Judy Rivard's Blog
Do you ever look at pictures of dream homes online and wonder what yours is missing? The answer probably lies in a cohesive design style. All homes are built around architectural and design principles. Whether you realize it or not, there are probably at least two or three interior design styles that would perfectly complement your home’s architecture, giving it that dream house” appearance that we all wish we could achieve.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the top interior design styles, from time-tested classics to contemporary trends that are sure to stick around for decades to come.
Minimal, but not barren. Reserved, but not sterile. Mid-century modern, as the name suggests, began to take shape in the mid 1900s. You’ve probably seen mid-century decorations dozens of times, especially if you’re a fan of TV shows like Mad Men.
Mid-century furniture has some of the most creative, while still tasteful shapes and textures. Egg-shaped chairs and wide, minimal sofas are highlights of this style. However, one of the most defining features is the use of wood. Exposed wood in furniture, floors, walls, and ceilings give the home a warm and cozy feeling in spite of its modern decoration. It really is all about balance.
One of today’s most commonly used design trends, especially in urban areas, is the industrial home. Industrial homes use a great deal of white, stainless steel, and classic red brick to give the home a factory vibe.
While this may seem off-putting, once you see an industrial home you’ll immediately recognize the appeal. Industrial design appears clean well put-together. With the use one or two bold colors, it’s also easy to showcase fun decorations that are used sparingly throughout the home.
A more recent design trend, shabby chic, takes influence from a number of other trends over the years, combining them into something that is both cozy and clean.
Most people associate shabby chic with vintage items painted white and then stuck into a corner somewhere with fairy lights dangling off of it. And, while this style does leave room for fun lighting and getting creative with paint, it’s core really lies in repurposing items whose era has gone by and giving them new life.
Contemporary design is what we call the amalgamation of today’s design trends that have yet to be identified as a particular style. At one time, mid-century modern was contemporary. And, someday, today’s style will be given another name and its place in the interior design history books.
Contemporary design uses modern principles but take some artistic liberty. Curved lines, and patterns that may be seen as too noisy for modern design find a home in contemporary styles.
Similarly, furniture choices are geared more toward comfort than aesthetics, making contemporary a more livable alternative to modern styles.
Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.
These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.
In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.
The effects of color
With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.
However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.
On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.
However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.
How much is too much?
It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?
Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:
Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.
Taking advantage of the full area of a room
So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.
One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.
If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.
Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.
Kitchen cabinets are the centerpiece of your kitchen. Granite islands and counter tops generally don't get as much attention as kitchen cabinets. It's a reason why many would be home owners decide to upgrade or replace the cabinets as soon as they move into a new house.
Key kitchen cabinet elements
The wrong kitchen cabinets can make your entire house look old, outdated. Choose the wrong kitchen cabinets and you won't have enough storage space. When choosing the right kitchen cabinets, focus on color, texture, style and shape.
Colors to choose from include white, brown, black, tan and red. You can also paint kitchen cabinets green, blue or any other color. The key is to choose a color that goes well with your kitchen table and chairs.
The types of kitchen cabinets that you can install are nearly as diverse as are the colors that cabinets come in. Base cabinets are installed about one foot above your kitchen floor. These cabinets are generally big enough to store large pots,pans and skillets inside. Before you go with these kitchen cabinets, consider how comfortable you and your family members will be bending down to retrieve and return dishware.
Wall cabinets are elevated and run along the top portion of your wall. About two feet of space is generally left free above wall cabinets. A good way to get plenty of storage space is to install both base and wall cabinets in your kitchen.
You don't need a pantry to put in pantry style kitchen cabinets. You may need another source of storage space, as pantry kitchen cabinets are typically smaller that other cabinet types. Whichever cabinet type you choose, make sure that you install enough pull out drawers. This will give you space to store silverware,large cooking utensils like a spatula and a large mixing spoon.
Kitchen cabinet accessories
Handles on double door kitchen cabinets are located at the top inner edge. Styles that handles are available in range from straight, round and curved. Silver, wood and gold colored are standard colors that kitchen cabinet handles are manufactured in. You could select handles based solely on price or you could opt for style and choose chic handles.
Regarding style, sliding cabinet doors is another option that's open to you. A downside to sliding cabinet doors is that they can get stuck. On the other hand, you won't have to concern yourself with replacing door handles that come loose and get lost.
Before you consider your cabinet choices finished, check out kitchen cabinet accessories.Included among the accessories are overhead lights, ventilation fans, open door shelving, end panels and toe kicks. If you're handy when it comes to construction, you may be able to save by installing unassembled cabinets.
As with other house features and amenities, go with your gut when choosing kitchen cabinets. Your first glance at kitchen cabinets takes in each of the key elements. Also, consider how well the cabinets blend with kitchen counter tops,the island, flooring and your kitchen furniture.