Determining Your Design Style

When shopping for furniture or accessories you may often be asked what your “style” is.  This is a difficult question for many of us to answer.  If you furnish your home with quilts, pine furniture and hand-made items then it would be easy to identify your style as country.  However, what if you love quilts but prefer the luxury look of dark cherry furniture and stainless steel accents?  Are you country because of the quilts or are you contemporary because of the stainless or are you traditional because of the cherry wood? Let’s take a look at some guidelines that might help you identify your style.


If you love a room full of crown molding and classic furniture lines all done in muted colors then this may be the look for you.  Often furniture and artwork are arranged in symmetrical pairs such as identical urns on either side of the mantel or two armchairs facing the sofa.  Upholstered furniture is usually done in a floral or muted stripe or plaid.  Colors from the upholstery are used on the walls and accent pieces.  Coffee and end tables are usually found in matching pairs and often darker woods are used.  This is a warm and inviting look that most people feel comfortable with.


If clean lines, light walls and sleek furniture are more your style you may fit into the contemporary category.  This would include furniture with straight lines, white walls that accent the brightly colored artwork and accessories and lots of glass found in the furniture and in the abundance of windows.  Shiny metal plays a part in this design and can be found in light fixtures and furniture.


Perhaps warm, earthy colors and leather furniture make you feel comfortable.  Combined with wrought iron accents, pottery, hand painted tiles and burnished metals you now have the southwestern look.  Though most often associated with the southwestern part of our country, this look is warm and inviting and can be incorporated into any home.


Lots of ruffles, lots of clutter, pastel colors and straight back, uncomfortble furniture.  While this look may appeal to you it can be difficult to live with.  It may be best used in a guest room or guest bath where you can show off your collectibles and design style in a smaller way


This is the category most of us fall into.  Our homes are filled with comfortable furniture, colors that are pleasing to us and a mix of furniture styles.  Don’t be afraid to place your grandfather’s antique desk in a contemporary room.  The wood will visually warm the room.  By the same token, modern art can work beautifully in a traditional setting.

Just remember, unless you are trying to recreate a home in an historical district, your home should reflect the needs and tastes of your family.

— Diane Haynie

Categories: Design Tips

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