What Goes With What
Many of you know what you like and have a gut feeling about what
looks good. The key is to understand some of the basic rules and
guidelines to a well designed room. Continue honing your skills
by “educating your eye” when looking at magazines and catalogs,
visiting furniture store, and surfing the web.
Formal: This look is achieved by using fabrics with some sheen,
such as moiré’s or silks. You can then add in formal textures
such as a damask or formal stripe. The wood colors generally
used in a formal room are darker like a cherry, walnut, or
mahogany and are usually finished with a high sheen. Legs on
wood furniture are frequently curved or detailed and have ornate
feet. The use of pairs is typical in a formal setting with
matching chairs, lamps, and tables. Symmetry is an important
part of a formal setting but the end result is frequently more
rigid than most people are comfortable with. Dressmaker details
are also an important part of this look and window treatments
are generally layered with sheers, side panels and swags with
Traditional: This look has some similarities to formal but with
more casual fabrics with no sheen. Floral, stripes, plaids, and
tone on tones are common choices for the traditional room. Deep
colors are often found on upholstery. Wood colors are generally
dark but with less ornate legs than the formal style. Typical
window treatments may be shutters or wood blinds with side
panels and top treatments.
Country: This look uses fabrics that have more texture or
pattern, like flame stitch, Jacobean floral, crewel, combined
with heavier weight fabrics. Wood colors are walnut or cherry.
Camel back sofas with exposed legs combined with wing chairs are
typical furniture choices.
French Country: Also referred to as Province- a warm and
welcoming look. Utilizing rich, intense colors and printed
fabrics like toile, checks, small prints, and lace are fabrics
of choice to achieve this look. Wood color is generally bleached
or painted combined with wood. Legs generally are cabriole legs
with simple feet.
Shabby-Chic: Vintage fabrics with a bit more of a feminine feel
are the usual fabric choices to achieve this look. Woods tend to
be painted or distressed in lighter colors. The color palette is
generally softer, like pinks, yellows, and greens. The
combination of leg styles and mixture of fabrics makes this look
work. Touches of whimsy are an important factor in this look as
Lodge: Just as it sounds, a recreation of a country woods
retreat. Pulling many of its elements form the outdoors with
strong, earthy colors and dark, primitive wood styling. Decoys
and animal mounts add to the look as well as simple window
treatments like wood blinds or tab curtains.
Tuscany: Fabrics with a weightier feel. Chenille, tapestry, and
velvets complement this look. Colors are generally earth, as in
yellow greens, brick and browns. Walls generally have a heavier
texture to them and are frequently plastered with a glaze added
to give depth. Woods are a combination of lights and medium
darks but generally distressed.
Victorian: Fabrics that have a bit of sheen set the stage foe a
true Victorian look. The original look was based on the theory,
“more is more” Today’s Victorian is a less embellished version.
Cherry, Mahogany and Walnut are the usual wood choice. Fussy
dressmaker detailing in window treatments is part of this look
as well. Brass, both shiny and antiqued, is an added touch to
Contemporary: Fabrics generally are geometric and solids. Wood
is oak, teak, and frames are frequently built of metal. Leg
lines are usually sleek and straight. Those who love the clean,
sparse look of contemporary are of the “less is more” mindset.
Eclectic: A combination of a variety of styles and eras,
including country, Victorian, traditional and primitive. These
are looks many of us achieve when we create a home filled with
an accumulation of years of living in a home.