Friday, September 17, 2010

Home Decorating in the Tudor Fashion

Tudor style home exteriors are rather easy to identify. Many people drive by them quite regularly with jaws dropped and eyes wide at the simple beauty and elegance of this style of architecture. From humble cottages to grand castles the Tudor style of architecture is very memorable indeed. When decorating the interior of a home in the Tudor fashion there is no set in stone rules though there are some touches that are the hallmarks of Tudor style and beauty.

One thing you can do to bring a touch of the Tudor style to your home, even if your home wasn't built in the Tudor style is to incorporate the use of beams in the interior as decorative touches. When the original Tudor style of architecture was about this was more a design of need than one of opportunity. Today the paneling serves as a simple reminder of the beauty that has earned this period in history and architecture such fame. This is only one method however, that can be used in order to establish a Tudor style upon the interior of a home.

The floors in Tudor homes were typically made of either brick or flagstone. Many people today opt for stone tiles in order to portray a remarkably accurate look with a modern twist. These floors were often covered with ornate Oriental rugs (in wealthier homes) or small wool rugs in more humble abodes. If attempting to imitate the wealthier Tudor styled homes nothing short of Oriental style rugs will do in the more prominent areas of the home. Keep in mind that there are reasonably beautiful imitations currently on the market at prices that the average homeowner can afford.

Ornate wall tapestries often graced the walls in order to complete the richness of the look in wealthier homes. This is a style that is often imitated in homes attempting to cling to their Tudor roots around the world. It is a beautiful affect however and one that is very well worth adding to your home if you are seeking to incorporate a Tudor style in your home decorating efforts.

As far as the bedroom goes, the beds were the focal points of these rooms. Solidly built four post beds were the thrones in these homes and made fit for the king of any castle no matter how humble it may be. The posts and feet on these beds were ornately carved and quite beautiful. This is a remarkable recreation to include in your home in order to bring about an authentic Tudor atmosphere for the interior decorating. In wealthier homes, rich fabrics canopied these massive beds in order to provide privacy and elegance.

In order to create an authentic Tudor atmosphere in a home of today you would also want to incorporate some sort of wrought iron chandeliers into the home as well as wall sconces for lighting. This is the style of lighting that was often used at the time and will lend credibility to the scene you are attempting to recreate. This to me is one of the most stunning effects that can be incorporated into a home decorating plan in this day and age. If timeless beauty and elegance are the goal, then this is definitely a style of décor you will want to consider for your home.

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Bringing the Old West to Modern Home Decorating

What could be more fun when you think about it than incorporating the age-old story of cowboys and Indians into your home décor? For those who love a great story and have a wild sense of adventure this could be an incredibly fabulous design theme for your next home decorating project. This is a great way to bring the rustic charm of the old west into the modern world of today's busy lifestyles.

Immediately visions of the hacienda with knotty pine and leather upholstered furniture comes to mind. Massive fireplaces and antlers everywhere are also first and foremost in my mind when this design idea pops into my head. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and only limited by your budget in all honesty. This is a look that could be pulled off however on almost any budget for those that are willing to make a few thrift store purchases along the way while investing a fair amount of elbow grease.

One thing you want to be careful of with this particular theme is not taking it too far. This could be so easy to do and it will only subtract from the charm and appeal if you do so. Choose the accessories carefully but implement them minimally. This should also help with potential budget restrictions as well as keep you on track for finding the perfect accessories rather than picking up everything you see only to find later that many simply will not work with the style and design you are hoping to achieve in the long run.

Wood floors and wood paneled walls are a great statement for this sort of décor as well as stone for a fireplace (if there is a fireplace of courses). You want solid furniture rather than something that appear fragile or dainty and you definitely want to keep the room masculine in appearance if at all possible. Home decorating in the style of the old west isn't for bachelors alone but too much of a feminine touch will simply kill the appeal all together. In fact, the less feminine touches the better save these touches for a romantic bedroom or bathroom rather than the primary areas that friends and family will visit.

You will also want to take great pains to imitate the rustic nature of the old west within the kitchen. No delicate china patterns or tables with legs that look like that might fall off with a hard wind. This is a 'mans' style of decorating and it needs to look as though it will withstand any punishment a man can dish out in order to maintain the fun and light appeal of the remainder of the home. You can find modern sinks, fixtures, and hardware that are designed to resemble those of the old west and beyond if you look in the right places.

