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How to Tone Down Red White and Blue Decor

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This understated patriotic vignette will help you learn how to tone down your red white and blue decor.

understated patriotic vignette with muted tones of red white and blue decor

Pinterest Challenge

Today is our monthly Pinterest Challenge hosted by Cindy at County Road 407!

Each month, Cindy chooses an inspirational photo from a favorite blogger. Then a group of blogging buddies (15 this month) get to create our own versions with our own twists! Thanks, Cindy, for putting so much work into blog hop each month! It’s always a blessing!

PInterest challenge logo

If you are visiting by way of Kristi from White Arrows Home, WELCOME! Don’t you just love the twist that Kristi added to her summer tray?!

Also, welcome TWOday to all the MWA family ! If you are a My Wee Abode subscriber, you know that today is TWOSday, and that means… well, you can subscribe if you want to know. Sneaky, right?


Are you a “shout-it-from-the-rooftop” red-white-and-blue kinda gal, or do you like to tone down your patriotic decor?

If you are anything like me, you might need to add some patriotic decor to your home for a blog post, even though RWB isn’t your fave…

Oh, wait. You actually want to add some red-white-and-blue to your home because you really like it, you say?! Ohhhh, okay!

Let’s take a look at how to do that with the understated patriotic vignette I created for my little place this season.

You can read more about my RWB story from last year’s patriotic Pinterest Challenge.

The Inspiration for an Understated Patriotic Vignette

Today’s inspiration photo comes from Liz Marie at Liz Marie Blog.

Liz Marie has a lovely farmhouse and her style reflects in her home in a BIG way.

understated patriotic vignette with muted tones of red white and blue decor

For my twist on Liz Marie’s photo, I chose to focus on the vignette on her round table. This is what stands out to me:

  • a foundational tray starts the vignette off
  • a glass demijohn is used to hold mini American flags
  • an olive bucket with greenery
  • colored mason jars
  • a framed photo
  • and it looks like there are some coasters tucked in the front, as well

If you read Liz Marie’s post, you’ll find she is all about neutrals, but had fun with some patriotic decor finds. Her touch is quite light with the Old Glory colors.

So let’s take a look at how you can add some understated patriotic colors to your home.

Add an Understated Patriotic Vignette

Add a Tray

First, when creating a vignette, start with a foundation piece to corral your decor pieces. Think:

  • basket
  • tray
  • vintage doily
  • mirror
  • or a vintage linen

I shopped my home for most of the items in this vignette and used a galvanized tray… one of the three items every small home should own.

understated patriotic decor tray with bottles and red white and blue tassels

The tray makes it easy to move from the kitchen to the dining room, and then maybe to the living room!

Add Old Glory

Or something similar to the American Flag.

Just like Liz Marie, I added a demijohn that I purchased a while back from HomeGoods. I first used this in my Fall Home Tour last year.

tray with anchor photo and glass bottle with flags

Adding DIY flags in unexpected red-white-and-blue fabric shows a patriotic spirit without getting ‘crazy’. 😉

glass bottle with red white and blue flags

(Let me know in the comments if you want a quick tutorial on how to create these cute little ‘wavers’.)

Then Some Greenery

One of the three things I purchased for this vignette was a miniature olive bucket… I have always wanted one of these and was glad to have an excuse to by an affordable one at Hobby Lobby.

understated patriotic vignette with olive bucket and greenery and white bottles

Placing the olive bucket on a white cupcake stand gives it just the right amount of height. Remember to vary your heights in a vignette to give it some added interest!

The Lamb’s Ear and seeded greenery have been used over and over again around My Wee Abode. Greenery (real or faux) is almost always a ‘must’ in a vignette.

olive bucket with lamb's ear

Give Your Vignette Some Glass

Remember, you can always substitute items when you are being inspired. That’s what makes it ‘yours’!

Don’t have blue mason jars handy? Add a trio of white bottles and add some easy RWB tassels from baker’s twine!

These little ironstone-look cuties first made an appearance at my Spring Home Tour, way back in 2018!

understated patriotic vignette white bottles with red white and blue tassels

You can use any clear glass vases or jars to create this look, too! Even use a trio of RWB candles in votive cups!

Use a Mini Printable

Liz Marie has a cute little rustic frame in her vignette. Shop your home and use a frame you have around the house, or buy one at your local craft store with a coupon (like I did).

anchor print in white frame with galvanized tray

This non-traditional red-white-and-blue print is perfect for a toned-down patriotic look.

And this cute little patriotic printable, along with two more (that also come in 8 x 10) can be yours for FREE!

anchor print in white frame with galvanized tray

Tiny Elements Add Interest, too!

In place of the neutral farmhouse coasters that are tucked in the tray on the inspiration photo, these grapevine stars make another appearance this year! Last year, they were used for a DIY Patriotic Wood Bead Garland with Stars.

understated patriotic vignette white bottles with red white and blue tassels and grapevine stars

FYI, Hobby Lobby has these stars back in stock for the season!

Finished Understated Patriotic Vignette

And here’s the final result of this somewhat non-traditional patriotic decor.

understated patriotic vignette with muted tones of red white and blue decor

What do you think? The non-traditional red-white-and-blue decor elements still say ‘July 4th’ without screaming it, ya know?

non traditional patriotic decor elements in a vignette

And I think my fave part is the collection of little DIY flags.

The RWB flag is made from a dishtowel you can purchase at Hobby Lobby (yep, another purchased item). Gotta love those tassels! And I had the red ticking fabric leftover from my Heart Rag Wreath DIY.

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you decorate for the patriotic holidays? Memorial Day, July 4th, Flag Day? Do you prefer bright red-white-and-blue decor or more muted tones? What colors do you use? (I even think pink and sky blue would be fun!)

