Choosing the right style

2015-07-28 15:41
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Contemporary Style

CONTEMPORARY style of decorating incorporates current ideas, things that are modern, of today and right now. This style is appropriate for homes, hotels, stores, and offices.

Originally thought of as being cold and minimalistic, this style has evolved into being easy to maintain, welcoming, uncluttered, comfortable, quiet and an ‘accepted’ norm in today’s homes and to visitors.

Simplicity, subtle sophistication, texture, clean lines, colour, shape and space are elements needed to achieve this sleek and fresh style.

Dominant colours include neutrals, blacks, creams and whites, accented with bright and bold colours. Black is often used to ground and define a contemporary style room with walls painted in a basic neutral, creating a wonderful backdrop for bold accessories.

Lines used in this style should be obvious and distinctive — bold colour blocks, geometric shapes in wall art and sculpture, architectural details, bare windows and high ceilings.

Free spaces are as important as spaces filled with objects making each piece stand out as individual and unique. ‘Less is more’ summarises contemporary interiors.

Structural elements should be taken advantage of such as a painted brick wall which would provide texture and stability, exposed plumbing and ventilation pipes and architectural features painted in contrast colours, would create focal features within larger free spaces.

Furniture pieces have exposed legs, and made in geometric modular shapes with clean smooth lines, few curves and decorations. They are upholstered in black, white, neutral, or bold plain colours of textured natural fabrics. No florals, fringes, cute and small items are used in this style. Minimal scatter cushions and throws added an injection of drama and colour.

Floors are bare and smooth in wood, laminates, tile, or vinyl adding colour and texture with plain or geometric-patterned area rugs. Contemporary style is predictable, acceptable, instant and suitable to the rush of today’s life!

Retro Style

RETRO style decorating is a term more commonly used to describe decor from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, but it actually encompasses several decades of trends and styles from our past.

Vintage style is commonly known to precede retro but these two styles are commonly used together. Retro style decorating has a fun, lively feel to it — with bright colours, wild designs and an overall sense of “flair”. It is bold, loud, energetic, busy, ‘funky’ and requires a certain personality to pull it off!

Typical retro colours would be dominated by avocado-green followed by mustard, yellow and combinations of black, white and red. Purples and hot pinks made a great addition to the retro decor. Mixes of bright orange, green, indigo blue, and yellow were often used on one single piece.

Tie-dyed fabrics, checked patterns, and elaborate paisley prints were also a trademark of this era. Textures such as shag carpeting, smooth plastics, soft vinyls, and crushed velvets were dominant features — the more the better!

Retro accents had no limits from fuzzy throw rugs, door beads, lava lamps, skate tables and scoop stools, with art and sculptures being bold, unusual and abstract.

There were three main choices for flooring in retro-style decorating such as natural wood, shag carpeting, and a bold mix of tiles placed in a checkerboard pattern. Floor lamps and lamps with square or tasselled shades were a typical retro choices.

Retro style furniture has an abstract feel to it, with each piece almost fighting for the limelight as the focal point of the room. It was sturdy, durable, purposeful and functional. Sofas were broad and elongated with multi-coloured cushions, barstools were of shiny chrome with bright red seats and puzzle-piece ottomans provided unique seating and often doubled as storage space.

Curtains were a dominant feature and could be in black and white check design, accompanied by a lime green bean bag chair or other pieces in unusual shapes and colours.

Creating a workable retro style decor required attention to every detail from the burnt orange wall sconces to the turquoise kettle desk phone on the table. Retro style decorating needs to be pulled together by combining a variety of shapes, textures, designs and colours to create a look that is unique to that era and to the personality living in the home.

Don’t try to tone-down a retro style decor and you need to get rid of any inhibitions you may have about mixing colours and shapes!

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