Any homeowner looking to spruce up their interior design has a long list of different styles from which they draw inspiration. Rattan Direct can provide furniture for every possible design aesthetic, and this guide will explain how to achieve these different looks for your home.
Nordic countries are famously held hostage by the elements during the winter, and as a result, the decor of many Scandinavian homes places a greater emphasis on functionality than aesthetics. This style ethos is a little bare for some tastes, but it's a brilliant option for any small space where every square foot of surface area counts.
Colours, if used at all, tend to be gentle and muted. You'll find no feature walls in a Scandinavian home, and brilliant white is a popular design choice. Solid wooden floors - devoid of carpets - will house handcrafted furniture, fixtures and fittings, with piles of blankets and pillows generally frowned upon. Windows, meanwhile, are rarely blocked with curtains. A blind will occasionally shield large windows, but natural sunlight is usually permitted to stream into a home at all times of day (and night).
If you are looking to embrace Scandinavian decor, you'll need to embrace minimalism and practicality. Clutter is a big no-no, so take all those ornaments and knick-knacks to your closest charity shop and instead embrace straight, clean lines on counters and shelves. Your furniture should be sturdy and constructed from wood, and if you are looking for a splash of colour, dot some plants around your home.
Eclectic decor can be a hugely liberating choice for any homeowner, as it allows for a funky combination of furniture and fixtures from a variety of different eras. The golden rule of eclectic decor is simple – if you like something and feel that it fits in your home, it belongs in your home. Just don't mistake this liberation for anarchy. Too many different styles and colours may just end up giving you a headache!
It's best to leave your walls a neutral colour if you decide to embrace eclectic decor, as your furniture might come in a variety of different shades and cause a clash. It's also beneficial to use one broad colour to bring the entire aesthetic together. Don't forget that you can always paint wooden furniture to match your scheme. Eclectic decor is a great excuse to trawl antique shops for the kind of high quality, well-crafted furniture that you simply won't find on the high street.
If you live in a cosy rural cottage - or simply wish to make your home feel like such a setting - then rustic decor is the way to go. A rustic look is all about embracing the natural and organic, so when looking at a new piece of furniture ask yourself, "would this look appropriate it a countryside cabin retreat?" If the answer is no, then it will not fit your ambitions for a rustic home.
Keep everything simple, right down to the walls and floors. Rugs are fine, but don't lay carpet beneath your feet - stick with warm, varnished wood floors. The same rule applies to your walls; reclaimed wood is the perfect surface for a rustic home, as you'll want a lived-in impression. Stick with warm browns for your furniture, too - leather is fine, providing it's not too modern, and you can utilise plenty of storage units dotted around your home. The latter, in particular, is something that Rattan Direct can assist with, as many of the storage solutions available on the site would slot perfectly into a rustic decor.
If you are looking for a combination of old and new (without the slightly anarchic nature of eclectic décor), industrial is the way to go. It's perfect for modern-build flats and apartments in major cities, as it takes influence from factories and warehouses. Add a rustic twist to your industrial style so that you won't feel as though you're living in a science fiction movie.
Keep plenty surfaces exposed if you are embracing industrial decor - you'll want your walls to proudly display their brickwork, your floors to showcase their wood (the occasional rug is fine, but no carpets), and even leave the metalwork of your lights on display.
The colour schemes should be similar to those you'd find in a rustic home, with many dark browns and rusty shades throughout. Iron and steel are key components of industrial decor, so consider using metals for tables and chairs (although unrefined and unfinished wood is equally effective). Soft furnishings should be comparatively modern, utilising leather, and can be decorated with a little more flamboyant colour in the form of cushions.
Transitional decor is another combination old and new that typically takes elements from conventional and traditional aesthetics and meshes them with the sharp style of contemporary decor. Transitional is arguably the most popular form of interior design right now, with an increasing number of homeowners opting for this amalgamation of aged and advanced style.
Transitional decor should not be attempted by the faint of heart, as it can be a very fine balancing act. Perhaps the easiest way to tackle such a concept would be to picture traditional decor - matching furnishings and all – and soften some of the more homely edges. Above all, much like contemporary designs, space is king - never pile anything atop something else if you are seeking a transitional look.
Decorations (such as wall art) are still welcome, but should be used comparatively sparingly. If you're looking into a sofa and matching chairs, Rattan and wicker is a hugely viable option. Transitional decor should revolve around neutral and plain colour schemes (no floral patterns are welcome here), and subtlety rules – toss in some variation on the colour scheme by adding linens, cushions and rugs.
