Arts and Crafts
The appeal of Arts and Crafts style is its simple design and straightforward values. The movement was a reaction to the overly ornate and industrialized excesses of the Victorian Era. Arts and Crafts style is based on natural materials, hand-made quality and pride of craftsmanship.
This term is probably the most misunderstood in the world of interior design. Contemporary, unlike the other types of design is not really a definitive style. It is often used synonymously with modern, which is tied to a definite period in history and is a design movement with specific rules. Correctly used, contemporary style actually means of the moment—so it is constantly changing over time.
Cottage style requires a different mindset and a bit of reprogramming when it comes to decorating. It is a style that highlights the imperfection of flea market treasures, thrift store gems and furniture without pedigree. Cottages themselves tend to be small, unassuming and full of charm, which also describes the style’s overall design aesthetic.
Ethnic style is known by a number of different monikers—world decor, global design, and tribal chic, just to name a few. It crosses continents effortlessly and is influenced by some of the most exotic destinations in the world. While many tend to lump “ethnic” into a singular style, each culture must be appreciated for its unique history and traditions.
Mixed style takes a variety of periods and styles and merges them through the use of color, texture, shape and finish. Mixing takes some practice but it makes the decorating experience much more enjoyable. This loose style serves as the great equalizer in interior design—mixed style snubs its nose at the rules by blending old with new, cheap with pricey, bold with subtle and classic with trendy.
Modern style has been around for close to a century and is still a favorite among those who appreciate sophisticated and minimal design. One thing that makes modern style timeless is the overriding principle that form follows function. In other words, the foundation of modern design is practicality over style.
The trademark of Old World style is its comfortable, aged appearance that is reminiscent of European manor homes, estates and villas. Details like hand troweled plaster walls, exposed stone surfaces and rugged wood beams are the basis of this style. Add to that oversized furniture pieces, lots of texture and rich color and you have the formula for a stately style that’s not afraid to show its age.
Traditional style embodies timeless furnishings, classic symmetry, elegant patterns and rich colors. Some might feel it is too formal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Traditional homes have a warm, welcoming style that showcases the best of the past.