The Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder were my absolute favorite reads as a child, and I still love reading them to my own children now. My oldest daughter and I were reading On the Banks of Plum Creek yesterday, which you may remember as the story of the Ingalls family settling in Minnesota; briefly living in a dugout house next to Plum Creek; building a new house and starting a farm, only to have it destroyed by a plague of locusts.
One of the Ingalls' few neighbors were the Nelsons, a husband and wife from Norway with a baby girl named Anna.
Laura describes visiting the Nelsons, and remarks on how their buildings even "looked Norwegian". There were clear differences between all the homes that Laura had ever known, and how the Nelsons set up a home.
"Mr. Nelson's house was long and low and its board walls were whitewashed. His long, low sod stable had a thick roof made of hay. They did not look like Pa's house and Pa's stable. They cuddled to the ground, under a slope of the prairie, and they looked as if they spoke Norwegian.
The house was shining clean inside. The big bed was plumped high with feathers and the pillows were high and fat. On the wall hung a beautiful picture of a lady dressed in blue. Its frame was thick gold, and bright pink mosquito-netting covered the lady and the frame, to keep the flies off."
Reading that now as an adult, it jumped off the page to me. Visualizing how that house must have looked, I felt like I could be browsing Apartment Therapy or Decor8. It's not just the clean space and bright walls, but the mention of color and simplicity. This is a perfect example of how some classic looks will never go out of style.
Honestly, I'd like to dig through these books again and develop a series of posts looking at home decor in the Little House series. I'm one of those people who prefers a smaller home, and I think there is a lot to learn about what worked for people in the past.
Image credits: SILVÅKRA motif created by Aurore on Ikea.com; White-washed wood paneling mural from MuralsWallpaper.co.uk via MocoSubmit.com