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5 Elements of American style

American style

What defines American style? A relaxed approach to living. The spirit of invention. Freedom to mix old and new, high and low. An appreciation of heritage, encompassing such classics as denim, stripes and quilts.

What else is all-American? A sunny optimism, which translates into an openness to color, a love of florals, materials that emphasize quality and utility, and the confidence to take risks rather than follow rules. All these elements happen to define country style as well. And they're what JCPenney drew on to create its comprehensive new collection, American Living, which incorporates the best of American style in both apparel and home furnishings. "The pieces in this collection make an emotional connection, whether it's a quilt that reminds you of snuggling on a winter morning or a sun-faded plaid that evokes picnicking at the beach," says Country LivingStyle Director Nicole Esposito Polly. On the following pages, you'll find five elements that define today's easygoing interiors. Let them inspire your own interpretation of American style.

Element No. 1: Collections

Celebrating Heritage
Pieces we have inherited or that we collect tell a story about us; they help define our identity and link us to a personal history. Collections give a home identity and meaning, too. So enjoy collections by living with them: Quilts, for example, could be draped at the foot of a bed, or over a railing to lend a shot of color and pattern to a landing, cheerfully greeting you every time you climb the stairs.

White matelasse quilt with muslin ruffle, Lilac Park collection; red checkerboard quilt, Modern Country collection: American Living for JCPenney.

Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally Published: 5 Elements of American Style

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