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Design & Remodel

Design should be a result of inspiration

Design inspires me. Design inspires me because it is a way of connecting with people and creating functional and organized space.  Design is a mode of solving problems, an art form, and a way of bringing a home together. Some people may be inspired by a color or a style or a piece of furniture or artwork. Whatever your design inspiration may be, it helps make your house a home. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what your style is.  Let’s take a look at some options.
 
There are an endless number of design styles out there, from traditional to eclectic to contemporary and everything in between.  Finding your style involves an understanding of the differences and understanding what “feel” you want to give your home. Some differences between design styles are subtle, while others are apparent. Traditional, transitional, and contemporary styles tend to be the most popular when it comes to interior design.
 
Traditional style has its roots in 18th century English, 19th century neoclassic and French country and British colonial revival. The traditional style is still one of the most popular styles today. Traditional style evokes a warm and welcoming feel, with mainly neutral tones in the brown, red, green, and blue families. Warm pastels and tone-on-tone colors can also work with a traditional style. Wood tones on furniture, floors, railing or other accents are popular, along with ornate finishes; i.e. trim, arches, ceiling beams, turned legs, moldings, and detailed mantels. These ornate finishes and trim work help add visual weight and contribute to the feeling of warmth. Patterns in upholstery and drapery, such as plaids, florals, and stripes, are often seen mixed in. Traditional style lighting is often very decorative, and sometimes antique or ornate. Think of chandeliers, unique pendants, or foyer lighting that acts as a focal point or centerpiece.
 
Another design style that has recently overtaken traditional as the most popular is transitional. Transitional design bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary. This design style typically includes clean lines, simple details and timeless furnishings. In transitional design, you’ll most often see soft neutral colors, whites and ivory, as well as all shades of gray.  To keep the look from feeling too cool, you may also see warm wood tones or wood touches mixed in, such as wood flooring or simple wooden floating shelves. Cabinets in transitional styled kitchens and bathrooms are most often white or gray and typically shaker or another simple recessed panel door style.  The transitional style tends to feel slightly more minimalistic compared to traditional, but you will still see some accessories, decorative lighting, and lighter-weight drapery. Transitional style tends to age well because of classic, timeless lines and neutral colors.
 
Finally, contemporary is another popular design style, especially on the West Coast or in large cities.  Contemporary design features straight, clean lines, minimal or very subtle detail, and mixed finishes. For example, in a contemporary kitchen, you may see colored slab cabinet doors with a high gloss finish with metal legs and concrete countertops, giving a slight industrial feel. Or you may see wood grain slab cabinets, with leathered or suede quartz countertops. You may also see muted neutrals contrasted with a punch of bold color. But the connecting factor that makes these options contemporary is the minimalism and use of texture and space to define the style. In traditional and transitional design styles, you will see more detail in the furniture and accessories; however, in contemporary design, furniture is often made with basic shapes, simple metal frames and may sit low to the ground. It can feel more informal or even stark, when compared to other design styles.
 
Although these are the three most common design styles, there are many others to consider: art deco, craftsman, mid century modern, industrial, minimalist, bohemian, shabby chic, glam, coastal, etc.  These subcategories can fall under one of the three most common styles to a degree or can be combined to create a unique style that’s all your own. When choosing or deciding on a design style for your home, just make sure you pick something that matches your personality and lifestyle so that it feels authentic.
 
So what’s your inspiration?


Sara Bagwell is a designer for Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling in Gainesville.
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