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Big City Apartment, Cozy Small Farmhouse Style Makeover

April 7th, 2017 Farmhouse Decor

Every new year brings change, but certainly some years bring more significant adjustments than others.  This year our youngest daughter moved out, leaving us with an empty nest and our other daughter is expecting her first child. Both exciting changes in their lives as well as ours!

Not to be outdone in the excitement department, my husband accepted a new position…in a different state…Washington DC! I know…Washington DC is not a state at all actually, but the point is it’s over three hours away!

So, on top of all the other changes this year, we found ourselves needing to set up a city apartment in order for the hubby to have a place to live during the workweek. And since I plan to go with him and work from DC on a fairly regular basis…well, it goes without saying that our apartment MUST be cute and nicely decorated!! But wow! These city apartments are small! We don’t live in a big fancy house, but after the first day of touring apartments I was reminded to be thankful for the space we have.

Listen, we’re from Bucks County, Pennsylvania – the upper, more rural part of the county…nothing Urban about it…barely Sub-Urban…very Small-Town-USA actually. So this is rather huge for us. We’re used to gardening, sitting on the front porch, listening to birds, crickets and cicadas, shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing the grass…We are NOT used to sirens in the middle of the night, riding an elevator to get to the front door, walking to the grocery store, city lights, endless sounds of construction projects, Uber, a tiny patio 11 stories up, or an apartment that’s a quarter of the size of our modest home in Pennsylvania! This is going to take some getting used to…

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Spring Country Style Home Decor

Spring Country Style Home Decor: Our Top Picks

March 15th, 2017 Uncategorized

“A light exists in spring,” Emily Dickinson wrote, “not present on the year at any other period.”

Spring is a season that arrives with a promise of change. Even in years where March comes in and goes out like a lion, we can look forward to the warmer, greener times in April and May.

It’s also a natural desire to lighten things up a bit around your home. This year’s spring country style home decor trends include warm metals, farm animal-inspired accents, primitive pillow prints, and more.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite decorative accessories for the season to inspire you.

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How To “Fluff” a Floral Wreath

Wreaths are always popular during the spring and summer months. A spring floral wreath adds a welcoming feel to your door and it’s an easy way to update your home décor for the seasons.

Many wreaths are filled with flowers like our Violet Wreath or our Geranium Wreath, while others are made of spring greens like our Boxwood Wreath or Baby’s Grass Wreath.

Regardless of the style you choose you’ll want your wreath to look it’s best. So be sure to take some time to properly fluff your wreath before you display it!

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Farmhouse Renewal

February 7th, 2017 Farmhouse Decor, Uncategorized
More than Décor, Farmhouse Style Renews & Restores

Why We Love Farmhouse Style

We LOVE the Farmhouse Style here at Piper Classics. There are so many qualities of this look that really make our hearts sing!! It makes no difference if you’re in a cabin in the mountains, a cottage by the sea, an apartment in the city, or a home in the suburbs, there is something about the Farmhouse style that appeals to so many of us on a fundamental level.

We think that people are drawn to this look because they value qualities that are exemplified in a casual Farmhouse lifestyle. The short list of these qualities would probably include a deep love of family and faith, care and concern for friends and community, an interest in farm life and eating local, a connection and love for the land, and an appreciation and admiration for those who came before us and how they made do and even thrived in difficult times.

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What Will Country Decor Look Like in 2017?

December 29th, 2016 Country Decor, New Home Decor

None of us can see into the future, but that’s never stopped people from making predictions. As each year ends, we look ahead to the next one and issue forecasts: This movie will be huge. This sports team will triumph. This celebrity couple will break up.

The world of home décor is no exception. As 2016 ended, design experts started looking ahead to the new year. Let’s look at some of 2017’s top home decorating trends, and how they connect to country décor.

THE COLOR OF 2017

Each year, the color experts at Benjamin Moore choose a color of the year. Last year it was “Simply White.” This year, they’ve veered in the opposite decoration, naming “Shadow” as the color of 2017.

Although the name suggests a total absence of light, the Los Angeles Times says Shadow is a “deep, dark purplish hue,” like an eggplant.

How does this relate to country décor? Because it’s a style that embraces more muted colors: mustard yellow, mossy green and dark reds and purples. The LA Times describes Shadow as an “opulent” color, but by using it as a backdrop to your country décor, it can become something understated.

THE CASE AGAINST THE COLOR OF 2017

As we were researching this article, we came across a Washington Post story that argued against choosing a color of the year.

“If you think the whole idea of yearly paint trends is a bit ridiculous, you’re not alone,” writers the Post’s Megan Buerger. “For a more understated and low-maintenance palette, consider historical paint lines. There, you’ll find colors that have truly stood the test of time.”

Historic colors are those that reflect Colonial America, and – as Buerger notes – some companies take this distinction very seriously, studying historical records, paint samples and old building fragments to capture the appropriate color.

Whatever the outcome, the result is the same: historic colors and country décor are a perfect match. They both connect your home to the past and give it extra character. As Sherwin-Williams’ Sue Wadden told the Post, “It’s the anti-McMansion approach.”