Vintage decor is all about retro nostalgia, and it can be wholly versatile. You don't necessarily need to purchase old and beaten-down furniture and decorations to make this work for you and your home - you need just need to ensure that it looks as though you have!
Mismatched furniture is fine, especially if it's of a high quality - there's nothing wrong with a slightly ragged sofa that's accompanied by a strong and sturdy wooden table. In fact, you could even think outside the box - consider using aged barrels as lampstands, or crates as coffee tables.
Vintage colour schemes tend to be bold, though the size of your property will have an impact on what is best in this instance. If your home is small, don't go too dark with rich plum walls, as this will make the rooms feel cramped. You should also leave a little space between furnishings too; unlike shabby chic, a style that can involve all kinds of quirky bric-a-brac, vintage decor comes with a slightly cooler and classier air.
If you've always dreamed of being a Real Housewife of Hollywood, this is your chance to re-enact the experience while living in Cricklewood. Inspired by the unmatchable glamour of the film industry's golden age, Hollywood Glam is arguably the most sophisticated form of classic decoration, blending all kinds of influences to create a charming whole.
Hollywood Glam is not a design choice for shrinking violets - this is for people that like their home to be memorable to all visitors. The residents are the stars of a Hollywood home, and will not want to be overshadowed by furniture, so keep any sofas, chairs and even beds small and tucked out of the way as much as possible.
Go big and bold with the colour schemes though – white walls are fine, but add splashes of luminescence elsewhere with the addition of luminous chairs, and even consider a feature wall to truly bring the razzle-dazzle. However, keep the colours consistent from room to room - there's nothing wrong with going yellow in the lounge and pink in the bedroom, but keep the zones separate.
Sometimes small is beautiful, and that’s certainly the mantra of anybody that embraces minimalist decor – the ideal choice for anybody living in a small space.
If this is the aesthetic that you have chosen, then the first thing to know is that colour is a no-no. Stick very firmly with white walls and black or dark brown furnishings, fixtures and fittings, and of course, select small items of furniture. Leave your floors bare and painted white – a small rug may come in useful, but don’t overestimate how much covering your floor will require.
Minimalism is all about making the best of a limited space, so hang mirrors wherever possible, as they will make the rooms look and feel larger. In fact, in terms of decoration, you should wall-mount everything that you can (though you probably shouldn’t aim for too many decorations), and think about ditching prominent wardrobes in favour of small clothes rails.
Things can get a little confusing when we attempt to discuss modern decor, as in many respects it refers to mid-century modern – an aesthetic that was devised immediately after WW2 and that lasted until the mid-1970s. Based around bold colours such as plum, deep red and brown, you'll have plenty to play with if you choose this décor style.
The mid 20th century was something of a golden age for the production of furniture, much of which was mass-produced, so anything that you pick up from the era will be a fantastic addition to your home. What sets mid-century modern decor apart, however, was its approach to wall decoration. You won't need to be shy here, and can allow your imagination to run wild – track down some reconstituted fabrics or simply apply some bold and dramatic wallpaper.
This prominence also extends to lighting in a mid-century modern home – aim for large and substantial lighting, even splashing out on a chandelier if you have sufficiently high ceilings. You won't struggle to find decorations, with many of the era's artists gaining a great deal of prominence. All of these touches will help make your home warm and welcoming.
Coastal is a catchall term for a design aesthetic that brings to mind sunshine and summer all year around. There's no need to crazy on the nautical knick-knacks if this is the look that you're aiming for; coastal decor is all about keeping things light and breezy.
Keep your walls as light as possible, preferably a pure or brilliant white. The same could also go for a wooden floor, though you could also add some pastel stripes if that sounds like fun to you. Rattan and wicker furniture are great additions to any coastal home, but don't cram too much into a small space – you'll want to keep your rooms as light and airy as possible. To that end, also avoid using heavy curtains and place as much furniture as you can around the windows of each room.
Comfort is key when you're aiming for a coastal look. Don't be shy about applying cushions and linens to each room in your home, but aim for natural fibres and materials. Wooden cabinets and wardrobes are great, but avoid anything too dark or stained, as they will clash with the breezy nature of the rest of the room. Finally, stay consistent – pick a maximum of three different shades and stick with them, as a mishmash of different garish colours is the antithesis of coastal decor.
