While home decorating styles are as different as the individuals doing the decorating, I for one, am always confused about the difference between say, Country or French Country. Modern and Art Deco. So to satisfy my curiosity I did some research and this is what I came up with. While styles may vary from region to region, this is a very basic description of some decorating style terms, along with some pieces or accessories that would be in each category.
Belonging to or characteristic of an early stage of development, crude and rudimentary. Items in this category would include old wooden hay rakes, antique handmade rag dolls, and any other handcrafted antique items. This is a style that I particularly love: when I buy a primitive piece, I think of the hands that had lovingly crafted it, and the other hands that used it for whatever it was meant for. These things are not perfect or uniform, they are worn or stained.
Characterized by rich brocades and velvets, both in furniture, walls and window dressings. Mauves, burgundies, rich blues and greens, along with lace and fringe compliment Victorian furnishings. Porcelain dolls, wicker, old high button shoes, hats and hat boxes, buttons and dried flowers are wonderful accent pieces to a Victorian Decor.
While country is a rather general term, it actually depicts a class of pieces a little higher than primitive. Such as antique cotton quilts, Hoosier cupboards, stoneware bowls, enamelware and wooden dovetailed boxes. Wood and cotton fabrics seem prevail in Country Decorating.
Yellows, blues, rooster collections, tiles on the floor and walls. When applied to interior design generally means a mix between elegant and rustic. Faded or whitewashed wood, blue, pink and yellow small prints and flowered fabrics, sunflowers in a dripware pitcher. These elements constitute French Country.
This is an interesting variety of pastel colors such as mauve, pinks, pale greens, peaches and blues in a floral or fruit patterned fabrics. Painted wicker, and most definitely cottage type flowers and herbs. I do believe this term came from people that had large homes in the city, and traveled to their small country cottages for summer. Usually located near water, some nautical items should also be present such as shells and stones. Lightly covered windows, using gauzy fabrics will bring a Cottage Country feel.
This is a style in which patterns are bold and bright, while using a lightly colored background. Use neutral coloring for walls and furniture, but add bright splashes of color in accessories. Colors included should be such as fushia, deep purple and teals. Abstracts and vinyl will compliment a Contemporary decor.
This is a style that most people use. It is a combination of many styles. Just choose your favorite pieces to combine into a style all your own.
This term comes from the designs of the 20's, 30's and early 40's. Lines were elegant, streamlined and angular. Vibrant colors were predominant. Neon, chrome and other metal furnishings, bakelite plastics and inlayed furniture were popular for the Art Deco period.
This is the log cabin type decor. Made from tree branches and trunks, rustic furniture is very popular. Red, green and black should be displayed in plaids with this look. When I think of rustic I think of bear skin rugs, antique snow shoes hanging on the wall, as well as other old woodsman tools and oil lamps. When decorating in a Rustic style, think cabin in the woods.
Light and fanciful. Bright colors and unusual patterns. Such as pink spotted fish, a wooden chair painted in several different colors and with several different patterns. I would consider Mary Engelbreit's designs whimsical. Her use of different colors and different patterns on one piece are definitelyWhimsical and full of imagination.
This style has classic elegance, created by using light, natural colors such as, gray, off white and beige together with dark blues, greens and burgundy. Florals, stripes, plaids and damasks are noted fabrics. With this style I see crystal candlesticks, china, framed landscapes and other more elegant pieces.
Use colors such as terracotta, warm yellows and other earth tones. Distressed finishes and simple patterns will suit this style best. Blue and gold accents will really set this style off. Accent pieces here should include pottery and aquatic pieces.
Futurist looking, concrete, stone, metal and glass. High tech comes to mind when thinking of this type of decor. Lots of open space, bright lighting, and square lines. The main colors are basic and cool, with splashes of bright colors. Abstract artwork will combine well with this decor as well as usual hand blown glass pieces.
Most oriental decor is sparsely furnished with dark wooden pieces standing out against light walls. Simplicity, balance and practicality are the words most used when describing Oriental decor. There is a colorful array of accessories that can be used to compliment, of course beautiful oriental rugs, jade, ivory, coral and onyx pieces, elephants and dragons, silk kimono, fans, teak and lacquered wooden pieces, delicate tea sets and silk prints.
Stuccoed walls, bold colors such as red, orange and gold, heavy dark colored furniture, use of wrought iron accessories. Other accent pieces include guitars, castanets, lace, Spanish hair combs, Bolero hats, and Spanish blankets.
Think desert when thinking of this style. Adobe, leather, bold colors such as orange, burgundy, purple, bright turquoise, rustic furniture will mix well with this style also. Be sure to include silver items, lasso's, cactus and maybe even a saddle.
Reminiscent of ancient Greece. Use of pillars and columns in both interior and furniture designs. Mahogany wood, with brass inlays, marble table tops, tapestries and crystal chandeliers will be wonderful accents here.
In all honesty this has to be the way my home is decorated. Here we are talking a mix of flea market finds, redone to suit the new owner. Comfortable, inviting, with character, are a few words to describe this new/old decorating style. Worn but comfy chairs covered with a old faded quilt, old trunks remade into coffee tables, baskets holding magazines and worn lace hung as a curtain.
Written by Cynthia Muir - © 2002 Pagewise