Unique decor lands resident a magazine spread

Apr 3, 2021

Visitors to Joy Campbell’s house may be forgiven for thinking they’ve stepped into a museum.

With antique wooden objects everywhere, the Padanaram home’s interior is so striking that it will soon be gracing the pages of Country Sampler Magazine, a lifestyle and decorating publication that specializes in Americana and country styles.

After spotting Campbell’s posts on social media groups for colonial-style decorating, an editor deemed the furnishings feature-worthy and got in touch.

A Country Sampler photography team came to Dartmouth last week to capture Campbell’s decor on camera.

It was the most amazing experience,” said Campbell. “It was so much fun! I got to see them...move pieces around, try things I never thought of doing.”

The stay-at-home mom of five said that she and her family started getting the house in order a month before the photo shoot, doing everything they could “to make sure the house was absolutely perfect for this one big dream shot,” she said.

“I had butterflies leading up to it!”

Campbell started following home decoration outlets like Country Sampler two decades ago, and began collecting antiques — what she calls her “pretties” — in 2005, when her husband bought her an antique violin case.

Her favorite objects are in the primitive colonial style: mostly wooden items, particularly cupboards and barrels, as well as metal and textiles.

“Think Sturbridge village, if you will,” she said with a laugh. “That’s my style.”

The family moved to Dartmouth from Utah in 2012, which allowed Campbell to acquire more authentic antiques.

“I always wanted to live in New England, particularly because of the rich history that’s here,” she said.

And although her house was built in the 1950s, Campbell noted, “I don’t have anything modern.”

Instead, she loves worn objects.

Anything worn, wooden, that looks like wood you would find broken down off the side of the road,” she laughed. “Those are the ones I’m attracted to...the ones that have scratches. You can tell they’ve been loved through the years.”

“I love how each piece has a story to tell,” she added. “It just feels warm...they’re inviting.”

She and husband Todd sometimes go antiquing or “treasure hunting” around the area or even further afield — but they have a pact regarding larger pieces.

“I have an agreement with my husband that if I want another big antique to bring into the house, I have to get rid of something,” Campbell said with a laugh.

And as impractical as it might appear to raise five kids in a house full of antiques, she noted, objects back then were built to last.

“Things were built so solid back in that period — they’re still standing in my home,” Campbell said. “They were hand crafted. They still are timeless.”

“I always buy pieces that are worn and well loved so if [the kids] did sit a drink on it, scratch it, or ding it...it would just add to the character of the piece,” she added. “I never wanted them to think they couldn’t ‘live’ in our home.”

Campbell said that she felt “humbled and honored” that Country Sampler Magazine chose her decor for a photo shoot.

When she first started collecting, she said, she would look at magazines like Country Sampler and tell herself “‘This is what I want my home to look like one day.’”

“I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude,” she said.

Although the feature might not appear in the magazine for a year or so, Campbell noted, “I’m thinking ‘dream big’, because you never know what’ll happen!”

“There are so many wonderful decorating styles out there, and I love them all — but you have to choose one for your own home,” she added. “What makes you smile when you walk in the doors? And this style makes me smile!”

More photos of Campbell’s home can be found at her Instagram page, @our_primitive_cape.