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Sorted by Tag:  ' contemporary ' 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Decorating With Contemporary Style

One thing you absolutely know, or think you know, is that you don’t like contemporary decor. After all, contemporary style means tables with chrome legs and glass tops, metallic lamps that look like space ships and harsh sofas covered in glossy, uncomfortable leather – right? Not so fast.

Too often contemporary style is characterized as austere, aerospace modern when in fact it includes a wide range of fashionable, comfortable furnishings. Defined by texture, clear colors and clean lines, contemporary décor illustrates an easy simplicity and subtle sophistication.  It can be as bold or as understated as you would like to match your personality.

Here are few quick tips to help you decorate with contemporary style and create a home that’s not only current and chic but welcoming and family friendly.

Choose furniture with simple silhouettes.

Leave the intricately carved cabinet fronts and ornate fabrics behind and select pieces with gently curved or straight lines. Not only are simple profiles the foundation of contemporary fashion, they establish a base for creative decorating. Frills and adornments make furniture look cluttered and accessorizing more difficult.

Start with neutral colors.

Today’s contemporary colors draw inspiration from nature and are subtle rather than bold. Sofa and chair fabrics in taupe, white and cream tone-on-tone hues are versatile and work well in almost any room.  Accent them with throw pillows in sage green, slate gray or deep-ocean blue.

Need a darker color fabric for that couch the kids jump on? Try rattan brown, stone or black. Want to create a pop of color? Change those throw pillows to hot pink or yellow.

Add texture.

Textured fabrics and finishes add visual interest and a fresh, fashionable look to décor. Woven upholstery fabrics in wool, cotton or a cotton/linen blend are comfortable and breathe well. Select a sofa with exposed wood legs in a beech or birch finish. Put a textured fabric shade on a metal lamp base.

Let accessories complete the look.

Accessories tie together the lines, textures and colors within a room. If your furniture has curved lines, select accessories and accents with curved lines to create balance. For example, add a pair of round rattan ottomans. If your upholstery has straight lines, choose accent tables and accessories with straight lines.  Consider a rectangular, wood and glass cocktail table.

Remember to add texture. Let go of that colonial braided rug and select one in a natural fiber such as jute or sisal. Create warmth with permanent greenery in a ceramic or terra cotta container. Feeling bold?  Choose a brushed metal lamp with a barrel or square shade.

Stop by any of Connell’s two locations to consult our sales staff and let your imagination roam. You’ll quickly find contemporary furnishings that match your fashion personality.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Defining Your Design Style

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With so many choices of furniture and accessories, defining your design style may be difficult. Luckily, sticking to strict rules regarding design isn’t as important as it used to be. Still, there are a few distinct styles of furniture to choose from. Your decision is whether or not to strictly use one style or to mix and match them to fit your needs, personality and living space. Here are a few styles, along with their characteristics:

Traditional design style is elegant with attention to detail. Its classic, calm, orderly look is the most popular style in America. Lines are curved and there may be additional fine detailing in a rich colored woodwork such as cherry. Colors are muted and fabrics are rich.

Transitional style is neither traditional nor contemporary, but somewhere in between. History is preserved in some pieces of furniture, while others get sleeker lines and an updated feel to them. In a transitional style home, curves and straight lines are present. Wood color remains rich and other colors throughout the home are often muted, relying more on texture than color to complete the design scheme.

Contemporary and modern style both feature clean, straight lines and more solid colors than traditional or transitional. Mirrors and mirrored pieces of furniture along with polished silver are prevalent. Geometric shapes and a sense of openness gives contemporary style a minimalist feel. The use of bright colors is found more often in modern style than in traditional.

Country style has a distinct feel to it. More casual than traditional and warmer than contemporary, country style features lighter colored woodwork for the furniture. Soft floral and gingham prints are used in shades of red. Black and soft white are also used a lot in this style.

Eclectic style is much harder to define as it borrows from several design styles. For an eclectic style to work, central themes must tie the room together. Colors can vary and the background is often neutral with pops of color throughout the room. Furniture finishes are mixed and the use of old and new are typically incorporated. Imagination and surprise is a sensed in an eclectic room.  Antiques and flea market finds are sometimes re-purposed and mixed with new contemporary looking pieces.

Stop by either of Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark to see furniture and accessories in each of these unique styles, then decide for yourself what your style is.