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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What’s Your Decorating Style

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We all have style preferences. Each of us dress with our own flair, expressing our personalities.  We all have certain food preferences, and we all have different tastes when it comes to our home’s decor. Some of us prefer new homes with wide open spaces, while others like the look, feel and charm of an old home. What we put inside of our home also says a lot about us. Did you know that there are actual decorating style names?

Throughout the years, most people adhered to a particular style of decorating. And while a strict sense of style remains popular for some, more often than not you’ll find more versatility in design style these days. Still, an overall theme will typically prevail. Keep it similar or mix it up. It’s up to you. Read on for some generalities in design style. And as you do, dream a bit about some changes you’d like to make to your home’s decor and then stop by Connells for great furniture, value and customer service you’ve always come to expect. From big pieces like sofas, loveseats and sectionals, to small items like table tops, lamps and artwork; we’ve got you covered.

Traditional. This style borrows from 18th century England. Wood finishes are typically in darker colors like cherry and oak. Deep, rich hues, along with beautiful, and sometimes formal texture prevail. You might find the pairing of a small print on a pillow with a floral patterned sofa in this style. You would also generally find a large mix of highly polished pieces in a traditional style room. Textures are typically both dull and shiny to provide variation and appeal.  Details are key in woodworking and on fabrics. You might see tassels and fringes in this style of decorating.

Modern/Contemporary. Sleek, straight lines with very little additional pieces in the room beyond the actual furniture denotes a modern or contemporary design style. Most furniture sits lower to the ground and the colors are often neutral. The most popular wall color is white or off white and color is sometimes used in various places within the room for a dramatic affect.

Transitional. This style marries traditional and contemporary furniture and accents into a blend of timeless classics. Lines are simple yet sophisticated and can be straight or rounded, or a mix of both. The background color is often soft or muted, allowing for accent pieces to give the room some “pop” and pizazz.

Country. In a country style home decor, you’ll find finished and unfinished pieces, baskets, quilts and folk art. You might find a mix of gingham and floral patterns on sofas, chairs, pillows and throws. The feel is “homey” and “lived in.” Antiques, chalkboards and an apple pie scented candle would complete the look and feel. A type of country design may include Americana themed accents in red, white and blue. Barn stars and other simple American symbols or words like faith, hope and love, along with grapevine wreaths and trees are still popular.

Cottage. This style is comfy, cozy and lived in. Cottage is typically associated with white picket fences and old-style shutters on the windows. Browse a Pottery Barn catalog and you’ll really get a feel. Colors are muted, understated or white. Fabrics are soft and comfortable with dashes of texture all around. It has farmhouse appeal with rustic elements, warm woods and rich tones throughout.

These are just a few design styles. There are many more to choose from: eclectic, shabby chic, French country, art-deco, global chic, old world, bohemian chic and more. The key is to go with your instinct and do what feels right for you, your style, preferences and the way you live.

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.