Monday, May 14, 2012

Prim Up That Modern Home

Do you have a modern, contemporary home and a love for primitive style decor?  The two sometimes clash like oil and water, but they can also work together quite well.  Today I thought I'd share how I decorated a few areas of my home with a bit of a primitive touch.

This corner counter is in my kitchen, a thoroughly modern design, with clear maple cabinets, granite tiles and stainless appliances.  Not too much old style here!  I took a red/gold/ cream round penny rug that I made and layered up a wooden paddle (found at a thrift store) filled with rosehips and orange peels.  Three small styrofoam balls have a variety of seed pods from the farm store thoroughly glued in place (plus a brushed on coating of glue to seal them).  The seeds are deep purple, yellow gold and dark red, which brings together my rather modern attachment to the color purple (which I've blogged here before).  The three chicks are resin pieces I picked up a few years ago, along with a tin gold star.  The rusty scale adorns a pip berry and star candle ring along with a gorgeous local handcrafted candle with dried fruit imbedded in the wax.  Remember these important guidelines as you create your centerpiece:  use odd numbers of items when grouping like things together; layer up the height to bring the eyes to the focal point; and be sure that the colors work together (watch to make sure that your bright colors don't put everything else off); and offset your design...if it's too symmetrically perfect, it won't look primitive.

Next is something I love to decorate with...candle rings!  I have a formal six light chandelier in my dining room which is brushed nickel.  Not exactly primitive or country!  So I purchased multi colored pip berry candle rings (enough for each light), removed the light's cover and bulb, and threaded the candle ring to rest just below the frosted glass shade.  These stay up until fall, at which time I change them out for fall covered candle rings, and then again at Christmas for some bright red berry candle rings.  It adds a bit of texture and color to an otherwise ordinary place.  And I really like being able to change up the look quickly and easily.

And, though I didn't plan to photograph this, behind the light you can just make out a very high window sill that we have in a couple of rooms.  The windows are a good eight feet wide by only two feet tall.  Impossible to decorate with a window covering, so I gave up and just decorate the sill itself!  I have small bird houses, prim candlesticks, even some old books up there!  The look is cozy, yet not cluttered, since the pieces are way above eye level.  Plus it frees up more space at the lower levels to make and buy (!) new prim pieces.  And who doesn't love that!


  1. Great ideas Ilene. My hubby hates prim so we have to meet somewhere in the middle!
    Enjoy your day,

  2. I had a modern home and I was forever trying to make it country and prim. Oil and water is right! I like your idea, you can add those touches and make it work. I love the eclectic look anyway. I now have a victorian home so I am loving that I am not fighting with it anymore.


  3. Love your little primitive display!! Those birds are too cute, and I've suddenly become addicted to rosehips!!I found you through Sew Many Ways Find a Friend Friday and I'm now following you!! All the best ~ Deanna