January 13, 2020

Inspired By: Taking Inspiration from Olden Days

Yesterday I finally went to see Little Women. Beyond the fact that it is a magnificent film, it felt inspiring on many fronts. So prepare yourselves, I have another Little Women-inspired post in me this week.  The visuals in this film (both the homes/interiors and fashion) were so rich, layered and total eye candy. It was filmed completely in Massachusetts, and so I plan on stalking a couple of the homes in the film (you can find details on them here in this great Boston.com article). What I noticed though was that there are SO many modern day interiors and “trends” (can we even call them that though if based in such classicism?) that really play off the homes in this Civil War-era set film.

I, for one, am ALL FOR IT. You can keep your modern, rose gold coffee table and macrame wall hangings, and give me a nice scuffed wood piece found in an antique shop and a painting framed in a chipped gilt frame, thanks. :)  One of the things that really spoke to me was the paint palettes and schemes– SO many of the rooms have millwork, trim and walls all painted the same rich tones, like this room we did last year (which is Farrow & Ball Green Smoke). Of note: to be historically accurate, the windows would also be green (and have multi-pane mullions), but the overall effect is very much based in Colonial style.

photo by Sarah Winchester

Currently also SO popular is the English, rustic, scullery-style kitchens, like these from DeVol Kitchens.  Note the beams, the simple millwork on the doors and wood or antique brass hardware.  There is zero “glam” elements to these kitchens, it’s much more about texture and rich materials that feel, or are, hand-made and carefully crafted.

Fireplaces were also so important, as the source for heat, so dressing those in antique reproduction mantels and surrounds is important in order to get this look. Our favorite sources for these are Chesneys and Jamb.

Image via Jamb UK. 

Here are some finds that fit this aesthetic- not all antique, some newly made, and of various price points.

1. Antique Duncan Phyfe table  2. Velvet English roll arm sofa  3. Wood Windsor chairs  4. Antique landscape in frame  5. Wood bed 6. ceramic crocks  7. Wood cutting boards  8. Federalist mirror  9. Brass buffet lamps   10. Traditional rug  11. Painted tallboy dresser  12.  Antique Louis setttee (needs reupholster)  13. Rustic dishware  14. Woven basket  15.  Table runner

I also gathered up some historically-based paint colors that would look especially good on millwork and trim. We reach for our Benjamin Moore Historical Colors deck the most often because these tones are so classic and timeless.

Do you like that this style is resurfacing in modern day? Did you see the movie and love it too? It’s really re-ignited my desire to buy an old home and fix it up again :)

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