Designer's Thoughts

The Ultimate Style Guide

At HomeTech Renovations we get a lot of questions about different styles and what those styles mean. For us, it’s something we often take for granted, which is why we’ve compiled The Ultimate Style Guide for your reading enjoyment.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style encompasses a range of styles developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Pieces feature softened and rounded lines as opposed to the stark lines seen in modern design. Interiors contain neutral elements and bold color, and they focus on the basics of line, shape and form.

Contemporary interiors feature tone-on-tone color palettes relying heavily on brown, taupe, cream and pure white. Shots of color are sometimes found on a single wall, in a striking floor rug or in a special piece of art.  Furnishings feature clean lines and smooth surfaces without any carving or adornment. Silhouettes are slim without being dainty.  Contemporary lighting design is typically used as an artistic statement.  Recessed or track lighting draws attention to well-placed art and accessories.

French Country

French Country style has emerged from the scenic villages of the south of France to become one of the most popular styles of interior design around the world. The look is casual, inviting and fuss-free. The charm lies in the rustic feel of the furniture and accessories and the easy, cheerful combination of colors.

Color is important in any interior design plan, and this is especially true of French Country style. The colors most associated with this style are soft, foamy greens, bright yellows and gold’s, rusty red and splashes of blues, pinks and lavender. These colors create a bright and cheery environment while allowing the natural rustic wood and wrought iron features associated with French furniture to shine through.  It is common within this style to see mixing and matching of colors and prints.

Traditional

Traditional style celebrates simple elegance, classic shapes, and unfussy details.  A traditional interior is usually a cozy, comfortable and calming room.  Hallmarks of a traditional room include carved moldings, fine woodwork, graceful lines, and sturdy, finely crafted furniture.

Walls are usually painted beige, ivory or cream.  However, a color palette consisting of bold colors can be used for dramatic effects.  For instance, an accent wall in a bold color may serve as a backdrop for furniture pieces.  Splashes of bold colors are also found in artwork and accessories.

A traditional style offers the familiar comfort of using forms, colors, and materials as they have been used in past.  People who pursue a deep connection with Old World, European or early American history take great pleasure in this style.  If you crave elegance and order, this style will feel timeless and satisfying.

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.

Shabby chic items are often heavily painted through the years, with many layers showing through obviously time-worn areas. The style is imitated in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats, known as “distressing” the finish of the furniture. Furniture pieces that are not genuine antiques are usually selected for their resemblance to older furniture styles, and may be reproduction furniture with a distressed finish. Elaborate furniture appliques depicting flower swags and garlandscherubs, and other motifs may be added.

Tuscan

Tuscan interiors feature a rustic, sun-baked look characterized by crumbling stone patios, simple and sturdy furnishings with elegant iron accents, terra-cotta tiles, textured wall finishes, and elegant detailed murals.

The rustic Tuscan color palette leans heavily on earthy, unpretentious hues evocative of a Tuscan hillside.  Terracotta tiles, stone with mosaic inlay and worn wood are key elements to the Tuscan style.   Wrought-iron accessories such as candle sconces and light fixtures can reinforce the rustic theme.

Eclectic style

The eclectic style can be defined as a selection of what appears to be the best in various other styles. It’s a collection of elements gathered from different sources and put together through the use of color, texture, shape and finish.

The color palette can vary, but it’s best to stick with a few neutrals to help tie all the elements together. Furniture Lines, finishes and materials of the pieces in a room are tied together with paint, fabric or a more refined or roughed-up finish.   An eclectic look is partly defined by the multitude of finishes, whether they be patterned, textured or both.

Asian Zen

Zen is a way of life — an intensely personal, severely pared-down search for meaning that elevates simplicity to an art form. Zen design embodies this minimalist philosophy, making use of natural materials, patterns of light and space, and a near-monastic rejection of clutter. A Zen home is meant to be relaxing, contemplative and visually balanced and appealing.

You want to make the space feel very open and barrier free as if each room flows smoothly from one to another.  Rely on day light, and artificial light that mimics sunlight and can be dimmed to create ambiance rather than illumination.  Natural materials like bamboo, stone or stripped plank floors paired with matte white or soft neutrals will set the tone to your space.  Very intense accents can be used like bright red, these accents will add a punch of energy to the space.

