Decorate Your Home with Modern Twists on Americana in 2023

Mix the past and the present with red, white, and blue.

Americana is a decorating style long associated with rustic country charm, American flags, and plenty of red, white, and blue. But today’s Americana updates the style with more personalization, modern touches, and fun new takes on traditional elements. “Americana with a twist is all about mixing the past with the present, the antique with the new, and bringing your own voice forward in your design,” says design and decor expert Benjamin Reynaert.

bright red quilt tapestry behind cottage bed
Edmund Barr

From handmade quilts to tongue-in-cheek cross-stitch, handcrafted chairs, and heirloom artwork, this new Americana is inspiring today's home decor. “Americana with a twist takes all of those beautiful homespun elements our grandmothers may have embodied,” says Reynaert. This is in part because of the sentiments they evoke. “During tumultuous times, how nice is it for our personal spaces to become even more of a respite, a comfortable and safe space,” says Reynaert. “I believe this style is really taking off because of the nostalgia it makes us feel.”

The key to 21st-century Americana is a balance of old and new. Use the strong motifs identified with the style but incorporate some unexpected twists, too. “My biggest advice is to go for it and mix it up,” says Reynaert. This is a warm, eclectic style meant to be personal, not only in decor but also in the skill and craftsmanship used to create those pieces. 

blue and white checkered wallpaper bathroom
Laura Moss

Embrace Classic American Styles

Pattern is a key element of Americana decorating. “Think gingham cafe curtains in the kitchen, '80s Ralph Lauren plaids, and of course a heavy dose of red, white, and blue color schemes,” says Reynaert. One key motif associated with the new Americana is checkerboard. Highlighting fresh takes, like Matilda Goad's kitchen, Reynaert says "checkerboard is having a moment and is here to stay.”

Reimagine Traditional Patterns

“Americana with a twist differs from Americana styles of the past because, today, interior designers are subverting the style in new, fresh, and innovative ways,” says Reynaert. “Nick Olsen took a classic checkerboard design that's typically seen on bed covers and floors and applied it asymmetrically to the walls and ceiling of his bedroom in his Hudson Valley farmhouse.” Framed bandanas by Max Humphrey are another example of how to use a familiar element in a totally different way.

Bed with colorful quilt and embroidered pillows
Jason Donnelly

Go Thrifting and Antiquing

“Don't be afraid of buying used and vintage,” says Reynaert. “Hit up those yard sales and dusty antique malls, see things in person, and bring home what you love.” Keep an eye out for versatile Shaker pieces that are perfectly at home in updated Americana decor. “Shaker-style wooden furniture seems to go with everything nowadays,” says Reynaert.

Decorate with what speaks to you, and take your time to do it. Slow decorating is a great way to approach this style. If you follow Jojotastic, you’ll recognize a similar long-term approach to decorating with thrifted items—and plenty of modern Americana-inspired textiles, too. 

gingham bed frame with matching sheets
Ka Yeung

Add What Resonates with You

Much of what’s driving this decorating trend is the emotions it evokes. So what is Americana to you? Use those patterns, colors, or furnishings that elicit nostalgia for you.

Also, incorporate inherited elements with extra personal ties, whether it's a turn-of-the-century buffet, a 1960s clock, or a still life drawn by your uncle. And while you’re gathering items, don’t forget that including contemporary pieces is part of what brings this style forward—it’s not just vintage flair. These modern pieces might simply provide visual relief, or they can lean into the Americana vibes, like modern National Parks or fiction-inspired travel posters and artisan-crafted geometric rugs and pillow covers in vibrant hues.

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