Here’s a little feature we like to call ‘Inspiration on a Red Bench’, and its, well…inspiration on a red bench (what you see is what you get here at Seek & Delight!). Today’s inspiration on a red bench is the fabulous biography of John Adams written by David McCullough.
Who is John Adams you may ask? John Adams was the second president of the U.S, he was one of the Founding Fathers of modern America, and played a vital role in maintaining independence from Britain. Now wait, before you yawn and switch over to celebrity gossip on the Daily Mail website, just hear me out. This is a biography of a fascinating man living in fascinating times. John Adams was moody, impatient, self important, bellicose, and a downright pain in the **** to those who worked with him. But he was incredibly hardworking, as liberal as any man could be, hobnobbed with enlightened philosophers in Paris, smoked weed with rebels in Amsterdam, and had a steadfast love for his wife Abigail, who, lets face it, was the reason he succeeded in life.
McCollough’s biography is gorgeously evocative of the times, and you are transported to crisp mornings in New England, snow fresh on the ground, the sun bright but weak. You can imagine drinking coffee in Abigail’s paired back kitchen, functional but comfortable, large wooden table, polished wooden surfaces, cold but loved flagstone floor. Snow on the windowsills, fire crackling in the fireplace, and a view out of the sash windows across snowy fields to Boston in the distance. Who knew a biography of some grumpy 18th century politician could fuel your love for colonial interiors! It sounds like a stretch, but I promise you its not. To read this book is to be there in 18th century America, and Amsterdam, and Paris for that matter!
So lets be inspired by these modern colonial and Shaker looks:
The whole raison d’être of Shaker minimalism was self denial and non attachment to physical possessions. All very Puritan. Thing is, its quite a fun and nifty trend to follow these days (no disrespect to the Puritans who are probably turning in their graves right now!). Floors were to be kept free from, well, everything really, so chairs, benches etc were hauled up onto the walls and hung on gorgeous chunky wooden pegs. This bright yellow chair is perfectly on trend and the juxtaposition of the funky yellow against the traditional wood panelled wall is scrumptious.
This is Shaker-chic alright! Chunky wooden pegs that also have a Scandi vibe to them, black modern shelves displaying minimalist plain accessories. Gorgeous!
Colonial interiors can be oh so chic, and do not have to fall into the country-kitsch trap of florals and frills, or even of red and green velvet curtains. Grainy wood, organic floors, white linens, and a paired back look create an elegant but homely colonial look.
Bring warmth and a feminine touch to a paired back colonial interior by going with whitewashed furniture, and a light colour on the walls. The global obsession with duck-egg blue comes in handy here! Add a bit of bling to create elegance and warmth, silver chairs, or a seriously blingy chandelier.
The best part of the modern colonial look has to be the use of wood. Grainy, weathered, jam-packed with personality, wood brings any interior to life. It looks especially good against neutral backgrounds. This wooden palette makes a delightful shelving unit, and those rustic plates are just too good! Cheese platter with grapes anyone?
And of course, no colonial theme would be complete without the colonial bathroom. It looks draughty and comfortable all at the same time, elegant yet sparse, welcoming yet formal. Accessorise with a fluffy white bath robe and some lavender soap!
Images courtesy of here
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