Antique stoneware from flea markets or antique shops serves as kitchen decor.

How to Decorate Your House With American Antiques

by Kathy Adams

If you're an avid fan of American history, remembering your roots, or if you simply enjoy the look of antiques, decorating various areas of your home with Americana is sure to create an environment you find comfortable. Flea markets and antique shops often carry antiques suitable as decor for most any room. Display your collected pieces around the home as you find them, rather than waiting until you have loads of decor; increasing your collection and adding to the decor over time make the decorating process more like a fun treasure hunt.

1. Living Room

An antique wooden rocking chair, perhaps once the seat of choice on a cabin porch, serves as functional decor in a corner of the living room with ample light for reading. An antique quilt folded over the chair adds a splash of color, or it can be mounted to the wall behind the chair for a country cabin vibe. An old automobile trunk, designed to hold items while traveling by car, serves as a storage area for small items such as remotes, housed atop an antique wooden bench along a wall. Oil lamps or antique candlesticks sit atop a mantel shelf, much as they might have a century or two ago. An antique stroller or carriage used as decor in a corner inspires questions from the children.

2. Kitchen

Decorating a kitchen with American antiques can be a gratifying process, as some of the items may still be functional for everyday or at least occasional use. An antique coffee grinder, decked out in bright red or green and once used in a retail environment, serves as a reminder of another era. If it has been restored, the grinder can be used to prepare the morning caffeine fix. Antique plates and ceramics from your favorite era sit atop an old barn plank used as a wall shelf. Vintage crocks from hundreds of years ago serve as countertop decor. A stoneware bottle, once used to house beer or rootbeer, serves as vase for a flower or two atop the counter or table, or display an entire collection on a shelf or atop the cabinets. A small vintage icebox serves as a table for a corner, providing space to stash spare keys as well.

3. Dining Room

An antique American hutch provides the perfect environment to display antique china and drinkware while also providing storage for table linens. Unusual vintage dining utensils and serving vessels, once en vogue but now hardly used, create a stunning table decoration. Items such as antique pickle castors, pickle forks and salt cellars create an interactive and conversational display of decor when used during a meal. If the dining room has a high window with sill wide enough to be a shelf, decorate the space with an assortment of antique bottles, such as green pickle jars or cobalt blue medicine bottles.

4. Bathroom

Antique apothecary jars serve as storage for soaps, washcloths or fizzy bath bombs atop a shelf near the bathing area. A collection of antique bottles such as hair tonics and assorted medical remedies decorates a shelf or windowsill in the bathroom. A glass-fronted medical cabinet from the turn of the last century, once used in a hospital or doctor's office, serves as space to store rolled towels and hand towels. Antique faucet handles serve as wall hooks for robes and towels.

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