by: Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
March 1, 2016
March 1, 2016
Northeastern interior design can mean a lot of different things to different people. To some, the phrase “northeastern design” conjures up images of traditional furniture like Windsor chairs, sturdy dish cabinets full of blue and white porcelain plates, solid pewter candlestick holders and stately wingback chairs. For others, Northeastern design cues up images of Vermont ski lodge style: houses with exposed wood beams, rustic farm tables, and big armchairs with nailhead trim. If you hear Northeastern and think of a summer beach cottage in Martha’s Vineyard or Montauk, you’ll think of yet another set of design staples like cedar-shingled houses and nautical touches. Whatever your concept of Northeastern design is or which version of it you like best, our experts are here to outline some of the most inspiring classic Northeastern design elements for you to incorporate in your home.
Northeast Seaside Style
From Hyannis to the Hamptons, there’s something so classic and elegant about Northeastern seaside style. Pristine blues, whites, and grays make up a perfectly breezy palette for linens, rugs, walls, and pillows, while nautical influences like lanterns, rope details, and seascape paintings complete the cottage-by-the-sea look. Flea markets will be your best bet for finding the right antique and vintage details, whether that means vintage boat pulleys, old buoys, or fishing nets to adorn your walls. If older pieces aren’t a part of your budget right now, don’t worry. Framed prints and reproductions of old maps will also lend some of that historic charm. Your bathroom can also be a fun space to play with Northeastern seaside style without feeling like you need to convert the rest of your space to cottage decor if your tastes are more modern. Striped towels, basket-style hampers, and the right shower curtain (we like this whale pattern from West Elm) will help cultivate the right look.
Some of us can’t picture the Northeast without conjuring up images of cozy mountain getaways, formidable ski lodges, or rambling Adirondack camps. This woodsy, outdoorsy style can be really fun to work with as inspiration for your own decor. Rustic tables and chairs made from woods like pine can offer an inviting look to your space, while a cool woodsy color palette for textiles, paint colors, and fabrics create a soothing, calm feeling within a living room or bedroom, while earthy taupes and terra cottas have a warmer effect. While it would certainly be lovely to be able to add a stone fireplace to your abode, settling for smaller touches, like slate coasters or vases filled with found objects and natural stone, to create a similar experience.
Traditional Style for a New Generation
It makes sense that the Northeast has long been a stronghold for traditional colonial style furniture like maple slat back chairs, rocking chairs, and formidable canopy beds. Authentic pieces from this time can fetch fantastical prices at auctions or end up being purchased by museums, but that doesn’t mean that this style can’t be incorporated into your home without looking like your place has been trapped in time. Despite what you may think, traditional style doesn’t have to be stuffy. One way to rework colonial style pieces is with paint: bright colors like blues, reds, and yellows add some life to the formal, restrained lines of a Chippendale style armoire or secretary desk and can make a Puritanical-seeming Windsor chair pop. Combining traditional styles with other more contemporary pieces can also have a modernizing effect. If you’ve inherited an imposing Queen Anne’s style chair, look into having it reupholstered with a bright fabric or juxtaposing it with the clean, simple lines in a more modern bedroom or home office. You’ll be surprised (and pleased!) by how adaptable traditional Colonial style furniture can be.
If you’re interested in exploring how Northeastern style can fit in your space, consider letting one of our amazing designers help you discover which changes will be right for you. A redesign project can be daunting, but having a professional designer on your side will help you evaluate your choices and execute your project the right way. To learn more about InteriorCrowd’s design services, visit our FAQ page and find out how to get started.
Caitlin is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is a life-long flea market junkie and you can find her vintage shop, Save Me Vintage, on Etsy. She is also a regular seller at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene and Franklin Flea in Philadelphia. Follow her on Instagram @SaveMeVintage as she searches high and low for forgotten treasures and design inspiration.