Our humble abodes don’t begin at the front door, not at the far end of the back garden. What we deem our home isn’t really ours in the psychological and philosophical sense. Think about it, and you bought your home off the property market. It may have been owned many times before you came to be its master. In fact, you didn’t design the layout, and you didn’t have any say in how it would aesthetically look either. Therefore the only way you can make your home truly yours is to invest in decor and interior styles that express who you are. Since there are so many modern decor styles, understanding which one to implement in your home is the first tough step to take. Yet there is a slight issue if you give these current styles too much credence. They’ve only really been around for a few years and a century at the most. These styles are minimalist, postmodern, art-deco, industrial, Scandinavian, mid-century modern, bohemian and fringe styles like coastal; to name a few. To look back into the history of interior design past the 21st and late 20th century would mean delving into traditional decor. Mired in history, culture, governance, war, romanticism, religion, grandeur and more, this style has truly stood the test of time. Henceforth, incorporating it into your home need not be a daunting task.
Contemporary transition lounge
As opposed to the sleek and sharp lines of modern decor design, contemporary style is a yin and yang. The neo-modern styles we see that are perpetuated with long lines and sharp corners, is inspiration taken from postmodernism. One of these well-known and often cause for discussion sub-variants is brutalism. Contemporary tries to be at the forefront of decor design but also balance the traditional. Certainly, the concept is to create something new, but this can and is done by adopting features from the traditional styles.
Therefore for your lounge, you could implement the contemporary style as a way of easing into a more traditional decor. Rather than a corner sofa that is rectangular and is L-shaped, your lounge could adopt a curvier approach. Brilliant in fabric and leather, the stealthy support and rigidity of a chaise lounge sofa could bring that much-needed exuberance you desire. It could be in a simple flat seat, curved backrest and armrests design. On the other hand, it can also mimic the corner style sofa, but with the deliberate indentations of a circle and tightened material around it all over the entire piece. And since it’s contemporary and not quite traditional, you can be more free with the choice of colour. Sticking to the aforementioned ethos, you can actually push the boat out and go for floral, pastel, mid-century and neon shades.
Image credit French Finds
Tradition comes home
Since the modern and contemporary styles haven’t been around for as long as the traditional decor style, they can become alien to us. Looking back into film, art and historical buildings, you can witness for yourself the true grandiose, and spectacular emotion traditional decor still possesses. It’s absolutely relevant that you might want your ground floor where your most used rooms are, to be up to date. Your kitchen, lounge, living room, hallway and dining area are all places that friends, family and guests will sit and relax. Not wanting to be judged on or labelled as someone who isn’t keeping with times you might not want more traditional pieces to reside downstairs. However, it’s undeniable that when it comes to the bedroom, traditional decor is so much more homely and encompassing.
So when you arrive at picking out your bedroom furniture, give some traditionally-inspired pieces your time of day. Inspired by the post-renaissance Venetian mirrored two drawer side tables in their antique gold shade, would make great bedside islands. Looking toward something larger, consider an Argente mirrored wardrobe in antique silver. Right at its peak, an archway with elongated subtle s-shape and half crests decorations encrusted adds a layer of curvature. Many of the inspired pieces stand up on stilted yet curved legs. This gives the impression of the decor not taking up much room and authority in tandem.
Image by Jorge Royan
Traditional decor is a very broad term which doesn’t get understood often enough. Just like modern and contemporary, there are many different styles that fit into the same category. The amount of overlap between styles doesn’t change the fact they are beholden to one specific classification of interior design. Baroque was as an architectural style that was born out of the Renaissance period that brought forth neoclassical design. This new style was more grandiose, much more delicate and finer in detail. It was very symbolic and driven by the need to express motion in a romantic and awe-inspiring fashion.
For the bathroom, injecting a delicacy within the dresser could more than suffice. A piece that is wide, large in breadth yet standing on spindly legs is something to aim for. Decorative ribbons, flowers and spiralling vines are sticking closer to the period. Be lavish and only allow the best wood and craftsmanship to enter your home in this form. Gold is the star color, but white antique is also loved for genuine Baroque decor. Thin candle holders again in a spiral design look as if the metal has been woven like cloth, may stand at the sink area. A bathroom exhibiting the Baroque style will also have a place for silver, so smaller parts such as the towel rack and taps may be adorned in such a manner.
Traditional decor is always going to be a fascinating and complex journey into European design in both architecture and interiors. If you don’t know the history and the significance of certain movement and the timeline of how they spread, peaked and passed the torch on or faded away, it’s difficult to gauge a connection. The main difference from the modern and even contemporary interior decor is that traditional decor is more extravagant and certain styles detest the ‘less is more’ approach. However, if you want a more traditional looking home, you can ease yourself into these periods of artistic endeavour and progression one room at a time.
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