Our individual style in home furnishings is as unique as our own personality. It is our own reaction to various styles that determine our home-décor passions.
And because it is not uncommon for our design style to change through the years, what do you do if the style you like right now is totally different from your current furnishings and accessories?
Well, believe it or not, you are in luck, because one of today's top design styles is called "eclectic." Eclectic decorating focuses on mixing and matching a variety of decorating styles brought together with a common color scheme. So remember, variety is good, and your passion for the eclectic style of design sets you apart.
Think about it: Aren't the most interesting rooms a mix of unique furniture, art, wall color, floor coverings, window treatments and accessories?
Here are some ways to enhance your eclectic style while pulling it all together with color schemes.
* Mixing up room elements
Put a great Chinese chest next to an interesting wood-framed chair or a Plexiglass chair in front of a sculptured wood desk.
If you go Asian, look for a piece with simple lines and features. A Chinese side table or armoire can add international flair to even the most traditional American home.
Go ahead and combine modern with country and traditional with Asian.
Swedish-country antiques are charming and sometimes whimsical. This style has come into its own and is difficult to find. If you spot a Swedish antique, grab it while you can.
Have you noticed how many clothing designers are making the leap to furniture? This may be a good way to bring in that one certain, "high-fashion" look into your home.
Purchase a tailored sofa, such as a tuxedo style, in a neutral color.
Create a serene bathroom. Get rid of the clutter, and give it a minimalist look. Paint it a soothing color, and choose accessories that give your bath a Zen look and feel.
* Loft looks
We all crave wide-open spaces. It is time to think about tearing down walls and letting a few, great pieces stand out within lots of square footage for the spare, open look of a Soho loft.
I love that open feeling from room to room - don't you? Makes for a much better entertaining space.
The chopped-up floor plan is a piece of the past.
* Hollywood glamour
Go glam with mirrored chests, silk draper-ies and art-deco chairs.
As a sidebar, 90 percent of my clients request silk draperies. Drama! How fun and beautiful at the same time.
* Wall color
After years of boring beige, please be ready to now break out of the neutral mold.
Paint a room cocoa or chocolate brown, and accessorize with robin's egg blue, citrine or coral pink.
Color-washed walls (here is a paint technique to love): Simply dilute your paint color and wipe it over another color.
You will need to try out the look on sample boards, but it is an easy and fun way to add depth and interest to walls.
* Wall color/pattern and textures
Subtle stripes on walls: Horizontal or vertical, wide or narrow, stripes can be an easy fix for a boring wall.
Leave the base color you already love, and dress it up with alternating stripes of a slightly lighter, or darker, hue.
Go for a tone-on-tone look rather than a jarring contrast.
* Painted paneling/applied moldings
Add texture and style to your walls with an update of beaded board, paneling or moldings. These can be designed for contemporary, as well as traditional, rooms.
I know it has been out for a decade, but wallpaper is back and better than ever. Many types can be easily stripped from the walls, making changing your style a breeze.
Take a look at today's wall coverings - they are unique and beautiful.
Way out is hunter green, burgundy and mauve. These colors may have been new in the '80s, but they definitely have a heavy look that is not right for today.
If you last repainted in 1991, it may be time to freshen up your décor. Do it with color you love.
* Flat paint in every room
What's new for walls and color? Think light, bright, funky.
Consider doing Venetian plaster, a color-wash technique of stripes of paint or distressed stenciling over doorways.
* The Tuscan Villa look
Though a fad can turn into a trend, sometimes a look becomes so popular that we tire of seeing it. Use this style only if you are in love with Italy and can't live without it.
* Dark, heavy, Victorian furniture
Unless you have a period home or inherited lots of valuable Victorian antiques from a close relative, this is a look that is a bit heavy for everyday living.
Throw open the draperies and lighten up!
* Way out is having everything match in a room
Avoid buying suites of furniture, with matching pieces in various sizes. Instead, go for a "collected" look - mixing old and new, expensive and funky.
Have fun, love your home, decorate how you feel about life!
Lynette M. Barkell is owner of Interiors by Decorating Den. For questions and more information, call 367-1917.[[In-content Ad]]