How to Choose a Design Style that is Perfect for Your Home

You’ve seen stunning homes where the interior design blows you away – its not in keeping with the architectural style of the home – but it looks so amazing and seems to work just right. How do they do it – thoughtfully integrating the intricate details of a Queen Anne Victorian, for example, with clean modern lines and sleek sophisticated furnishings to create a stylish result that is both impressive and welcoming.

Combining design styles is a challenging feat to pull off, so let’s talk about how to do it right. This is one of the biggest challenges of interior design, and one that’s important to explore if you want a polished, intentional result rather than something that looks more like an accidental collision of aesthetics that just don’t blend. I’m constantly asked how best to go about choosing a design style that works with a home’s structure and how to ensure the taste and aesthetic preferences of its owner are met.

This can be tricky, but asking the right questions along the way will deliver a result you’re thrilled with. Do you love Traditional, Transitional or Modern style? Or is Victorian, Colonial or Cottage more your taste? Cape, Colonial, Antique Historic, Farmhouse, New Englander, New Construction, Four-Square, Ranch, Split or <odern – what happens if your taste in interior design doesn’t match the architecture of your home?

Based on my experience working with the full gamut of client preferences, as long as you blend elements thoughtfully with a specific vision in mind from start to finish, departing from your architectural aesthetic to indulge your interior design preferences can be achieved gracefully to create the home of your dreams. Here’s how:

Victorian: If your home is an antique home with a lot of trim work and detail highly valued in the Victorian era, but you prefer clean lines, you’re not stuck with using intricate patterns and detailed furnishings throughout. You can use clean lines in your design style, with whites, greys and enjoy plenty of dimension thanks to the architecture, which creates depth and interest. French Provencal style is also a great option to utilize with a neutral color palate, curvilinear lines and subtle tones in a way that works fantastically.

Cottage: Many clients love the idea of creating a casually elegant cottage style or beach cottage look. But their homes are an architectural departure from a true cottage. Easy enough. Just think about a light, bright and white approach with interior colors that draw from nature. White and blues evoke ocean and sky. And you can transform the feeling of your space by painting dark interior wood white to create a light, airy feeling. Interesting rugs with intricate patterns and textures, solid furniture, white cabinetry and splashes of vibrant color bring this concept to life.

Historic Colonial: If you live in a historic colonial home but you tend to gravitate towards modern or transitional interior design, I recommend blending the styles gracefully with reclaimed wood and subtly patterned, modern rugs. Complemented with simple-lined furniture and white or neutral walls the result can be gorgeous.

Overall, being sensitive to the blending of existing architectural elements with your desired interior design style will take you far when it comes to creating a cohesive look that has continuity and doesn’t look like an accidental combination of styles that contrast in jarring ways. Ignoring the elements of your home’s architecture when you select an interior design style can create a result that is surprising – and not necessarily in a good way.

Allow your styles to integrate with key elements that unify them such as side tables, lighting and accessories. Living in a home that reflects an interior design style that feels perfect to you, also creates a welcoming and happy space that is enjoyable and inviting for guests. If you have questions on how to make this happen, talk with an architectural and interior design professional to move your interior design in the direction that will create satisfying results, and you can enjoy your home to the fullest.


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