Modern European

If you love clean lines, accessory-free space, and neutrals with primary colors, then modern design may be the style for you.  The essence of modern interior design includes basic shapes, functional lines and curves, materials like metal, chrome, and glass – and furnishings without decorative parts.

Modern interiors are sleek, spacious, simple, and focus on function and organization.  Modern design uses basic geometry (simple edges, curves and angles) and clean lines in furniture, architecture and sculpture.  This style grew from the idea to build for function, to do without traditional decoration, and to embrace industrial materials like chrome, glass and concrete, which new technologies made available.  Less is more.  Art, rather than accessories, has a firm place in modern interiors.  Art pieces are carefully chosen for their unique appeal, and to serve as a focal point in a space.  From its beginnings, modern designers embraced pure color — black, white, and neutrals with vibrant primary colors.

English country

Although English country decor can tend toward either dressy or casual, it’s always comfortable and relaxed. Surfaces, furnishings, and accents feel familiar and lived-in. An English country home fits in neatly with its natural surroundings; there’s nothing hard-edged, avant-garde, or jarring about it.

Feminine fabrics.  Deep woods. English country furnishings that aren’t upholstered usually feature rich, traditional woods such as mahogany and walnut. Don’t be afraid to mix various wood species in a single room; the look should appear as if pieces have been amassed from generation to generation.

Victorian

Victorian interiors feature beautiful colors, lots of ornate details, and skilled fakery to make the home a welcoming and beautiful place. The industrial revolution led to a revolution in interior decorating, and for the Victorians, high style was all about the appearance of luxury, whether real or imitation.

This style draws inspiration from nature, geometry, theory, and many other resources. It also encompasses a wide range of sub-styles.  The Victorian Home Decorating palette was actually quite sophisticated, with a particular emphasis on tertiary colors.  Tertiary colors are those created by mixing equal amounts of primary and secondary colors. Complex patterns covered every surface of the Victorian home. Bold wallpapers to luxurious fabrics and oriental rugs, Victorians loved pattern and used it lavishly throughout their home.

Rustic

Rustic style is a design emphasis on rugged, natural beauty. It embraces nature-inspired textures, simple and earthy colors, and ultimately an unpretentious, organic warmth. While rustic style in its most traditional sense might appear heavy and dark today, a contemporary rustic style has emerged over the past few years that feels both fresh and real, light and grounded

Weathered woods. No machine-polished shine or imitation lumber here; rustic woods have an appealing roughness around the edges. Sturdy species such as oak, hickory, and beech suit the rugged feel of this style. Leave them to develop a natural patina or give them a coat of matte paint, scuffed and sanded around the edges.
Cozy colors and patterns, Forest green, denim blue, faded khaki, oxblood red—rustic colors look as though they might have been appropriate in pioneer days. That’s not to say that you can’t update the palette with a few lighter and brighter touches, but they should be the exception. Patterns should be traditional, from plaid to patchwork to calico.  Distressed metals are the way to go, warm metals with a hint of wear and tear, such as a hammered finish or a touch of rust.

Transitional

Transitional Style (also known as “updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, “new takes on old classics”) in interior design and furniture design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. As a result transitional furniture designs are classic, timeless, and clean.

Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style interior to deliver a look that balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortable and relaxing, uncomplicated design. A lack of ornamentation and decoration with minimal accessories keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design. Color palettes are typically neutral and subtle and may be monochromatic, with color in art and accents, not upholstery and floors

Vintage

Vintage Interior Design”, it is a style of decorating the insides of your house on the pattern of what the glamour used to be like in the 1940’s era. Many of us are mistaken to form an assumption on hearing the name “vintage” as being something that is now obsolete and belongs to sometime in the past. The past however can be linked to a certain time period and that is the end of Second World War II. The designs under these types are elegant, antiqued and reflect a graceful time in the history for influences.  The color pallet is very soft with a mix of elegant patterns.

Spa

The bathroom is a very important space in any home and a well-designed bathroom can make us relax after a tiring day.  Many of us will visit spas to help us relax but what if you could have that same feel in your own home.  Spa’s often feature very soothing colors, natural elements such as natural woods, pebbles, and plant life.  The low lighting keeps you in a calm mood and gets you out of the bright lighting that you typically experience throughout the day.

Water and water therapy is very important in a spa bathroom.  The right type of bathing can really create a space where you feel like you can escape from your day.  The soft colors, natural features, and low lighting create the perfect environment for your in home spa that you can enjoy every day.