Now, hop on over to my friend and So Cal neighbor, Carol at Art and Sand. Carol uses red and blue in your everyday decor, so it’s always fun to see what she has up her sleeve!

And be sure to visit all my friends by clicking on the links below! You won’t want to miss them!

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  1. I like your toned down version of red white and blue a lot. I’m not comfortable with being screamed at with that combo. It’s just too much for me. But this works. The white bottles with the red tie, the simple ticking flags, the white grapevine star. This works. Thank you for the understatement.

  2. Hi Julie,
    yes please on the DIY flag wavers! I scrolled back and forth looking for the details and saw your ask! What exactly is a demijohn? I love it!
    I used a galvanized tray too, but it’s buried under lots of layers! ha! Happy Day it looks great! laura in Colorado

  3. The vignette that you created is incredibly beautiful, Julie! I seriously love every detail of it! I’ve also always wanted a small olive bucket. I haven’t been to Hobby Lobby since quarantine, and after seeing your olive bucket, I think I need to pay that store a visit. Your flag wavers are adorable and I love how you jazzed up the milk bottles with baker’s twine tassels. Great job on this challenge!

    1. Thank you, Paula! You are such a wonderful encouragement! I hope you get to a Hobby Lobby soon, but you be careful!

  4. I absolutely love your simple DIY flags, Julie! Think I need to copy that idea for sure (especially since all my regular ones are packed away). Now, if I can just find some of my ticking fabric:( Love the simple, understated vignette you put together.

    1. Thanks, Lora… I need to see if you answered my question about your banner… trekking on over now!

  5. I like your understated vignette but I also love large doses of RW&B (worked at the VA for 25 years and have a strong sense of patriotiism as a result! Have you found the SIMPLEST way to make embroidery floss tassels? I slide the 2 labels to either end of the skein, cut the skein in half, carefully remove 2 strands from each half. I use one to make the hanger (through the fold of the threads, the other to tie the tassel off at the neck. Sometimes I brush out the twists on the floss with a comb or brush, then trim. I often use them on pillows and on the ends of reversible pointed-end table runners. Quick and cute!

    1. GREAT ideas for using tassels, Kathy! Thanks for sharing! (I may add some to a wood bead garland… and not just on the ends!)

  6. I totally want those little flags! And I see your little anchor. It works perfectly with your tray vignette. I for one love the red white and blue but am liking the toned down version even more! Thanks so much for joining in. You are the blessing friend. Pinned (oh, and I’ll make sure and post to the secret) 🙂

  7. Julie, I love all the elements of your “toned~down” patriotic vignette. The white glass bottles with the colorful string are awesome. My favorite has to be the very vintage looking flags from fabric. I’m positive the red stripe is the same fabric I found in my stash to make sweet Shark a mask. I still have some, so guess what I’m going to make? Very pretty framed print, too.

  8. Well, if those aren’t the cutest little flags. I have been wanting to make a few flags so you might just see some pop up in my Instagram posts.

  9. I absolutely love your understated patriotic look. I tend not to put out the red, white and blue decorations because the colors are too jarring for me. Although I love our country! This is the first time that I have seen something so lovely and do-able for me. The faded look is refreshing and so nice. And much easier to look at. I love it!

    1. Laura, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, and that it inspired you! I hope we get to hear from you often here at MWA, and enjoy your 4th!

  10. I absolutely love this idea as I’ve never been a fan of the bold, bright red, white, and blue. I did decorate for the 4th using stuff I already had, but I’m pinning this for next year. It seems faded flags are the way to go to tone it down. I also think the vintage Americana look tones down the brightness too.

    1. I agree about the vintage Americana look, Amy. I believe Lora from Create and Ponder has an adorable banner that looks like vintage wood… LOVE it!

  11. Julie, totally cute tables with the little milk jugs and their red scarves!!! I like that you used one of your prints here in the picture frame ~ perfect with its soft patriotic colors!! Yes, the flags are adorable!!!

    Happy almost 4th to you,
    Barb 🙂

  12. Great tips for tray styling Julie! I adore those flags! I made the chair spindle flags last year and I have been wanting to make some other flags so you have inspired me!

    So fun hopping with youa Happy Fourth of July!

    1. I remember your spindle post, Amber. It actually inspired me to buy a wooden dining chair from the Goodwill and cannibalize it for the spindles… both for some decor AND some nice legs for a RAST makeover.

  13. Those are some adorable little DIY flags, Julie! I picked up some really good ideas with this one! I really love your toned down spin on red, white, and blue. As much as I love our flag, red just doesn’t go too well in my house. Your DIY flags and darling printable would look right at home, though! Pinned!

    1. Thank you, my friend! I think about some really muted red or even a dusty rose might work in your home… what do you think?

  14. Love this Julie, the understated look is definitely more my thing! I love your little flags, what a beautiful way to use up fabric remnants!

    1. Thanks, Jayne! They make my day a little brighter when I see them in the kitchen… though right now, I have LOTS of painting ‘stuff’ in there, too!

  15. I love the beautiful vignette you created! You are so talented! I think my favorite is also the cute little DIY flags. They are so clever! Pinned!

  16. Your dishtowel and ticking flags are so cute and creative, Julie. They go really well with your anchor printable, too. You really nailed the toned down patriotic look!

  17. Hi Julie-
    I am with you – in that I prefer a more toned down RWB aesthetic. One of my favorite items to collect are old faded flags. I love your take on understated patriotic decor – it’s perfect. Thank you for sharing this post on the Home Imagined Link Party.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I have another Pinterest Challenge coming up for patriotic decor. I think the flags will be making another appearance!

  18. Hello Julie! We’re excited to feature this post on the Fabulous Friday Link Party tomorrow! Thanks, and we hope to see you there!

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