Your home is a reflection of your personal style and showcasing your personal flair for aesthetics is important to make your home feel plush and suitably comfortable. Whether you like traditional curves of an ornate wardrobe, rustic appeal of vintage chairs, modern vibe with sleek and nautical colors on your sofa, or simply the chic and elegant prints and pastels of your upholstery, every style emerges from pure creativity. When you decorate your house with a particular theme in mind, it reflects careful thought and a storyline underpinning the layout of your interiors. Read on to find out some prominent themes which are effervescent in every way.
Like traditional furniture, classic décor also looks warm and ‘homey’. However, the difference between traditional and classic look is that classic look is richer, with almost a museum-like or antique quality to it. There are several sub-categories of classic furniture décor, based on different time periods.
Tudor Styles: The Tudor period began in the 16 th century under the reign of King Henry VII. This period boasted of exquisite woodwork with flamboyant curved, inlaid, turned, and painted decorations. A popular medium to craft furniture was oak or other heavy woods. The sideboards were first introduced during this period. Finishing touches to furniture were given by embellished tapestries, heavy fabrics with detailed embroideries and brocade work.
Victorian Styles: Emerging in the early 18 th century, under the influence of Queen Victoria, interior décor styles boasted of heavily ornate designs, heavy upholstery, and plush fabrics like velvet, deeply colored woods, and very distinctive structural layouts. The furniture of this period took heavy influence from the medieval styles, which generally had a darker color palette including greys, browns, and blacks. Forms were mainly square or rectangular with very little curves.
Elizabethan Styles: These were the styles with heavy feminine influences. Furniture was usually carved or painted with floral motifs, adding a softness to the overall look. Chairs were primarily made with high slender backs and slight tilts. Legs varied from straight to balustered and spindle forms. This period saw extensive usage of needlework upholstery and decorative painted surfaces.
There have been several more variants of classical furniture styles with emerging social and political scenarios. For example, Renaissance, Gothic Revival, Georgian, Naturalistic and more. With every subsequent period of design, the focus has increased on functionality and utility from ostentatiousness.
Traditional look for your interior décor is all about comfort. From patterns like plaid and floral, antique furnishings, to metal pieces of brass or bronze, traditional furniture makes a home cozy and subtly elegant. Traditional furniture has been around for a long time, and continues to create a hold on a consumers mind only because it promises warmth and welcome. There are three simple characteristics of the traditional look. Firstly, it will amplify order through symmetrical placement of every furniture piece. Secondly, it incorporates a rich neutral color scheme with cream, beige, taupe, and tan. Thirdly, furniture pieces with soft and curved edges create an ambience which speaks of gentleness and comfort. Further, if you prefer woodwork in your home, traditional look should highlight deep stained and textured wood finishes such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, or ebony. Also, it incorporates detailed and ornate finishing touches. Beautiful plasterworks, wood carvings, intricate trims, and embellished art pieces make up for great finishing touches to a traditional room.
It is the transitional design language which appeared in the middle of 20 th century. The traditional designs were re-crafted in a post war era with a bold new modern sense. The blend of traditional and modern designs is the essence of mid-century styles. These styles create a medley of chic and elegant furniture with a focus on utility. The look generally bridges between natural and man-made material to give an overall sense of union with nature. Further, mid- century modern furniture typically has clean lines, versatile color palette, and timeless shapes; creating a simple and sophisticated look which complements most designs and themes.
Additionally, during the post war era, this style gained impetus due to mass produced innovative furniture and accents. Iconic furniture pieces such as Marshmallow Sofas and Womb Chairs were popular designs which influenced several other artefacts. Further, mid-century look enhances the organic feeling with no frill finishes or excess detailing. However, bold graphic prints and motifs combining curves and straight lines can give your interiors a graphic punch with panache.
