Hello and good Wednesday to you. How are you doing this fine day, in which we find ourselves? Has the sunshine shown up in your neck of the woods as of late? Or, are you just in a good mood because you got to spend time down south in the sun and you're still stoked on Vitamin D? For those of us who had to "weather" the winter, it hasn't been all that bad (well, not until this past week). Some snow, yes; some drizzle, yes; some power outages for a few, yes; some very chilly early morning walks, yes indeed! But, all in all, March gets a little "pass" as it holds a certain hope or promise, if you will (I know, you just got your power back on and are just happy you can now take a hot shower...). And, I can attest that March is a longer month and weather can be unexpectedly precarious (in like a lion out like a lamb as the saying goes). BUT, do you also experience a bit of anticipation of springtime? Do you check in with yourself to acknowledge that things will be looking up? And, not that far off at this point?
Well, IF and while you are waiting for that weather to break, I have a question for you...and especially for those that love and enjoy decorating their interiors. This might be a good time to so, before you burst through the back door to check to see if your perennials are popping up. Do you have a particular interior designer that you feel has your personal style in their designs? One that when you look at his/her room transformations you wish it were your house that got the transformation. To give you something to consider, if you feel your personal design style has no name, I'd like to offer you 5 top interior design styles and a designer I believe best exemplifies that style.
Top 5 Interior Design Styles:
Transitional - This style is very easy to curate as it falls in between traditional and contemporary. With a transitional style, you can integrate some trendy pieces (either furniture or just accessories) into your traditional schemes without it becoming too contemporary. Accessories are at a minimum in these spaces. This style fits a lot of people who want to use what they have, meaning that they have more traditional pieces, but want to turn it up a notch. So, for instance, in the photo above you will see a pretty traditional sectional but the piece in the forefront is pretty contemporary in style. What this style does is allow for some fluidity; so you can swap out something you no longer care for in a space and insert a more current/trendy design piece. I would add Serena & Lily to this style for a resource because their offering has some traditional pieces that are always paired a piece or two with contemporary design. They are a California based company that focuses on a more beach like inspiration, but I've been in their store and I find that this could be helpful for those that want a blend of design styles. Ethan Allen has come a long way from traditional, queen Queen Anne, colonial style furniture to what they offer today for customers. For my own home, I have found several really transitional pieces that edge on contemporary but still blend with my traditional sense of style. Check them out for sure; they probably have a store near you and they are tried and true! Check out Bunny Williams for this combination of interior style blend. Her designs are timeless, but edgy and she is fearless when it comes to decorating.
Traditional - This style is classic and timeless, but a lot of people consider it a little boring, old fashioned, perhaps even passe, etc. The trick is to keep spaces fresh with new accessories; old but interesting vintage or antique pieces, and a little of the unexpected throughout. It is a very sustainable style and can stretch a budget for a long time. My personal design style is traditional with a bit of whimsy or vintage thrown in somewhere. I keep things fresh with accents and artwork. A great magazine that shows how to do traditional design today is Traditional Home. An interior designer that does this style really really well is Alexa Hampton. Her curations are elegant and upscale, yet her designs emit a really comfortable and liveable appeal. She has a long pedigree in design, as she followed in her father's footsteps. Check out her coffee table books, full of dreamy designs, for ideas you can incorporate.
Modern - Think tulip tables and chrome legged leather chairs. Clean lines and smooth surfaces, monochromatic color palette, and no knick-knacks are telltale signs of modern design. Decor is minimal and art is usually bold (for a statement) and color is mostly neutral. This should not be confused with contemporary style, which is described below. What makes this style unique is the representation of mid-century modern furniture that actually started showing up in the 50's - 60's. Consider artwork by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, even though their artwork is vastly different from one another. The point is that these works of art are quintessential mid-century modern. Let's not forget Pablo Picasso would also have been much sought after for modern aesthetic artistry. The most familiar designer that does modern design is Kelly Wearstler. Her brand has a luxurious attitudel and it is quite sophisticated.
Eclectic - This style is so interesting! It is not my personal style, but I find it very eye-catching and extremely creative, especially when done well. Clues to look for in an eclectic style would be: mix of textures and pieces; absolutely nothing matchy; layered and collected so that pieces relate to one another. Some mistake this style and assume that eclectic taste is just a mix of a lot of different things in one space. It involves a lot more careful curation and, to do this style well, calls for a very intentional approach. There is much more thought that goes into this look to be really appealing. As far as an interior designer that does this style well, I would have to mention two: Rita Konig and Miles Redd. Miles Redd has a coffee table book that showcases his great sense of decoration. You can't help but appreciate his keen eye for detail and placement of objects for sure. His New York residence has pink walls and a tufted red sofa...extraordinary. Rita Konig has a few personal residences and each is done to the last detail and she has a way of pairing unconventional things that amaze me. It's beautiful, mixed, so very interesting...she's brilliant!
Contemporary - This style can be summed up to say that it is pretty much "what's happening now". By that I mean that you will know it because it is typically what is trending in the design world. Visit a Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel and you will see what contemporary style looks like today. It is easy to fall in love with it because it maintains a very current color pallet as well as furniture style. If you are familiar with the chair by Pottery Barn - the Balboa, you can't help but want to find a space in your home for one of these fabulous chairs. My style is traditional but I could easily incorporate this chair in my design. As far as interior designers go, I would include Kelly Wearstler and Kelly Hoppen in this category. Just google their names and you can find photos of their designs. Take some notes and carry it with you for the next time you wander into a contemporary showroom to find something you can incorporate into your space.
Of course you can google any of the these styles and designers to get your take and opinion as you see things. So much in decorating is subjective, but I hope this information provided enough insight to give some direction.
This blog post was fun to write as this just melds with my love of decoration. I am eager to continue this conversation and may just do so again. For your own decorating style, see if you can find the definitive one that exemplifies what you love and give it a name, if you don't fall into one of the above, by definition. My style name is: traditional/vintage/mix in what you love!
Until next week, have a great week, Jeanine