Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Decorate In Ivy League Preppy Style

This blog post is part of a mini series on the Preppy Interior. There are several styles that embrace the term preppy. There is Southern Preppy which is associated with Palm Beach style popularized by the iconic Lily Pulitzer. There is also the newer Preppy Eclectic, classic lines and tailoring mixed with generous doses of color and fun, but restrained use of bold pattern. Then there is what I consider Ivy League Preppy, it's the style that originally coined the name because it was seen in the homes of many a prep school student. This post is dedicated to this style of Preppy interior.

Ivy League Preppy is a hard style to nail down because it borders on English, American Colonial, and a few others as well. I grew up beside a house beautifully designed in this style. There is a certain feeling to it which started me on the road to my love of antiques. 

Ivy League Preppy is a term to describe an understated elegant lifestyle consisting of conservative choice of home decor and clothing that perennially stand the test of time from generation to generation. The Ivy League Preppy style of decorating is definitely not trend driven, but is classic and traditional .This style home will usually be a historic older home and the interiors will not look luxurious and "modern" rich but instead will look "well off" with the tasteful patina of old money. I have tried to find some images that come as close as possible to capturing the Authentic Ivy League Preppy decorating style.

Hopefully these images will help you as you decorate in this style. You can add your own fresh take on these classics for a wonderful look. The next installment of this series will look at  Eclectic Preppy interiors that adds a modern face to the classic appeal of this style. Stay tuned, post number three will feature Southern Preppy.

The Ivy League Preppy home will be full of artwork and antiques.The interiors are not as decorated as much as they are curated with collections that have been gathered over the years. The thing I like the most about the Ivy League Preppy interiors it the ease of graciousness and casual elegance they exude....always very lived in yet elegant and classy.

To be successful with this look you have to restrain from "decorating" and instead focus on tastefully arranging furniture and collections so a room looks comfortable and lived in but refined as well. 

via pinterest

Libraries are an important rooms in the Ivy League Preppy interior.  Make sure you have comfortable seating, this library will not be merely beautiful to look at, it will be used and enjoyed.

via pinterest

To pull off the Ivy League Preppy interior if you have not had your decor passed down from past generations you must go antiquing, slowly collecting pieces that can't be found at local home decor stores. Instead shop at antique malls and second hand stores where priceless antiques are oft time discarded by family members who could care less about Grandmother's lovely burl walnut writing desk.

Ivy League Preppy interiors include original hardwood floors which are usually covered with antique Oriental rugs.You won't see wall to wall carpet in this style interior.

From Ralph Lauren who knows his way around an Ivy League Preppy interior.

Ralph Lauren

The Ivy League Preppy home has a slight masculine edge, never frilly!!  Rooms tend to look well traveled.

Ralph Lauren

 If you don't use Oriental rugs on your floors, sisal is a good alternative.

source unknown

Small spaces look fabulous when decorated in Ivy League Preppy. It has an impressive, yet somewhat cozy look.

via pinterest

Ivy League Preppy interiors offer a collected look and they are  not " matchy matchy" but tastefully put together.

The items in an Ivy League Preppy interior will be old, and many will be family pieces that are functional and used day to day. 

Mix and match your Oriental carpets in an Ivy League Preppy interior. If they are all the same it looks too structured and you lose the casual elegance.

Howard Slatkin

The Ivy League Preppy bedroom many times borders on the New England Colonial style with four posters and canopies.

English style bedrooms such as this one by Hammish Bowles can be seen in Ivy League Preppy homes.

Collections of art will definitely be on display in the Ivy League Preppy home.

Blue and white porcelain is a perennial favorite of the Ivy League Preppy interior.

The Ivy League Preppy interior has an easy, "I'm not trying too hard" elegance about it. 
And books are always a welcomed addition to this style space. Again notice the use of several different rugs.....much  more charming!

Don't forget the silver.

The Ivy League Preppy home will feature beautiful wood paneling and an occasional equestrian print hung about.

