You probably remember trips to your grandmother’s home over the years. You may still visit your grandmother in her home. You probably have observed one or more of the following related to her décor plans:
- Most of the furniture was/is of solid colored fabrics.
- Drapes are heavy, perhaps brocade, possibly with shears underneath to allow daylight in.
- All windows have drapes, curtains, valances, possibly blinds or shades as well.
- Paint is all neutral in color
- Furniture design is mostly traditional, possibly French Provincial, Queen Anne, or Early American
To many of us of younger generations, our grandparents’ homes seem “heavy” in décor. Newer homes reflect a more contemporary and informal lifestyle – great rooms, vaulted ceilings, open floor plans, and lots of windows. Even more traditional homes have been modernized with newer flooring, modern kitchens, and décor that is more reflective our lifestyles. Some of us may actually want a combination of “looks” for different rooms – perhaps formal living and dining rooms but more contemporary kitchens, family rooms, offices, and bedrooms. Today, all of these styles and combinations of styles can easily be accommodated, if one is careful in the selection of furniture, wallpaper, window treatments, and flooring.
Here are some decorating “rules” that you can now throw out the window:
- Stripes, plaids and prints cannot go together in the same room! This is pure “hogwash.” Absolutely stunning rooms have a variety, so long as the color scheme is carried throughout the room. Suppose, for example, that you have decided on a color scheme of muted oranges, beiges, greens, and taupes. You might have wood, laminate, or ceramic tile for flooring, topped with a great geometric print area rug. Furniture may be solid, striped, or print in corresponding colors. Window treatments may also be of a corresponding color-coordinated stripe or small print. The point is this: color schemes are the controlling feature, not patterns!
- One cannot mix traditional and contemporary. Again, this is pure “hogwash!” Traditional, stuffed chairs are perfectly fine with a contemporary rug and/or window treatment. One need not give up the comfort of traditional in order to have a look and feel of contemporary design. Traditional furniture can also be “modernized” by pillows and throws, along with wall and window treatments.
- One must have curtains, drapes or valances on every window. Today’s window treatments are so versatile and so varied, that any treatment can now be fully impactful with any furniture style. Shutters, blinds, and curtains/drapes are designed for every taste and style and can honor any room décor. One visit to a window treatment showroom will prove this to you!
- Knick-knacks must grace every table space. One of the things that makes grandma’s house look “stuffy” and cluttered is the outdated notion that one’s entire “history” must be represented by knick knacks on tables, shelves, fireplace mantles, walls, etc. Cotemporary lifestyles are busy and must be streamlined as much as possible, and the prospect of cleaning/dusting all of these items is not within the realm of one’s daily/weekly tasks. Make choices! What objects will enhance your overall décor? What items are better boxed up or given to relatives? Simplicity is much more appropriate for current lifestyles, and the more you simplify, the better you will feel about your dwelling.
Your home must be a reflection of you and your lifestyle. Whichever décor you select should make a statement about you and your priorities. Choose a color scheme for each room, select furniture, floor, window, and wall treatments that enhance that color scheme, and make the room reflect your personality and your taste!