English Design: For The Lover Of All Things English

 

While many people these days prefer a more soft contemporary, or transitional - clean line, clutter free, no frills – approach to decorating which is the current trend, there are still a great many traditionalists out there who love a traditional European approach….And more specifically good old English Interior Design.

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And, one thing you’ll no doubt see in a truly traditional English home is decorative English plates.

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They bring a decidedly English touch of charm to a space…..

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As do the traditional Staffordshire dogs you see in all three pictures shown above.  Leather bound books are a common theme as well.   This is an example of  typical English styled book shelves.

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But, there’s some fun and funk involved, too.  Like this cool table with this iron base and the rainforest marble top.

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Tapestry fabrics and rich leathers are abundant in English design.  As are rich woods and a barley twist leg.

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Subtly painted furniture is very common….

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Always charming and effective….

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Intricate patterns in muted tones lend a rather regal, artistic flair to a space….and yet remains warm, cozy and people friendly. 

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Good English design serves a dual purpose in creating a classic, timeless space and yet a warmth that welcomes the spirit as well.

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You can go with an overtly traditional English style….

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To a bit more of a tailored look…..

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To downright hip and swank.

So if you’re of the mind to stick with your first love…..a traditional English Interior….instead of the current emphasis toward “the transitional” go for it with great gusto.  Create an English inspired space with careful attention to detail in selecting your furnishings, your accessories and your draperies.  You can’t go wrong with this look.  It is a timeless, classic style that will serve you well for years and years…….and years to come. 

Just like it has for generations.

Happy Decorating!

Spanish Villa’s: Rich Interiors, Dramatic Exteriors

 

There is something alluring about a Spanish Villa.  They have an air of mystique, a certain interesting quality to them – unique to that particular style.  They can conjure up images of Spain, Mexico, Tuscany, a California Winery…..so many places.  And, they bring with them an element of charm….a distinct “resort-like” quality.

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Aren’t these “villa’s” so full of charm and personality?

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Doesn’t this feel more like a resort than a home?  Would you love to walk out onto this balcony for a cup of coffee in the morning?

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Or hit this pool in the afternoon with a pina colada?

Great interior design in a Spanish Villa is no less magnificent.

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Notice the rich colors used in the decorating here…..the use of wood and texture.

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Meticulous details everywhere.  Check out the floor, the ceiling, the drapes at the doorways, the dining chairs, etc….  Just breathtaking.

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Here’s a bathroom at the Spanish Villa’s at Caesars Palace.  Check out the rich wood paneling and that amazing floor.

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Again, rich wood; attention to detail everywhere.  (If I had a bedroom like this I see no reason to ever leave…..ever!)

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – good design is in the details…..like the floor, the ceiling, the lighting……above and below.

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If a Spanish Villa is what you dream of then bring these interior details to your own home!  Just because you don’t live at Caesars Palace doesn’t mean you can’t duplicate the look by bringing these details to your own space.

Dare to dream big! Dare to recreate this look in your own home.  It can be done on a grand scale in a huge house or on a grand scale in a tiny, cozy cottageIt can be done!  Be resourceful, be creative.  Or, if it’s in your budget hire a professional in your area to do it for you!

Happy Decorating!

Define Your Style: Which Design Scheme Appeals To You?

 

Many clients don’t necessarily always know what they want in their homes, they just know what they DON’T want.  They’re not even sure if they have a style at all much less what it is.  Our friends, Greg and MaryAnn used to laughingly call their styleearly discontinued”, because it was a hodge-podge mix of hand me downs from family and friends.  Sound familiar? (Their style has since evolved!)  But, most people do have a “style” whether they know it or not, they just don’t know how to define it.  So do you know what yours is?  Is it contemporary, traditional, transitional?  Maybe eclectic, Old World,  Tuscan? French, Hill Country? Any idea? The best thing to do to help define your style is flip through magazines and books.  Tear out pictures from decorating magazines and make copies from decorating books that appeal to you.  Place them in a file and begin collecting colors, fabrics, photo’s….whatever you find appealing….and odds are you’ll start to see a definite style start to develop.   I can’t go over all the styles in one post (I will try to hit each and every style in future posts), but take a look at the ones below and see if they can begin to help you “define your style”.

Contemporary Living                                                                                                    Picture by Zuri

Do you prefer clean lines?  Do you prefer a minimal amount of “stuff”?  Take a look at these pictures above and below.  Do these looks appeal to you?  And do you prefer the monochromatic scheme above or the vibrant loud colors below?  Would one of these rooms make you smile and unwind at the end of a long work day?  Then you prefer a more contemporary look.  Maybe you just haven’t had the inclination to nail down your true style or the vision to make this look a  reality yet.  Well, now it’s time to get started.

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 Or maybe you prefer a little more “stuff”.  You like mixing different fabrics and colors, prefer pleats on your upholstered pieces, and more curves and detail work in your furniture.  Decorative clutter makes you happy and if there’s an empty corner in the space – it simply must be filled.  Does that sound like you?

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Then maybe you are American Traditional like the picture above or more European Traditional like the picture below.

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                                                 Picture from Southern Living Magazine

Or, perhaps you prefer a mix of different looks and want to have fun combining different styles together.  You can’t stand the idea of being “boxed in” to one particular style or “theme”.  Then you might just be “eclectic” like the pictures below.

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Victorian sofa mixed with the African art and contemporary stairs.

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                                                                                Pictures from Southern Living Magazine

Contemporary rug and chairs mixed with traditional chairs and accessories.

Or maybe, just maybe, you love a wallowy, slip covered look.  You like the cozy charm of ruffles and flowers mixed with checks and plaids.  You like lots of decorative clutter in different shapes and textures filling your shelves and table tops.  If this sounds like you, then your style would be a  “cottage style”.

Cottage Style                                                                                  Picture by Southern Living Magazine 

If any of these pictures define your style take a careful look at the one that appeals to you most and note all the details you like in each space.  Print out the picture and place it in your file for future reference (or better yet – come back to my blog!).  That way when you are ready to tackle the project you will have done all your homework.  Whether you are doing it yourself or working with a designer – the pictures and notes will come in very handy in honing in and creating your own specific style.  If none of these pictures “nailed” your style keep checking in for future posts.  I’m going to have an ongoing category post, periodically, called “Define Your Style” that will point out different design styles and looks that will help you realize your own style and determine what you’d like to see in your own home.  Hopefully it will motivate you to jump start your plans to get that space you’ve been stressing over decorated in a style that suits you -  down to the last detail.  No more “early discontinued!”….it’s time to “define your style” and make it happen!

Happy Decorating!

 

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