Traditional furnishings tend to be symmetrical and formal, but they can be used to dress up a more casual environment. Traditional wood finishes are typically dark, cherry and mahogany for example. Updates to traditional style have brought lighter tones into the mix with finishes that resemble antique parchment. Fabrics that work well on traditional furnishings include chintz, jacquard, damask and brocade. Leather in rich brown tones can add an air of classic charm.
Old World Estate:
Medium to dark finishes
Carved details with twists, fluting and ornaments such as acanthus leaves, flowers, fruit and claw and ball feet
Coastal style, wherever it is found, is breezy and relaxed. Natural fibers are common on upholstery and floor coverings. Sea-themed prints are common on fabrics with seashells, tropical flowers and light houses. Finishes are light, weathered or painted. Palettes can be can be light and breezy with blues, greens and whites, or vibrant and tropical with reds, oranges and yellows added to the mix. Recent coastal style trends include seashell encrusted mirrors and tables and coral-form accessories and prints.
Country style has many variations today, but most interpretations contain some common elements. Muted colors, mid-toned woods or painted finishes and vintage fabrics unite this category. A homespun quality is common with florals, checks, calicoes and stripes. Hand-made accessories, pottery and baskets add a homey touch.
medium-toned wood and painted finishes
casual, but not without ornamentation
ultimately livable in scale and treatment
caned and rushed chairs
relaxed, provincial interpretations of formal French style
natural finishes and vibrant colors
cane and rushed chair seats rather than heavy upholstery
stone and terra cotta accents and accessories
Relaxed, comfortable interpretations of traditional English style
Cheery, garden-inspired palettes
more substantial than cottage style with the incorporation of heirloom furnishings and accessories
feminine touches with delicate china and embroidered pillows
Americana styles are decidedly unfussy. Wood is appreciated for its inherent qualities and finishes let the natural character show through. Palettes are muted, yet rich in tone. Fabrics are textured and comfortable, and combine well with leather. Forms are practical and unornamented but not lacking in substantial style.
Southwestern / Lodge / High Country:
earth tones pervade in the natural colors of leather
terra cotta and light wood tones
textiles have a rugged, hand-woven feel
wall treatments are rough stucco and adobe
iron and wood carvings used as accents
Native American iconography and art forms
Oriental style has influenced western home furnishings for centuries. The influences of Chinese designs can be found in the late work of Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century. Authentic oriental furnishings mix well with their occidental imitators, united by motifs and palettes.
Japanese and Chinese inspired interiors
highly stylized forms
mid-toned natural finishes and dark lacquer finishes
silk screens with painted screens and rice paper screens as room dividers
inspiration from nature, mythical creatures and bamboo forms
paisley and other intricate prints
textiles embellished with embroidery, sequins and small mirrors
saturated colors in jewel tones and vibrant shades like pink and aqua
Indian god figurines
embossed, colored glass candle holders
Eclectic style is often unexpected, and sometimes daring, in its combinations of elements from different cultures, time periods and style categories. There are many variations within this category. Each projects a distinctive character. Good eclectic design is decidedly not just a hodge podge of items. Furnishings are chosen with intention and attention to unifying design elements such as color, line, texture, mass and form. The use of collectibles is common element of eclectic style, no matter the variety. While there are no hard and fast rules for eclectic style, several distinct trends in this approach have gained traction in interiors.
European folk and gypsy emblems and antiques
vibrant jewel-toned palettes, including ruby, orange, turquoise, purple and vibrant green.
beading and fringe details
exotic fabrics such as silk and velvet
ruched, embroidered or otherwise embellished fabrics