Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's Your Style?

Sproost says my style is:

17% Classic

This is so me! Plus I find that it carries over into my card making and stamping projects as well.

French Eclectic

Parlez-vous fran├žais? Even if the answer is no, you can confidently say your home does! French Country, like its name, somehow manages to both be formal and casual, classy and unassuming at the same time. You like your spaces to feel inviting from the moment you (or your guest) opens the front door and this feeling should continue even after you've entered your most formal room. Even though there are French antiques here and gold details there, the rustic elements provide a balance and warmth that seems to say, "come in, relax and stay a while." Your love of antiques leads you to flea markets, garage sales and hours of eBay hunting.


The materials and pieces you are drawn to play on the mix of formal and casual. Many of the pieces look like they were passed down from your great-great-aunt (even if they are brand new!) and you managed to upholster them in a way that made that piece both then and now. Much of the furniture is wood-framed and the wood is either left natural (hey there rustic!), painted white (hey there country!) or even gold (hello refinement!). And many times there is a strong mixture of all of these. If you find yourself leaning much more towards the "country" side of things and away from the Parisian side, drop the gold details and replace them with wrought iron.


When it comes to color, you are drawn to bright and airy options. Thoughts of the French countryside are key - warm colors such as yellows, reds and oranges hinting at fields of gold. But the nice thing about French Eclectic is you can just as easily go in the opposite direction: pale blues and greens hinting at acres of lavender fields and expansive blue skies.

Space Planning

When you think about laying out your French Eclectic room the key is to invite people in and encourage them to stay. So furniture should be grouped nicely to encourage intimate conversation and the main pieces should be comfortable in both look and feel. There should be plenty of places to set drinks, prop feet and lean back. And yet the functionality of these pieces doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't beautiful antiques or replicas.

Wine Country Style

Tuscan sun, here we come! The Wine Country Style reflects the feelings evoked by the seaside regions of Europe such as the South of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The style manages to be both refined and casual, such that you can mix beautiful antiques with more rustic wrought iron or wood and the result is both sophisticated and cozy. Furniture is large and comfortable, colors are bright and cheery, and regardless of the color palette the spaces almost always feel warm. You can easily translate the style into the perfect family environment but you can just as easily emphasize the more formal pieces and make your room the perfect adult getaway.


To those with a Wine Country sense of style, texture is very important because of how it imitates the surrounding landscape. Walls are often made of plaster or stucco, or faux finishes that emulate these textures. Rough-hewn or wrought iron is very common in tables, chairs, lamps and accessories. Natural pine is also common, although darker stained woods are more popular. The wood pieces (chairs, tables, armoires) are large in scale and each piece has a good sense of presence in the room. Mosaic tiles are very popular for flooring as well as accents on tabletops and other furniture.


When it comes to color, Wine Country Style literally attempts to mimic the landscape of the regions. Earthy tones such as yellow, orange and red highlight the golden hillsides and beautiful sunsets. Blues, lavenders and greens mimic the fields and countryside in springtime. Focusing on the blues and whites imitates the seaside and white sandy beaches. 


What's old is new again! The beauty of Classic Style is how well it takes all of the beautiful forms, colors and textures of the past and reinvents them in a way that feels both fresh and inspired. The style itself is a mix of European influences and French, English and Italian antiques and replicas are often used together. Furniture is well proportioned and comfortable and the rooms give off an air of sophistication and grace. Oil paintings depicting a still life or nature scenes and emphasizing symmetry of pairs helps maintain the Classic nature of the room. Windows are often covered with opulent fabric shades and/or drapery. Classic rooms give off an air of history that seems to say: "I was here long before you, and will remain long after you've gone." And yet, even with this level of sophistication, the rooms are soft and inviting.


Classic rooms are filled with texture and deep color. Walls are often saturated in color and many times have an old-world faux finish to hint of days gone by. Dark stained wood is very common and is often distressed. Additionally, gold, bronze and silvers have a natural-looking patina to them that softens their shine. Maps and animal prints are common, and fringe and tassels are often used to trim pillows, drapery and cushions. Genuine antiques are mixed with replicas and found objects become sculptural elements in the room. Wallpaper is a very popular way to bring additional color and texture to the room, and the patterns are usually reminiscent of traditional European styling.


Common colors are creams, and rich versions of traditional colors such as burgundy, dark green and navy blue. Golds and yellows are also popular as many Classic rooms have a very warm tone to them. That being said, greens and blues can also be tailored to take on the Classic feel. The color, whatever it may be, almost always has a regal air to it and many times you will see faux finishing to highlight the aged feel of the color. 

To find out what your style is, visit Sproost.

1 comment:

  1. This was such an interesting post! I will have to check out Sproost. I am new to your blog. Glad I found it. I am off to read some of your other posts!!


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