House Tours: A Cottage in Red, White, and Blue

Filled with salvaged treasures, this Victorian farmhouse exudes beautiful country style.


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front of house
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Modern Farmhouse

    A charming white picket fence opens to a perennial-lined brick walkway to this Illinois farmhouse, beckoning guests to linger on the front porch or laze away an afternoon.

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Going Country

    On the front porch, cherry-red chairs seated around a table provide a nostalgic spot to enjoy morning coffee or a simple meal. A repainted shutter finds a new home on a porch beam and becomes easy artwork.

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Rustic Appeal

    Salvaged treasures, like this water pump, washboard, and galvanized bucket, provide this Victorian-era farmhouse with plenty of down-home charm. A bundle of red geraniums hint at the color scheme inside.

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Authentic Touches

    A beat-up painted bucket and rusty ice cream maker are weathered details that help give the home its old-time feel.

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Welcoming Entrance

    An antique buffet, dressed up with crystal knobs and lightly distressed ivory paint, welcomes guests and offers subtle tone-on-tone contrast in the farmhouse's crisp white entry.

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Red, White, and Blue Touches

    Combining rosy-red gingham, cool blue mattress-ticking, and crisp white walls, the living room exudes all-American country appeal. Chicken-topped ceramic canisters and a lamp fashioned from an old cream pail keep the look full of surprises.

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Cottage Kitchen

    To save time and money, the homeowners worked with their kitchen's ho-hum cabinets; a quick coat of paint, reproduction hardware and new multi-paned doors provide an instant cottage-style facelift.

    Get the Look: Find a variety of mismatched, different size plates that complement your color scheme, like the blue-and-white ones here. Hang them in a tight cluster, or cover an unused wall such as this space between the cabinets and ceiling. This brings visual interest and an eclectic, yet cohesive look to an otherwise neglected area.

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Homestyle Cooking

    A rustic sign describes the treats displayed in the glass-door cabinet below. Cookbooks are organized and easily accessible on a neat stand

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Quick Meal

    Old-fashioned glass jars hold red candy for a speedy sugar fix. The antique tin shelf and high chairs turn an ignored corner into a unique sweet station.

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Traditional Country-Style

    The dining room hutch offers abundant storage options for linens, silverware, and the homeowner's collection of blue-and-white dishes. The table is covered in a bright white table cloth with red gingham placemats. Vintage floral sheets become delightful chair covers. A cozy rag rug covers the floor.

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Delightful Detail

    A vintage milk bottle serves as a vase for cheery gerbera daisies.

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Pretty and Practical

    A crimson butler's cart helps the homeowner host guests and showcases some of her favorite linens and pottery pieces.

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Farmhouse Accessories

    A collection of baskets, a pair of weather vanes, a chicken coop door, and a rustic hand pump pack a punch of vintage style in the sunny family room. The comfy, skirted sofa provides a feminine flair.

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Cottage Comfort

    A red Adirondack chair and a mantel topped with a dresser mirror and an array of creamware pitchers add to the rustic flair of the recently added sunporch

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Staircase Makeover

    The home's original dark and boxy staircase was given an open, curvy makeover. Now it combines curvaceous modern lines with old-fashioned beaded-board delights; an arched screen door serves as wall art.

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Layered Bedding

    In a guest room, a painted iron bed is piled high with red, white, and blue linens. The homeowners layered a floral dust ruffle, cornflower blue and white sheets, and red gingham comforter with a vintage quilt and plaid-and-striped pillow cases. An embroidered "Home Sweet Home" pillow tops off the look. The bed backs up to an exposed brick chimney column and is flanked by a distressed bedside table.

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Cozy Nook

    A deep chair is upholstered in a fanciful quilted fabric. Antique trophy cups displayed atop a white painted dresser and prize ribbons surrounded by a black frame lend a sense of nostalgia to the space.

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Unique Choice

    Red gingham wallpaper lines a hallway leading to a linen closet. A traditional screen door is a practical choice for homeowners who would like to both store and display lovely country quilts and linens.

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Attic Oasis

    With its intriguing dormer and ceiling details, the former furnace room upstairs was made over as a sunny guest bedroom by applying a coat of white paint and laying wall-to-wall sisal flooring.

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Sweet Dreams

    In a mattress-striped guest room, a new gingham shade tops an antique jug lamp while a reproduction alarm clock hangs from an iron headboard. Missing dresser drawer-pulls were replaced by knotted fabric.

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Full of Surprises

    The door to a bathroom gets a humorous touch with an outhouse-inspired moon and star design cutout. Clean hand towels hang near the entrance.

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Freshen Up

    A salvaged wall-mount laundry sink finds a new home in a renovated bath. Red gingham wallpaper on the ceiling and a patterned floor gives the otherwise neutral space a splash of color.

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Neat and Clean

    This crisp white bathroom hutch with crystal knobs looks fresh and organized. Plenty of shelves and drawers neatly store a plethora of towels and supplies.

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