Before we can create “atmosphere” in our homes, we must begin with style. Style is achieved through a set of basic features, design techniques and elements of furniture, lighting and accessories that, when combined, create harmony. Style is individualistic and, most importantly, should reflect who you are. What is your style? Keep reading to find out.
Traditional design typically exudes warmth and comfort. It was inspired by the 18th and 19th centuries and heavily influenced by European and English décor. Traditional design strives for harmony, symmetry, and order to create a calm and orderly space. Think depth, layering and dimensionality. Warm tones and darker colors usually define the color palette and are found in the art, textiles, and accessories. Because traditional design was inspired by Europe and England, there tends to be a regal influence in the furniture. Character is usually expressed in the details of the design such as candle holders, chandeliers, and crown molding. It is also important to note that most traditional design is centered around a focal point such as a fireplace, a beautiful antique or painting. Traditional style in its original form can look a bit dated. In order to keep it from feeling too fussy, try incorporating a few modern elements into the design.
Mid-century modern style was popular from the 1930s through the 1960s. It is characterized by a clean, minimalistic aesthetic, the presence of angular structures, and an emphasis of bringing the outdoors inside. There is a strong focus on functionality and a no-fuss approach to design. Open floor plans that include large windows to allow light to penetrate is characteristic of the architecture and its relationship with nature. The use of natural materials, light walls, vintage accessories, pattern and texture, and keeping in mind that ‘less is more’, will help you achieve this popular style. Pictured here are some mid-century styles from one of our favorite vendors, Uttermost.
Contemporary style is a combination of a range of styles that were developed in the latter part of the 20th century. Contemporary interiors contain tone-on-tone color palettes with an emphasis on brown, taupe, cream and white. Bold color accents are found in art, rugs or accessories. Furniture features clean lines and smooth surfaces and is usually made of maple or birch wood, which is lighter in color. Accents in frosted or clear glass, nickel, chrome or stainless steel are common. Natural hues abound in the form of silk, wool, linen and cotton and provide textural interest. Lighting is used as an artistic statement and usually includes straight lines and sleek metallic finishes.
Minimalism is best described in three words: less is more. An open floor plan, monochromatic color, simple line furnishings, and lots of light encompass the décor. Shapes, colors and textures blend to create a harmonious space. Everything should be functional and add value to the space. The idea of an uncluttered and clean space is the crux of minimalism style. Whether this is your ideal style or not, we can all benefit from inside the pages of a minimalist-playbook! Our free Decluttering Guide will help get you started on the less is more path that fits your lifestyle.
Industrial style draws inspiration from an urban loft or warehouse. Think of unfinished elements like brick, ductwork and wood. Most materials are derived from wood and metal. High ceilings, reclaimed wood, metal light fixtures, abstract art and/or photography are commonly used in this design.
French country style includes warm, earthy colors and worn ornamental furniture. Soft variations of red, yellow, and green are common colors used in the décor and attention to detail is noted. Natural materials like stone and brick are also prevalent. French country may also include collections of porcelain dishes, linens and bed coverings.
Bohemian style is carefree and eclectic. It reflects an “anything goes” attitude, incorporating vintage furniture and light fixtures, globally inspired textiles, textured rugs, displays of collections, and flea market finds. If you love it, it will “fit” into this style.
Coastal style is also known as Hamptons style. Blues and greens are paired with a neutral color palette and accented with wood and accessories inspired by the sea. The combination of these elements creates a relaxed and comfortable environment. If you are lucky to live in the Lehigh Valley or Greater Philadelphia area, like us, the beach is a few hours away. We still like to bring elements of coastal style into our home during the summer months (like the pineapple centerpieces seen above), and take full advantage of this style when it is in season!
So, what is Stonewood’s style?
Understanding the various design styles will help you discover your own style and ultimately what you envision for your home. What is our style, you ask? We like to think of ourselves as TRADITIONAL WITH A TWIST! This means our training and decades of experience have shown us the value in things like harmony, symmetry and order. Yet, that same experience allows us to know when to bend the rules to create a home that is truly as unique to you!