REPURPOSED PIECES

When Houstonia magazine asked interior designer Marie Flanagan for her 2017 décor trends, one of the things she chose was repurposed pieces.

In her case, that meant admiring a company that makes its furniture from fallen trees, and turns rugs into ottomans. Reusing and recycling old materials is certainly a noble pursuit, and completely in keeping with the county décor mindset.

We’re big proponents of repurposing, whether it means taking an old watering can and using it as a vase or turning a flea market find into a work of art.

VINYL FLOORCLOTHS

Here’s a décor trend that we’re proud to say we saw coming. As we said back in October, vintage vinyl floorcloths are all the rage these days, with homeowners seeing them as sturdy, easy-to-clean alternative to area rugs.

Floorcloths have their roots in Colonial America, and were essentially the go-to floor covering in the days before linoleum. Not only were they easy to keep clean, they were often featured intricate patterns, bright colors and country motifs.

“They’re perfect for anyplace you need something low profile but highly durable — in an entryway, around an island, beneath an eating area, a laundry room, or even a playroom,” says designer Lia Papasimakis Fraccaro, speaking to Pennsylvania’s Morning Call newspaper. “Their non-slip surface makes them great for outdoor use, as well.”

Like we said at the start, none of us can predict the future 100 percent. Consider these trends suggestions, not absolutes. In the end, we always come back to the same decorating ideal when it comes to country décor: Choose whatever makes your home feel like home.

How to Prepare For Out of Town Guests

We like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at giving our readers advice on decorating their homes using country decor and on entertaining guests.

But one area that we haven’t really touched on is the nuts and bolts of preparing for guests, especially ones who’ll be staying for more than just a few hours. With that in mind, we scoured the best resources for hospitality and entertaining for some guidance on preparing for out of town guests, and came away with these tips: Continue Reading

How To Create A Stress Free Seating Arrangment

December 8th, 2016 Country Entertaining

“No politics, no religion.”

It’s a hard-and-fast rule of keeping the peace at family gatherings. But even if you stick to this decree, there’s no way to ensure that there won’t be conflict when everyone sits down to eat.

That doesn’t mean you’re helpless. When we were putting together our Holiday Guide for this year, we were pleased to come across an article in Real Simple that suggested seating people according to their personalities. Try it this year and see if it leads you to a lively-yet-civil gathering. Continue Reading

What’s the Deal With Mistletoe? The Origins of Christmas Traditions

We love history here at Piper Classics, and have enjoyed using this blog to discuss everything from presidential homes to the American tradition of quilt making.

But somehow, even though we’ve explored the origins of Easter, Halloween and the Fourth of July we’ve never taken a good look at the history of the king of the holiday mountain: Christmas.

Where did Christmas caroling come from? Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? Who was St. Nicholas? Read on to discover the origins of some of our most cherished holiday traditions. Continue Reading

10 Gifts For Under $10

November 17th, 2016 Gift Items

Holiday shopping can be tough, especially when you’re trying to avoid maxing out your credit cards.

But not every gift has to cost an arm and a leg. Here are 10 Piper Classics products that possess originality, charm, and thoughtfulness. No one will ever know they were less than ten dollars.

1. Frog Trinket/Key Box

This cute little cast iron frog would make a great decorative addition to your porch, home or garden. But he’s also ready to perform double duty. Use him as a paperweight, or flip his mouth open to store your spare house key. Cost: $9.09 Continue Reading

Country Decor Inspiration: The Olson House

November 10th, 2016 Country Decor

We began our series on using historic homes to find country décor inspiration by talking about the simple Iowa farmhouse featured in the painting American Gothic.

Today we’re going to conclude by discussing another house that inspired a great American painter: Olson House, which was depicted by Andrew Wyeth in a number of paintings and sketches between 1939 and 1968.

Among those works was Christina’s World, considered to be Wyeth’s masterpiece. Completed in 1948, Wyeth got the idea for the painting when he glanced out the window of his home in Maine and saw his neighbor, Christina Olson, crawling across her field and picking blueberries. Continue Reading

Burlap: From Humble to Chic

November 6th, 2016 burlap decor

Burlap has held a number of different jobs over the years, and for a long time, none of them were very glamorous.

Farmers made their clothing from burlap during the Great Depression. It’s durable and breathable, which is why coffee companies use it to transport beans. During World War II, we fashioned camouflage netting from burlap. Communities all over the world have counted on burlap sacks filled with sand to protect them against flood waters.

But lately burlap has shifted beyond its utilitarian origins. The same versatility that allowed people to use it for clothing and shipping and flood protection makes burlap the perfect fabric for fashionable country décor applications. Continue Reading

Country Decor Inspiration: Grouseland

October 27th, 2016 Uncategorized

Ask people what they know about President William Henry Harrison, and most of them will mention the same fact: He gave his inauguration speech in the dead of winter, caught pneumonia and died in office 30 days into his first term.

Based on that little nugget of trivia, Harrison doesn’t seem like a good fit for our series on finding country décor inspiration from historic homes.

But we think Harrison and his home – called Grouseland – are still pretty interesting, if not inspiring. Let’s go back to 18th century America to begin our story. Continue Reading