Country Decor Inspiration: The Mark Twain House

September 22nd, 2016 Country Decor

No matter where you go in America, you’ll find historic houses. Some are little more than log cabins, while others are stateside versions of the grand palaces of Europe.

Regardless of size or splendor, many of these houses have the same thing in common: someone notable was born there or lived there.

And because we’re interested in homes and history and how they intersect with country decor here at Piper Classics, we’ve decided to devote some space on our blog to some of these houses.

Today we’re heading to Connecticut, to the Mark Twain House, the one-time home of a man considered – as William Faulkner put it – “the father of American literature.” Continue Reading

Country Decor Inspiration: The American Gothic House

September 15th, 2016 Country Decor

We’ve been celebrating historic houses in America ever since someone thought “George Washington slept here” and realized that was something important.

Our country is filled with historic homes, and beautiful country decor, whether they’re tiny houses where notable people were born or grand estates built from great fortunes.

And because we’re interested in homes, Americana decor, and history here at Piper Classics, we’ve decided to explore a few of those historic houses on our blog.

First up: the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa. Continue Reading

Country Colors for Fall 2016

September 8th, 2016 Country Color

A few months ago, we shared with you a look at 2016’s spring color trends.

It came from the Pantone Color Institute, the world’s leading color experts. And while spring’s color trends were more lively, fall seems to be taking a slightly more muted approach.

This makes sense. Spring makes us think of life in bloom. The air is warming, things are growing. Fall is cooler and quieter, a time where we prepare to nest and look forward to sunnier weather.

“The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family,” writes Leatrice Eiseman, the institute’s executive director. Continue Reading

The Farmhouse Takeover

August 25th, 2016 Farmhouse Decor

“It’s like watercolor, so peaceful and pure. You feel like you’re stepping back in time.”

That’s interior designer Cortney Bishop, speaking to the Washington Post in a recent story about farmhouse decor.

She tells the Post that it may be the next lifestyle phenomenon, in cities as well as more rustic settings: Continue Reading

Surviving the Dog Days of Summer

August 17th, 2016 Country Decor, Summer

When you use the term “the dog days of summer,” you’re actually quoting the classics.

The ancient Greeks and Romans used the term to describe the hottest time of the year, a period in late July close to the day when the star Sirius – AKA the “dog star” – would appear to rise just before the sun.

“If you go back even as far as Homer, The Iliad, it’s referring to Sirius as Orion’s dog rising, and it describes the star as being associated with war and disaster,” author and astronomer Jay B. Holberg told National Geographic last year. Continue Reading

The Unsung Holidays of August

August 10th, 2016 country holiday decor

August is just a few days away. Have you sent out cards for Friendship Day? Put up your International Lefthanders Day decorations? Thought up jokes for President’s Joke Day?

We’ll guess the answer is “No.” These aren’t widely known celebrations, but then again, August doesn’t really feature a lot of top-tier holidays.

But it has us thinking: Why not celebrate some of these lesser-known holidays on the calendar? We’re not saying you have to do anything big, but you might find that these suggestions will help make this August more memorable. Continue Reading

Urban Farmhouse: Not a Contradiction in Terms

July 20th, 2016 Farmhouse Decor

Urban agriculture is – pardon the pun – a growth industry.

The concept has been popping up around the country over the past few years, whether it’s rooftop gardens in Chicago or community farms on vacant lots in Los Angeles.

So if urban farming has become a trend, why not urban farmhouse décor?

Farmhouse décor doesn’t only happen in the country or the suburbs. Urban farmhouse has its roots in big, airy loft spaces that incorporate found objects from the urban landscape. These objects carry a patina of age and recall a lost industrial past. You don’t live in a spacious loft? Not to worry, there are still plenty of ways to pull off this look. Continue Reading

Get Inspired! The Fairy Houses of Maine

July 14th, 2016 Uncategorized

Are fairies real? Most of us would say “No.” After all, isn’t that like asking about the existence of leprechauns or werewolves?

Still, they’re persistent little creatures. Just ask John Hyatt, the British photographer and art professor who published a series of photos two years ago of some tiny creatures he said looked like fairies. People went out of their way to debunk the pictures, but the fact that they went viral shows there’s part of us that want fairies to be real.

But do we want them to be real so much that we’ll build homes for them? In some places, yes.

About 12 miles off the coast of Maine sits Mohegan Island. Fewer than 100 people live there. It’s accessible only by ferry – not fairy – boat. Continue Reading

Quilts For Any Country Style

July 6th, 2016 country quilts

Part of the Piper Classics Series on Country Quilts

There’s something about a quilt that says “This is part of the past.”

And that makes sense. As we’ve already discussed in our series on quilts, they’re intertwined with our history in traditions both large (the nationwide quilting effort during the Civil War) and small (the way families hand down quilts from generation to generation).

It’s that old-fashioned feeling stitched into quilts that makes them perfect for country décor and many of it’s spin-offs. Let’s take a look at how quilts can fit into the various schools of country style. Continue Reading