Warm, elegant floors are often found in traditional American homes, such as Colonial and Georgian-style houses. Traditional Home features elegant decorating and interior design, plus ideas for dreamy gardens, gracious entertaining, collecting art and antiques, and more. Traditional furnishings can hail from 18th century England, the French countryside or even the exotic lands of the East. Among the most popular traditional styles are British Colonial revival, 18th century English, 19th century neoclassical and French country.
Colors: Peach, green, aubergine and tan for a slightly floral but unfussy palette. These colors can be enhanced with bronze accents and warm wood tones.
Finishes: A tailored look for windows, with a formal swag/panel combination, gathered loosely with tasseled cords. Fringe accents the swag treatment, adding a design detail to the scalloped edges.
Accessories: Oil still-life paintings, with golden frames, crystal chandeliers, silver candlesticks and fresh or silk flowers in a grand vase. Big prints and damask for furniture.
The country look has held a special place in American architecture for many years. Early settlers mixed influences of Old World architecture with hand-hewn tools and materials available in the American frontier. The result was a blend of the beautiful and the practical. Country is a wide-ranging style that depends on geographical location but is generally exemplified by primitive furniture, muted colors, milk-paint finishes and vintage fabrics.
Colors: Muted, milky colors showing the wear of time.
Finishes: Flea markets and Grandma's attic are the perfect spots for finding treasures for a country-themed home. Look for pieces with straight lines, painted finishes and very little ornamentation.
Accessories: A handmade, homespun quality permeates country-style accessories, which include baskets, carved wooden bowls, pottery, pewter and hand-forged metal accents. Florals, checks, and striped patterns printed on calico fabric add visual interest and color to an understated country room.
Modern style is a clean, streamlined furniture and architecture style from the 1930s with roots in the German Bauhaus School of Design and Scandinavian modern design. It relies on clean lines, smooth and polished surfaces, and few intricate details. It is not stark and cold, but contemporary design is comfortable and spacious, without clutter. It's characterized by polished surfaces, strong geometric shapes and asymmetry.
Colors: The neutral palette and white walls are predominant in a modern home, with bold colors, such as red or yellow for accent.
Finishes: Sleek, smooth and polished. Concrete, granite and linoleum for flooring; chrome and stainless steel are common accents on furniture and in the kitchen. A lacquered finish on kitchen cabinetry is common. Expansive, unadorned windows marry the interior with the exterior landscape.
Accessories: The art and accessories in a modern interior are extremely important and must exhibit striking shapes or forms to make a statement. Special pieces should be called out with spotlights for visual impact. Minimalism is practiced for dramatic effect.