With summer almost upon us, now is a great time to talk a little bit about Americana design style. By its name, one might think that this design style is simply about stars and stripes--but it's actually much more than that.

What is the Americana design style?

Americana design style encompasses everything and anything that deals with American culture and history. This doesn't mean you have to have an explosion of red, white and blue or an abundance of gingham and plaid fabric to attain the look, though. In fact, a successful Americana look is often achieved by a more casual approach.

Common Americana Design Themes

There are many directions you can go with Americana. This is why it's so important to have a solid idea about how you want the space to look--otherwise, your finished product could end up looking a bit too over-the-top. In the broad sense, Americana design can be broken down into three main categories: patriotic, primitive, and farmhouse. Under each of those categories, however, you'll often find much more specific themes, which are really just built from vision, creativity, and a desire for something unique and fun.

Here's a quick rundown on elements that make up the Patriotic, Primitive, and Farmhouse Americana design styles:

Patriotic Americana 

Here you'll find things such as flags, stars and/or stripes, 1776 motifs, antique tin soldiers, old quilts, vintage advertisements from WWI and WWII, American symbols (i.e. Uncle Sam; the Statue of Liberty), and a classic red, white and blue color palette. Possible sub-themes could include nautical motifs, a 50s diner-themed kitchen, or a room devoted to a beloved American sports, movie, or music icon.

Primitive Americana

This style is full of texture and handcrafted beauty. Faded, rich-textured fabrics, distressed furniture, and eye-catching folk art (or vintage advertising) are some motifs that make this style recognizable. You can often find simple touches like flowers nestled inside old watering cans or mason jars, as well as handcrafted objects like baskets, wooden bowls, and twig furniture. Possible sub-themes could include a nod to the Wild West, a rustic log cabin look, or something of colonial elegance.

Farmhouse Americana

This style typically includes classic red and white colors, checked and chintz fabrics, overstuffed furniture, and natural flooring materials. Other decorative elements include vintage dishware, rooster and chicken motifs, and 1940s and 50s decor (think fruit fabric and red kitchen accents).

Prefer a modern farmhouse style? No problem! Farmhouse design style has a new face these days, making it easy to take this Americana style to a whole new level, complete with updated colors, trendier accessories, and fun, fresh textiles.

Americana: Patriotism All Year Long

Patriotism doesn't have to be reserved for holidays. That's the great thing about this design style. Its versatility and casual beauty can be adapted in a number of ways, making it a style that caters to one and all. Whether you bring Americana into a single room or into all of them, there's something that can be enjoyed all year round.