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Basic Decorating Styles - Common Designs and Ideas

Aug 18, 2007
From sleek and modern to rustic and old-world, today's interior design styles are as varied as houses and homeowners are themselves. What is the most common design styles being sought after today?

Traditional:
Traditional design styles are more comforting and classic than most. It is calm, orderly and predictable, with little or no bright colors, or brash designs. This homey style is quite casual, and is often used in homes with young children where formality has been lost. When designing a traditional-looking room, you may want to opt for some of these design elements:

Upholstered furniture. It is functional and unfussy.
Unstated accessories.
Lots of wood furniture, trims and moldings.

Contemporary:
Contemporary design is hip and up-to-date. This very modern style can be eclectic. It's bright and airy; comfortable and quiet and features characteristics of simplicity, clean lines and texture, with just a hint of sophistication. Features of a truly contemporary design should incorporate:

Color - Neutrals, blacks and whites are most common in this design style

Line & Space - In a contemporary room, less is more. Walls are left uncluttered, windows are left bare, as are floors and ceilings are often raised to give the room a large open and empty feel. Architectural details such as exposed beams, pipes and even chipped or broken bricks provide texture.

Bold Furniture - This key element to this modern design. Furniture and accessories should be bold and bright. Small and cutesy has no home here.

Formal:
Much like the traditional style, a more formal design is elegant and luxurious. Everything is big and overstated; the furniture, the lighting, the accessories, even the rugs. Deep colors are most popular as is lots of intricately carved wood and rich marbles. A formal style works best in a home with:

-High ceilings.
-Large rooms.
-Big windows.
-And lots of architectural details.

Rustic:
Rustic styles are generally reserved for woodsy areas and vacation homes. The design is simple, with a penchant toward colonial living. It often features very earthy colors and textures such as natural wood furnishings; lots of wood flooring and very little extravagance. Nature is used as a theme throughout this style in both design and accessories.

Victorian:
This is the most recognized of all the design styles. It is intricate and delectate featuring the styles, designs, colors and fabrics of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The best way to pull off a Victorian design is to remember to incorporate lots of:

Color - Deep greens, reds, mauves, burgundies and purples are most used.
-Rich wood furnishings with intricate carvings.
-Accessories; especially small trinkets, boxes, candleholders and such.
-Elaborate Window Coverings using the best (and heaviest) materials.
-Area rugs.
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