last week--started it in 2011 when John and I visited the Shaker Village in Kentucky. . . .just a little behind. . . .(2 years?!!)
While dark tones such as the coverlets and appliqued piece are traditional, the uncomplicated style of Shaker also draws on lighter natural color schemes. . .
I brought in honeysuckle vines from the nearby woods--as well as our 'huge' crop of five butternut squash--to display on top of the storage cabinets. . . .all neutrals. . . .fits right in with Farmhouse Style, too. . . .
Dried field corn and gourds are additional 'free' materials. . . .I like the natural texture of the gourds and have yet to sand them down. . . .Every time I start to do so, I back out. . . .There's such a charm to them as they are. . . .
From the herb garden, bundles of basil, rosemary, and oregano. . . .
Have any idea what I hung them on?. . .A corn dryer!
Tools for the open hearth lend an air of simplicity and beauty, don't they? . . . .Sometimes the most utilitarian objects are decorating finds. . . .
The same beauty and balance is as appropriate today as in the past, particularly in the kitchen where each item is useful. . . .and at the same time, attractive to the eye. . . .
Wooden bowls, more herb bundles, woven cotton sacks, wooden cutting boards. . . .plain and simple but functional. . . .I left the crocks from the Summer Kitchen on the counter but added one more--to hold paper napkins for our snacks and meals. . . .The 'Farmgirl at Heart' pillow adds a touch of that Farmhouse Style to the mix. . . .and softens the hardness of the crocks. . . .
Shaker decorating style lies in seeing the art of simplicity and beauty in every object. . . .That's what makes it so charming. . . .It's what draws a person in--to think of hearth and home. . . .of warmth and family. . . .At least, it does for me. . . .The basic design principles will work just as well in modern homes, country styles homes or for an uncluttered look and style in a small apartment. . . .Obviously, it's one of my favorite ways to decorate. . . .especially during the Thanksgiving holidays. . . .when 'Farmhouse Shaker' cozy seems to wrap itself around a person like a blanket.
Now that I have the room ready for next week, I can start thinking about Christmas. . . .This year, I plan to go natural and very, very simple. . . .It's the look we most enjoy. . . .We're still busy at work each day, leaving little time for our usual show of holiday collections. . . .To be honest, there's another reason for my choice this year . . . For me, natural Christmas décor feels more like 'Home". . . .
Plain and Simple. . . .
. . . from my farmhouse to yours. . .
If you'd like to compare the Summer and Fall Kitchen/Keeping Room:
From Our Old Country Store. . . .
The last day to order this year will be December 16.
We'll be closed for two weeks, so that we can enjoy
the holidays with family and friends.