Oriental (Chinese and Japanese)
Oriental Chinese furniture is primarily characterized by use of bamboo wood and Asian accent motifs. A bright red and brown color palette for tapestries and walls is a significant indicator of this look. The strong colors are balanced with neutral tones of yellow and beige. The usage of colors in Oriental styles is symbolic. Red represents enthusiasm and dynamism, vitality and long life, and good luck. Color yellow was the color of legendary emperor Huang Di, so this color naturally represents stability, support and nourishment. It is a specialty of the Chinese to make their furniture without nails or glue. They simply use hardwoods, especially Sheesham, constructed from jointery and dowling alone. Presently, Chinese looks feature thick lacquer finishes, detailed engravings, as well as pragmatic design elements.
In comparison to Chinese look, Japanese décor is very muted, tranquil and subtle. Japanese culture has a strong connect to nature. So the overall look comprises of use of bonsai and bamboo woods, large windows for ample natural light, translucent frames and screens on sliding doors, a touch of wooden textures, and mostly with indoor plants. Large cushions for sitting with low tables and stools are a trademark Japanese design element. Modern furniture with clean lines and angles in a minimalistic setup is what sums up the Japanese look.
European (Italian, and French)
Italian furniture has a long history of incorporation of variable styles and material. Italian furniture designers have now started using the traditional wood with metals such as steel and aluminium, glass and crystal, and even plastics and resins. However, both traditional and contemporary Italian furniture has continued to flourish alongside. Italians have a penchant for luminous and easy to clean surfaces on their furniture. Most old households in long inhabited regions of Italy comprise of antique wooden furniture next to contemporary furniture to create stunningly balanced interiors. Most designs focus on bright colors, with floral prints being common choice. Sofas and chairs generally have softer and sleek about them, and tables and cabinets are strictly functional and angular.
In comparison to Italian furniture, French furniture styles are highly flamboyant, feminine, and excessively detailed. This is primarily because French kings and queens wanted their palaces to look exquisite and so they used to hire most skilled craftsmen from all over the world. Some key characteristics emerging from antique French furniture are capriole or curving legs, serpentine lines, carvings depicting everything from most mundane to grotesque scenes, metal infusions in woodworks, and metals such as brass treated to look like gold. Comfort and luxury exemplify French furniture. Use of exotic material, lacquers, silver and gilt are common place in French furniture. Of more recent, art deco and art nouveau are prominent décor styles. Art Nouveau involves splendid curves and dainty upholstery, which personified feminine charm were popular. Art Deco involved crisp lines with controlled curves. Use of veneers, glass, lacquered woods was common in this style.
Since mid-20 th century to present, modernist elements have made a huge mark in furniture designs. An important school of design was the Bauhaus School. According to this school’s design philosophy, every furniture element should be highly functional and not at all ostentatious. Comfort and utility derived through minimalistic style was the priority. Modern look is simply uncluttered, sleek, and you won’t find many curves in furniture designs. Glass, plastic, and molded plywood are common material used for modern furniture. Emerging in the post war period, modern styles were mass produced and many iconic furniture items, such as the Noguchi Coffee Table, the Chaise Lounges, Barcelona Chairs, are still available in the markets.
Modern styles gain prominence through Industrial Revolution, hence the interiors break away from the traditional aspects of décor. Modern interiors usually have no adornments or finishing, neat clean lines add freshness and simplicity to the rooms. Very mild and toned down colors are used for modern themes. However, retro modern styles influenced by the 50’s to 80’s boast of pop culture themes. These include sleek furniture backed by bold wallpapers and patterned fabrics. Natural colors like teal and mauve were also popular in this period.
In comparison to modern styles, contemporary designs reflect the urban advancement and technological prowess of our times. These are constantly changing and can be eclectic for the same reason. The design elements vary as well, there are influences from variety of periods and eras. However, one constant characteristic of contemporary theme is spaciousness. A house with evenly placed furniture and an open floor plan are true indicators of contemporary style. The effect that it creates is more airy and comfortable living space, which is at the same time more accessible and functional for variety of purposes. So a kitchen, dining room, and living room all merged into one would perfectly exemplify seamless connect with the contemporary aesthetic values.
Contemporary furniture makers are highly focused on making unique pieces which perfectly assimilate with the identity of a user. Asymmetry depicted through different use of material and style elements often reflects focus on functionality and urban values. Be it curved lines or sleek lines, different shapes and forms are suitably blended to give a comforting feel to the furniture.