All-American Decor

By Ayn-Monique Khlare

red, white and blue roomred, white and blue room

Red, White and Blue

In this 1960s cabin in the northeast corner of Georgia, every day is the Fourth of July. "The yard is full of blue hydrangeas," says Craig Kettles (, who decorated the home. "Between that and the view of Lake Burton, blue was a logical jumping-off point for a color palette. We added the red to give it pop." The iconic color combo, plus natural textures, distressed finishes and quirky antique furniture, gave this remodeled home its vintage American feel. Here's how to do it on your own. Photos by: Gridley & Graves


This vinyl floor is made with three shades of vinyl tiles.

Start from Neutral

Though the living room reads as patriotic, it's actually grounded in neutral tones. "We painted the walls white and the floors a putty color to create a blank canvas," says Kettles. This brightened up the original pine planks-keeping the texture of the wood but making it easier to patch holes or cover any stains that come with years of use. Sisal rugs, wicker ottomans and woven baskets pick up the grays and browns from the stone fireplace. Then strong colors were added in low-commitment doses: slipcovers for the sofas, throw pillows and art that can be changed out seasonally.


In the summer, flowers cut from the garden can stand in for a roaring fire to fill the "black hole" of the fireplace.

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Get the Look: Ottoman

Seaforth Natural Ottoman, $95;

Get the Look: Rug

Chandra Rugs Bay America Red Rug, $621 for 8'x10';

Get the Look: American Flag

Allegiance by Luke Wilson, from $42.99;
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Get the Look: Sofa

Indigo Stripe One-Piece Slipcover, $69.99;

Get the Look: Laundry Basket

Water Hyacinth Laundry Basket, $29; for stores

Add Some History

Creating character in a renovated space can be a challenge, but in this kitchen Kettles made it look effortless. He mixed old (a hutch found in Atlanta's monthly Scott Antique Market) with new (Shaker-inspired cabinets from IKEA) to make the redone kitchen fit with the rest of the home. Galvanized barn-style lights and planks applied horizontally to the walls complete the architecture of this retro-country look. The final touch: open shelving (see slide 1) to let splashes of color come into view.


The framed vintage poster does double duty: It's actually a hinged board that hides an electrical panel.
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Get the Look: Hi-Lite

Hi-Lite One-Light Outdoor Galvanized Sconce, $116.95;

Get the Look: Floor Tiles

Choices 12"x12" Vinyl Tile in White/Coastal (AL-19), Horizon Blue (AL-90) and Denim (AL-92), $37.72 per carton;

Get the Look: Blue Plate Special

Manhattan Blue Plate Special Side Plate, $12.95;
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Get the Look: Pie Dish

Emile Henry 9" Pie Dish in Cerise, $44.95;

Get the Look: Dishcloth

Striped Dishcloth, $18.95 for 8;

Pull In Smart Pieces

A sunny spot in one corner of the living room is a cozy place to play board games or eat breakfast. Cheery red chairs-found on sale at Pottery Barn-play up the worn red paint on the tabletop and surveyor's tripod, which was converted into a floor lamp. Because the room opens onto a deck with access to the lake, the furnishings have to be able to take a beating. Durable outdoor chairs and washable cushions and covers can stand the abuse from wet bathing suits and muddy feet.


This table was originally bar-height! Kettles sawed a few inches off the legs so it would work with the chairs.
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Get the Look: Chairs

Garden Side Chair in Red, $99;

Get the Look: Pillows

ALVINE RÄFFLA pillow cover, $7;

Get the Look: Mirror

Reclaimed Barnwood Windowpane Mirror, $279.99;

Get the Look: Lamp

Surveyor's Tripod Floor Lamp, $260;

Original article appeared on

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