Americana Design Style Made Modern

A tried-and-true color palette and classic elements give Americana design a sense of history. Unlike rooms of past though, these 20 spaces show off the fresh and bright side of the style.

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October 08, 2020

Photo By: Alise O'Brien Photography

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Mark Lohman

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Mark Lohman

Photo By: Aimée Mazzenga

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Sean Litchfield

Photo By: Alain Pinel Realtors, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Melissa Kaseman Photography

Photo By: Jacob Snavely

Photo By: Lulu Designs

Photo By: Mark Lohman

Photo By: Sarah Dorio

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Make the Most of Your Windows

This light and bright breakfast nook has a wraparound built-in banquette that takes full advantage of the home's waterfront locale. Made oh-so-cozy with a subdued collection of red, white and blue pillows, the dining area is the perfect spot to watch boats go by. The unique light fixture was found in a shop in Nantucket, bringing in a touch of true New England charm.

Don't Fear Mixing Prints

Plaids, graphics and pinstripes, oh my! But yes, you can mix and match seemingly opposite patterns by sticking to a cohesive color palette. An Americana scheme simplifies this design trick because you've already narrowed down your three hues. Balance out the mix of prints by sticking to solid wall and furniture colors.

Mingle Diverse Styles

A little global, a little Americana, this soft blue bedroom is a lovely retreat to return to at the end of the day. The inlaid blue-and-white dresser doubles as a nightstand and is topped with a sleek brilliant red lamp.

Endorsed by Neutrals

Creating an Americana-inspired room doesn't mean your space has to dripping in patriotic colors. This living room combines rustic materials, woven textures and a soothing, neutral color palette. Throw pillows on the sectional generate a punch of color and can be easily swapped out when you're ready for a different look.

Move Beyond the Tradition

A slight twist on the traditional Americana palette, this kitchen uses turquoise in place of classic blue. The result is a light and airy heart of the home, made for gatherings, meal prep and after-school snack sessions. Pale woods and gold accents play a supporting but crucial role to the detailed tiling and vintage-inspired red sconces.

Cue the Subtle Shades

Doubly sweet, this shared bedroom embraces a muted palette. Quilted bedding pairs with simple florals, delicate polka dots and classic ticking for a chic aesthetic that feels traditional yet totally-of-the-moment. Upholstered benches conclude each bed and have hidden storage for tucking away shoes.

Start With a Lovely Background

Whitewashed wood plank walls and painted blue floors establish a soft backdrop in this attic bedroom. Designer Sarah Richardson pulls together a cheery combination of fabrics to complement the materials and add in color. Vintage finds, such as a hobnail milk glass vase and a distressed mirror and tray, top the early American dresser.

Create an Office Nook

Making the most of this little corner, a small home office pairs a weathered blue desk with a bright red cane chair. Sleek black accents, such as the metal desk legs and adjustable sconce, add an industrial edge to the area.

Have a Little Adventure

Kids = play + imagination. This loft area is a fun retreat with plenty of floor space for spreading out toys and games, a petite table for crafting and snacks and a sweet little window with bird silhouettes overlooking the main entry. Nautical ropes produce the illusion that the platform beds are floating and allow kiddos to pretend they're sailing away.

Keep It Simple

Start your design base with one neutral shade, like this effortless bedroom with its white walls, headboards and bedding. Not only does it create a clean, crisp look, but it also allows you to easily transition between different color schemes and trends. Indigo shibori throw blankets, deep blue pillows and a striped red lamp shade enliven the all-white palette.

Be Daring

Step away from basic cabinet hues and try a bold yet classic shade, like these fire-engine red kitchen cabinets. A combination of butcher block and clean white countertops balance the vivid hue of the cabinets, and pale blue glass tiles give a soft backdrop to the entire space.

Head Off the Coast

Nautical and Americana designs blend seamlessly together. Shiplap walls set the scene for this coastal kids' bunk room, which is grounded by a wavy area rug that's reminiscent of the ocean. Brass detailing on the dresser, a rope ladder leading up to the top bunk and pipe bed railings give kiddos the impression of sailing on the high seas.

Greet With Color

Welcome guests with a front door they can't miss. Ebony floors paired with warm taupe walls convey a welcoming entry into this light-filled space. A little cushion for the feet and a shot of blue, a round quatrefoil rug centers the floor.

From: Lulu Designs

Don't Be Afraid of Pattern

Not one to shy away from patterns, designer Alison Kandler merges a retro floral wallpaper above the wainscoting with a delicate ceiling print and a red-and-white graphic on the armchairs. Built-ins add to the historic nature of the dining room and provide much-needed storage. Velvet blue side chairs with nailhead trim complement the captain's chairs without being too matchy matchy.

When in Doubt, Go Farmhouse

Since America has a vast geography, Americana design has different aesthetics ranging from coastal and nautical to industrial and rustic. One style that epitomizes the look though is farmhouse. Antique or vintage-inspired furnishings, quilts, mixes of traditional prints and touches of nature all merge for a cozy, lived-in environment.

Take It Outside

Outdoor curtains take your deck from an outdoor area to a true living space. They devise a private retreat and also block out sun when needed. Here, the deck acts as an extension of the interior. Red-and-white-striped curtains and area rug are the perfect counterpart to the red, white and blue gingham shades inside.

Dine in Style

Light blue walls, white cabinets and red accents combine for a happy and inviting kitchen. Streamlined chrome barstools pair with a rustic wood counter for a juxtaposing dining spot.

Time for a Getaway

Designed as a true mountain escape, the bunk room in the HGTV Dream Home 2014 provides sleeping quarters for kids and adults alike. A mix of patterns, including gingham, stripes and zigzag, deliver a playful vibe to the space.