The Ivy League Preppy interior is not staged, it is lived in.....elegantly.

source unknown 

The Ivy League Preppy style is hard to define because it has so many influences. Families traveled abroad and naturally brought European accents back to incorporate into their interiors. These beautiful pieces were passed down from generation to generation so you will see many French and English pieces.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Elegant Branch Decor For The Non-Rustic Home...

We are all familiar with the natural branch decorating trend that has been around for the past 4 years. Even though, according to design critics, the look is passé and rustic is being replaced by modern, people tend to still like using elements that remind them of nature and tree branches are an inexpensive way of doing just that. If rustic decor is still your thing, I say "carry on". However some of you would like a more elegant way of displaying the best that nature has to offer.

The purpose of his blog post is to assist you in incorporating an updated look using branches and twigs for a home that isn't rustic in design. Gone are the days of just hanging branches on walls or using them as curtain rods. But tastefully placed in a gorgeous vase.....well that's another story. Today's decorative branch is being painted, lighted, gathered into statement making floral designs, and made of metal. Just think of it as "branching out" into a more updated look.

When creating a floral accent from branches, the more interesting the shape of the branch, the more eye-catching the design.

source unknow

The brass etagere, side table, and mirror resemble tree branches but are updated and stylish.

This branch inspired metallic room divider is fabulous.

 Updating a tired chandelier is one use of natural  twigs and branches I still like.....especially if you adorn them with crystals.  

This room does have a natural branch chandelier. However it is trendy enough to be considered eclectic instead of rustic.

Here the seriousness of an antique sunbust mirror and Georgian style mantle are softened by tall, clear vases full of white blossomed branche bouquets.

This wonderful table features tree branches that are updated to a stylish gold finish.

1. 2. 3.

Seasonal branches gathered as a bouquet and displayed in a tall vessel is an easy way to instantly add style to your kitchen.

Bellevue Furniture & Accessories

The addition of these brass branch inspired candlesticks can launch a vignette into perfection.

Another pretty branch bouquet.
The iron branch floor lamp brings an element of playfulness to a classically designed room.

There are wonderful metal branch chandeliers to choose from if natural twigs and branches are too rustic for you.

Add a natural element to any room in your home with brass branches. Don't you love this branch inspired fire screen?

A nice break from framed pictures, this striking overscale piece of artwork made entirely from branches is definitely a chic statement piece.

Jeff Herr Photography via

Beautiful metal branches surround a mirror in this sophisticated sitting room.

Just want a hint of the natural? There are many lovely side tables available with branch inspired bases.

Vases of oversized branches make beautiful focal points on tables in foyers or landings.

Birds are still a popular design element. Coupled with branches and  painted with metallic paint, a mirror like this is the perfect accessory.

via pinterest

In a bed surrounded by large birch branches, who wouldn't have sweet dreams. Rustic yes.....but in an elegant way.

Side table at Horchow. An openwork ring of slender branches supports the clear glass top of this elegant side table. Handcrafted of iron with a hand-painted golden finish.

One would feel like a woodland fairy princess awakening each morning in this iron, tree branch inspired, canopy style bed.

1.  via Pinterest    2.   3.


A tall vase with long stems of branches can liven up a corner.

Stylish branch lighting is very trendy right now.

Try some metal branches as hardware on your favorite cupboard.

Finding a beautiful a container for your branch bouquet has never been easier.The hard part is deciding which one. Flowering quince is a good selection for spring branches.

Contemporary Kitchen by Richmond Architects & Building Designers Birdseye Design

This cool branch motif room divider creates just the right fusion between organic and industrial.

 Eagle Interior Designers and Decorators and Studio 80 Interior Design

A natural branch is still a lovely accent to any room if you display it well. Even if your room is not rustic, modern pieces of furniture in a contemporary, neutral, living room look great with branches.

R. Higgins Blog

And don't forget how pretty branch bouquets are during the Holidays.

So what do you think?  Too much?

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

 here to see the previous post

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