Name That Style
Name That Style
From country to modern, how well can you identify the various design styles?
Interior decorating styles can be described in a number of ways, from traditional to rustic to eclectic. Design pro Barbara Gilbert, owner of Barbara Gilbert Interiors in Dallas, works with her clients to select the best style for them, taking into account the furnishings they already own and the styles they're drawn to when reviewing home decorating magazines. The home's architecture is also an important factor when selecting a style, she says. For example, for a colonial home, you'd want to rely on more traditional furnishings. This slide show features some of the most popular styles used in describing home interiors, as well as pointers on how to spot elements of each.
A homey, understated look that continues to have broad appeal.
Common characteristics: Furniture often has straight and curved lines, such as with curved legs. ♦ Woods are medium to darker tones. ♦ Fabrics are often in damasks, plaids, florals, or stripes; not much texture or shine. ♦ Furnishings and accessories are often used in pairs to achieve balance and symmetry.
Colors: Mid-tones and understated colors reign with nothing too bold, such as greens, burgundy, and golds.
An elegant, old-world style that incorporates a full spectrum of colors reminiscent of the French countryside.
Common characteristics: Furnishings often have a rustic, distressed painted look, and the wood commonly contains carved details. ♦ Utilizes natural elements such as stone textures, wood, or rattan. ♦ Fabrics are often made from natural materials, such as linens, cottons, and wools. Toile, a French Country fabric that illustrates repeated patterns of pastoral scenes or flower arrangements, is popular.
Colors: Yellows, reds, greens, blues, and grays--colors that are reflective of a countryside.
Evokes a rural countryside with a comfortable, timeless look that blends many eras.
Common characteristics: Furnishings of simple wood construction using oak, elm, walnut, and pine are used; they may be light or rustic looking or stained to a dark color. ♦ Worn-looking fabrics, such as in chintz and damask that display floral patterns, plaids, or paisley, are popular. ♦ Lots of memorabilia collected over the years are displayed, which may appear cluttered but in a tidy, intentional way. Antiques are often featured.
Colors: Floral colors that depict an English garden, such as shades of gold, yellow, orange, red, white, and green.
A futuristic, museum-like style that features straight lines, few colors, and an uncluttered look; more commonly urban, Gilbert says.
Common characteristics: The overall look features straight lines, sharp angles, and shiny surfaces; not much fancy flair, so don't expect ruffles or florals. ♦ Furnishings often have exposed legs and sit low to the ground. ♦ Open space and sparse accessories dominate this minimal design style. ♦ Bright lighting plays an important role, with accent lights emphasizing accessories or abstract artwork.
Colors: White, black, and silver, along with a few bold pops of color (but no pastels).
A simplistic style where less is more. Unlike modern, this style is more relaxed and shows off the today's styles, Gilbert notes.
Common characteristics: Furnishings, usually made of light-colored woods, metal, stone, or glass, are smooth and have rounded lines with no added decoration or carvings. ♦ Few accessories give it a very clean, uncluttered look. ♦ Color and texture are often brought in via pops of bold colors or geometric patterns, as in pillows or area rugs.
Colors: Mostly a neutral color palette, but punched up with accessories in the trendy colors of the day, such as aquas and oranges.
Inspired by a Tuscan landscape; features warm, earth tones with a "lived-in" feel.
Common characteristics: Natural elements play an important role, such as a stone fireplace or exposed, natural stone walls. ♦ Textured walls often have faux paint finishes to get the look of stucco or Venetian plaster. ♦ Furnishings tend to have oak or cherry finishes that appear worn and old. ♦ Wrought iron also is popular. ♦ Water is a common element, such as a fountain in a courtyard.
Colors: Yellows, browns, olive green tones, and wine hues that reflect an Italian countryside.
A vacation home feel with a comfortable, cozy look make cottage-themed decorating an increasingly popular choice.
Common characteristics: Furnishings are often mix and matched and usually are in antique or vintage. Wicker and wrought iron are also commonly used. ♦ Overstuffed, upholstered furniture with slip covers are typically used. ♦ Natural fabrics are the common choice in cotton or chintz featuring stripes, florals, or solids. ♦ Wood pieces are usually painted in a lighter color with an aged, distressed look.
Colors: The light color palette often features whites, light blues, pale yellows, and tans.
Often described as a "log cabin" type of decor that is inspired by nature.
Common characteristics: Emphasizes natural elements such as wood, stone, and leather. Wood floors, furniture, branches, or twigs are commonly incorporated throughout. ♦ Wrought iron or rusted metals are used. ♦ Antiques and non-shiny metal accessories that appear hand-crafted are common. ♦ Furnishings often have a lot of texture, such as bent willow chairs.
Colors: A subdued color palette mostly made up of earth tones, such as browns, greens, and rusty reds.
Takes the classic style of traditional and updates it with the cleaner contemporary approach.
Common characteristics: Furniture combines straight lines and curves, making it less ornate than traditional designs but not as basic as contemporary. ♦ Wood finishings can range from natural finish to a high-gloss lacquer. ♦ A lack of accessories and decoration keeps the design simple, yet sophisticated. The style is focused on comfort and practicality.
Colors: Subtle in color, often in a monochromatic color scheme such as with ivory, beige, taupe, and tan.
Several design styles all rolled into one, making up an eclectic décor; combines two or more decorating styles to create a unique look.
Common characteristics: Furniture and accessories share a common theme or component, such as in color, pattern, scale, or texture to give the space a unified look even though it contains completely different styles. ♦ Various finishes and textures are combined, such as traditional and modern elements together or worn surfaces with refined surfaces.
Colors: Neutral colors (such as cream, gray, and tan) are used as a backdrop to help tie all the styles together.