For those who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary this is one style of decorating that definitely fits the bill. See what wonderful schemes and dreams you can come up with and what sort of tall tale will go along with your old west design story then create the story within the walls of your home. There is no better way to go about home decorating than this.

Decorating Your Home With a Creole Twist

Of all the styles of architecture and decorating around the world very few have taken the best of all the others and made it a little bit better in quite the way that the style often referred to as "French Creole" has managed to do. The truth is that while this style of architecture that New Orleans is famous for is really heavily borrowed from many other cultures and yet uniquely New Orleans at the same time.

Creole architecture for many brings to mind intricate wrought iron work, long shutters (to cover the windows during hurricanes originally), huge windows and doors (these were designed larger than typical homes in other parts of the country in order to create breezeways for the wind to come through in the sweltering hot summer months), and bright colors that you aren't likely to find in most million dollar neighborhoods. This style of architecture and home décor is also famous for huge balconies-also with wrought iron railing.

The amazing thing about the Creole style of home decorating is that there is no one identifiable feature that labels a design style as decidedly Creole. Lagniappe is a term that people here quite often in and around New Orleans. For those who do not know, it means "a little something extra". From an extra donut to a freebie bookmark and many things in between, that little something extra has a long history in New Orleans from the architecture to the music there always seems to be a little something extra that you couldn't get anywhere else.

The interior design style of the Creole is also very similar. Some consider it gaudy but the locals consider it that little something extra and it is. You may find a little Gothic style, a little bit of Jazz, and a whole lot of Mardi Gras in one room and it s quite all right because you are getting all that and just a little bit of lagniappe too. Home decorating in Creole country is an art form that defies logic and yet makes perfect sense for the rich culture and heritage that it encompasses.

For those that need a little inspiration who would love to incorporate a little Cajun or Creole spice into their living spaces, perhaps the following suggestions will prove to be helpful.

1) Red peppers. Nothing says spice quite like a red pepper. There are all kinds of items you can find with red peppers in them these days from wallpaper borders to hand blown glass peppers, jar toppers, pot holders, kitchen towels, strings of lights for patios-even kitchen canisters decorated with red peppers. There are all kinds of options available to incorporate this theme into your home or one room of your home.
2) Music notes. Most people cannot think of Cajun country without thinking of the music that calls this great section of the country home. Music notes are a great way to symbolize the music that made New Orleans famous.
3) Mardi Gras Masks. Many people find that New Orleans symbolizes Mardi gras in their hearts and minds though New Orleans is not the birthplace of Mardi gras. The masks are a way that people from around the country can bring the 'spirit of New Orleans' home with them and decorate their homes with that attitude that can only be referred to as Creole in many hearts and minds.
4) Food. Believe it or not the food is as much a part of the Creole home as any other design element. For this reason a French Creole style kitchen is often the way to go when it comes to home decorating in the Creole fashion. The kitchen is the heart of a Cajun home and food is what makes it that heart. Use jars of beans, rice, pastas, and other lagniappe as part of the overall design and you might just be amazed at just how Creole the room begins to look.

The most important thing to remember is that Creole is more of an attitude than a design style. Bring the attitude of "No Worries" into the design features of your home and you will have the true Creole style to an art.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Cabin Theme for Your Home Decorating Needs

When it comes to home decorating there is one thing that must be said-people seem to long for the simple life and cabin living. Of all the styles of decorating and décor this is one that seems to be repeated most often but in different ways. Seriously there are all kinds of 'cabin' décor websites, magazines, brochures, books, and how to videos all over the place than probably any other style of decorating.

One reason for the phenomenal popularity of this particular type of home decorating style probably has a little bit to do with the simplicity of it. There are no hard and fast rules, there aren't fancy faux finishes and textured painting that needs to be done in order to complete the look and there aren't overly complicated rules for what is and isn't acceptable. From the bear budget to the champagne and caviar crowd there is some sort of décor available that will suit not only the home decorating needs but also the need for quality as well.

