By SUSAN CONDON LOVE
Interior designers have a lot to consider when taking on a project. What does the homeowner love? Are there young children around? What about animals?
There is another very important consideration that often gets overlooked. What is the style of the house itself? To achieve a look that is in-sync with the home itself takes talent and, in many cases, restraint. But that doesn’t mean interiors have to completely reflect the exterior style. If you love a particular style – whether it be beachy or antiques galore – there are ways to achieve the look with simple steps.
Here are four styles popular in Northeast Ohio and how to accomplish them in your home:
Bring a touch of the ocean to your decor with this style. Think white trim, white furniture and blue accents. For a touch of that “beach glass” feel, add smatterings of green and pink.
While white trim is the hallmark of this style, it is often accented with blue walls. white wainscoting and white crown molding. For a modern twist to this look, add accents (even a whole wall!) of mint green, yellow or even a rosy pink. The idea is to create almost the feeling of a sunset on a Massachusetts beach.
Warm the wooden floors with by area rugs (yes – primarily blue and white, but they should be a neutral or solid color). And, of course, a Cape Cod style can be invoked by adding nautical items to a room such as anchors, seagulls and boat decor, as well as artwork reminiscent of a seashore.
White wooden blinds, bedrooms decorated with quilts and “well-used” furniture such as antique trunks and distressed furniture, complete the theme.
Inspired by the homes of Provence, French country design often incorporates ruffles, distressed woodwork, mixed patterns and both vibrant and subdued hues.
According to “Better Homes & Gardens” experts: “European elegance meets rustic country and old-world character to achieve the graceful and inviting style of French country design style. Striking the perfect balance of beauty and comfort, French country style easily fits into elegant homes and country houses alike. Try out the shabby chic furniture, the soothing hues and soft patterns, and the noteworthy accents to bring this warm and welcoming decorating style into your home.”
There are several tricks to achieving a French country look. For example, toile prints in wallpaper and fabric, are perfect. Decorative faux finishes and noteworthy materials such as blue cabinets also work to achieve the old-world style
Decorative touches with this look include ornate sconces, oversized mirrors, upholstered benches and elaborate window treatments.
Crystal chandeliers add that touch of elegance, as does mixing details such as warm wood beams and white marble or granite countertops, and using architectural elements to evoke and old-world feel.
According to freshhome.com, Colonial style is best described as follows: “Colonial decorating began as a rustic, hand-built and sturdy design which evolved over 300 years into an extremely ornate and lavish decor. This interior style began with rustic tastes because it originates back to the first American settlers in the 17th Century — settlers who were carpenters and made their own furniture. These settlers mostly originated from England where a lot of their tastes were heavily influenced.
“Fast forward to today’s Colonial decor and you have a vast range of decor tastes that vary from simple wooden designs all the way to rich, lavish interior decor that is filled with Chippendale and Queen Anne antiques. The latter is the main influence driving Georgian Colonial interior design. Georgian Colonial design dates back to the reigns of King George I through to IV—as you can imagine there are a lot of different design influences that factor into this vast time period.”
Colonial is a traditional style that can be found in center-hall homes everywhere. It is notable for elegant antiques and a formal feel. The predominant colors are pastels, peaches and greens.
To achieve a modern version of this look, decorators suggest pairing industrial-style light fixtures and distressed wood with the more formal elements of silk window treatments and formal fireplaces.
A nice touch in any Colonial-style home is a mural. Northeast Ohio is full of talented artists. Use one of them instead of wallpaper.
“To convert your home to a colonial style interior design masterpiece, there are two ways you could go,” according to impressiveinteriordesign.com. “Either a very traditional, rustic feel theme or a more opulent feel that would have been evident in the grand homes of the colonial era. It is easy in the 21st century to create both looks on a budget, so the choice is up to you.”
Northeast Ohio, with its Western Reserve Bungalow homes, is a natural mecca for those who love craftsman-style decor. The style is known for its warm and inviting look with wood aspects, handcrafted banisters and railings, dark leather furniture, and very clean lines.
Natural colors such as beige and brown are dominant, with smatterings of yellow and orange. Stone accents are also common.
Beamed ceilings can be mimicked by a good woodworker, and look at replacing normal windows with high ones to achieve this look.