The French enjoy an unparalleled reputation for taste and class when it comes to matters of interior design, so it's hard to picture anybody going wrong by emulating the French Country style. As the name may suggest, this aesthetic will ensure that your home brings to mind visions of rolling hills, bicycles and red wine on a picnic blanket.
French Country decor largely revolves around harmony. Much like traditional design, everything in your home will need to have its own place if this is your preference, although you can get a little more imaginative. Look for well-crafted, multi-purpose furniture such as sturdy wooden tables and chairs (always with a classic design - think chic), and apply warm, welcoming shades to all walls.
Colourful curtains and other, slightly shabby chic additions such as throw pillows, and add plenty of decorative touches. Whether these take the form of flowers in vases, wall clocks, or candlesticks, there is nothing wrong with covering as many surfaces as possible – you'll want your house to feel suitably lived in, not cold and static. This style can also be complemented by storage solutions.
Shabby chic is very similar to vintage decor, but with even more freedom to go crazy by adding whatever catches your eye. If antiquing is your idea of the perfect weekend, then you should embrace shabby chic wholeheartedly. You'll doubtless come home with your arms full of new design ideas.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of shabby chic is from within the name – whereas most furniture is inspected and rejected on the grounds of imperfections, these imperfections are actually a selling point for enthusiasts of this style. Every chip on a wooden shelf, every dent in a metallic pot... these are what separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to shabby chic decor. There’s nothing to stop you adding a fresh layer of paint if necessary, but for the most part, the more visibly aged, the better.
Use pastel as the background shade and build from there, adding patterned covers and designs wherever possible, building high and leaving no surface uncovered. This means that you could invest in quality storage units such as ottomans, and apply some finishing touches. It doesn't matter if nothing matches in terms of design – in fact, it's positively encouraged when it comes to shabby chic.
Contemporary will always mean something different, as it will always relate to the current particular point in time. An aesthetic that was cutting edge as recently as ten years ago may be too out-dated to be considered contemporary today.
At the time of writing, contemporary design is all about keeping things simple and casual. Use a neutral colour such as white on the walls and floors, and complement them with sporadically populated furnishings, typically in block colours such as black or cream, but leave plenty of room between these furnishings. You can always spruce these furnishings up with brighter accents in the form of cushions or plants. Avoid carpets – a contemporary home should have clean, smooth floors, ideally constructed of wood or tile.
Right now, contemporary decor is all about keeping things minimalistic and simple. That may well change at the drop of a hat, but it's simple enough to achieve - just apply a rule that if something is not used, it's not needed.
It's easy to grow confused when considering modern decor, you might ask yourself how it could possibly be different from contemporary? In a nutshell, contemporary decor works with what is hot at the precise moment – modern decor is closer in spirit to the mid-century modern aesthetic that we discussed previously.
Technology plays a big part in modern decor. The whole design is based on the sensation of space, so stick with flat, wall-mounted television sets and stereo equipment that can be tucked into a cabinet. Clutter is the antithesis of modern decor, so if you have a spare shelf, leave it that way – think practicality. If you walk into a room and cannot immediately pinpoint where everything you may need is located, then you will have to rethink your modern decor. You should never need to rummage for the items you need.
It doesn't matter how big your property is when it comes to modern decor – what's important is that it feels large and airy. Allow yourself plenty of space, avoiding huge, heavy curtains and carpeting, and furnish each room sparsely against a backdrop of light coloured walls and floors.
As the name suggests, traditional decor is all about keeping things simple and tasteful. If you are the kind of homeowner that believes there is a place for everything and everything belongs in its place, then stick firmly with traditional décor. You'll find no surprises that way.
Traditional decor dictates that each room in a home will be largely identical. Furniture will be purchased in matching sets to be placed sensibly around a room, and will not necessarily be at the cutting edge of design – traditional decor is all about finding something that works and sticking with it, regardless of what fashion dictates.
You'll want to avoid garish colours or features, though brightness or conventional patterns (such as floral designs) are popular choices, and keep your furniture firmly conventional. Comfortable sofas and armchairs, inoffensive and non-intrusive lighting, soft carpeting throughout and large curtains that complement the colour scheme are the hallmarks of traditional decor.
There is a simple way to assess whether a room embraces traditional decor - would three generations of the same family be equally comfortable within it? If so, you have cracked the code of a timeless aesthetic choice.
As you can see, there are a plethora of options available to you if you’re looking to change up the look of your home. Fortunately, Rattan Direct is with you every step of the way to supply you with quality furnishings.
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