Another thing that many find appealing about a cabin themed home decorating plan is that it simply exudes warmth year round. From the dark colors to the flannel materials and the soft homespun simplicity of the design many find it simply irresistible. One thing that is obvious in this style of decorating is that it appeals to those who love home and hearth and warmth and good will far more than modern touches and design elements. This is not a hard plastic sort of design style and it shouldn't endeavor to become one as the two styles are almost systematically opposed to one another.

If you want the warmth of a Montana cabin in your home every day of the year this is one great way to do it. Bring the bears, the moose, and all the furry forest friends to frolic in your living room, on your light fixtures, and in your dreams as you fall into restful sleep each night. From the bedroom to the bathroom and the kitchen in between the cabin style of home decorating is one that is making great waves in the market place.

You will find many stores online and locally that cater to the cabin loving audience for hardware, knick-knacks, and what knots galore. The thing to remember is that the design essence isn't the little touches you add along the way, it's the warmth of wood, fire, leather, and wrought iron. These are the materials that will establish the cabin appeal more quickly than any of the little touches you can add along the way. Drywall and plaster simply cannot carry the look. Knotty pine or some other rich style of wood is the best option for walls when pulling off a cabin home appeal.

More importantly than anything though is the need to include a little bit of yourself in the design. Do not hesitate to carve your initials with a heart into the wood of your walls. It is one more thing that will be not only endearing but also appropriate to the home and the atmosphere. There is a type of innocence about a cabin style home and the little touches such as that will leave a lasting impression.

Asian Inspired Home Decorating

There are very few themes for decorating a home that capture the imagination quite like an Asian inspired theme. There are many reasons for this one of which is the rich colors, fabrics, and textures that are the hallmark of these themes. There is a simplistic elegance about Asian décor that is almost impossible to imitate in other methods. It is simply put, stunning to walk into a room or a home that has been decorated in an Asian inspired motif.

This is not one of the lesser styles of décor when it comes to price. This elegance comes at a rather high price for the average consumer. However, the sparseness of this home decorating style make it possible when other styles with this sort of price tag would not be possible. One of the most important things to remember when attempting to bring an Asian style of décor into your home is the heavy reliance upon color and texture.

Dining rooms are particularly stunning when decorated in an Asian style. In this situation not only can the implements added to the room serve to improve and enhance the décor but also the placemats on the table can serve as an important tool in establishing the theme of this supremely elegant room. Chopsticks and dishes, particularly tea servings are other great enhancements to an Asian dining room. This is a room that many families will enjoy dining in.

It is recommended that because of the expense involved in many Asian themed home decorating styles that only one or two rooms in the home should be created based upon an Asian theme. This will keep the costs down as well as making those rooms focal points within the home rather than having the splendor lost among the excess.

If you are having a rough time narrowing down the two rooms, the bathroom also makes an excellent room in which to incorporate an Asian inspired theme. This is a room in which people go to relax and wash away the worries and stress of their days. For this reason, it makes perfect sense that some of the more tranquil and relaxing design accents of an Asian décor would be appropriate. Candles, figurines, calligraphy (waterproof of course), and Asian artwork make excellent touches for a bathroom, as do the more tranquil colors of some Asian inspired rooms. Fountains can be added to the room for an added taste of relaxation. Be sure that there is plenty of storage space as clean lines and an uncluttered surface are also important for the overall peaceful affect you should be hoping to achieve.

If either the dining room or bath or unappealing to your home decorating desires for an Asian theme you may want to take the theme into your bedroom. There are very few more romantic themes to incorporate into a bedroom than an Asian theme. You can use fabrics to create a very romantic atmosphere, rice paper window coverings to protect those inside from prying eyes, and candles throughout the room to finish off the creation. Furnishings in this room should be sparse and uncluttered. And Asian screens can be used in order to 'section off' the room or hide the piles of laundry or cluttered areas that you wish not to be detract from the overall romance of the room. Fans make a lovely decoration for the walls in a bedroom as does Oriental art or framed calligraphy in the words of love. Use wall sconces and indirect lighting rather than harsh, glaring overhead lights.

An Asian theme can be one of the most beautiful in the realm of home decorating if you are truly willing to invest the time and money it takes to do this theme properly. It can also be one of the most gaudy if you choose cheap and tacky decorations rather than quality accessories. If you choose to incorporate this theme into your home I hope you will keep that in mind while you are shopping.