Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Schoolhouse Style

Elements of schoolhouse style have been popular for at least the last half decade, from the boys rooms of RH, to the best of minimalist farmhouses. Traditional trademarks include the iconic acorn shaped pendant, plenty of glossy shiplap, distressed wood furniture, and industrial metals. 

The trick to getting it right today is to pick and choose a few key pieces, and avoid going bananas so that your place doesn't end up looking like, er, a schoolhouse. Here's how to incorporate the style, and keep it fresh and updated for 2016. 

First up, for frame of reference, is an actual historic schoolhouse. Let's break down the elements and take a closer look at what to bring home (and what to leave in your locker).

Bring it Home:


Check out George- he's even dipped! Adding a portrait or two is a great way to bring character and personality to your space. Cool designers would probably choose an original vintage over a poster of GDub, since that's, like, obviously fake and ridiculous right? But I would totally do it. First of all, I have a weird obsession with presidential history, but more legitimately, it's cheeky. I actually came this close to buying a portrait of him riding a dinosaur at Renegade. Ah, craft fair regrets. Expert tip we can all agree on though: It's a good idea to test the waters on an inexpensive piece at first, to make sure you're cool with the eyes following you to your bathroom in the middle of the night.


As the #shiplap trend continues to mow down any opposition in its path, the more planks right now the better. Floors, walls, ceiling, skinny, fat or short, it's all fair game. And it's my opinion that architecture is king. If you have ugly baseboards and drywall-meeting-drywall, no amount of mid-century foraging is going to make up the difference. Likewise, a room with outstanding architectural features hardly needs anything in it to be stunning. If you're torn about where to spend the money, start with the bones of the house.

Via deVOL


Somehow the design world has us convinced that minimalists are also book hoarders. While this can't possibly be true, the stylists have SO perfected the art of the sloppy stack that even the most staunch spartan is clamoring to pile unread 'zines against those white walls.


Believe it or not, this hallmark of early Americana is making a comeback in a huge way. I see them all. the. time. lately in the most hipster of homes. And why not? Nothing says cozy like a giant oven in the middle of your room.

Via TrendLand (header image as well)


For a myriad of reasons, minimalism is more than a current trend; It's a surging movement. The roots and spirit of utilitarian style are clearly seen in these early 20th century buildings. More often than not, they're all white. They boast simple shapes, time-worn materials, hand crafted furniture, and zero excess. Keep these tenets in mind, and make sure white space is a part of your design plan.

A few more tips? Think black, white & tan. Grab a schoolhouse clock. Upgrade to fantastic door hardware. And remember, cognac leather + tufting is always a good thing.

Doorknob  |  George  |  Pendant  |  Sink  |  Leather Chair  |  Fireplace  |  
Stool  |  Clock  |  Book  |  Watering Can  |  Buffalo Check Chair 

Now there are a few more obvious nods to the ol' schoolhouse that I would caution you to use sparingly. Since this trend has been around a while, the goal is to keep it fresh. So, while any one of these things can still be perfectly fine and wonderful, putting two or more in the same room can put you in that "bananas" zone we discussed earlier. And obviously, bananas have no business in the American educational system. So leave these in your locker:

American Flags
Um, Lockers

What do you think? Can this trend stick around for a bit longer and still feel fresh? Or is it time for us to graduate?

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