The Timeless Appeal of Primitive Décor

PRIMITIVE METAL PITCHERYou’re reading this on a device that lets you find out almost anything you want to know. 3D printing is changing everything from manufacturing to medicine. And we may live to see a day when self-driving cars are a fact of life on the roadway.

It’s a busy, fast moving world, and sometimes, it’s nice to escape to a space that recalls a slower, less complicated time. That’s where primitive décor – also known as country primitive – comes in.

“Primitive country decorating harks back to a time when life was simpler, when furniture was handcrafted and worn hard,” writes Jan Czech on SFGate’s Home Guide blog. “Accessories were rare and items were repurposed rather than thrown away.”

It’s a décor that has its roots in that earlier America, and also in the country’s folk art traditions. This is art that’s utilitarian and decorative, made by self-taught artists outside the academic art world. Another definition we’ve seen: Art by people who don’t think of themselves as artists.

Typically, Primitive Décor objects have a more rustic, folk art feel than your typical country interior.

Here are a few ways to help give your home a country primitive look:

On The Front Porch

Czech suggests showing off your primitive decor before guests even come into your home with the right decorations for your porch and foyer.

You can decorate the front door with a wreath that changes with the seasons. Inside the foyer, hang a weathered pegged board for people to keep their coats.

Piper Classics can help you with these kind of decor changes, starting with our wide selection of wreaths. Or, show off your love of the primitive to your postal worker with this antique — but fully functional — Cottage Mail Box.

If you’re going to put up something to hang your coat, why not also have a place to hang your keys. Our Blackstone Key Hook – wooden with distressed cracked paint — is a great way to add an accent in the primitive décor style.

In The Living Room

Czech cautions against a prim room that resembles a museum more than it does a comfortable living space. She suggests warming your living room with a colorful rug. Piper’s Coin Penny Rug is an example of a folk art approach to country that falls neatly into the “primitive” style. Pillows are another easy and affordable way to introduce primitive elements. See our Primitive Star Pillow or Appliqued Felt Birds of Paradise Pillow for some good examples.

Instead of a coffee table, try an old crate or a vintage trunk. And a large barn star — the kind Piper Classics offers — can help catch the eye.

In The Kitchen

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the kitchen is the heart of your house. It’s where meals are made, games are played, and conversations are had.

If you’ve chosen country primitive as your look, the kitchen is the best place to show it off.

Czech suggests starting on your counter top, with vintage crocks and baskets. Remember what we said earlier about folk art, and the idea of being utilitarian and decorative: put those baskets and crocks to work to store utensils or fruit.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, replace your kitchen table with a vintage farm table. These are often available at flea markets, country auctions and antique stores. With a little love and attention they can become the focal point of your room!

Piper Classics’ country primitive line includes plenty of storage items for your kitchen. There’s the Coffee Keep Cupboard, used to house K-cups. It’s a time-worn look for storing the most modern of coffee technology. And if you live in a house where mail gravitates to the kitchen, keep track of it with the Vintage Mail Organizer.

Top it all off with a message board, like our Blackboard Wall Organizer, a great way to leave notes or schedule household chores. You could also use our Rules of the Kitchen Wall Hanging to lay down the law in your kitchen with a 19th century inspired look.

In The Bedroom

Country primitive is a relaxed style, and there’s no room in your home you want to feel relaxed more than your bedroom.

Czech says you can accomplish that goal with a few steps. First, put a few layers of quilts on your bed, topped with pillow shams made of ticking material. Keep an antique blanket chest at the foot of your bed. Again, this idea goes to the root of country primitive decor: the chest is decorative, but also practical, because you can use it for storage.

You can also include smaller touches, like our Tissue Wall Box. Its neutral color makes it easy to incorporate with any room or style. Or you could light your way to bed with our Grater Night Light.

These are simple steps that you can incorporate over time and as your budget allows. If primitive decor speaks to you it’s worth doing. Eventually, you may find this style fits you like that favorite pair of sneakers.

Primitive décor is appealing because it offers a chance to return to a simpler time while still living in a fast, modern world.