Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's Your Style?

To celebrate Robbie Burns Day, bringing anything Scottish to the table would definitely seem appropriate.  Who better to guide us on style, than two of Scotland's finest!  Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are the resident designers and host of HGTV Canada's hit show Colin & Justin's Home Heist.  They have also hosted several TV shows around the world and are authors to many publications as well as three internationally bestselling books.  So with a little help from C & J, we'll help you pin down who you are, what, precisely, you want from your home, and how exactly you plan to achieve it.  

To properly discover who you are-and what you really like-first pore over every home interest magazine you can find and assemble a pile of tear-outs of the things you like.  Next consider the period of your house and put together a mental Identikit of all the elements you'd like it to include.  As soon as you become familiar with the basic styles of interior decorating, you'll begin to have a better grasp of how to define your own style.  The next step of of discovering who you are at home can be grouped into the following categories:

Traditional: Decorated furnishings, lavish rich fabrics, dark woods.  It's normally a very formal style.
Country:  Simple and friendly, lots of painted wood, knotty pine, antiques and collectibles for a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Coastal:  Beach inspired, all things pertaining to the sea, clean and cool blues, stone, sandy shades.  
Contemporary:  Spacious with clean lines, lots of natural light, acres of glass, and interesting architecturally shaped furniture.
Romantic:  Rich damask prints, soft linens, aged furnishings, very elegant feel and slightly girly.  With deeper tones such as aubergine and grey it can be surprisingly masculine. 
Natural and Neutral:  The colours of the earth are usually represented here-stone, green and bronze tempered with white and cream.  Blond wood like beech and birch for contemporary Scandinavian-inspired results. 
Shabby Chic:  Old and new mixed (emphasis on the old), worn around the edges
Pan-Asian:  Square-cut, pared-down Japanese minimalism or richly adorned chinoiserie.  Sculptural furniture, living spaces are zoned according to function.
Santa Fe Style:  This style employs earth tones, terracotta accessories, rich textures, and simple adornment.
French Provincial:  Metals and deep matte shades of colour, lusciously languid daybeds, rich heavy cotton linens, hugely dominating armoires and a touch of gold detailing.
English Country House:  Buckingham Palace in miniature and you've got the gist.  Rich fabrics, patterned Axminster carpets, baby blues, soft greens or palest pinks on upholstery, striped wallpaper, cream and gold accessories. Oh and just a smattering of antiques.
Moroccan Style:  Rich and dark, influenced by Hispanic and Moorish style, deep jewel tones, patterned tiles and bringing the outdoors in.  Loads of tapestry, touches of velvet, and shot silk.

Take note of everything you use in your home and what you use your home for and let those aspects influence your style choices too.  Time to ask yourself more questions!  Do you tend to entertain a lot?  Casually or formally?  Do you aspire to create a quiet retreat or are you a party animal who needs a stage on which to perform?  Does the perfect night-in whisper romantic dinner for two, or is your home life more about TV dinners on trays for the entire family?  We can only suggest!  Remember...you are the one with the answers.
(Excerpt from Colin & Justin's Home Heist Style Guide)
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