A Primer on Primitive Decor and How To Use It in Your Home

Farmhouse chic is still a popular decorating style for many people. Your farmhouse decor features clean lines and neutral tones. You still love the look, but you want to pull in some primitive decor to make your space feel extra cozy.

What Is Primitive Decor?

Primitive decor has all the charm of farmhouse style but focuses on things that are, or appear to be, vintage, antique, or handmade. For example, a throw pillow in a primitive style will look hand stitched and feature early Americana symbols and darker, richer colors than the neutrals of the farmhouse style. The purpose is to give a home a sense of warmth, a lived-in, well-loved space with history and character.

So how can you incorporate primitive decor into your home? Here are three ideas to get you started.

1. Finishing Touches

A farmhouse style features natural light, neutral colors, and straight lines. To incorporate the primitive style, add a pair of weathered cottage corbels to your fireplace mantel or front porch. Choose lighting fixtures that feature dark metals and candle-shaped bulbs. Upgrade your dining table to a long wooden one with trestles that can fit many people around it and would look as perfect outdoors as in.

2. Home Decor

Once the essentials are in place, you can start to think about how you want to decorate your space. Checkered curtains in burgundy, navy and tan would still allow the natural light in and add some coziness to the living room. Display stoneware, lanterns, and a sturdy wood-base lamp on a console table. In the kitchen, a pie safe could be functional fashion if you're a baker or work as a display case for other mementos. Wooden cutting boards make stylish serving trays for cheese courses, appetizers, or desserts. Placemats or chair pads made of jute fit the primitive style and can add warm tones to your dining table.

3. Christmas Styling

Christmas may be the best time to incorporate primitive decor. Since you're changing out your everyday decorations for something festive, it's the perfect time to experiment with a new look. Distressed or rustic jingle bells backed with checkered flannel would make a beautiful door ornament or could be incorporated into a wreath of greens with red berries and pinecones. Straw ornaments for the tree would be a lovely addition to your usual lights and striped ribbon. A punched tin star to top the tree would finish the look. Long needle pine garland could adorn the mantle or a banister to display knit stockings or snowmen made of flannel. Don't forget cozy throws, tin mugs filled with hot cocoa, and a fire in the fireplace to make the season bright.

When Primitive Decor and Farmhouse Style Overlap

There are many stylistic similarities between primitive and farmhouse styles. For example, you will likely be drawn to mason jars for both styles. In a farmhouse style, they're more likely to be functional as drinkware, flower vases, or storage containers for anything from food to cotton balls. A primitive style is more likely to use them as fashion and fill them with antique buttons, fairy lights, or pip berries. If the jars are used for function with primitive decor, they're likely painted and distressed or have an aged label or fabric cover, nodding to the early Americana aesthetic of the style.

Another way that these styles overlap is through the use of baskets and quilts. Woven baskets are usually very functional in both styles, and rightly so! They're beautiful to look at and widely available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can use them to store children's toys or blankets in the living room, organize utensils or spices in the kitchen, or display towels or soaps in the bathroom. Quilts, by nature, have a handmade look and can come in many colors and patterns. A light white and striped quilt can give a bedroom a farmhouse vibe, while a patchwork quilt looks more primitive. Either style will make your home look warm and inviting.

Finding beautiful vintage-inspired pieces to incorporate primitive decor into your home is easier than ever. Check out Antique Farm House and find your new favorite pieces for your home.