Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to identify different decor and furniture styles

Better Homes and Gardens!!!Image by So Sylvie via Flickr

Having some basic knowledge about different styles of furniture and decor can be a big help to those trying to create a nurturing environment for themselves. Looking around our home and seeing common choices and what style they represent tell us what to shop for when we are looking for the right furniture that appeals to us. Here are a few basic styles that you can use to help you decide what appeals to you.

This term is used broadly by people who do not know what to call their own tastes. Its basically all encompassing, including every style and period, to the exclusion of none. Some misuse the word “eclectic” to mask an issue with outright hoarding. This would be more of an abuse of the term as one can have an eclectic preference and still have a very clean and attractive design/decor in their home. This can be achieved primarily by finding some degree of commonality with in the individual pieces. It could be in color, texture or form etc.

This style is probably the most commonly seen furniture in most average homes today. This popular style is a general reflection of tastes that originated in England and France. For those who are just entering the decor world, or just now getting their feet wet decorating their home, this is a great choice as it typically will withstand the test of time because it is always functional, easily transitioning with your changing tastes.

Modern furniture would probably be best defined as a style with no direct links or influence from styles of periods in previous time. Somewhat "avante garde" in design, modern furniture follows no rules dictated from the past. Clean lines, unusual materials and shape usually mark styles that are modern in look and feel. This design aesthetic has gained popularity in recent years for its trendy upscale features.

An extremely popular style in Europe and in the States, provincial furniture got its label originally from wealthy french citizens who described simple country decor and furniture as "Provincial", meaning it came from styles seen in the Provinces of France. Characterized by warm, simple country stylings we sometimes know as French country. Woods used in these furniture pieces are often in pine, maple and oak. It is visually pleasing, simple and comfortable furniture designed to fit the needs of the owner with years of practical use. Slightly more refined in its style however, from Early American/colonial furniture, it has a longer shelf life. Timeless simplicity, comfort and charm it has stood the test of time and has a loyal following to this day with many. American colonial furniture is far more rustic in feel, and had a brief emergence in decor in the seventies. However, by the 1990's it feel of the decor map in most homes, as it gave dated feel to a new wave of design aesthetics taking over the marketplace.

Contemporary furniture draws on the successful design features of the past while merging them cleverly with the modern aesthetics of today. Focusing on form and function, it takes the best from all sides of decor to produce furniture that is wildly popular in this age and seen in a wide variety of interior decor today. Whether in new construction single family homes, or a New York loft, contemporary furniture will always be somewhere in the design catalog of contemporary America. Since it merges past with present, and gives functionality a priority you will see this style constantly revamped and updated and used throughout time. Especially popular in the twenty something career minded population, contemporary furniture is here to stay, we may not know what the next piece will look like, but we will certainly see hints of the past in it if we look close enough.

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