What Are the Different Types of Primitive Country Decor?

Lori Kilchermann

Primitive country decor features furniture and decorative elements which are typically simple in style, yet exhibit skilled craftsmanship in their creation. Utilitarian items, such as baskets, buckets and wood totes, are often used in a variety of ways as part of primitive country decor. Dark and muted colors are prominent in country decor, especially in textiles, accessories and furniture.

A wood bowl, which fits in with primitive country decor.
A wood bowl, which fits in with primitive country decor.

Bringing the outdoor elements indoors, primitive county decor can include items typically found outdoors, such as grapevines, berries and pussy willow branches. Bird nests, paper wasp nests and pine cones can be used alone, in groups or piled into containers. Stones, animal antlers and twigs are also perfect for primitive country decor. Other primitive touches include bird houses, and wood and metal tools.

Country decor may feature antlers.
Country decor may feature antlers.

Hand-carved wood bowls, handmade tool totes and woven baskets can be used on tables, shelves and walls. They can be used alone, adorned with berry-filled vines or filled with primitive items such as rag balls, wood balls or homemade candles. Candles are often used in primitive country decor and should have a rough and rustic appearance rather than a smooth and sleek one.

When items rust, country folks re-purpose them rather than discard them so just about anything rusty will work as a primitive decoration. Rusty pie pans can be used as candle holders, and rusty buckets can be used to hold fresh-picked or dried wild flower arrangements. Rusty metal stars can be used as wall ornaments inside or out, as can rusty advertising signs and food tins. Glass fruit and canning jars and old bottles can be topped with rusty lids, or left open so they can hold pencils, twigs or flowers.

Textiles used in primitive country decor often include homespun or homemade items, such as tapestries, wool rugs and table runners. Colors used in primitive country decor are typically dark or muted shades, including blacks, browns and greys. Quilts often feature simple, basic shapes and can feature tattered edges, tears and patches. Wall hangings and framed needlepoint often feature simply-themed and primitively-stitched samplers.

Flags, animals and painted wood signs can also help to complete the feel of primitive country decor in a room. Black crows, sheep and rabbits are common animal themes, and can be found in statues, stuffed pillows and wood cutouts. Many antiques are a good choice for primitive country decor. Vintage railroad lanterns, kitchen utensils and enamelware are some decorative options. Other antiques which lend themselves to primitive style include wood spools, treadle sewing machines and trunks.

Furniture should be plain, made with simple construction and absent of any carvings or ornamentation. Newly-made wood benches, tables and stools are often painted dark colors and artificially weathered to create a worn appearance. Older furniture pieces, such as dry sinks, quilt racks and wash stands, can also add country appeal to a home.

Needlepoint wall-hangings are often used in primitive country decor.
Needlepoint wall-hangings are often used in primitive country decor.

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