Oh the glory of red, white and blue! While these colors may evoke a patriotic theme for Americans, they are also a crisp combination and a breath of fresh air for any summer season décor. I happen to enjoy designing with them, year-round, as well. If you’re the independent type and revel in the idea of bursts of color, interwoven with a canvas of white, read on as I share some “star-spangled” inspiration for adding either a spark or an explosion of these perfect color complements. There’s a history lesson for furniture, too.
It’s natural to think of nautical influences when we consider using blue and white. It stirs up visions of sea breezes floating through linen, window panels and perhaps even an escape somewhere from Nantucket to Charleston. As the thirteen original colonies were based along the Atlantic Ocean and so many of the activities were centered around shipping and the military, a lot of America’s oldest towns and cities can be found along the waterways. The furnishings were greatly influenced by the English styles known as Queen Anne and Chippendale, while many fine cabinet makers were headquartered in cities such as Newport, RI and Boston, MA.
If you happen to enjoy mixing color palettes and vintage pieces, one of the easiest ways to make this happen is to put together some patriotic tabletop vignettes. I happen to love my own collection of red and white transferware. I’ve picked up some odd pieces of Flow Blue, over the years, and they mix very well for creating a fun table scheme. Who needs paper plates when you’ve got something beautiful to share with your guests? Either clear glassware or colored pieces can be added for interest.
Even though we tend to think in terms of “colonial”, when considering interiors fit for our flag, there are many other options which embrace global designs and motifs. Remember all of those historic cities along the seaports? They were and still are our points of connection to worlds far away and it’s a more interesting mix to include a bit of the exotic within our spaces. The Hooker Furniture Poppy Chest, showcased above, brings to us the flair of Asian artisans, with its blocked-pattern and the delicate hardware. Even the drawers are lined with a distinctive paper. I paired it with Thibaut’s Bimini Ikat wallpaper in blue and white. The ikat pattern harkens back to ancient Sumatra and adds a textile-like finish to brighten your walls.
If you are making your way to the shore over the Fourth of July holiday, there are lots of great accents to freshen any vacation spot. I loved how interior designer Trudy Dujardin used a vintage swimsuit as a fabulous piece of art. Nautical pillows on the daybed and the stenciled director’s chair keep it tailored for an easy, breezy beach lifestyle. I also look for distinctively shaped pieces with a subtle reference. The Sam Moore Banner Ottoman reminded me of a sea urchin. I’ll bet you’re seeing that, too! Sometimes it’s all about the context of pairings.
If anchors away aren’t so much your preference, you may love this place setting from Kim Seybert. Not only would it make for the most festive gathering, I can see the plates being used as a fabulous grouping on an empty wall spot. Repetitive patterns actually create a more organized, calming effect. It’s like drifting along the shoreline with your foot dangling in the water.
Neutrals in furnishings may seem a bit washed by the sun, but running some red and blue up the flagpole will definitely allow this color scheme to proudly fly. I’ve shared some of my favorite paint colors to boldly apply to blank or bland walls. If that’s a bit intimidating, you could pick up a pair of large canvases and emulate the look showcased in the nautical dining room, featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Add a brilliant rug and viola! – You’ve created a room filled with pride. Hooker Furniture offers the best architectural details in their Sanctuary Collection. The Dune and Beach Table and the Clarice Skirted Chair provide a beautiful starting point.
I hope you’ve been inspired and feel the freedom to express your own style, while reading this post. From all of us at Hooker Furniture Corporation, Sam Moore and Bradington-Young, we send our very best for a safe and Happy Fourth!