if your tastes run towards the elegant, luxurious and
formal, a Traditional style is for you. Colonial, Victorian and
French Provincial décors are examples of this style, of which
symmetric configurations and ornate details are hallmarks.
Traditional furniture is characterized by dark,
rich woods (mahogany, cherry, rosewood, walnut)
and features detailed carvings and exposed legs.
demonstrative of quality workmanship, Traditional
furniture is typically durable and pricey.
Jewel tones dominate the Traditional palette: deep red,
bottle green, sapphire blue. Fabrics are equally rich:
damask, jacquard, chintz, brocade, tapestry, velvet, silk,
satin. Fitting accessories, which should be minimal and
symmetrically balanced, include oil paintings, china
or silver collections, gilt mirrors and oriental rugs.
if you feel that Contemporary décors are too
cold and impersonal for your taste, you may
feel more at home with a Casual décor. Casual
spaces are all about warmth and comfort.
To best facilitate that comfort, Casual furniture is
generally overstuffed for softness, and thus of a larger
scale. Slipcovers on sofas and chairs are typical. Woods
common to Casual pieces include oak, maple and pine.
earthy tones – olive, terra cotta, wine – comprise
the Casual color palette, as do neutrals like tan,
gray and beige. Fabrics are appropriately soft,
like cotton and linen. asymmetrically balanced
accessories, which suggest informality, are typically
very personal to the user(s) of the space.
Contemporary look. referring to a variety of styles developed
in the last half of the 20th century, a Contemporary décor
is defined by open, minimally furnished, efficient spaces.
more comfortable and affordable than Traditional
furniture, Contemporary pieces are simple and sleek:
low profiles, clean lines, smooth surfaces, exposed legs.
Shapes are geometric and materials include light woods
like birch and maple, stainless steel, chrome and glass.
Vinyl and leather are characteristic upholstering choices.
Palettes are typically monochromatic, often with bursts of vivid
color found in accessories like boldly patterned rugs. When
looking for accessories to complement your Contemporary
décor, you'll want to lean to less rather than more.
not a style unto itself, an eclectic décor is a
blending of distinct styles. Creating an eclectic
décor that works isn't easy – it takes planning and
an understanding of design principles. But the result
– an utterly unique space – is worth the effort.
The key to pulling off eclectic style lies in finding a
common denominator – color, pattern, shape, texture
– that serves to unite seemingly disparate pieces. The
result is a room where all the pieces feel like they belong,
though they may be from different styles or eras.
The amateur trying their hand at creating an
eclectic look might want to establish a décor that's
predominantly characterized by one style, then
introduce a second style by way of just one key item.